Magazine Contemporary Culture


Iman Issa


Iman Issa, Material for a sculpture representing a monument erected in the spirit of defiance of a larger power, 2010 and Making Places (c-print), Series of ten c-prints, 2007

Iman Issa, born 1979, Cairo, is an artist based in Cairo and New York.

The cryptic work of Iman Issa rarely denotes its subject matter nor reveals the artist’s creative process. In many of her recent projects, there is a tacit insistence that Issa’s materials – which include sculptural objects, photographs and video – speak of far more than their content suggests.
This is also true of Issa’s work in that most content-laden of media: fiction. Her book of one-page stories, Thirty-Three Stories about Reasonable Characters in Familiar Places (2011), which she considers both a work of literature and of art, almost completely omits names, places or adjectives. The sto­ries are more like fragments in which the reader must locate a narrative arc from a brief spark of disappointment, a passing thought or a disagreement between a handy­man and his client. Issa’s writing suggests that what ultimately characterizes a situation, event or concept may not lie in its own self-evident, specifically described form or content. Rather, it might extend itself from an association, a memory or an otherwise insignificant detail.

In making a work, Issa often proceeds as though she has a hypothetical relationship to the medium or subject matter, then alters her position during the development of the piece as a tactical measure. For example, in her series ‘Triptychs’ (2009), Issa created the three elements in each work by assuming a different artistic subjectivity in relation to a source. In Triptych #1, for instance, she began with a snapshot she had taken of a bland communal waterfront space. Treating the photograph as though she had never seen it before, Issa then developed a second piece in response. The third work in the triptych was likewise created as though she were unaware of the first two, and had simply imagined the connections between them. Whilst this may seem a curious process to adopt in order to communicate a personal memory or sensation – involving as it does more alienation than proximity – the elements of the triptychs nonetheless resonate with one another.

Her group and solo exhibitions include Trapped in Amber: Angst for a Reenacted Decade, UKS, Oslo, 2009, 7th Gwangju Biennale, 2008, Cairoscape, Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, Berlin, 2008 , Making Places, Townhouse Gallery, Cairo, 2008, Look Around, Arte Ricambi, Verona, 2008, Memorial to the Iraq War,ICA, London, 2007. Her video work has been screened at several venues including Tate Modern, London, Spacex, Exeter, Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool, and Bidoun Artists Cinema.

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Painting: Mathew Cerletty

Mathew Cerletty The Economist, 2007 oil on linen 106,5 x 213 cm

Mathew Cerletty Yoplait, 2007 colored pencil and gouache on paper 35,56 x 33,65 cm
Mathew Cerletty Epson, 2009 graphite on paper 76,2 x 76,2 x 2,54 cm

Mathew Cerletty, The Economist, 2007, oil on linen, Yoplait, 2007, colored pencil and gouache on paper and Epson, 2009 graphite on paper

Since the early 2000s, Mathew Cerletty has been earnestly stretching the possibilities of figurative painting while cleverly subverting much of what we have come to expect from both realism and hyperrealism. Transitioning from his early, psychologically compelling portraits to more abstracted takes on household products and text-based images, Cerletty has been probing some amazingly banal subject matter as a challenge to the transcendent promise of traditional painting and to his skills as a draftsman.

Mathew Cerletty was born on 1980 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin New York. Matthew Cerletty’s paintings encapsulate a cosmopolitan air with their voguish finish and ambivalent sexuality. Presenting a fragmented body, Cerletty’s untitled trade’s image for the fetish of gesture, his absent figure reduced to an intimation of style. Rendered as graphic form against an empty slate colored ground, Cerletty’s hands seem strangely foreign and empirical. Classically positioned, Cerletty sets his study as abstracted intrigue, his opaque white sleeve and purple nail polish convert the representational to formalist balance, constructing the sublime through the simplicity of casual expression.

Matthew Cerletty’s Untitled reconsiders the figure as an abstracted strategy of design. Set on a cold ground, his torso is centered as an obsessional focus of concentration. Rendered with painterly impasto, his shirt becomes a slacker study of illusionary space: its simplified cartoon form balancing between graphic flatness and 3D perspective, the stylised shadow alluding to sculptural form reinforces the planar surface. The addition of the hands converts Cerletty’s painting from compositional study to relational subject, infusing traditional line, shape, and tone with dandyish and charismatic personality.

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Sanja Iveković

Sanja Iveković,  Practice Makes a Master, Performance, 16:38 min, 1982/2009

Sanja Iveković, born 1949 in Zagreb, is a Croatian photographer, sculptor and installation artist. Considered to be one of the leading artists from the former Yugoslavia. Since the beginning of her artistic career, Iveković has always been interested in the representation of women in society.

Among her early works are Double Life, 1975, where she pairs 66 photographs of her private life with similar shots of models in magazine advertisements, Make Up-Make Down, 1978, with filmed or photographed self-portraits, and General Alert: Soap Opera, 1995, produced for television. Figure & Ground, 2006, depicts collages of female models looking like armed terrorists covered in blood and wearing military-inspired clothing from top designers.

Iveković has also been effective in her sculptures. In 2001, she copied Luxembourg’s national symbol Gëlle Fra (Golden Lady) but making the woman look visibly pregnant. Topping an obelisk which for some time was placed in the vicinity of the original, her Rosa Luxembourg caused considerable consternation. Women’s House, an ongoing project since 1998, displays plaster casts of the faces of abused women arranged in a semicircle.

At the 2010 Gwangju Biennale, Iveković’s On the Barricades was a living memorial commemorating the Gwangju people’s uprising of 18 May 1980. Based on her Rohrbach Living Memorial, 2005, depicting the fate of the Roma victims of the holocaust, the new presentation was enacted by volunteers representing statues of the victims. They were surrounded by 10 monitors presenting slideshows of photos of the 545 victims, whose eyes were intentionally closed by the artist.

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Heidrun Holzfeind

Heidrun Holzfeind, Carpet (after Erna Lederer) Wool, 230×420 cm, 2012

Created for Holzfeind solo show at BAWAG Contemporary in Vienna as part of a larger group of works about the Austrian architect and designer Ernst Schwadron (1896-1979). Schwadron’s penthouse apartment was located on the top floor of Franz Josefs Kai 3, in the building owned by his family. Today BAWAG’s exhibition spaces occupy the ground floor of the same building (the former showrooms of the ceramics company Brüder Schwadron.)

In an interior design magazine published in 1930,  a carpet designed by the painter Erna Lederer, Schwadron’s first wife is shown. According to the description in the accompanying article, the carpet was handwoven in white, grey and brown wool. For the exhibition the carpet was reproduced following the logic of the black and white photograph in white, grey and a dark (brownish) grey. During the exhibition the carpet lay exacty five floors below its original position in Schwadron’s penthouse apartment, 82 years after the photograph of the “great hall” was published.

The carpet raises questions concerning the whereabouts of the furnishings of the apartment Schwadron left in 1938 when he was forced to emigrate. (The Vienna Gestapo seized the entire property on January 24, 1941.) Did Schwadron sell or give away the furniture and carpets before his escape, did he ship them to New York, or did he leave them behind.

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Artist: Pilvi Takala

Pilvi Takala, Welcome to Deloitte,  Letter and Key Card, The Trainee, 2008

Takala typically trespasses in smaller microcosms, using herself or hired actors and a hidden camera to document a single, subtle act of transgression of established social conduct. In doing so, she unsettles the unspoken rules of these ambiguous societies. Takala, with her unassuming but stubborn demeanour, has just the right tenor of awkward tension and implicit danger. When watching her videos, it’s easy to forget that she is not breaking any specific rules. Like artists such as Sophie Calle, Adrian Piper or Andrea Fraser before her, she tests the boundaries of how threatening or non-threatening a young female artist violating social codes can be.

For Bag Lady (2006), Takala spent several days browsing in a Berlin shopping mall while carrying a clear plastic bag filled with wads of euro notes. While this obvious display of wealth should have made her the ‘perfect customer’, instead she only aroused suspicion from security guards and disdain from shopkeepers. Others urged her to accept a more discreet bag for her money.

Takala also brushed up against the unwritten laws of capitalism in The Trainee (2008), for which she procured a job as a trainee in the marketing department at Deloitte in Helsinki. In her documentation of this month-long performance, Takala sits motionless, like a modern-day Bartleby, at an empty desk. When co-workers attempt to make polite conversation, she replies that she’s ‘doing a bit of brain-work’ or ‘working on my thesis’. But a string of increasingly urgent inter-office emails she obtained shows what they really thought of the new trainee with ‘very short hair’: ‘Obviously she has some sort of mental problem.’ We see how disarmed her colleagues are by her refusal to conform to the rules of the corporate workplace. But we also see how difficult it is for them to break out of their own habits to openly confront her. One video documents an entire day Takala spent going up and down in the office lift. ‘You’re thinking again?’, asks a bemused businessman after his second encounter with the artist. ‘It helps me to see things from a different perspective,’ she explains.

In all these interventions, Takala’s attempt to ‘see things from a different perspective’ emerges as a metaphor for art making, and the suspicion and trepidation with which it’s often regarded in the culture at large. The loneliness that Takala herself likely experiences as an itinerant artist is captured most poignantly inWallflower (2006), which she filmed in a traditional Finnish dancing club. Though the clubs are mostly popular with elderly couples, Takala arrived, unaccompanied, in a rippling floor-length ballroom gown. She sits alone all night until, finally, an old man asks her to dance, and leads her gracefully across the otherwise empty dance floor. Takala’s performance demonstrates how even the most modest or minor infraction can begin to make small, visible cracks in the ice of the social order.

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Sculpture: Nina Beier

Nina Beier, Shelving for Unlocked Matter and Open Problems, Detail, 2010

Of any artist working today, 35-year-old hyper-mixed-media artist Nina Beier is creating some of the boldest examples of the contemporary artwork in crisis mode. This has a lot to do with the unstable, in flux, usually-referencing-something-absent, often-crushed-or-pieced-together, and likely-to-change nature of her sculptural explorations.

Take her seemingly straightforward work, On the Uses and Disadvantages of Wet Paint, 2010, which may look like a large blotch of test paint on a blank wall; instead, it’s a savvy institutional critique on the art of backdrops, in which Beier raids a given museum’s paint stockpile to reapply a new color on the same spot intermittently. Another example of Beier using the system against itself is her photographic piece What Follows Will Follow II: Installation shots of works from a previous show become the work framed in the next one, an idea that could breed an endless chain of recycled and re-rerecyled imagery.

The Danish-born Beier gets much of her creative impulses from philosophy and literature (Heidegger and Lewis Carroll are recent touchstones). But for all of the theoretical uplift, the end result is provocatively tactile. Her most recent productions include dipping photographic stock images in glue and hanging them to dry on mass-produced household items, thus using an image to utterly envelop an actual thing. Another series involves found secondhand fabrics stuffed together inside a frame to create an almost Arte Povera-esque surface on the verge of busting open.

Beier has been living in Berlin for the past three years after starting her career in London. “I moved mainly because I was attracted to the qualities of an underpopulated city,” she says. “I guess the pace of the city is a little slower than other cities I have lived in, but I find the contrary to be true when it comes to the productivity of artists who live here.”

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Artist: Dough Aitken


002_aitken-doug_theredlist Doug Aitken

Dough Aitken, Now, 2010, Now, 2009 and Fountain (Earth Fountain), 2012

Central to Doug Aitken’s “100 YRS” exhibition is a new “Sonic Fountain,” in which water drips from 5 rods suspended from the ceiling, falling into a concrete crater dug out of the gallery floor. The flow of water itself is controlled so as to create specific rhythmic patterns that will morph, collapse and overlap in shifting combinations of speed and volume, lending the physical phenomenon the variable symphonic structure of song. The water itself appears milky white, as if imbued and chemically altered by its aural properties, a basic substance turned supernatural. The amplified sound of droplets conjures the arrhythmia of breathing, and along with the pool’s primordial glow, the fountain creates its own sonic system of tracking time.

Behind a cavernous opening carved into the gallery’s west wall is “Sunset (black),” a sculptural work that resembles cast lava rock in texture and spells out the word SUNSET as it glows from behind, its letters forming a relic of the entropy and displacement inherent in the literal idea of a sunset. Viewed from and obscured behind a hole in the wall, the sculpture appears as cosmic debris, as if pulled from a parallel world where a sunset is only an idea, obfuscated by detritus of the age of post-everything, a reductionist standpoint between the modes of pop and minimalism, its glow fading into the next realm. Also on view is the mirrored sculpture “MORE (shattered pour)”. Like a time-piece, the work creates a kaleidoscope of reflections of all that surrounds it. As if it were a fragmented film, “MORE (shattered pour)” creates a literal manifestation of the present and aspirational escapism, which cannot be viewed without glimpsing a piece of one’s self within the work’s reflections. Another refraction of time is glimpsed through “Fountain (Earth Fountain)”, created from plexiglas letters spelling the word “ART”, through which a slurry of moist dirt is pumped, physical earth perpetually redoubling and standing in for itself. The word ART itself subverts the entropy of time, creating a holding pattern that organic matter cannot escape from. The flickering lightbox “not enough time in the day” completes the communicative supercurrent of shimmering malaise, its letters overlapping as if seen inebriated, somehow both more profound and less understandable. The work creates a cycle that is both hypnotic and inescapable.

Doug Aitken lives and works in Los Angeles and and New York. In March 2013, the Seattle Art Museum will install “Mirror,” a monumental new commission made of LED’s, permanently installed on the museum’s facade, while the Miami Art Museum will reopen its new building with the outdoor large scale projection of “sleepwalkers (miami).” In addition, SFMOMA in San Francisco is making plans for a large-scale citywide installation of Aitken’s Empire Trilogy in site-specific locations. Aitken’s work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions around the world, in such institutions as the Serpentine Gallery in London, the Vienna Secession, and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. He participated in the Whitney Biennial 1997 and 2000 and earned the International Prize at the Venice Biennale in 1999. Aitken’s “Sleepwalkers” exhibition at MoMA in 2007 transformed an entire block of Manhattan into a cinematic experience as he covered the museum’s exterior walls with projections. In 2009, his Sonic Pavilion opened to the public in the forested hills of Brazil at INHOTIM. Continuing his work in innovative outdoor projects, Aitken presented his film and architecture installation “Frontier” on Rome’s Isola Tiberina in 2009, the multiform artwork “Black Mirror” on a uniquely designed barge floating off Athens and Hydra Island in 2011, and “Song 1″ projected onto the circular facade of the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC in 2012.

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Anselm Reyle

Untitled, 2008. Mixed media on canvas, acrylic glass

Anselm Reyle was born in Tübingen, Germany in 1970. He currently lives and works in Berlin.

Reyle’s stripe paintings are instantly recognizable as responses to the formalist vocabulary of Clement Greenberg that defined the art of the 1950s and 1960s. Reyle references iconic abstractionists ranging from Kenneth Noland to Otto Freundlich. Reyle’s “objets-trouvés,” a reference to his multi-media installations that include sculpture and found neon lights, are in constant dialogue about the role of modernism today.

Reyle’s critique of painting extends to his exploration of the constantly shifting criteria required for a work to be considered complete. He is one of few contemporary German painters examining the lessons of abstraction and their place in contemporary painting at a moment when figurative painting has gained critical momentum.

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Oliver Laric

Oliver Laric, Kopienkritik, 2011, Skulpturhalle Basel

Oliver Laric’s work seeks to parse the productive potential of the copy, the bootleg, and the remix, and examine their role in the formation of both historic and contemporary image cultures. This process is intimately tied to his intuitive, idiosyncratic brand of scholarship, which he presents through an ongoing series of fugue-like expository videos (Versions, 2009—present), and further elaborates through his appropriated object works, videos, and sculptures, all of which are densely conceptually layered and often make use of recondite, technologically sophisticated methods of fabrication. Straddling the liminal spaces between the past and the present, the authentic and the inauthentic, the original and its subsequent reflections and reconfigurations, Laric’s work collapses categories and blurs boundaries in a manner that calls into question their very existence.

Laric (born 1981 in Innsbruck, Austria) lives and works in Berlin. He studied at the Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien. Laric’s first solo exhibition in Germany ‘Be Water my Friend’ took place at Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin in 2012. His video work ‘Versions’ (2012) premiered at Art Statements, Art|43|Basel (14-17 June 2012). Recent solo and group exhibitions include: alienate/demonstrate/edit, Artspace, Auckland (2012); Villa du Parc Centre d’art Contemporain, Annemasse, France (2012); In Other Words, NGBK, Berlin (2012), Lilliput, High Line, New York (2012); Frieze New York (2012); Kopienkritik, Skulpturhalle Basel (2011); Based in Berlin (2011); You don’t love me anymore, Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster (2011); Frieze Projects, Frieze Art Fair, London (2011); Music for Insomniacs, Proyectos Monclova, Mexico D.F. (2011); Priority Moments, Herald Street, London (2011); Memery, Mass MoCA, (2011); Frame, Frieze Art Fair, London (2010); Artists’ Video, Vancouver Art Gallery (2010); The World is Flat (curated by Lauren Cornell), X-initiative, New York (2009); Unmonumental, New Museum, New York (2008). Forthcoming group shows include: Detours of the Imaginary (curated by Julien Fronsacq), Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2012); The Imaginary Museum (curated by Bart van der Heide), Kunstverein München (2012); Museum of the Image, Breda, The Netherlands (2012).

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Everything leads to another: “Me, dead at 37”


Matthew Day Jackson, Me, dead at 37 and Domestic drawing (LIFE, December 12, 1969), 2011

“In my work there is no past. History is a part of everything. Everything leads to another. As the sum of history moves out in 360 degrees from its center, which does not exist, it envelops the present. Perhaps you could say I am interested in moments of sublime beauty which carry their counterpart, otherwise known as terror, so closely that it is difficult to delineate one from the other. This has been the guide from the beginning. In my search for the edge, I meet heroes along the way and see myself reflected in the surfaces of the things I encounter.”

“We are not simply flesh and bone, but also the materials through which we express ourselves to the world outside. The siding of our home, the brand of automobile that we drive to the clothes we wear, these things become who we are. Much, if not all of this is shared, so as I become me, I become you.”

Me, Dead at 37 continues an ongoing series of photographs documenting fantasy scenarios of the artist’s own death.

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Tom Burr, Sentence


Tom Barr, Sentence, 2009

Tom Burr, Sentence, 10 September – 24 Oktober 2009
Bortolami, New York

There was no single work in Tom Burr’s recent exhibition “sentence” that was truly emblematic of the whole, but one pair at least came close. The two sculptures his personal effects (White) and (Natural) (both 2009) demonstrate a bold juxtaposition of randomness and precision and a fascination with the aura of ephemeral objects that united all the pieces here. Enclosing two pairs of worn-out sneakers in Plexiglas cases, one per shoe, and placing them atop wooden pedestals of differing heights colored according to the works’ subtitles, the New York- and Norfolk, Connecticut-based artist seems to have framed his exhibition as a meditation on entropy and loss, a series of forward steps that cohere only with a backward glance.

Tom Burr entered the picture then, back in the early 1990s when he started showing at Colin DeLand’s American Fine Arts in SoHo. AFA had already presented the fences and aluminum panels of Cady Noland and the domestic-object based installations of Jessica Stockholder; across the street and around the corner, Felix Gonzalez-Torres put out strings of light and Jack Pierson hung tinsel. Within this context, Burr was an important new voice in the dialogue of institutional critique, exploring the politics of minimalism and politics at large that were at the forefront of artistic and social concerns—notably identity, society and the body, often dealing with issues of sexuality, war and the structures of public and private spheres.

One distinction of Burr’s work that persists is his consideration of the ephemeral. This interest extends beyond time to all sensory experiences, which must be transitory by nature. He describes individual sculptures as ‘moments’ and thinks of their varied qualities in terms of musical notes, temperatures, and moods—qualities that cannot be trapped into the permanency of an object, but may be somehow suggested.

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Matthew Day Jackson, The Tomb, 2010

Matthew Day Jackson, The Tomb, 2010

The Tomb, a large-scale work derived from the Tomb of Philippe Pot.  Attributed to Antoine LeMoiturier, in the collection of the Musée du Louvre in Paris, the Tomb of Philippe Pot is considered one of the masterpieces of the Burgundian style of the late 15th century.
Jackson replaces the eight hooded monks who carry Pot’s effigy with astronauts that are rendered from scraps of wood and plastic.  They are then compressed into a block and cut with a CNC (computer numerical control) process.

The astronauts shoulder a steel and glass box that holds a skeletal structure based upon Jackson’s own body. The hands and feet are cast from either Jackson’s own extremities or handles from tools. Other elements of the skeleton incorporate biomedical prototypes, various industrial materials, and found wood. Viewed through a one-way mirror, which allows the viewer to simultaneously see one’s own reflection and the effigy’s contents, Jackson’s skeleton provides both autobiographical reference and explores the interconnectivity of disparate forms and narratives.

The Tomb can also be seen as Jackson’s exploration of the “Horriful”—his belief that everything one does has the potential to evoke both beauty and horror at the same time. For Jackson, the allusion to death is not a “Memento Mori,” but a claim to “Carpe Diem.”

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Timur Si-Qin


Timur Si-Qin, Untitled, and Installation view of Legend, 2011

Timur Si-Qin speaks about his work in the 2014 Taipei Biennial.

I try to make work that doesn’t believe in the separation between culture and biology. To view humans as occupying a special role in the universe—and therefore as outside of nature and separate from other animals—is a theological belief that has no evidence. There never has been nor will there ever be anything “outside” of nature. Of course, just saying that something is natural doesn’t mean that it is morally correct or that we shouldn’t work to change it. Nature is inherently dynamic and chaotic, and life has always been about a two-way interaction with the environment. The environment changes life, and life changes the environment. The universe is a dance between entropy and complexity. Fortunately, and mysteriously, matter has a tendency to self-organize and determine its own being.

I’m interested in the way commercial images reveal the processes by which humans interpret and respond to the world around them—these are the fingerprints of our cultural image-search algorithms. The interesting question is no longer whether or not the image is a construction, but rather in what ways this process is structured. Common and repeated “solutions” to commercial imagery—cheesy stock photos, pop music, and formulaic Hollywood movies—are all ingrained modes of culture that can tell us something about its materiality and tendencies. When one understands the tendencies of a material—like a blacksmith who grasps the tendencies of metals—one can use that knowledge to activate the item’s capacities. In that way, a greater understanding of the materiality of culture may lead us toward unlocking its unrealized capacities.

Nicolas Bourriaud’s book The Radicant (2009) probably falls closest to the context he’s laid out for the biennial. In both, he emphasizes the importance of a globalized network, and it’s an idea that others often miss when they focus on the impact of technology. The digital-native generation is different from previous generations because of the exponential access and confrontation with other cultures that the Internet allows, which facilitates a deprogramming or reverse engineering of one’s own culture.

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Mark DeLong

Mark DeLong, Untitled, 2011

Mark DeLong, born 1978 in New Brunswick, is a self taught artist working in a variety of mediums including drawing, painting, sculpture and video.

His work has been displayed at Colette, Paris; Bee Studios, Tokyo; Spencer-Brownstone Gallery, New York; Abel Neue Kunst Gallery, Berlin; Perugi Art Contemporenea, Padova, Italy; Museum Of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto; LES Gallery, Vancouver; Little Cakes, New York; and Cooper Cole in Toronto. Delong has collaborated with such artists as Paul Butler, Jason McLean, Jacob Gleeson, and Geoffrey Farmer. His work has been seen in Border Crossings and Canadian Art Magazine and he has published books with Nieves, Switzerland; Seems Books, and TV Books in New York. DeLong currently lives and works in Vancouver, Canada. DeLong will be participating in a two person exhibition at Cooper Cole in March 2013 with artist Joseph Hart.

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Dan Colen


Dan Colen, No Sex No War No Me, 2011 and Rama Lama Ding Dong, 2006

Dan Colen was born in New Jersey in 1979. Exhibitions include the 2006 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2006); “USA Today,” Royal Academy, London (2006); “Defamation of Character,” PS1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, New York (2006); “Fantastic Politics,” National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo (2006); “Skin Fruit: Selections from the Dakis Joannou Collection,” New Museum, New York (2010); “Peanuts,” Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo (2011); “In Living Color,” FLAG Art Foundation, New York (2012); “Meanwhile…Suddenly and then,” 12th Biennale de Lyon (2013); “Dan Colen: The Illusion of Life,” Inverleith House, Edinburgh (2013); “Help!” The Brant Foundation Art Study Center, Greenwich, CT (2014); and “The L…o…n…g Count,” The Walter De Maria Building, New York, NY (2014).

Colen lives and works in New York.

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Taryn Simon

Taryn Simon,  From the Series, Contraband, 2010

Shot over five days for the book and exhibition, “Contraband” — of items detained or seized from passengers or express mail entering the United States from abroad at the New York airport. The miscellany of prohibited objects — from the everyday to the illegal to the just plain odd — attests to a growing worldwide traffic in counterfeit goods and natural exotica and offers a snapshot of the United States as seen through its illicit material needs and desires.

Taryn Simon (born February 4, 1975) is an American artist. Simon’s artistic medium consists of three equal elements: photography, text, and graphic design. Her practice involves extensive research, in projects guided by an interest in systems of categorization and classification. She is a graduate of Brown University and a 2001 Guggenheim Fellow.

Simon’s photographs and writing have been the subject of monographic exhibitions at institutions including Museum of Modern Art, New York (2012); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2012); Tate Modern, London (2011); Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2011); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2007); Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt (2008); Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2004); and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York (2003). Her work is held in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Tate Modern, Whitney Museum, Centre Pompidou, and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2011 her work was included in the 54th Venice Biennale.

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Egill Sæbjörnsson


Egill Sæbjörnsson in collaboration with Karolin Tampere, Installation view, 2008

Egill Sæbjörnsson (born 1973, Reykjavik / IS) graduated from the Icelandic College of Arts and Crafts (now the Icelandic Academy of the Arts) in 1997 and studied at the University of Paris, St.Denis, from 1995 to 1996. Since 1999 he shares his time between Reykjavík and Berlin. His art is an unusual fusion of music, sound, video and installations in addition to which he often appears himself as part of his exhibition projects. From the start of his career he has handled different media and expressive idioms with remarkable facility. He harnessed computers, projections and musical instruments in his performances where he himself took on a different persona in each new context. He has a whole career in music and has released his music with record companies and music is an integral part of his many performance projects.

In recent installations Egill has used video, sound and sculptural installations to create a sort of cabaret in the gallery with cut-out figures and artworks that speak and sing and even interact. There are numerous echoes from art history, including Dada-evenings in the teens and twenties, and the artworks themselves comment out loud on such references.

Egill’s recent exhibitions in Iceland include a large installation at the National Gallery in 2004, a solo exhibition in Gallery 101 and an exhibition with Magnús Sigurðsson at the Living Art Museum. In 2004 Egill was invited to take part in the international workshop programmed at Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin. He has also exhibited widely abroad, most recently in Berlin, Vienna, Skopie, Lubliana and London.

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Standard (Oslo) Gallery


Fredrik Værslev, Untitled, 2010. Spray paint, house paint and white spirit on canvas /wooden stretcher

STANDARD (OSLO) Gallery was established in April 2005. Based in Oslo the gallery aims at promoting contemporary Norwegian artists in the international field, as well as introducing international artists to the Norwegian audience.

Gallery artists have been included in a number of internationally renowned exhibitions, such as Documenta (2007 and 2012); the Whitney Biennial (2006, 2008, 2010 to 2012); the Venice Biennial (2003, 2005 and 2011); the Biennial of Sydney (2004, 2008, 2010, 2014 and 2016); the Istanbul Biennial (2005); the Lyon Biennial (2007, 2013 and 2015); Manifesta (2004, 2016); the Gwangju Biennial (2010); the Taipei Biennial (2014); and Momentum – the Nordic Art Festival (2000, 2004, 2006 and 2009). The gallery also participates in the following art fairs during the year: Art Basel, Art Basel Miami Beach, Art Los Angeles Contemporary and Frieze Art Fair New York.

Waldemar Thranes gate 86c
N-0175 Oslo

+47 22 60 13 10
+47 22 60 13 11

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Sculpture: John Kleckner and Patrick Tuttofuoco, Those Ghosts, 2011

John Kleckner and Patrick Tuttofuoco, Those Ghosts, 2011

The works in this exhibition are about human figures dissipating into voids, into abstractions, and shape-shifting into solid structures. Transformation, transcendence, and transience are the core concepts fixed into 2- and 3-dimensional material permanence in each of the exhibited artworks.

In his newest works one can see John Kleckner transitioning from meticulously rendered rotting noses and metamorphosing cavemen, to poetic allusions/illusions of infinite (contemplative) space. Figures do still appear and certainly inform the works on view, but with this new direction and some new techniques, Kleckner has opened his practice to fully embrace abstraction. These works of ink on paper are a meditative union of carefully planned accidents and haphazard intentions.

Patrick Tuttofuoco’s practice initiates a dialogue between individuals and their environment, exploring notions of community and social integration. Tuttofuoco’s sculptures study this concept, relating it to solitary individuals and their ability to transform external reality. Tuttofuoco melds Modernism and Pop; he presses figuration into abstraction, using man as the paradigm of existence, as the matrix and measuring unit of reality. From this interpretative and cognitive process, infinite versions of man and the context of his existence are produced, from which shapes able to animate the sculptures are generated.

John Kleckner’s (b.1978) work is included the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, NY (The Judith Rothschild Collection of Contemporary Drawings); The Saatchi Gallery, London; Magasin 3, Stockholm, Sweden; and The Deste Foundation Athens, Greece.
Patrick Tuttofuoco (b. 1974) has exhibited in: 10th Biennial of Havana, Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin; 50th Venice Biennale; Magasine, Grenoble; Manifesta 5; MAXXI, Rome; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Milan; Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo,Turin.

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Sculpture: Danh Vo

Danh Vo, Oma Totem, 2009

Maybe ‘everyday objects’ is the wrong term to use for my production because the way I refer to objects in my work is not about the everyday object in itself. I’m interested in building up and sustaining a certain way of thinking which enables you to look at objects in a different manner. Thinking is the starting point for looking at things.

For example, my piece Oma Totem (Grandma Totem, 2009) combines a washing machine, a refrigerator, a crucifix and a television set, which all used to belong to my grandmother. The selection was made on the basis of a conceptual approach: these are the first things that my grandmother received in Germany. Thinking determined the sculpture – not the fact that it was a fridge or a crucifix.

One of my earliest experiences of things not necessary being what they seem to be was my experience of vacation. Half my family lived in Germany, and the other half, including myself, lived in Denmark. Every summer, when all the kids had summer vacation from school, we went to visit our relatives in Germany. My family didn’t really have an idea for vacation. In the summer, they would work either in the strawberry fields or peeling small shrimps that were delivered to and picked up from their homes. I think it was more about spending time together, but that meant work. This was my first idea of vacation, and I have only good memories of it. Like all the other kids returning sunburnt to school. We always look at things through our own history, our gender and social upbringing. Most everyday objects and conventions are very unfamiliar for me. And it’s through this empirical experience that I do what I do.

From Frieze d/e, Issue 2, 2011.

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