First conceived by Dieter Roth in the early 1980s, “the bar” is a dynamic and changing installation, and is a continuing element in the Roths’ cross-generational practice. As a condition for him to exhibit with Hauser & Wirth, Dieter Roth insisted that a bar form part of his first show in 1997. Along with his son Björn, Dieter Roth installed the functional ‘Bar 2′ (1983 – 1997) around the corner from the gallery in Fabrikstrasse in Zurich. Every beer bottle served became a part of the bar installation and visitors’ conversations were recorded and archived. Nearly 20 years after this event, another bar—entitled “Roth Bar”—will now inhabit the gallery, bringing reality and art even closer together. see more
Eleanor Wright/Sam Watson “Continuous Material” at Durham Castle Museum, Durham and Drop City, Newcastle
The contemporary is consumed by its own immediate past. Our histories set parameters for the present and the present seeks historicity. However, in an age of iconoclasm, political sleight of hand and a multitude of decentered cultural spheres, how do we perceive our physical and conceptual world? Continuous Material enters into a dialogue between the current and the past through their material cultures. The temporal disjunct is presented as both internecine and emancipatory, and through the poised negotiation of object and exhibition, Continuous Material offers guidance, not concrete absolutism.
Taking place over two sites the exhibition incorporates a range of practitioners and media, taking the form of subtle interventions in a heritage site, work displayed in Drop City’s gallery, a newly commissioned text and a critical essay. Part I of Continuous Material takes place at Durham Castle, a site of profound political, ecclesiastical and educational morphing over its existence. The site contains conflicting and overlapping narratives that are augmented and remixed through curatorial and artistic punctuation. In the medieval chapel within the site Eleanor Wright and Sam Watson present Kneeler for Tunstal Chapel (2015), which are fashioned in the style of kneeling stools for prayer. The various patterned fabrics used for this work and others in the exhibition, mimic and reflect the architectural features of the site, but also draw upon influence from beyond the immediate surroundings. Alvar Aalto’s Finlandia Hall and the organic qualities of design and material it signifies to the artists is of particular importance. Alvar and Elissa Aalto’s approach to design as a Gesamtkunstwerk reflects the interests of the curators and practitioners involved in Continuous Material – using the exhibition format as an intersection for disciplines and principles. This work also offers a different reading of ‘temporal’ in this context. The religious axiom of the spiritual being of chief concern – not the temporal or worldly – is shown to be a fallacy in practical terms. The visual language of the site is not of simple reverence, but of complex power through opulence. This exhibition does not set to critique religion, but it does elucidate the rift between the ideological/conceptual and the practical/material. The title of the exhibition takes the discontinuity of material and theory, by referencing continuum mechanics then extrapolates ad infinitum.
Further work in the Durham iteration of the exhibition sits in the castle’s gallery. Here there is a key interplay between the historic and contemporary notion of the gallery and the relations between curator, artist and object. The castle gallery is a gallery in the most traditional sense, essentially a corridor where the cultural agency of an organisation or individual can be displayed. This is a transitional space, a passage, a place of revered individuals rather than hallowed objects. Ralf Brög, Eric Bainbridge, Wright and Watson carefully toy with methods of museological display and the status of objects in this environment. Three of Bainbridge’s works from 1997 are interspersed through the space and they explore hierarchies of material in a Modernist framework. His constructions of Melamine chip board (MFC) bring to the fore this ubiquitous material of cheap Scandi furniture via IKEA, its recycled innards contained by a deceptive façade. In the exhibition’s accompanying essay Josh Wilson confesses his early ‘material naivety’ upon breaking his cupboard doors and discovering the ‘mahogany’ was only skin deep. Untitled (1997) sits in dwarfed dialogue with the surrounding architecture and status of the site, but the placement of this object also signals a humorous acknowledgement of Durham Castle’s current function as University College and student accommodation. Perhaps Wilson’s material revelations are similarly unfolding through the destruction of furniture in the surrounding dorms?
Ralf Brög’s Isolations sit in Loggia (2015), display cases by Wright and Watson. The digitally reworked historic images contain in them material and narrative layering that typifies this exhibition. Drawing on the relationships between site, artist and object, there remixed images have a duality between past and present, the cases’ traditional function to preserve, protect and consign to artefact are deliberately obfuscated; instead of the objects existing in separate practical or theoretical planes, they converge. The same can be said of the semi-transparent hangings over a window and stained glass image; layering object to alter function and to reconsider formal functions of the composite parts (Bruno Munari’s The Square is cited as a reference point for this work), or the introduction of Wright’s patterned fabrics to the pre-existing displays of Civil War and Napoleonic War weaponry. The boundary strength of classifications emerging from professions or ritual, is tested. It is found to be porous and responsive, not rigid and inflexible; weaker and less hierarchical.
In Wilson’s essay, Place and Pace (2015), he makes reference to Russell Hoban’s ‘Ridley Walker’, and particularly the degradation of language and the return to the image as a means of compensating for illiteracy. What is particularly compelling about Hoban’s work is altering, appropriation and reconfiguring of myth, memory and history, in order to find a palatable narrative for the present. There are correlations between this and the format in which an audience can view the work in Durham. The guided tour offers parameters to the site and finds purchase through story. In the castle’s Norman chapel, a carving of St. Eustace stands amongst pagan imagery put to Christian use. Eustace was said to have seen an image of the crucifixion between the antlers of a stag – prompting his conversion; but ushering his martyrdom by the Roman authorities. Hoban offered a reworked version of the story, where Eustace, or “Eusa” (also User) sees “Addom” (atom, and its destructive capacity) in a conflated Adamic and atomic telling of the past. In this parable the fall and Armageddon are married by splitting the atom. The malleable nature of narrative is furthered by Paul Becker’s The Opposite of a Pulpit (2015). His semi-fictitious relaying of artist Ian Breakwell and his relationship with Durham is delivered via a walking tour. The city is as much a subject as the atomic in Continuous Material.
The exhibition’s second part at Drop City, Newcastle, sees the atmosphere of place shift, but potency remains. Sini Pelkki’s Embarkation (2011) finds a similar taste for fiction as Becker’s work, her camera paces about, never revealing the totality of the shot and maintains the editorial gaze of the filmmaker. Small discontinuities give indication of what is beyond the image. Wright and Watson’s photographic work, A Gradual Stiffening (2015), again looks to the relations of display and the porous classifications offered within that frame. The balance between subject and support are formally explored in these composed images. The pineapple featured offers a discordant form in these manicured arrangements, but also offers a tie to the Durham site. Within the castle a grand ‘Flying’ staircase is decorated with oak carvings of the medieval conception of this exotic
indulgence. A misrepresentation, misguided generation of cultural capital, withering away into abstraction; detritus for the confusion of image and text in and between time.
If there is a single point to orientate oneself then it is around Alexsandra Konopek’s OC2, a hanging folded paper lamp. Like Eusa’s vision of the atom, it sits as a catalyst for that which is to come. This domestic, functional object resonates beyond its immediate boundaries (analogous to the split atom), and acts as an anecdotal appeal to a core text in this exhibition, Christopher Alexander’s ‘A Pattern Language’. The text dismisses the ill-fitting spaces and unconsidered arrangement, and calls for an upheaval of the built environment. The component parts of a space are isolated into their pattern and reconstituted in a poetic language that provides the means to construct. The patterns of this exhibition create fluidity and continuum, addressing the stasis of object and concept whilst denying any currency in endism.
From the atom to the city, Continuous Material fixes its gaze. Through site, object and participant the exhibition pulls away from a didactic centre and embraces a transitory position through time and space. Like a Mnemosyne Atlas for the current, Continuous Material looks to the space between with positivity, responsive to the present and not daunted by the past.
until 24 May 2015
Eleanor Wright/Sam Watson “Continuos Material” installation views at Durham Castle Museum, Durham and Drop City, Newcastle, 2015
Courtesy: Drop City, Newcastle. Photo: Dominic Alwyn.
Encompassing the entirety of Artists Space’s two venues in Lower Manhattan, this exhibition will include films, installations and lectures from the past ten years, as well as a new commission.
Jean-Marie Appriou, Cory Arcangel, Bastien Aubry & Dimitri Broquard, Dewar & Gicquel, Piero Gilardi, Tilman Hornig, Renaud Jerez, Rachel de Joode, Bevis Martin & Charlie Youle, Marlie Mul, Owen Piper, Hayley Tompkins, Anne de Vries
Peter Regli presents a unique ensemble of sculptures that brings together emblematic figures and themes of his “Hackings” series.
Stella Succi: In this exhibition, you focus on HIV, which is no longer a recurring subject for discussion or a recurring topic in art. I was wondering, why are you doing this now?
Elmgreen & Dragset: The problem today is that, due to the lack of public information on the topic and because nobody really writes or speaks about HIV anymore, a lot of people think, “Oh, it’s just a matter of taking a pill and then you’re fine”. No one talks about the heavy side effects of taking this medication, the cost of it, the fact that you are actually forced to take medicine for the rest of your life. You have to take medication with you everywhere you travel. But of course you have a very good chance of having a normal life expectancy today if you are on treatment. When HIV was dealt with in the art world previously it was as a fatal disease, and that situation has dramatically changed. So, we thought that it was urgent to talk about it again from a current perspective.
Isa Genzken conceived this exhibition around “El Salvador”, her major Hyperbolo sculpture from 1980. She presents this work juxtaposed with with new work from her current production.
Calla Henkel and Max Pitegoff’s website offers only practical informations on the current, performative, community-based project they run in Berlin, New Theater, without visual documentation, without bio, without a list of previous works. This offers a telling illustration of their concern over the importance of presence, temporariness and of their distrust in slippery representational means. Working mainly with performance, photographs and texts, the duo reflect often
on the conditions of artistic production and its constitutive emotional and interpersonal nature. In the following interview they talk about amateurism, hierarchy of audience, the performance of the self, the metonymy of digital images and their next exhibition at Isabella Bortolozzi in May.
In 1959 I move to Paris where I attend Heyter’s courses at Atelier 17 and at the Ecole du Louvre, as well as mosaic courses at the academy with Severini and his assistant, Licata. My friendship with Tancredi, the encounters with Jouffroy, Errò, Lebel, as well as those with the affirmed masters Matta and Lam are all crucial to my formation. In 1960, thanks to Tancredi, I succeed for the first time in exhibiting my works in a space, the Galerie Bellechasse, with paintings clearly influenced by Surrealism. At the same time, there is a show organized by Jouffroy and lebel at the Galerie des 4 Saisons, whose title, “Anti-Procès”, has a strong political connotation. In 1961, I return to Italy to do military service. Thanks to Antonio Carena, an artist from Turin and owner of the Galleria L’Immagine, I have my first solo show, with works that still reflect my Parisian period. In 1962, Enrico Crispolti organizes a show in Venice at the Galleria Alpha with a series of special works: large writings with, inside each letter, figurines that can recall illuminated codes. Aldo Mondino, Nome Cognome Indirizzo, La Famiglia, La Scuola, La Religione, La morale e Il Servizio militare are a few of the titles. The encounter with Gian Enzo Sperone, director of the Galleria Il Punto, owned by Remo Pastori, represents a very important moment I display the series “Tavole anatomiche”, panels of painting on masonite, representations of a human body, a microcosm of the society we live in. At the same time, through my work, I elaborate the idea that the public is no longer a passive spectator, but an active participant in the work of art.
Renata Lucas’ diverse body of work deals with the multifaceted relationship between the individual and their urban environment. With interventions into a city’s architectonic systems —from cuts, connections, and openings to overlaps and duplications of defined spatial structures—Lucas manipulates structural frameworks in order to expose, reshape, and redefine intrinsic definitions of ownership, use, and social interaction in a manner that is both playful and radical. As part of her ongoing engagement with architectural systems, Lucas has investigated Berlin’s wide-reaching waterways and their attempts to contain and control the vital and autonomous element that is water. Consisting of rivers, canals, ground-water, and sewage channels, this complex network flows through and around the city’s buildings, taking hold of them and connecting private and public spheres in an often invisible manner.
with Michel Majerus, Albert Oehlen, Laura Owens
Majerus Estate is pleased to present “best students best teachers best school”, an exhibition organised by Fredi Fischli and Niels Olsen. Fischli and Olsen are the curators of the gta exhibitions at the Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture at Zürich’s ETH. In 2014, as part of the curatorial programme of the Gebert Stiftung for Culture, they arranged “69/96”, together with Bob Nickas at Alte Fabrik in Rapperswil, in which Michel Majerus was represented with several important works from 1996. Between Fischli/Olsen and Majerus is an age difference of more than 20 years. This will be the first exhibition in Majerus’ former studio rooms organised by a curatorial team that Majerus didn’t knowpersonally, whereas the artists Oehlen, Owens and Majerus knew each other well.
Olga Balema “Cannibals” at Croy Nielsen & Darja Bajagic and Aleksander Hardashnakov “Softer Than Stone And Sick In Your Mind” at The Apartment, Berlin
Olga Balema “Cannibals”
“Bodily needs also indicate that the appearance of autonomy is an illusion, for the body must incorporate elements from outside itself in order to survive. The need for food exposes the vulnerability of individual identity, enacted at a wider social level in the need for exchanges, communion, and commerce with others, through which the individual is absorbed into a larger corporate body” (Maggie Kilgour, From Communion to Cannibalism).
The sculptures here have ingested other former sculptures, a literal enactment of cannibalism. The round bellies of some are greedy and full, pregnant from autoerotic absorption. The latex skin of others is concave around the scaffolding of sharp and unnatural growths.
Daniel Steegmann Mangrané “Spiral Forest (kingdom of all the animals and all the beasts is my name)” at Esther Schipper, Berlin
Entitled “Spiral Forest (kingdom of all the animals and all the beasts is my name)”, the exhibition will mark the premiere of Steegmann Mangrané’s newest film produced with a custom-made camera capable of filming while rotating 360 degrees in any axis. Spiral Forest has been especially conceived for the space. It will also include an immersive 3-D environment viewed individually with a wearable headset, a so-called Oculus Rift, as well as architectural interventions, new sculptural works, drawings, photographs, and an audio installation.
I’m sorry I misled you. When we left Cali I let you believe I wanted true Exit – from the Cali cults, from window-smashing devolutionary morons and political hysteria, from Silicon wild-eologies, from my daddy complex, from whatever. But you shouldn’t have believed anything I said.
It was a sovrin pipe dream, it was a huge success, it wasn’t what I wanted.
Wherever you go, there we are we said. Wherever I go, there she is. I meant. That’s the truth D. I wasn’t running away from Cali I was running away from Bushwick and it got too late before I realized I can’t because I love her.
Richard Artschwager, Math Bass, Herluf Bidstrup, Nicole Eisenman, Laeh Glenn, George Grosz, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Allison Katz, Mike Kelley, Sean Landers, Charles Mayton, Pentti Monkkonen, Ebecho Muslimova, Chadwick Rantanen, Ad Reinhardt, Michael Smith, Frances Stark, and Saul Steinberg.
Liz Larner “Space is better than time, but time is okay” and Mark Handforth “The Excentric Circle” at the Modern Institute, Glasgow
Liz Larner “Space is better than time, but time is okay”
Liz Larner’s work at once explores and expands the possibilities of sculpture by combining geometric formalism with notions of movement and change. Her use of lines, colour and shape work to modify and reinvent the formal language of Minimalism, producing new relationships between viewer, sculpture and the surrounding environment. Larner’s work evokes an exquisite tension through the use of unconventional materials, the manipulation of space, the presence of unexpected colour, and the destabilisation of monumentality and volume.