“Autonomy Exchange Archive” presents works and artefacts originating from multi-faceted projects by New York based artists Paul Branca, David Horvitz, and Fawn Krieger. Each artist’s practice is not fixed upon one particular working method but involves a continual refashioning of rules and procedures specific to a given context.
Through processes of exchange and intervention upon pre-existing structures or situations, “residual” materials including documents, photographs, and objects are generated. Gathered and preserved, these materials accumulate into archives that in the context of this exhibition, re-animate the history and process of their making.
In 1934, Marcel Duchamp reproduced ninety-four of his past works as small-scale collotype prints, annotating them and fitting them snugly into a cardboard box lined with green silk. Titled The Boîte verte (The green box) and created in an edition of 166, the series circulated Duchamp’s ideas and objectives to a much wider audience. Collected, organized, and presented as such, each boîte represents an archive of the artist’s oeuvre, but also a discrete artwork in itself. Working along similar strategies, the actions and projects presented and performed by Branca, Horvitz, and Krieger frequently result in “leftovers”, “souvenirs”, or collections, reproductions, or anthologies in miniature, be they traditional art works, tangible objects, or meta-data. The production of such documentation is often an anxious procedure, and “Autonomy Exchange Archive” proposes the notion that such remnants are not dead within the archive or storage but are active agents that can re-perform the work in alternative platforms and permutations.
Combining comic participation within contexts that are at times critical of the art world, Horvitz’s oeuvre addresses problems associated via the accumulation, exchange, and accessibility of works within institutional, digital, and ephemeral channels. In the tradition of Duchamp’s Boîte verte, Horvitz’s Drugstore Beetle (Sitodrepa Paniceum), 2010, engages the preservation and display of an edition of 30 miniature exhibitions of works by 27 artists. Housed in archival boxes and donated to institutional and museum libraries internationally, the individual editions become subject to the rules and regulations of the library archives into which they enter. Horvitz’s Carry-On, 2010, similarly plays with notions of exhibition-as-archive and vice versa.
Creating autonomous systems of exchange and distribution, Branca’s works often culminate from the participation and work of other artists, peers, passers-by, and even studio visits. Inviting fellow artists to contribute painted depictions of fresh produce for his Fruit and Vegetable Stand, a cash-and-carry exhibition that took place in a Queens fruit stand in 2012 and 2013, Branca asked participants to contribute a grisaille version as their “archival” document in lieu of a photograph. Together, the grisailles comprise the project’s material documentation, at West on display for the first time. As in other projects including his distribution/participation-based projects Couch Crash, 2010 and Promised Paintings, 2010; Branca’s “leftover” paintings complicate the ways in which economic, social, or use values are assigned to artworks.
Similarly invested in challenging the economic and cultural value of objects Krieger’s interests are grounded in the fabrication of a sculptural world that mirrors and restructures pre-existing sites of exchange. Ruin Value, 2010, was an exhibition containing ceramic sculptures that were originally sold according to their weight on a first-come-first-serve basis. Addressing the circulation of goods as well as the commodification of leisure sites and activities, Krieger’s National Park, 2009, involved the construction of an immersive sculptural stage-set posing as a fictional American national park, as well as Souvenir “take-home” cast-offs of the original. Often engaging the thematic of tactility, her films, FAULTS, documents a series of material interactions that, in their reference to geological shifts and ruptures, archive the artist’s haptic vocabulary of touch, fracture, impact, and intimacy.
until 6 June 2014
Paul Branca, David Horvitz, and Fawn Krieger “Autonomy Exchange Archive” installation views at West den Haag, 2014
Courtesy: the artists; West den Haag.