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EXHIBITIONS

“A House of Leaves. Second Movement” at the David Roberts Art Foundation, London

An exhibition curated by Vincent Honoré with works by Sara Barker, Phyllida Barlow, Nina Beier, Karla Black, Carol Bove, Ben Cain, Varda Caivano, Luis Camnitzer, Marieta Chirulescu, Keith Coventry, Tony Cragg, Jason Dodge, Alex Dordoy, Nikolas Gambaroff, Gary Hume, Ian Law, George Henry Longly, Marie Lund, Benoît Maire, Victor Man, Kris Martin, Katy Moran, Anselm Reyle, Manuela Ribadeneira, Gerhard Richter, Pietro Roccasalva, David Schutter, Adam Thompson, Lesley Vance, Gary Webb, Lawrence Weiner and Alison Wilding.

Notes on the museum as school

1. Gerhard Richter

This exhibition, A House of Leaves, self-organizes internally: its curatorial methodology is derived from the study of the three major artworks structuring the exhibition itself, and the gallery where these artworks are successively displayed. The exhibition is conceived as a symphony in three movements plus an epilogue. The first movement, structured around a sculpture by Louise Bourgeois, looked at hybrid forms, from fragmented figures to abstraction. An abstract painting by Gerhard Richter now introduces the second movement, an exploration of abstraction, minimalism and performance. In early 2013, a performance by Pierre Huyghe will take us into the third movement, in which performance, rhythm, and volume are investigated. A House of Leaves will end with an epilogue, a final movement towards the void; the exhibition space will be emptied, exposing its architecture and volume, to reveal the museum’s long-term works, special commissions and interventions that have been embedded into the material structure of the building.

2. Process

The constant substitution of artworks over the course of the exhibition gradually alters the overall context and evolves naturally from one movement into the next. Since the exhibition is in a constant state of flux, it is never the same and never whole; it is impossible to experience entirely, in all its sequences, but must be virtually (re)composed and completed by visitors. The exhibition thus functions on several planes simultaneously: real, virtual, and fictional. Like the house in the novel by Mark Z. Danielewski from which the exhibition borrows its title, the museum hosting such an exhibition becomes a productive medium in its own right, involving visitors in the (co)production of an artistic situation: the exhibition as deferred action and mental space.

3. Intention

Ideally, a museum is a site where thoughts and visions are formed and transformed, culture disassembled and the contemporary redesigned. Our aim at DRAF is to promote exhibitions not as pre-established formulas or didactic presentations of items, but as prototypes and experiences. From the start (2008), we have conceived DRAF as a forum for discussion and a structure acting beyond the confines of an exhibition space, a generative site that will establish and support an informal cultural community in a unique context.

4. Mouseion

More than a collection of artifacts, a museum should be defined as a collective narrative, a cognitive theatre that must be continually examined and confirmed through a variety of individual positions. After all, the word “museum” finds its origin in the Greek “mouseion”, a temple dedicated to the muses, whose activities were akin to those of a university or philosophical academy, an institute for studies and a community of scholars and thinkers. The pre-modern form of the museum was a space for musing, a space for the production and exchange of ideas.

5. Against interpretation

“A work of art encountered as a work of art is an experience, not a statement or an answer to a question. Art is not only about something: it is something. A work of art is a thing in the world, not just a text or a commentary on the world… (…) Which is to say that the knowledge we gain through art is an experience of the form or style of knowing something, rather than knowledge of something (like a fact or a moral judgement in itself).” (Susan Sontag) If we consider an artwork not solely as an object but as an experience, we might also consider the gallery as a hybrid space in permanent reconfiguration: all at once a gallery, an auditorium, a screening room, and a performance space. Here all hierarchies are rejected, and a conversation is as important as a six-month display. A House of Leaves can then become a house of signs and the museum a mode of representation. In this space, everything is exhibition and any exhibition is an experience. Together we create a powerhouse for the creation, redeployment, and dissemination of our collective knowledge.

6. Programmes 2008 – 2011 – 2012

In 2008, we started to invite external curators with our programme The Curators’ Series. In 2011, we launched Fig., a programme which explores how knowledge can be co-produced and shared through an innovative format of talks, conferences, research projects, and book presentations. Within this flexible format, which can vary from an event to a temporary installation to a radio programme, Fig. aims  to trigger new questions and alternative models by considering knowledge not as transmission of information, but as a performative co-production. Now, in 2012, we are opening our Studio: a laboratory, workshop, theatre, school, meeting room, and library, where we can meet, discuss, co-produce ideas, and examine works. This space, like a salon, is private, but from time to time will host public activities and discussions. Artist Ruth Beale has designed special shelving and furniture for our event space on the first floor at DRAF and will present a series of ‘kitchen conversations’ starting on November 17th2012. For the first session of this Ad Hoc Salon Series, Ruth Beale invites artist Giles Round to discuss his research into American designer Ken Isaacs’ theories of matrix design and 1974 publication How to Build Your Own Living Structures.

7. Luis Camnitzer

On leaving the building, please read the façade.

at the David Roberts Art Foundation, London

until 12 January 2013

Luis Camnitzer, A Museum Is A School; The Artist Learns To Communicate, The Audience Learns To Make Connections, 2010. Image Courtesy: Annalisa Sonzogni

Gerhard Richter, Fuji, 1996. David Roberts Collection. Image Courtesy: Mark Blower

Gerhard Richter, Fuji, 1996

Installation View. From left to right: Ian Law, Instructional: Complete Work, 2010; Ben Cain, What Will We Do For Work Now, 2012; Keith Coventry, 1938, 1994-2006. Image Courtesy: Mark Blower

Installation View. From left to right: Tony Cragg, The Fanatics, 2006; Nikolas Gombaroff, Untitled, 2011; Gary Webb, Tarragon Soldier, 2008; Varda Caivano, Untitled, 2007; Anselm Reyle, Untitled, 2006. Image Courtesy: Mark Blower

Installation View. From left to right: Karla Black, Some Level of Heavy, 2012; Sara Barker, Woman at a Window, 2012; Alex Dordoy, Every Dot and Dice is An Eye, 2010. Image Courtesy: Mark Blower

Katy Moran, Ledger, 2008

Study: Carol Bove, Machine Gun and Figure, 2008. Image Courtesy: Mark Blower

Carol Bove, Machine Gun, 2008

Installation View. From left to right: Marieta Chirilescu, Untitled, 2011; Lesley Vance, Untitled (42), 2010; Alison Wilding, Airboxed, 2011; Lesley Vance, Untitled, 2011; Katy Moran, The GB Experience, 2008 and Ledger, 2008; Bram Bogart, Tekens op Gruze Grond, 1952. Image Courtesy: Mark Blower

Brendan Fowler, Summer 2011 – Fall 2011 (Breaking Lumber With Car, Car Waiting At Convention Centre, Joel’s Phones on Mei Ling Way Table), 2012

Lesley Vance, Untitled, 2011

Installation view. From left to right: Bram Bogart, Tekens op Gruze Grond, 1952; Alison Wilding, Airboxed, 2011; Marieta Chirilescu, Untitled, 2011; Nina Beier, Portrait Mode, 2011; Adam Thompson, Untitled (Proposal For An Eclipse), 2009. Image Courtesy: Mark Blower

Nina Beier, Portrait Mode, 2011

Alison Wilding, Airboxed, 2010

1938

Installation View. From left to right: George Henry Longly, Escalade/Yellow, 2007; Keith Coventry, Newport Estate, 1992; Pelican Estate, 1997; Dobson Estate, 1995; Newington Estate, 1996; Pedworth Estate, 1998. Image Courtesy: Mark Blower

Keith Coventry, Newington Estate, 1996

Installation View. From left to right: Ben Cain, What Will We Do For Work Now, 2012; Keith Coventry, 1938, 1994-2006. Image Courtesy: Mark Blower

Installation View. From left to right: Ben Cain, What Will We Do For Work Now, 2012; Keith Coventry, 1938, 1994-2006. Image Courtesy: Mark Blower

David Schutter, Untitled (after gsmb vru x2) and Untitled (after gsmb vru x5), 2010; Gerhard Richter, Fuji, 1996; Phyllida Barlow, Untitled: gridcage, 2011. Image Courtesy: Mark Blower

Alex Dordoy, Folded, Unfolded, Sunk and Scanned No. 22, 2012

Alex Dordoy, I am falling apart, 2010. Image Courtesy: Mark Blower

Bram Bogart, Tekens op Gruze Grond, 1952. Image Courtesy: Mark Blower

Gary Hume, Diamond, 2011

Karla Black, Traps Take Practice, 2011

Karla Black, Leave, 2012

Sara Barker, Woman At A Window, 2012

Installation View. From left to right: Ben Cain, What Will We Do For Work Now, 2012; David Schutter, Untitled (after gsmb vru x2) and Untitled (after gsmb vru x5), 2010; Gerhard Richter, Fuji, 1996; Phyllida Barlow, Untitled: gridcage, 2011. Image Courtesy: Mark Blower

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