Tag Archives: Exhibition

Haim Steinbach: Objects, Commodity Products, or Art Have Functions For Us That Are Not Unlike Words

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Haim Steinbach, Display #31G — An Offering: Collectibles of Ellen and Michael Ringier, Kunsthalle Zurich, 2014

Producing an extraordinary body of work throughout his impressive forty year career, Haim Steinbach has redefined the status of the object in art through his continued investigation into what constitutes art objects and the ways in which they are displayed.

When I began working with objects in the late 1970s, most objects I employed were used objects that I got from flea markets and yard sales. For instance, all the objects in an installation I did at Fashion Moda in the South Bronx in 1980 came from the neighborhood second-hand stores or were picked off the street. The idea of a desire for a “cultural object-as-commodity,” something which “exists outside,” intrigues me because I believe that what exists outside eventually comes inside. A “commodity object,” once acquired, becomes internalized. 

Through juxtaposing paintings, sculptures, artefacts and children’s playthings, Steinbach uncovered alternative meanings inherent in the objects, while subverting traditional notions of display and the value of objects. In presenting these loans and the salt and pepper shakers, Steinbach also unites the day-to-day habits of the home with the seemingly more conventional museum-based act of collection and display.

Up until the mid-1970s, Steinbach explored Minimalist ideas through the calculated placement of coloured bars around monochrome squares. He then abandoned painting to configure works using linoleum based on a range of historical floor designs, responding to both high and low cultural narratives. By the late 1970s, Steinbach began a transition to the three dimensional, collecting and arranging old and new, handmade and mass-produced objects, coming from a spectrum of contexts. These objects were displayed on what Steinbach termed “framing devices”, ranging from simple wedge-shaped shelves, to handmade constructions, to modular building systems.

Steinbach’s preoccupation with the fundamental human practice of acquiring and arranging objects has remained a key focus within his work and brings to the fore the universality of this common ritual.

“People seem to build their own cathedral inside their house. They select the objects that they like to live with, and they make a shell for themselves. They cultivate their little domain. In terms of my own experience with objects, there was a time when I went through a purist period. I didn’t want to have anything in my house — it was simpler just to have very few things around. I went through an evolution in my own work from a minimal, reductive language based on the conceptual activity of the late 1960s and early 1970s, toward a point at which a whole other range of discussions began to emerge. I realized that I had developed an incredible bias toward objects, probably as a result of a resistance to an ideology of “commodity fetishism.”

Steinbach’s interest in display extends to the environments in which objects are placed, and thus photographs, images, models and recreations of interiors are prevalent throughout the exhibition. He often positions his objects within larger architectural installations resembling domestic interiors. Several of these historical installations have been reconceived within the exhibition, where sheets of wallpaper sit on studded walls. These walls serve to guide the viewers’ navigation through the galleries and highlight the architectural qualities of the space.
On show within the installation was a new installation, comprising salt and pepper shakers lent by members of the public. By transporting objects that hold their own stories into the Serpentine Gallery, Steinbach’s participatory gesture reactivates them within this new context and makes the connection between the private and the public sphere.

“Objects, commodity products, or art works have functions for us that are not unlike words, language. We invented them for our own use and we communicate through them, thereby getting onto self-realization.”

Text:Joshua Decter, Journal of Contemporary Art http://www.jca-online.com/steinbach.html and Press Release, The Serpentine Gallery, http://www.serpentinegalleries.org/exhibitions-events/haim-steinbach-once-again-world-flat.
Artist Website: Haim Steinbach, http://www.haimsteinbach.net.
All images belongs to the respective artist and management.

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Ida Ekblad, Diary of a Madam, Exhibition Kunsthaus Hamburg


Ida Ekblad, Installation view, Diary of a Madam, Kunsthaus Hamburg, 7 Februar – 26. March 2017

The Kunsthaus Hamburg is hosting Ida Ekblad’s first institutional solo-exhibition in Germany. The artist is showing large-format paintings created for the exhibition. New sculptures will be presented in the context of a performance by the singer Nils Bech at the opening reception.

Ida Ekblad’s paintings and sculptures are like vehement acts of liberation. Gestural brushstrokes, dolphins, airbrush technique, aliens, junk, icons of Expressionism, puff effects recalling 3-D prints on sweatshirts of the eighties – Ida Ekblad’s process-oriented art production embodies an anarchic spirit that does not hesitate to appropriate styles, subjects, and materials of western culture that are deemed outdated or tasteless. This non-hierarchical aesthetic approach to the visual repertory of the recent past – often derived from contexts of popular culture and everyday life – may be understood in the sense of an ‘open source’ mentality which is devoid of the intention of consciously seeking to quote or to comment.

Teetering on the edge of good taste, the artist’s works have a strongly affective impact. While, on the one hand, ambivalent materials and aesthetic concepts are obviously being celebrated, on the other hand, a struggle with and between these very materials and concepts also clearly manifests itself. This also applies to Ida Ekblad’s latest large-format paintings, which she has assembled into a wall frieze of 20 meters length at the Kunsthaus Hamburg. Here, pubertal graffiti tags and Murano vases formed by the artist with puff paste are conflated on a two-dimensional surface. Relief-like surface structures as well as Ida Ekblad’s visibly obsessive delight in pure materiality reveal a sculptural spirit that does not call painting itself into question. The artist claims: “Painting to me combines expressions of rhythm, poetry, scent, emotion… It offers ways to articulate the spaces between words, and I cannot be concerned with its death, when working at it makes me feel so alive. Canvas can be attacked, copulated with and played like an instrument. I believe in painting like I believe in music. Gore grind music has been invented and can be reinvented forever, and no two raindrops are alike… no two gobs of paint, etc. etc.“ (Ida Ekblad, Mousse Magazine, Issue 22, 2010)

Ida Ekblad not only often refers to music and poetry, but the latter also concretely play a major role in many of her energetic, rhythmical works. In some of the paintings she has incorporated words or short sentences, while her exhibitions are generally accompanied by entire poems. Among other things, the titles of her works and presentations play with ambiguity: Diary of a Madam, the title of her presentation at the Kunsthaus Hamburg, not only makes reference to a biographical context – which, incidentally, is only pseudo-biographical since the multiply recurring portraits of a small Scandinavian-looking girl only appear to represent the young Ida Ekblad. It also phonetically alludes to ‘madman’ – a further recurring theme in the artist’s work: “Writing poetry becomes part of the struggle to stay sane, or the struggle to stay insane, I forget!”

In cooperation with Ida Ekblad, a performance by the Norwegian singer Nils Bech will take place at the opening reception. The performance will also be presented at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, and the ICA Institute for Contemporary Art in London.

Text: Press Release, http://kunsthaushamburg.de//.
All images belongs to the respective artist and management.

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Artist: Hans Christian Lotz

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Hans Christian Lotz, Untitled, 2016, Die Ölmühle aus Bickelsberg im Freilichtmuseum Vogtsbauernhof Gutach, 2015 and Untitled, 2015

In one famous scene in Jacques Tati’s 1958 film Mon Oncle, Tati’s character Monsieur Hulot tries to open the kitchen cabinet in his brother-in-law’s hyper modern suburban home. He pulls repeatedly on the cabinet’s handle, but cannot open it. He accidentally tricks some switch and the doors fly open without warning, comically spilling their contents onto the floor. All throughout the house the doors are automatic; the garage door operates with a mind of its own, the doors to the veranda slide open and closed randomly, and Tati even manages to break the gate to the house as he attempts to use it like the “manual” doors of his apartment in the city.

In the main room of Hans-Christian Lotz’s untitled exhibition at David Lewis Gallery, three sets of glass automatic doors, the kinds characteristic of convenience stores or supermarkets, are mounted to the walls, opening and closing as you walk around the room. The doors, in parts smashed and with their operating mechanisms visible to the eye, at first appear like debris removed from the aftermath of a vicious riot in some European suburb—a much more extreme reaction to the superfluous upper-middle-class posturing that was the subject of Mon Oncle’s satire. But upon closer inspection, the mechanical objects betray that they too are in on the joke. Titled with absurdly long untranslated names of German water-powered mills like “Die Ölmühle aus Bickelsberg im Freilichtmuseum Vogtsbauernhof Gutach” (2014), the pieces are acutely aware of the anxieties of Monsieur Hulot’s trip to suburbia—except, of course, in the past 60 years the automatic door has shifted from a middle-brow extravagance to an immanent, and banal, symbol of commerce. Furthermore, Lotz’s version of Hulot’s trip from the city is not straight to suburbia, but also adds a stop in the bucolic German countryside.

Underscoring this, one set of doors has a folksy flute embedded in its mechanism, while another has a cast facsimile of the flute. These objects, their copies, and the titles of the sculptures (names of mills) all refer to a history of industrial production set between two poles of city and country, and harken back to the pastoral ideals of the German Romantics, where technological advance stood in profane contrast to the ageless magnificence of the countryside. In Lotz’s hands, the sliding automatic doors augur a philosophical collapse of property enabled by technology; emblems of the city, country, and suburb collide into a vague and threatening territory guided purely by economics, existing everywhere and nowhere. His Germanic references fit the works’ intellectual prescriptions.
Walking around the space, your movements triggering the sensors that open and close the pieces, is a disconcerting experience with a lingering air of menace that Tati would have appreciated. It doesn’t feel quite like a gallery, and as the movement of the doors traces your path through the space, you can’t help but be aware of the fact that the work is staring back at you. Of course, for the moment, there is an important difference between a surveillance camera and an electric eye—only one keeps a record.

Source: Artforum.
Text: Alexander Shulan, The Brooklyn Rail.
All images belongs to the respective artist and management.

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Erika Vogt, Slug, Simone Subal

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Erika Vogt, Stranger Debris Roll Roll Roll, 2013 and installation view of Slug, 2015

Erika Vogt might alternately be described as a sculptor, printmaker or video artist, but, like so many of her peers, these labels merely point at the edges of something deeper. Born out of the tradition of experimental film, Erika brings to bear many of the techniques from that practice to her sculptures and installations – collaging, layering and cutting up different material.

Erika Vogt, born 1973, is a Los Angeles based artist represented by Overduin & Co. in Los Angeles and Simone Subal Gallery in New York City. She received an MFA from California Institute of the Arts and a BFA from New York University.

Vogt uses a range of media and techniques in order to explore the mutability of images and objects. Within her installations, she fuses elements of sculpture, drawing, video, and photography to produce multilayered image spaces. She challenges prescribed art-making systems, conflating and confusing their logic, as sculptures take on the properties of drawing and photographs take on the nature of film. Building on her background in experimental filmmaking, Vogt’s visually dense videos combine both still and moving images, digital and analog technologies, and playfully incorporate drawings and objects from her previous projects. In her recent work, exemplified by installations such as Notes on Currency (2012), The Engraved Plane (2012), and Grounds and Airs (2012), Vogt took as her subject the ritual use and exchange of objects, such as currency, and investigated the empathetic relationship between objects and people.

To read Slug through this gift of words (albeit someone else’s) as “an extension of the interior life of the giver, both in space and time, into the interior life of the receiver” allows us to perceive the slug in its dialectical sense: as a $50 gold coin, for sure, but also its opposite, a counterfeit, a token used to subvert a slot machine’s understanding of exchange value. We experience Slug as the implicit trace of productive activity, but it also transforms us (the viewer) into the slug, the interval between things, the breath or gap. “But blank lines do not say nothing,” as Carson writes.

Through her work, Vogt attempts to gesture towards community. Not in the educational sense or what we conflate with “social practice” as an institutional turn, but in the old way, the way it used to mean friendship, comradeship, living and working together. The sculptures shade, point, protect and interact with each other, creating new perspectives on and for one another. Bringing to mind Shelly Silver’s Things I forgot to tell myself, in which the filmmaker’s scrunched up hand forms an aperture through which we see the city, we should read Slug together. It is through their implied social relation that these objects reveal sincerity. Vogt refuses to take the stance of either cynical embrace or pseudo-rebellious anti-art, meaning there is instead an untypical openness to the work. It yearns to protect, to support.

Source: Art News, September, 2015.

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Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin

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Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin, established in 2008, is dedicated to developing a cross-disciplinary, trans-generational gallery programme with off-site projects, in collaboration with artists, filmmakers, critics, art historians, and curators. Its international exhibition programme reflects a variety of opinions and practices as well as Leighton’s associations with American and British experimental cinema, artist’s film and video, performance, minimal and conceptual art.

Solo exhibitions by established and emerging artists intersperse with conceptually-motivated group exhibitions and projects. The gallery engages in the re-examination of historical frameworks and practices, in order to bring marginalized figures, objects, events and contexts back into focus. Gallery exhibitions and events have presented and restaged historical works by artists, filmmakers, and designers such as unsung hero of British avant-garde cinema John Smith, Chinese-American painter David Diao, British conceptual artist Bruce McLean, and Italian master designer Enzo Mari. Leighton also produces and exhibits new and recent work by artists from North America, Austria, Britain, China, Colombia, Czech-Republic, Germany, Palestine, Russia, Slovenia, Switzerland and Uruguay – including Ayreen Anastas, Pavel Büchler, Alejandro Cesarco, Aleksandra Domanovic, Rene Gabri, Sharon Hayes, Sanya Kantarovsky, Oliver Laric, Dan Rees, Lucas Ospina, amongst others.

A series of events at the gallery and at off-site locations have included performances by Norwegian musicians Nils Bech and Bendik Giske, Bulgarian artist Voin de Voin, British artist Ian White, and American artist David Levine. A special Artists Edition Series offers exclusive artists editions coinciding with the exhibitions and events. The first of the series includes new editions by: Matthew Buckingham, Douglas Gordon, Sharon Hayes, Anthony McCall, Martha Rosler, and John Smith.

http://www.tanyaleighton.com/main.php#exhibitions

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Artist: Simon Denny

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Simon Denny, New Management, 2014, Screen Crush Comparison 1, 2013 and TEDxVaduz redux, 2014, Installation Views

In a clipping from a 1914 edition of The New York Times, it is reported that dancer Paul Swan collapsed in the middle of the stage during his vaudeville debut. Almost a century later, on the evening that Simon Denny’s most recent exhibition opened at Friedrich Petzel Gallery, a perfectly aligned row of freestanding double canvases imitating flat-screen television sets crumbled like dominoes after a visitor inadvertently knocked them over. Like the seven paintings on duty that night, the performer billed by the press as “the most beautiful man” soon returned to the stage, put back on his feet by assistants, and finished his number to ecstatic acclaim.

Appropriately opening with a physical collapse in the gallery, Denny’s first solo exhibition in New York drew its material from two market crashes. “Corporate Video Decisions” is the title of similar exhibitions he presented at Michael Lett gallery in Auckland, New Zealand, and now at Friedrich Petzel in New York – but also that of a trade magazine from the late 1980s, circulated to corporations to help them boost consumer confidence using video after a market meltdown. In addition to a company website called Diligent Board Portals offering “paperless solutions” to corporate boardrooms, the defunct magazine provided images and text that Denny appropriated for works shown at Petzel – digital prints on canvas, videos, and found objects tracing an arc in time between the current recession and one that took place some 20 years ago.

In the video “Corporate Video Decisions Archive Interface Design” (2011), played onto a Samsung LN46C750 46-inch monitor at the entrance of the gallery, one recession is literally dragged and dropped into the other. Produced with the help of a corporate DVD designer, the video is based on Cover Flow, an animated, three-dimensional graphical user interface integrated within iTunes and other Apple Inc. products for visually flipping through content. Loaded with a digital archive of the magazine Corporate Video Decisions, Denny’s video endlessly cycles through issues of the publication as one would through a collection of mp3s. Like a rare album downloaded from an obscure blog, the colorful 1980s graphic design and zany creative photography of the cover pages were imported into a familiar interface – not just that of Cover Flow, but of Denny’s work, in which the creative subjectivity of the artist virtuosically hearkens back to the artist’s role as a consumer free from the needs of production.

When iTunes abstracts physical records into digital files, it merely reflects what Joseph Schumpeter called “creative destruction,” a moment in which a part of the economy falters to make room for growth and innovation elsewhere – Cover Flow is one such digital music venture that was born from the demise of physical records. Denny’s work often functions by latching onto such economic cycles of obsolescence to generate artworks.

If those who lose their jobs during a recession usually have to settle for lesser pay elsewhere (that is, if they can find work at all), outdated objects like records, books, and electronics can greatly appreciate on niche markets kept afloat by collectors and hipsters. Something like this is happening when a television set thrown onto the curb or a defunct trade magazine becomes a painting or a sculpture in a gallery. For a residency, Denny once transformed photographic reproductions of an art center’s complete inventory of audiovisual equipment (including many outdated CRT monitors and VHS players) into relief paintings – a set of two canvases printed with the same photographic image of the television and superimposed using metal fittings adjusted to the real object’s thickness.

Produced using still images of the Samsung monitor hung in the same room, seven such canvases were shown freestanding on a drop cloth of transparent plastic at the center of Petzel’s exhibition space. Organized by the rigid architecture of Cover Flow, each canvas was an austere and cold, yet jazzy collage in which images of Corporate Video Decisions’s (the magazine) cover pages hovered above smaller images of their own content, which formed a tapestry in the background. Their display in a row formation was reminiscent of the production chain, or perhaps a waiting queue at the Social Security office – after all, aren’t these paintings literally just televisions that don’t work?

As the multiplying signs of social unrest amidst depressed economies and high unemployment may be demonstrating for the nth time at the moment, what we call “work” today is also, if not mainly, a means to keep bodies from doing something else. Typically at home in front of the TV or staring at the wall, the unemployed body is a sort of toxic asset whose destructive potential must be managed for the existing order to prevail. For “Decommissioned Trading Table/Workstation” (2011), a desk obtained from a recently bankrupt German corporation was disassembled piece by piece and hung on the wall to resemble a depressed financial graph. Here, Denny performs a prank he has been known for in the past: storing garbage in the smart fridge – or in other words, the gallery.

Mobilizing creativity to repackage and sell the sad relic – his “Decommissioned Trading Table/Workstation” functions as a sort of artistic Rettungspaket (rescue package) that ingenuously cures what the failing economy has transformed into junk by putting it back to work in the orgone accumulator of an art gallery.
After their collapse on opening night, the painting reliefs were back to a marching regiment formation in the center of the room, just in front of the disassembled trading table. If these hot canvases – hot in both the McLuhan-esque and “market” senses of the word – could catch on fire, they would burn like ice. Astutely directed by Denny, their invisible ballet exuded a sense of optimism. When screens and markets freeze, art still works.

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Galleries: David Zwirner, New York, London

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David Zwirner Gallery is a contemporary art gallery in New York City and London owned by David Zwirner that is active in both the primary and secondary markets.

The gallery opened in 1993 on the ground floor of 43 Greene Street in SoHo. In 2002, the gallery moved to 525 West 19th Street in Chelsea. In 2006, it expanded from 10,000 square feet (930 m2) to 30,000 square feet (2,800 m2), adding spaces at 519 and 533 West 19th Street. This allows the gallery to mount three independent, full-scale exhibitions simultaneously. From 2000 to 2009, Zwirner was a partner with Iwan Wirth in Zwirner & Wirth.

In March 2012, the gallery announced its expansion to Europe (in London’s Mayfair neighborhood). It opened in October 2012 with a solo exhibition of new works by Luc Tuymans.

In February 2013, the gallery also opened an additional 30,000-square-foot (2,800 m2) space in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood. The five-story building was designed by architect Annabelle Selldorf and will become the first commercial art gallery to receive LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.

David Zwirner (born October 23, 1964) is an American art dealer and owner of the David Zwirner Gallery in New York City and London (which opened in October 2012 with an exhibition by Luc Tuymans). In 2013, Zwirner was listed at number two in the ArtReview annual “Power 100” list and in 2012, he was listed at number two in Forbes magazine’s “America’s Most Powerful Art Dealers.” 

http://www.davidzwirner.com

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Hauser & Wirth, Art Gallery

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Hauser & Wirth is a gallery of contemporary art and modern masters, with locations in Zurich, London, New York, Somerset and Los Angeles.

Hauser & Wirth was founded in Zurich in 1992 by Iwan Wirth, Manuela Wirth and Ursula Hauser. In 1996, the gallery’s first permanent location, Hauser & Wirth Zürich, opened in the former Löwenbräu brewery building, along with other contemporary art galleries, the Kunsthalle Zürich, and the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst Zürich.

Hauser & Wirth opened its first London gallery on Piccadilly in 2003 with an installation by Los Angeles-based artist Paul McCarthy and, in 2010, the gallery opened a second permanent space on London’s Savile Row.

In 2006, Hauser & Wirth opened a new space at the historic premises of 15 Old Bond Street, shared with the UK’s leading old master dealer, Colnaghi. The gallery hosted two to three twentieth century and contemporary shows each year, including exhibitions of works by Louise Bourgeois, Berlinde de Bruyckere, Subodh Gupta, Henry Moore and Francis Picabia, before the space closed in 2010. Hauser & Wirth also opened an enormous temporary project space in London’s East End in 2005. Hauser & Wirth Coppermill showed exhibitions by Martin Kippenberger and Dieter and Björn Roth, Christoph Büchel and Martin Creed before it closed in July 2007.

In September 2009, the gallery inaugurated its outdoor sculpture programme in Southwood Garden, St James’s Church, London, with an exhibition by Swiss artist Josephsohn. Also in September, Hauser & Wirth opened a New York gallery in the Upper East Side of Manhattan with ‘Allan Kaprow: Yard’, an Environment first made in 1961 by Allan Kaprow, the American artist known as the inventor of ‘Happenings.’

In October 2010, Hauser & Wirth London opened their new gallery, designed by Selldorf Architects, at 23 Savile Row with the exhibition, ‘Louise Bourgeois: The Fabric Works’. In December 2013, Hauser & Wirth closed their Piccadilly gallery permanently.

In 2013, Hauser & Wirth opened their second New York gallery at 511 West 18th Street, in what used to be the Roxy. Located on the second level of a Chelsea garage, the gallery draws visitors up a long, sweeping stairway before revealing the 10,000 square feet exhibition space. Several artists contributed to the project including Björn Roth, who designed the gallery’s Roth Bar as a tribute to his father Dieter Roth; and Martin Creed, who created a custom installation for the entrance stair hall.

In July 2014, Hauser & Wirth Somerset opened on the outskirts of Bruton in Somerset. Hauser & Wirth Somerset is a gallery and arts centre focused on a core belief in conservation, education and sustainability, and is designed around several renovated Grade II-listed historical buildings as well as two new purpose built galleries on the site of Durslade Farm. Accompanied by an extensive education programme and regular artists-in-residence, the gallery aims to share contemporary art with new audiences and to engage the public with art, the countryside and the local community. In September 2014, a landscaped garden designed for the gallery by internationally renowned landscape architect Piet Oudolf was launched, including a perennial meadow that sits behind the gallery buildings.

http://www.hauserwirth.com

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Viviane Sassen: Pikin Slee

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Viviane Sassen: Pikin Slee, 3 February 2015 – 12 April 2015
Institute of Contemporary Arts, London

The content of the exhibition focuses predominantly on a body of work that Sassen made in Pikin Slee, Suriname in 2013. Pikin Slee is the second-largest village on the Upper Suriname River, deep within the Surinamese rainforest. The exhibition consists of black and white and colour works shot on an analogue camera.

In her first visit to Pikin Slee in the summer of 2012, Sassen was intrigued by the village and its inhabitants. Her eye was caught by the overwhelming natural beauty and the Saramacca’s very traditional way of living, combined with the more mundane objects which seemed to seep through daily life. The Saramacca community are isolated from the outside world, living without running water, electricity, roads or the internet. The only way to access the village is by canoe, a journey of about three hours up-river. They grow their food on small agricultural plots, producing cassava bread, pressed maripa palm oil and dried coconut.

Shot mainly in black and white and of contained format, Sassen’s series of abstract compositions and elusive subjects are an exploration of the beauty of the everyday, an investigation of the sculptural qualities of the ordinary.

“My memories of Africa have always played a major role in my life and in my work. I guess that’s because they filled my very first consciousness. It’s in my spine, my blue-print so to speak… When I returned back from Kenya, all I knew was my life there, so Holland seemed very strange and new to me… Now that I’ve travelled so much in Africa over the past 12 years, my ideas about the continent and about myself in relation to it, have changed of course. But it’s a continuous journey, both in the inside world and the outside world. My work is a reflection of that journey.”

Sassen was born in 1972 in Amsterdam, where she now lives. She first studied fashion design, followed by photography at the Utrecht School of the Arts (HKU) and Ateliers Arnhem. Her work was first published in avant-garde fashion magazines and is regularly commissioned by prominent designers. Sassen was included in the main exhibition of the 55th Venice Biennale, The Encyclopedic Palace, in 2013. A retrospective of 17 years of her fashion work, In and Out of Fashion, opened at Huis Marseille Museum for Photography, Amsterdam, in 2012, accompanied by a book published by Prestel (Munich); the exhibition travelled to the Rencontres d’Arles festival and then the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh. The book won the Kees Scherer prize for best Dutch photography book of 2011/2.

She was awarded the Dutch art prize, the Prix de Rome, in 2007, and in 2011 won the International Center of Photography in New York’s Infinity Award for Applied/Fashion/Advertising Photography. She was one of six artists selected for the 2011 New Photography exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Solo exhibitions have taken place at FORMA in Milan (2009) and FOAM in Amsterdam (2008), among other venues.

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Artist: Mark Leckey

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Mark Leckey, From the Exhibition, See We Assemble, 2013

Mark Leckeyis a British artist, working with collage art, music and video. His found art and found footage pieces span several videos, most notably Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore (1999) and Industrial Lights and Magic (2008), for which he won the 2008 Turner Prize.

Through a multi-disciplinary practice that encompasses sculpture, sound, film, and performance, British artist Mark Leckey explores the potential of the human imagination to appropriate and to animate a concept, an object, or an environment. Drawing on his personal experiences as a London-based artist, who spent his formative years in the north of England, Leckey returns frequently to ideas of personal history, desire and transformation in his work.

Leckey was born in Birkenhead, near Liverpool, in 1964. In a 2008 interview in The Guardian, he described how he grew up in a working-class family and became a ‘casual’ in his youth. He left school at 16 with one O Level, in art, and at 19 became obsessed with learning about ancient civilizations. In the Guardian interview he described himself as an autodidact, “That’s why I use bigger words than I should. It’s a classic sign.” Following a conversation with his stepfather he took his A Levels and went to an art college in Newcastle, but didn’t enjoy it: “It was the early 1990s, when critical theory had swept the nation. The place was full of hippies from down south who were reading Mervyn Peake and Tolkien, and suddenly they were made to read Barthes and Derrida. It was like a Maoist year zero. I became very suspicious of the merits of critical theory…”

Mark Leckey’s video work has as its subject the “tawdry but somehow romantic elegance of certain aspects of British culture.”He likes the idea of letting “culture use you as an instrument.” but adds that the pretentiousness that artists sometimes fall into is destructive to the artistic process: “What gets in the way is being too clever, or worrying about how something is going to function, or where it’s going to be. When you start thinking of something as art, you’re fucked: you’re never going to advance.” Matthew Higgs has described his work as “possess[ing] a strange nonartlike quality, operating, as it does, on the knife’s edge where art and life meet”.

On Pleasure Bent is a body of work in which Leckey attempts to form a kaleidoscopic memoir, assembling his past from the imagery that he believes conditioned him. The exhibition will include all new works, several being exhibited publicly for the first time. Objects will include LED screens featuring looped animations, animated screens made up of highly-magnified computer screens silk screened with images, as well as cinema lobby style ’standees’ and a trailer for a new video.

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Pierre Huyghe

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Pierre Huyghe, In Border Deep, 2014. and The Host and The Cloud, 2010

Pierre Huyghe (born 11 September 1962) is a French artist who works in a variety of media from films and sculptures to public interventions and living systems.
Describing his work can often be an exercise in frustration, bringing to mind the poet John Ashbery’s observation about Roussel, an important influence on Mr. Huyghe: that trying to summarize Roussel’s “mad wealth of particulars” was like trying to “summarize the Manhattan phone book”.

Pierre Huyghe has long loved “Locus Solus,” Raymond Roussel’s 1914 novel about an inventor who invites friends to a secluded estate to show off his creations, one of which is a tank filled with cadavers that re-enact the most important moments of their former lives, animated by a miraculous substance called resurrectine.

Huyghe has been working with time-based situations and has explored the exhibition process from the 90’s. His works imply such diverse forms as living systems, objects, films, photographs, drawings and music. In recent years, he has created self-generating systems, including living entities and artifacts, in which emergence and rhythm are indeterminate and exist beyond our presence. Taking the exhibition and its ritual as an object in itself, Pierre Huyghe has worked to change the paradigm of this encounter, exploring the possibility of this dynamic experience.

He has had numerous international solo exhibitions at such venues as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles (2014); the Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2014); the Centre Pompidou, Paris (2013-2014); the Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City, Mexico (2012); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain and the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL (2010); Tate Modern, London, England (2006); Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden and the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland (2005); Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Turin (2004); the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York and DIA Center for the Arts, New York (2003); the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (2001); the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2000); and the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (1998).

He has also participated in a number of international art shows, including documenta XI (2002), XIII (2012); the Istanbul Biennial (1999); the Carnegie International, Pittsburgh (1999); Manifesta 2, Luxembourg (1998); the 2nd Johannesburg Biennial (1997); and the Biennale d’Art Contemporain de Lyon (1995).

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Artist: Nikolas Gambaroff

Artist Nikolas Gambaroff

Artist Nikolas Gambaroff

Nikolas Gambaroff, Untitled, 2011 and exhibition view of Tools for Living, 2012

Artist Nikolas Gambaroff work questions the process of painting and its support structures by deconstructing and re-evaluating traditional methods of production and display.

As Gambaroff himself puts it, “In my work I try to dissect, deconstruct, and re-evaluate (mainly within the limits of the activity painting) the customs, expectations and myths that painting as part of our visual culture brings along.”
Works that ostensibly echo the age-old impetus of subjective self-expression are, therefore, conceived as platforms through which to question notions of authorship, distribution and exposition alongside issues such as the social and economic value of art itself.

In addition, Gambaroff’s “staging of the space that a viewer experiences painting in” is designed less to highlight interplay amongst the works themselves, than focus particularly on “the problems of support structures in art (material/architectural but also ideological).”
The introduction of elements from ‘outside’ the traditional compass of painting provides further opportunities to deconsecrate and demystify painterly production in order to debate the mechanisms that confer artistic status.

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N° 5 Culture Chanel, Palais De Tokyo, Paris

From May 5th until June 5th, 2013 Palais de Tokyo in Paris will house the N° 5 Culture Chanel exhibition as part of its Guest Program.

This exhibition has once again been entrusted to Jean-Louis Froment, the curator of the previous editions of Culture Chanel, held successively in Moscow’s Pushkin State Museum for Fine Arts, in Beijing at the National Art Museum of China and more recently in the Opera House in Canton.

Made up of subtle plays of correspondences, N° 5 Culture Chanel cracks the N° 5 code to reveal the links which connected it to specific moments in time and to the avant-garde movements it spanned.

The works of art, photographs, archives and objects exhibited provide an account of the many inspirations which fed the imagination and world of Mademoiselle Chanel. They echo her inner thoughts and shed light on this unique and timeless perfume; whether through her favorite destinations like Venice, Russia or her villa, La Pausa or through the creations of her artist, poet and musician friends Cocteau, Picasso, Apollinaire, Stravinsky, Picabia. Focusing on the long lasting attachments between Chanel and the arts, N° 5 Culture Chanel seeks to reveal the timeless and iconic artistic essence of the N° 5 perfume.

“N°5 is a perfume that travels afar. It crosses countries, gardens, books, poems and artistic movements, where it’s taken as a source for the modernity of its composition. It’s a perfume born of a love story, which its base note very subtly evokes at precisely the same instant time grasps it and carries it to us; so close and never fugitive, revealing even our most secret failings. Indefinable, the words that speak of it are abstract and the images which accompany it superposed on the thick layer of an artistic memory without time. The cultural effect which accompanies N°5 and the unique aura that encircles it, bring continuity to this perfume and enable it to span all periods with knowing assurance. And this journey has no end; it continues to merge and mix with an irreversible movement onward through time. Like a work of art which is renewed with each visitor’s gaze at every exhibition, N°5 recomposes its history with each encounter and time it traverses. Sustained by a set of references attached to the adventures of Modernity’s artistic forms and with Gabrielle Chanel’s very singular and romantic story as a backdrop, the N°5 perfume has gained the status of creation”.  Jean-Louis Froment, Curator of the exhibition.

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Exhibition: Bjarne Melgaard, A House to Die In, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London

bjarne melgaard a house to die inBjarne Melgaard A House to Die In

Bjarne Melgaard A House to Die In

Bjarne Melgaard, From the Exhibition, A House to Die In, 2012

A House to Die In, 25 September – 18 November, 2012
Institute of Contemporary Arts, London

A House to Die In is New York based Norwegian artist Bjarne Melgaard’s first solo exhibition in the UK. The Lower and Upper Galleries feature two of his collaborative projects, which investigate the dynamics of creative and collaborative relationships.

The architectural facade in the Lower Gallery realises a key stage in Melgaard’s ongoing collaboration with award-winning architectural firm Snøhetta, who have exchanged architectural drawings, models and documents with the artist since 2011 as they work closely towards the construction of a purpose-built house where Melgaard will live and work. In the exhibition, Melgaard and Snøhetta present a 1:1 facade of the building’s exterior, alongside a wider body of shared research that demonstrates the positive struggle experienced by both parties as they continually challenge the conventions of their respective practices.

The Upper Galleries house an installation of paintings and sculptures that imagine the interior spaces of Melgaard’s proposed residence, alongside bespoke furniture and ephemera from the artist’s studio. Melgaard created the paintings and sculptures in partnership with a group of artists who have no formal art education and little or no connection to the art world (several of whom are in recovery, face mental or emotional challenges, or suffer from schizophrenia). In these works, their layered conversations are made visible as the artists respond to and expand upon his visual lexicon.

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Lutz Becker, Cinema Notes, 1975

Lutz Becker, Marina Abramovic, Cinema Notes, 1975Lutz Becker, Marina Abramovic, Cinema Notes, 1975

Lutz Becker, Installation view, Cinema Notes, 1975. 16mm Black and White, 45 mins

For many years lost and recently found, Kino Beleške was produced in 1975 in collaboration with the group of artists, curators and critics gathered around the Student Cultural Centre, Belgrade. The film includes verbal statements and performative gestures of the numerous protagonists of the New artistic practice in former Yugoslavia, referring to the role of art in society and re-thinking the concepts of form, autonomy, economy, politicality and institutionalization of contemporary art.

Participants were Marina Abramovic, Dunja Blazevic, Jesa Denegri, Goran Djordevic, Nesa Paripovic, , Bojana Pejic, Zoran Popovic, Jasna Tijardovic, Slavko Timotijevic, Rasa Todosijevic, Biljana Tomic, Goran Trbuljak, Dragomir Zupanc

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Exhibition: Image Counter Image

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Image Counter Image, installation view Haus der Kunst, photo Wilfried Petzi

Radenko Milak, What Else Did You See? I Couldn’t See Everything! (No. 5), 2010–2012 and Installation view of the Exhibition

Image Counter Image, 10 June – 16 September, 2012
Hause der Kunst,Prinzregentenstraße 1, Munich

The exhibition Image Counter Image at Hause der Kunst, presents artistic positions that focus on the critical analysis of violent conflicts in the media, beginning with the First Gulf War of 1990-1991 to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, and ending with the events of the Arab Spring of 2011.

Media coverage has changed significantly in the last two decades. While the media image of the First Gulf War was based on a memorandum that advised units of the United States military to channel information flow to serve the military operation’s political objectives, the images of the attacks on the New York World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, were transmitted on all possible channels. They showed a worldwide audience its own, and global, vulnerability. Through the Internet and, more recently, via Web 2.0’s social media, communication channels have been expanded to include opportunities for direct peer-to-peer exchange. Because of their decentralized structures, these channels are difficult to control and are used as an alternative source of reporting on political events.

The question remains who, in this changing media landscape, tries to secure control of both the production and interpretation of the content, and what purpose it serves.

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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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Saâdane Afif

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Saâdane Afif, Blue Time vs. Suspense, 2007

Saâdane Afif plays with notions of displacement, collusion and contrast. He uses objects, scale models and installations, sounds and writing to mirror in the work of art itself the dialogue arising between the artist and the viewer. This dialogue makes allusions to psychological, historical, social and cultural elements.

Thanks to this extended formal vocabulary, borrowed as easily from the history of art as from the world of the media and music, Afif creates installations made up of unexpected encounters between objects and disciplines. Power Chords, produced for the Lyon Biennial in 2004, and for which he won the International Prize for Contemporary Art from the Fondation Prince Pierre in Monaco, is a sound installation for eleven electric guitars controlled by informatics. Each guitar emits its own note at random, in order to compose “key” harmonies from Rock history that are the musical transcription of mathematical harmonies played by artist André Cadéré with the drumsticks.

Blue Time vs. Suspense is especially produced for the Xavier Hufkens Gallery. It makes a synthesis between two older projects: Blue Time and Suspense. Blue Time vs. Suspense comprises three guitars/black clocks hung like suspension points, attached to three amplifiers via audio cables. The sound produced is similar to that of three out-of-tempo metronomes.

“To produce a musical instrument related to time, is to recall that the mastering of the latter lies at the heart of an artist’s preoccupations”.

The lyrics of the two songs about the older pieces, from which this new work originates, are stuck on the walls in adhesive letters. They accompany a text created for the occasion referring to the new work. Playing alone, the musician Vale Poher performs these texts, accompanying the songs on electric guitar. This is broadcast via headphones placed on a stand upon which the visitor can sit.
The style of music and the instrument perfectly match the project.

A screen-printed poster features the titles of the album and by extension, the titles of the works. It is a kind of exhibition ‘credits’.

A CD, also produced for the occasion, is a recording of the exhibition in words and music.

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