ProjecteSD is delighted to present Close-Cropped Tales, a collective exhibition which brings together works by Jochen Lempert, Gilda Mantilla & Raimond Chaves, Susan Philipsz and Isidoro Valcárcel Medina. The exhibition’s title – taken from John Baldessari’s 1981 book – serves to introduce the shared idea which is present in the work of these artists who come from different generations and contexts: the works presented draw their inspiration, conception and formalisation from books of various kinds, be they works of fiction, artist publications or historical texts. The idea of editing, an indispensable element in the process of putting a publication together, and vital in video-cinema language, acts as a conductive thread throughout the show and is present in themes as well as the medium employed to give form to the works. In Baldessari’s Close-Cropped Tales itself there is this idea of cinema editing, sequence and possible narration, intervention based on manipulating pre-existing material, and these characteristics are to be seen in many of the pieces exhibited. Stories discovered, assessed, broken down and reinterpreted through photographic or audiovisual media, and which find new form and meaning in the hands of each artist.
Río Tomo-Secretos de la Amazonía [River Tomo – Amazonian Secrets’] (2011) is a work part of the An Uncomfortable Eagerness project, in which Gilda Mantilla and Raimond Chaves investigate the resources of several libraries in Amazonia, searching not so much for their contents as the way in which the lands of the Amazon are constructed through images, and how these contribute to the forging of imagination and preconception. The projections set fragments of text drawn from César Huamán Ramírez Los secretos de la Amazonía: manual de supervivencia en la selva [‘The Secrets of Amazonia: A Jungle Survival Manual’] against fragments enlarged, with varying magnification, of a single picture of a river in the Amazon rainforest (the Tomo) printed in black and white. The texts reproduced exemplify a Western view of the Amazon marked by the clichés of colonialism and an exaggerated paternalistic condescension. The idea here is to literally be submerged in an image through fragmented blow-ups, losing the original perspective and inviting the viewer to lose themself in the immensity. This immersion is combined and counterpointed with some texts which show in a naive way how the discourse of the “exotic” and the “natural” is constructed in an apparently innocent way.
Jochen Lempert presents a work formed by linking a number of his photographs to a selection of books chosen by a group of professionals, each invited to suggest a title for the occasion. It has been an honour to have the collaboration of prestigious editors such as Yves Gevaert, Walther König and Christophe Daviet-Thery, book collectors Bill Clarke and Christoph Schifferli, experts on artist books like David Senior, Mela Dávila and Moritz Küng, artist Peter Piller and curators François Piron and Miguel Wandschneider. Lempert has responded to this blind date by searching through his photographic archive and inserting, adding or simply attaching to each book one or more photographs in a search for visual and conceptual associations between them. Lempert makes minimal gestures which act as punctuation, comments or details which introduce new viewpoints to those already provided by the books themselves. Among the titles chosen are Baldessari’s Close-Cropped Tales (1981) and publications by artists such as Heimo Zobernig, Helen Mirra, Francisco Tropa, Kader Attia, Joyce Wieland and Bruno Munari.
Susan Philipsz’ The Dead (2010) is a soundwork in which the Scottish artist sings the Irish ballad ‘The Lass of Aughrim’ a cappella. Philipsz first heard this song in the John Huston film The Dead, based on the story of the same name by James Joyce, one of the fifteen which make up Dubliners (1914). The film’s protagonist hears the song in the distance as she returns from a Christmas celebration; the melody has a devastating effect which catapults her back to a time in her youth when a pretender died for her love. The song is a recollection of something lost and is at the same time very alive: it acts as a glass half full which reaches the brim each time it is framed in new contexts and references. The work offers a time-paradox which is central in Philipsz’ work: something past, or absent, used as a device to return the viewer to the present.
La Celosía (‘Jealousy’, 1972) is Isidoro Valcárcel Μedina’s historic film which was first presented at the Encuentros de Pamplona. Through texts captured directly on screen and a succession of voices – among them that of Esther Ferrer – which give readings of different passages, it presents a cinema adaptation of Alain Robbe-Grillet’s book of the same title, one of the key works of the Nouveau Roman. Valcárcel carries description to the extreme, taking the optical quality which is characteristic of the book and objectifying the texts which appear, as such, on the screen. At the same time he readapts them with switches of language and voice, and free association. The film is an exercise about the dissociation and duration of the shot. According to Valcárcel, La Celosía is the result of setting out to ‘make a film of the book’, literally. Some texts are in Spanish while others remain in the original French. Some texts are read in various languages with the sound overdubbed or unintelligible. Many moments of dissociation which make it impossible to follow the film as if we were reading the novel.
The exhibition is rounded off by a group reading of James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, under the guidance of the artist Dora García, which takes place in the gallery space on 30 June. Along the lines of the reading circle presented in the film The Joycean Society, the approach to the text taken by amateur readers brings a new look into the literary universe which the exhibition draws together.
PATRICIA DAUDER, GUILLAUME LEBLON, HELEN MIRRA, CHRISTOPH WEBER:
MAP, RECORD, PICTURE, SCULPTURE
Map, Record, Picture, Sculpture presents a selection of works by four artists who approach their practice with an unavoidable preoccupation for materiality and process. Works that result from an action of arrangement and sedimentation and where the idea of the “handmade” is recovered. Notions such as landscape, mapping, the recording of a place or a time and the appropriation, the observation or the interaction with nature appear in the exhibition.
Helen Mirra makes sculptures, wall works, music, texts, films, and videos, and the touch of her hand is evident in every media she uses. Cloth is one of the artist’s signature materials together with a palette of natural colors. Four works by Mirra are presented in the exhibition. Hourly directional field recordings, Arzengio, 12 May and Hourly directional field recordings, Aquacheta, 5 May are prints (rubbings) made with oil stick on lightweight raw linen. They are direct impressions of materials picked up en route and made over the course of the artist’s walks. The resulting works are indeterminate of their geographic location, neither photographic nor descriptive. They not only show abstract landscape in their imagery, but they are also a recording of Mirra’s transition and her documentation of nature. An abstract landscape can also be seen in her earlier text piece Ought, 103. In this work, Mirra excerpts from essays by the philosopher William James to create a new text in the form of an index. A map of notions, typed on 16mm wide strip cotton with a manual typewriter. The irregularity of the type-written text gives every word a substantial materiality. Placed in front of the green double strip of text, Forest, vestige of; which doesn’t actually look vestigal at all, 74 is a sculpture made with a found shipping pallet and a green wool blanket. The pallet can be associated to the idea of a translation, a journey. The warm smooth green top, a reference to the place they come from, the German forests and evocative of the earth and nature.
Process and materiality often in relation to natural forms are guiding principles in the work of Christoph Weber. The work he undertakes on the medium he uses defines the object itself, the process or the “action with the material” appear intelligible in his sculptures. In Not yet titled, unexpectedly through the use of such a utilitarian material as concrete, the artist gives the impression of fragility and softness. A sense of the ephemeral paradoxically emerges out of the solidness of this object. In Untitled (getauchtes Holz) a found plank of wood is partly and carefully covered with a thin layer of concrete. The contrast between the two textures, the apparent tension between the natural and the artificial not only disappears but is fused into a new organic form in Weber’s hands.
Patricia Dauder’s new work, 41°08’ 56.66” N/ 08° 36’ 43.60” W (#2) is a drawing, graphite on paper, in twelve parts where a white fragmented line seems to be depicted. The work was initiated during the artist’s short residency in Porto, Portugal and responds to her walkings along the river Douro. Its title refers to the coordinates of a place, a latitude and a longitude, and in this sense refers to the notion of cartography. The definition of the title contrasts with the abstract quality of the work, where the idea of a landscape and a journey are evoked. Produced in a rather slow process, the drawing is seen by the artist as a path, a track, an undefined and invisible interface between water and land or a symbolic depiction of a non-existing place.
Guillaume Leblon’s work is filled with references evoking nature, architecture, or the domestic habitat. His sculptures have always a particular trait of strangeness which concentrates the attention and arouses discussion. Inspired by the various materials and objects washed up on the beach by the tide, Curved plate (with rope) is a large deformed poplar plate, bearing the signs of deterioration caused by time and external conditions. The two black sculptures also on view, Grande Roue, a deformed “wheel” and Grand Chariot, a dolmen-like construction in precarious equilibrium, are both made of unfired earthen slabs. The three works by Leblon share the quality of being at the limit of the point of rupture and in this sense may relate to the idea expressed by François Piron of “the appropriation of the concept of nature”, that can be also expanded to all works in the exhibition: “the apparent inertia of the living and its resistive power in the process of growth and decline, its rising up and its fall into entropy*.
*What you look at is where it’s locked in. Text by François Piron in Guillaume Leblon. Une appropriation de la nature (2013).
DORA GARCIA: THE UMBRELLA CORNER (4/6) – I CAN’T BELIEVE AL DIDN’T COME
We are pleased to present the fourth part of The Umbrella Corner series, an exhibition project conceived and curated by Moritz Küng that will run parallel to the gallery’s exhibition program until June 2013.
The title of this exhibition series refers to a strangely shaped and often overlooked corner at the entrance zone of the gallery, an irregular indentation of a wall that is measuring only 60 x 60 cm in surface and that has been so far occupied by a glass stand for umbrellas. Moritz Küng establishes in that very spot a site and content specific project by inviting six artists to react on the limitations of the spatial condition as well as to a particular key work of the conceptual art movement: the installation Where’s Al? by North American artist Allen Ruppersberg produced in 1972 and today part of the Collection FRAC Poitou-Charentes in France. By doing so, the sequences of exhibitions will develop itself a narrative, an ambiguous mystery story about avoiding, disappearing, hiding, including, excluding and remembering. The complementary subtitles of the project are excerpts of dialogues from that very work. Previously shown in the corner series were Where’s Al? (1/6), a wall paper work by the Dutch Willem Oorebeek (Before and After, 2012) and Al’s missing a good time (2/6), a performance based accrochage by the French Pierre Leguillon (Ads, 2012) and Too bad Al’s not here by Belgian artist Sophie Nys (The Timid Soul, 2012).
The site-specific works and scenarios of Dora García, conceptual in nature, often draw on interactivity and performance. Through minimal changes, conventions are altered and the smallest signs are read as possible signifiers. García acts like a film director, who tells stories (or simply selects them), unchains a situation, claims a narration or makes us participants in a fictional ‘game’. Dora’s reaction to The Umbrella Corner is a new piece, The Green Door, literally a green wooden door closing the “corner” and at a same time a reference to a variety of sources taken from popular culture and fictional stories. The classic pornographic film Behind the Green Door (1972), directed by the Mitchell brothers and based on the 1940’s mistery novel by Mildred A. Wirt Benson which tells the story of an innocent American teenage-girl-reporter involved in a story where a secret door hides some illegal activity at a ski-resort hotel; The Green Door (1906), a short story by O. Henry, in which the author uses the eponymous green door as a symbol for everyday adventures which he encourages the readers to seek out; Green Door (1956), a number-one hit song by Jim Lowe and composed by Bob Davis, whose lyrics describe an establishment, with a green door, behind which “a happy crowd” play piano, smoke and “laugh a lot”, and inside which the singer is not allowed; and very specially H. G. Wells’s The Door in the Wall (1911), a short story about politician Wallace who, while growing up in a joyless home, discovers a door in a wall leading to an enchanted garden. The book suggests both the magic and the danger of a nostalgia for a buried time. Dora García’s Green Door will, however, remain locked… ‘Al’ will still be absent and we will not be allowed to discover what’s behind the green door. As García herself suggests, it is worth referring to Jacques Lacan, who described the real as unknowable and indescribable, but actively soliciting the attention of the individual, often in an aggressive manner, like “a knock on the door that interrupts a dream”.
Dora García (Valladolid, ES, 1965, lives in Barcelona). Recent solo exhibitions include: The Inadequate, Spanish Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale (2011); Power to the People: Contemporary Conceptualism and the Object in Art, the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Southbank, Victoria (2011); I am a judge. Kunsthalle Bern, Bern (2010); Recent group exhibitions include: Die Klau Mich Show: radicalism in society meets experiment on TV, Documenta 13, Kassel (2012), The Unexpected Guest, Liverpool Biennial (2012), Descriptive Acts, SFMOMA, San Francisco (2012), Blow up, cycle Side Effects, Jeu de Paume, Paris (2012), Contemporary Art & Science Fiction. Grand-Hornu Museum of Contemporary Art, Hornu (2012); Books on Books, Swiss Institute Contemporary Art, New York (2011), The Fifth Column, Secession, Vienna (2011) and The Rehearsal of Repetition, Grantpirrie Gallery, Sydney (2011). Upcoming exhibitions and projects: Exile, Tel Aviv Museum, Tel Aviv, Israel, curated by Steven Henry Madoff; Désordre” at 3bisf, Aix en Provence, part of Les Ateliers de L’Euromediterranée, Marseille Capital Culturel d’Europe; performance at the Wiener Festwochen, Vienna, Austria; The Joycean Society, collateral event during the Biennale de Venezia, Prince Pierre Foundation Monaco, Giudecca; El radicalismo en la sociedad se encuentra con lo experimental en el arte, solo show at the Centro José Guerrero, Granada; solo project at Kunsthalle Bregenz, KUB Arena, Austria.
Moritz Küng (Lucerne, CH, 1961, lives in Barcelona) is an independent curator and artist’s book publisher working on the interface between art and architecture. Among his recent projects figure the international symposium on art education Old School - New Class at the University College of Art and Design Sint-Lucas, Ghent, David Kohn-Fragments, London Metropolitan University, London (2012), Bas Princen-Reservoir, deSingel, international arts campus, Antwerp (2011). Recent group exhibitions include Jonge Spaanse Kunst, Appartement Elisa Platteau, Brussels (2012); The Fifth Column, Secession, Vienna (2011); 2 1/2 dimensional: Film featuring Architecture, deSingel, Antwerp (2011). Upcoming projects: Peter Downsbrough-The Book(s) 1968-2013, Fabra i Coats Centre d’Art Contemporani, Barcelona (21.02 > 19.05.2013), or the international symposia The Age of Less: Nostalgia?, on old values and new behaviors at La Loge, Centre for Contemporary Culture in Brussels (March 2013).
MATT MULLICAN: THE UMBRELLA CORNER (5/6) – EVERYBODY’S HERE BUT AL
We are pleased to present the fifth part of The Umbrella Corner series, an exhibition project conceived and curated by Moritz Küng that will run parallel to the gallery’s exhibition program until June 2013.
The title of this exhibition series refers to a strangely shaped and often overlooked corner at the entrance zone of the gallery, an irregular indentation of a wall that is measuring only 60 x 60 cm in surface and that has been so far occupied by a glass stand for umbrellas. Moritz Küng establishes in that very spot a site and content specific project by inviting five artists to react on the limitations of the spatial condition as well as to a particular key work of the conceptual art movement: the installation Where’s Al? (1972) by North American artist Allen Ruppersberg and today part of the Collection FRAC Poitou-Charentes in France. By doing so, the sequences of exhibitions will develop itself a narrative, an ambiguous mystery story about avoiding, disappearing, hiding, including, excluding and remembering. The complementary subtitles of the project are excerpts of dialogues from that very work. Previously shown in the corner series were Where’s Al? (1/6), a wall paper work by the Dutch Willem Oorebeek (Before or After, 2012), Al’s missing a good time (2/6), a performance based accrochage by the French Pierre Leguillon (Ads, 2012), Too bad Al’s not here (3/6) by Belgian artist Sophie Nys (The Timid Soul, 2012) and I can’t believe Al didn’t come (4/6) by Spanish artist Dora García (The Green Door, 2013).
Matt Mullican’s work oscillates between various dualities - reality and fiction, subject and object, the consciousness and the unconscious, the analogue and the digital - to work on our perception, defined less by the objective reality of the visible than by the projection of subjective experience. He works with the methods of encyclopaedic categorization and archiving, by forcing these concepts over other visible or conceptual structures. Archetypical issues like nature, the everyday, city, language, material or live, fate, God, hell and death stand alongside one another and are given no moral evaluation. In its complexity, Mullican’s work contains a tragic moment, in the hopeless attempt to classify the world. As Ruppersberg created the fictional character “Al”, Mullican on his turn invented “Glen”, a stick figure that allows him to delve into his complex multifaceted world. Both artists created then a kind of ghost or alter ego, and they are both interested in the representation of the media and popular culture. Responding to the curatorial scenario of The Umbrella Corner, Matt Mullican has reacted sending a handwritten letter to the curator meant to be exhibited as a work. This short letter itself is again a scenario stating a possible - if not brutal - plot in reaction to the work Where’s Al?: “Al is dead”.
The next and final exhibition in the series The Umbrella Corner 6/6 (Al said he was coming) will open next May 2nd with a quite unknown second version of Allen Ruppersberg’s key work: Where’s Al? Part II - The Sequel (1998).
ISIDORO VALCÁRCEL MEDINA: VOSTÈ MATEIX
It is a great honor for ProjecteSD to present the solo exhibition of Isidoro Valcárcel Medina, Vostè Mateix (Do it yourself).
Since the seventies, the work of Isidoro Valcárcel Medina has evolved from objects that might become art merchandise to a dematerialisation encouraging the appearance of an attitude which transforms awareness of perception, not so much into an artwork as into an art experience. That attitude is what has enabled him to interrelate life with art, and art with a provocative critical reflection on reality. Art no longer understood as an object-producing activity, but as one which produces realities, no less, situations, an uncertain place, an space in which to intervene to transform the structures in acts of free communication.
As it is common in the work of Valcárcel Medina, his proposal for ProjecteSD breaks the idea of a conventional exhibition project. The artist uses and puts in the hands of the visitors the gallery space, so that it is them, the audience, who once they accept the exercise that Valcárcel Medina suggests, build the exhibition. On the opening day, the exhibition starts with its space totally empty, with no artworks. A simple working table with a stack of papers and a few writing tools on it and a ladder in the background are the only elements that the public will find in the show. Each visitor is confronted with a proposal, a quite simple one: to handwrite his/her name and lastname/s on some prepared sheets of paper of a determined dimension in a pre-established letter type and size. If this invitation is accepted by the spectator, or maybe it should be better called actor, each of the papers with all the names hand-marked will be hung on the walls of the gallery room, and the exhibition will be filled.
Vostè Mateix is an performance, a daily event, an action conceived by the artist but carried out by the own audience, an exhibition that makes no attempt to conceal the artist’s preference for the most ephemeral forms and the most transient occasions, and whose result and final form remain unpredictable and uncertain. In the words of Valcárcel Medina: “I feel driven by the most urgent necessity to forge some link between the public and the space occupied by it, their space, which therefore becomes a public space.”
Despite its apparent simplicity, this action entails certain difficulty. On the one hand the audience of art exhibitions is faced with an unusual demand, to not just act as “observator” but somehow to be a performer accepting to play an active role that may even result uncomfortable. On the other hand, each visitor is asked to inform publicly of his/her identity and his/her visit to the show.
Vostè mateix will develop from its opening to its closure as their visitors decide. Given the ongoing character of the show, on the closing day of the exhibition Isidoro Valcárcel Medina will present a new work in the form of a lecture entitled “Dobleces de autor”, in which the artist will tell us more about the exhibition. The exact date and time of the lecture will be announced shortly.
Isidoro Valcárcel Medina (Murcia, 1937) moved to Madrid at the age of 19, to study Architecture and Fine Arts. After living in New York, in 1968 where he was in contact with minimalism. From 1972 on, after taking part in the Encuentros de Pamplona on conceptual art, his work involved actions and works for public spaces. He is one of the leading Spanish Conceptualists, not only historically, but also as an artistic referent for a new generation of creators. an important representative of conceptual art in Spain. His body of work includes performances, sound pieces, architectural projects, installations and books. From his early practice up to the present day, he has asserted a critical attitude towards both art institutions and the art market, developing instead situations and scenarios that allow him to engage in a more directly affective relation with his audience. Always rigorous, he is one of those uncommon creators who have succeeded in transporting daily life into the space of art and vice versa. Valcárcel Medina had a retrospective exhibition at the Tàpies Foundation in 2002, exhibitions at the MACBA in 2006, and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in 2009. In 2007 he received the Premio Nacional de Artes Plásticas and recently (2011) he was awarded in the first edition of the Premios Arte y Mecenazgo. Current exhibitions and recent projects: Performance in resistance, part of 18 pictures and 18 stories organized by Bulegoa z/b in collaboration with If I Can’t Dance I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution (2012); A Cidade e o estrangeiro, exhibition at Museo de Arte Contemporanea MAC USP Cidade Universitária, São Paulo (2012-13); Cartografías contemporáneas, dibujando el pensamiento, Caixaforum, Barcelona and Madrid, curated by Helena Tatay (2012-13); Economía Picasso, Intercambios, Particiones, Amistades, project by Pedro G. Romero for the Museo Picasso, Barcelona (2012); Constitución 1812, Macba, Barcelona (2011-12).
WILLEM OOREBEEK: THE UMBRELLA CORNER (1/6). CURATED BY MORITZ KÜNG
We are pleased to present The Umbrella Corner, a new exhibition project conceived and curated by Moritz Küng. The Umbrella Corner series will run parallel to our year exhibition program and will extend until June 2013.
‘When I was invited to curate an exhibition at ProjecteSD, instead of one single show in the gallery space, I proposed to present a series of small interventions in a particular spot of the entrance hall: a strangely shaped and often overlooked corner, an indentation of a wall that has been so far occupied by a glass stand for umbrellas. The choice for this rather hidden and unpretentious spatial condition - measuring in surface only 60 x 60 cm - served me to pursue a discourse on the genius loci - what the Norwegian architectural theorist Christian Norberg-Schulz defined in the seventies as an ‘existential foothold’ to orientate or identify oneself in a given environment - as well as to react on the changes within a economical context. The Umbrella Corner appropriates and exploits a minimum of space and establishes a sequence of micro-exhibitions towards a narrative climax.’
The narrative that Moritz Küng is pointing out has its backbone in an important signature artwork of the conceptual art movement: the installation Where’s Al? by North American artist Allen Ruppersberg produced in 1972 and today part of the Museum of Modern Art collection in New York. Where’s Al? is composed of 160 instamatic photo prints and 110 typed index cards, stating small dialogues, always asking where ‘Al’ actually is, in an attempt to locate him: on the beach, in a restaurant, in the street, at home. Where’s Al? is in itself a kind of short story and is based on clues…. without any actual clue; so to speak, a knock-knock joke, a game of hide-and-seek, as once stated by the art critic Steven Stern. Allen Ruppersberg’s work represents an ambiguous mystery story about avoiding, disappearing, hiding, including, excluding and remembering. In certain aspects the work could be understood as reminiscent to Georges Perec’s famous novel La Disparition, written in 1969, in which the letter ‘e’ (the character!) disappeared.
Anchoring his curatorial concept on both - a key work of conceptual art and an extremely tight space, Moritz Küng invited six international artists to react on those specific givens: Willem Oorebeek (NL), Pierre Leguillon (F), Sophie Nys (B), Dora García (E), Joe Scanlan (USA) and Matt Mullican (USA).
Willem Oorebeek is the first artist invited in The Umbrella Corner series. Oorebeek’s artistic trajectory is marked by the investigation of the material process of printing and by a critical approach to the meanings and multiple uses of the printed image and text in contemporary society. Using predominantly found and archived printed matter as source material and, most notably, through his remarkable exploration of the material process of lithographic printing, his works are formed from reprints, overprints, and overlaying combinations of thematic order and visual analogues and deal with issues such as reproduction, repetition, authorship and originality. Responding to Where’s Al, Willem Oorebeek adapted for The Umbrella Corner one of his wallpaper works, originally conceived in the nineties. Based on a pattern taken from a rubber floor tile, Before or After (2012), shows two different offset-printed versions of a black & white dot grid. Their different appearance opposite in the corner evoke two ‘shadows’ and - in the absence of the person in question - different ways of perception and remembrance.
PIERRE LEGUILLON: THE UMBRELLA CORNER (2/6). CURATED BY MORITZ KÜNG
We are pleased to present The Umbrella Corner (2/6), the second presentation of the exhibition project conceived and curated by Moritz Küng. The Umbrella Corner) series will run parallel to our year exhibition program and will extend until June 2013.
The title of this exhibition series refers to a strangely shaped and often overlooked corner at the entrance of the gallery, an indentation of a wall measuring only 60 x 60 cm in surface and that has been occupied so far by a glass stand for umbrellas. Moritz Küng establishes in that very spot a site and content specific project by inviting six artists to react on the limitations of the spatial condition as well as to a particular key work of the conceptual art movement: the installation Where’s Al? by North American artist Allen Ruppersberg produced in 1972 and today part of the Museum of Modern Art collection in New York. By doing so, the sequence of exhibitions will develop itself a narrative, an ambiguous mystery story about avoiding, disappearing, hiding, including, excluding and remembering.
Paris based French artist Pierre Leguillon ‐ known for his creations of slideshows, lectures, objects and assemblages, in which he is using a methodology based on accumulation, selection and sequencing ‐ will present for The Umbrella Corner 2/6 (Al’s missing a good time) his new work Ads. The work consists of a series of vintage advertisements where several known artists appear associated with a commercial product: Marcel Broodthaers for Van Laack shirts, Salvador Dalí for Old Angus whisky, Andy Warhol for Vidal Sassoon shampoo… On the opening reception Leguillon will install the printed ads in a performative action at the ‘umbrella corner’ by hanging and reading up loud the promotional text of each campaign. Ads indirectly questions the subjective value of a product, respectively of an artist, as well as the non‐presence of others and in particular the one of Al. As a refined icon lover, Pierre Leguillon not only identifies himself elegantly with the Appropriation Art movement, but acts as well as a flâneur ‐ or within the given context as a guide! ‐ through his own Journal Intime, his cosmological archive of historical images.
SOPHIE NYS: THE UMBRELLA CORNER (3/6) Curated by Moritz Küng
We are pleased to present the third part of The Umbrella Corner series, an exhibition project conceived and curated by Moritz Küng that will run parallel to the gallery’s exhibition program until June 2013.
The title of this exhibition series refers to a strangely shaped and often overlooked corner at the entrance zone of the gallery, an irregular indentation of a wall that is measuring only 60 x 60 cm in surface and that has been so far occupied by a glass stand for umbrellas. Moritz Küng establishes in that very spot a site and content specific project by inviting six artists to react on the limitations of the spatial condition as well as to a particular key work of the conceptual art movement: the installation Where’s Al? by North American artist Allen Ruppersberg produced in 1972 and today part of the Museum of Modern Art collection in New York. By doing so, the sequences of exhibitions will develop itself a narrative, an ambiguous mystery story about avoiding, disappearing, hiding, including, excluding and remembering. The complementary subtitles of the project are excerpts of dialogues from that very work. Previously shown in the corner series were Where’s Al? (1/6), a wall paper work by the Dutch Willem Oorebeek (Before and After, 2012) and Al’s missing a good time (2/6), a performance based accrochage by the French Pierre Leguillon (Ads, 2012).
The practice of Zurich based Belgian artist Sophie Nys brings conceptual and minimalist artistic strategies to their logical and formal limits by exploiting the broad artistic license possible within the contemporary art milieu. Her approach often leads to a demystification of the art object and current art practices that form the contemporary art scene object. Far from being flippant, her installations and video work - though seemingly ironic - maintain their eloquence as poetic reflections on her subjects derived from the every day. In her new work for The Umbrella Corner, entitled The Timid Soul, she is indirectly inspired by another iconic work of Ruppersberg: Al’s Grand Hotel from 1971. Superposing on top of the existing gallery’s coconut-carpet an additional, made to measure coconut-doormat that fits exactly into the corner, Nys is referring to the two - apparently still existing - coconut palm trees in the garden of the former Al’s Grand Hotel building on 7175 Sunset Blvd in Hollywood. Next to that, she is presenting a new edition that shows the disgraceful, weak, unassertive and spineless Caspar Milquetoast - aka The Timid Soul, a comic strip character created by H.T. Webster In 1924 - that peeps from behind a frame - a reworked cover of Time Magazine; unhopefully a reference to American popular culture, like Mr. Ruppersberg did himself so often.
The next show in the series The Umbrella Corner (4/6), will open on January 26, 2013, with a new work by Spanish artist Dora García, which will run simultaneously with a solo exhibition of Isidoro Valcárcel Medina in the main gallery space.
Asier Mendizabal has been constructing a remarkable body of work over the past ten years, in which he pays most attention to the relations between form, discourse and ideology. He puts into perspective the complex articulations between the aesthetic and the political, and reconsiders the legacies, the possibilities, but also the failures, of the tradition of sculpture as a monument, certain historical artistic vanguards, political and militant cinema or punk music movements. Being abstract sculpture his most representative register, Mendizabal’s work unfolds in any number of other mediums, from film to silkscreen, from flags to photographic series and collages, always with an instinctive feel for sculptural and graphic form.
For his second exhibition at ProjecteSD, Mendizabal presents a new series of sculptural works that, attached and together with a set of silkscreen printed compositions that reproduce photographs of multitudes from illustrated press, problematize the idea and the representation of the notion of collective The artist uses as tool and basis for his research a graphic element inherent to offset printing, the dot screen, to which he refers both in the silkscreened collages and the sculptural modules that he builds.
The four sculptural constructions from the series Untitled (screen) consist of various plates made of a regular gridded dot/hole metal structure that when overlapped and clung together with a certain rotation, cause a moiré pattern with a visual effect that may recall op art. The own superposition of the plates themselves constitutes irregular geometric modules, in some cases almost bidimensional, in other of volumetric quality. These modules function as structures over which Mendizabal attaches the photographic reproductions mentioned earlier. In Untitled (screen #1) and Untitled (screen #3) the artist presents a collection of original etchings taken from mid-19th century illustrated publications, in which representations of massive gatherings appeared like delicate almost abstract filigrees that, due to the engraving technique used, generated a grid of textile-like quality. The detail of each individual was masked. The represented form was then the totality of the mass, but not the addition of all its parts. In Untitled (screen #2) and Untitled (screen #4), the sculptures hold collages made with silkscreen print cuttings that the artist recombines trying to follow a detail contained in the image itself, again, representations of distorted multitudes, appearing now even more tangled and abstract. One more time form affects or contraposes content.
Presented on the wall and framed, Rotation (Moiré, Rome) and Rotation (Moiré, Egin) reveal more clearly Mendizabal’s system. The artist refers again to social massive gatherings, which historically became a fundamental element of modern imagery with the advent of photography and the circulation of the illustrated press. These works are compositions of four silkscreen prints repeating the very same image, which paradoxically looks different in each of the four sections. The formal element that makes them different is the deliberate rotation in the dot screen of the printing process. The grid of little points of the printing overlaps with the pattern of little heads forming the crowd making them an unrecognizable mass.
Two other works, formally very different from the ones in the central part of the exhibition, complete the show. Not all that moves is red (Tangram) #3 is part of a series of a patched combination of red and black flags bisected horizontally, vertically or diagonally. Though the radical references of the colours black and red are considerable, the identification of these powerful signs may fail through excess with the recombination of its elements in a geometrical puzzle. Displayed in the opposite corner of the exhibition space, a double projection entitled Das Unbekannte Spanien/España, tipos y trajes is shown. This new work consists of a series of slides taken from two photography books, one showing the work of Spanish pictorialist photographer José Ortiz Echagüe and the other the work by German photographer Kurt Hielscher. Both artists, contemporary, documented with their photographic work Spain, its landscapes, cities, monuments and its people in the early XX century. Travel photography became possible then, thanks to the new possibilities offered by photographic equipment in those years. Mendizabal does not just introduce the found pictures in a sequence. One more time he acts overlapping, interlacing both projected images generating a distortion that is not purposeless. On the contrary, it intentionally adds a subtle significance to the subject that the exhibition and every work in it addresses the difficulty to link form with content, figure with background and, in the end, to represent reality. In the artist’s own words: “the ever present contradiction in the articulation of the political, the impossible conciliation between individual and collective”.
PATRICIA DAUDER: EL GRAN CERCLE (THE GREAT CIRCLE)
ProjecteSD is pleased to present Patricia Dauder’s fifth solo exhibition, El Gran Cercle (The Great Circle), a series of new works which are the result of the artist’s research in the last year, linked to the period of her residency in New York.
The ‘great circle’ is a term used in geometry to define any circle drawn on a sphere with its centre in the sphere’s centre. Great circles represent the shortest distance between two points anywhere on the Earth’s surface. They have been used in navigation, cartography and geography for hundreds of years and knowledge of them is essential for long distance travel across the globe.
The Great Circle serves Dauder as a metaphorical title to establish an analogy between the term’s meaning, a measurement, always approximate, never accurate or even real, to make two distant points closer, and the own artist’s experience in the attempt for shortening the distance between thoughts and artwork, to link self-examination to exposure. In this probably impossible task, the exhibition results in a highly introspective exercise, where the idea of a landscape, a mental space, or a journey are evoked, all recurring subjects in the work of the artist.
Displayed on tables, Sun, Cinema, World and Extensions, are sets of drawings, where a microcosm of free associations seems to be established. Difficult to classify despite their composition in groups, they are highly explorative, experimental, diagrammatic drawings where the concept of mapping as a visual representation of an idea, seems to be suggested.
Garden Island is a new 16 mm film shot on location in Kauai, where the artist travelled to and exposed herself to a supposedly ‘paradise’ site. Film is being used in a very essential manner, to depict through a sequence of long colour and black and white shots, very few images of the visited place. As it is typical in Dauder’s film works, the film is in itself an experimental essay, extremely simple, deprived of any narrative, of evident sensory richness and certain pictorial quality. Despite the ‘beauty’ of the shots and the location itself, a certain detachment and remoteness is perceived.
In the ‘drawings’ on textiles Untitled, Green Kauai and Orange Kauai, a distant place, a landscape, either visited or unknown is referred to, in a total non-representational fashion. It is interesting to note that these works are produced through a process of subtraction in the sense that colour is obtained after bleaching out fabric which was originally dark, and after overlapping (sewing) various layers of linen. The works reflect the difficulty in addressing the ambivalence between an evoked image and the resulting object-image highly self-referential.
The double Subway series contrasts with the chromatic spectrum of the rest of the works in the exhibition. These works on paper, at first sight appearing as quickly processed are, on the contrary, the result of a rather slow process. They are all small drawings which respond to the self-imposed routine of drawing during displacements, while travelling either by subway or train, with a pen on an A5 format notebook, in a sort of automatic manner, with no pre-conceived purpose. The original fast sketches were later selected, scanned and laser-printed on paper to be finally redrawn, sort of blackened out, and grouped in two compositions. According to Patricia Dauder, ‘what started as a processual exercise has become a sort of map, a kind of cinematic story-board, a symbolic depiction of a non-existing place’.
Dauder’s ‘great circle’ invites us to engage in a journey where the view moves between opacities and transparencies, real and imagined, distant and close, through a constellation of works that always retain the quality of its enigmatic character.
Jochen Lempert’s work approaches photographic visual and research areas, often with the aim of questioning the criteria of the search for truth and the models of the world. With an informed gaze and an insatiable curiosity, Lempert searches for the animal world in the most diverse contexts: from the natural habitat to the museum of natural history, from the zoo to the urban environment, as well as in its manifestations and representations in daily life and material culture. This interest in the natural world as a subject has been further complemented by his exploration of the properties and materiality of the photographic image. Smaller format pictures are combined in his exhibitions with large ones. Photographic series alternate with single pictures. With a restless capacity for observation, research, and artistic perception, Lempert’s encyclopedic work, questions the way we perceive our environment, evoking a respectful attitude towards what is portrayed. His work defines a unique artistic position, discreetly constructed without any concession to the dominant trends and canons of contemporary photography.
The project for Art Basel 42, is conceived as a survey presentation of Jochen Lempert’s work. The concept behind the presentation is to generate an intricate crosssing of visual and conceptual associations, which is at the core and an essential element of Lempert’s artistic research. As the title suggests, On the track of a scientific approach, is a parcours along the artist’s ongoing quest. In its strange physicality and still stranger mélange of abstraction and figuration, Lempert’s presentation goes beyond any possible categorization and deliberatedly escapes any preconceived constraining framework. His work unfolds in an uninterrupted flow, where each photograph seems like the image of an idea, to evidence the compelling simplicity, and complexity at a time, of the artist’s rich iconography, and exceptional way of looking. As Brian Schollis pointed out: “Far from being mere “nature studies,” Lempert’s photographs are evidence of an artistic sensibility compelled to wrest order from circumstance, and, through the tight control of progression, variation, focus, scale, and exposure, to make of this order something enchanting”.
ProjecteSD is honoured to present Forever, an exhibition that brings together works by Dora García, Joe Scanlan and Isidoro Valcárcel Medina. Forever is the first exhibition ever held of these three artists and the first presentation of the work of North-American artist Joe Scanlan in Barcelona.
The exhibition is titled after the work by Dora García Forever. In 2005 a webcam was installed in one of the exhibition rooms of the FRAC Lorraine, potentially allowing the artist to observe continuously and for an undetermined period of time (forever), the interior of the art centre. A new version of the work, New Forever (2011), has been recently installed and developed for the New Museum in New York, in the context of the show Museum as Hub: “An accord is first and foremost only a proposition”.
Forever deals basically with the question of what “forever” means to an artist, an institution, and to an art work, and deals with the possible reversal of the conventional line artist > artwork > institution > audience into audience > artwork > artist. In Forever it is the institution and the narratives it generates what becomes the subject matter of the artist’s work. These narratives are presented to the public by means of an on-line diary and a series of books.
Forever will be shown for the first time in its full presentation: the images currently generated at the two institutions, FRAC Lorraine in Metz and the New Museum in New York, captured in real time will be shown at ProjecteSD. The contracts signed between the institutions and the artist, and all the Forever series books published to date will be on view and available at the gallery.
The work and the idea of “forever” in its broadest sense is the link used to articulate the works of Joe Scanlan and Isidoro Valcárcel Medina in the exhibition. Every artist interpreting and playing with this concept in a different way.
Joe Scanlan’s research in recent years reveals his constant reflection on transient and ephemeral states. This poetic dimension is always combined with an on-going interrogation of issues related to craftsmanship, economics, consumption and politics. In Scanlan’s work the critical, metaphorical and practical components form a coherent whole. The work by Joe Scanlan at Forever, SoLongSolSoLong, was first exhibited at the Institut d’Art Contemporain in 2007. Originally conceived as a specific project paying a tribute to Sol LeWitt, Scanlan uses his own vocabulary to address the relation between his work and minimalism. The artist defines the work as a: fifteen panels “painting” that can be arranged in different shapes to spell out different messages. For the presentation at ProjecteSD, Scanlan has decided to present the set in the following letter combination: “Sssoollloonngg”, as a reference to “so long” and linked to the idea of “forever” and its infinite dimension. The work will be installed in a way that a multiple display of the piece will be occurring during the time of the exhibition; a feature which is inherent to the work. Each visitor to the show will have the chance to see a different arrangement of the same work at different times all along the exhibition period.
The second Scanlan’s contribution to Forever is Snowflakes (the 10th). The “snowflake” drawings have figured in the artist’s work over the years. Displayed now in a computer screen, Snowflakes (the 10th) is an inventory of new 80 drawings, all of them drawn on the 10th day of any month in any year, a set of intricate kaleidoscopical shapes in white and icy blues and greens. Their DNA is related but there are also chance combinations, ruptures. At any size, the snowflakes are absolutely, geometrically perfect, mesmerizing and infinitely expandable, in time and space. Snowflakes (the 10th) proposes an interesting connection with the idea of forever.
The work of Isidoro Valcárcel Medina has never been limited to formal aestheticism. Since the seventies, his work has evolved from objects that might become art merchandise to a dematerialisation encouraging the appearance of an attitude which transforms awareness of perception, not so much into an artwork as into an art experience. That attitude is what has enabled him to interrelate life with art, and art with a provocative critical reflection on reality. Reflecting on the idea of forever, Valcárcel Medina has proposed to create a new work: Cuándo, dónde… y si es preciso, cómo (When, where…and if it is necessary, how). The work is based on a text by the artist where he debates and plays with the idea of time and space. Notions which appear in Valcárcel Medina work in a recurrent way. The full text is displayed as an object, printed on a table for the visitors to read it. Together with it, there is a set of 17 double drawings spread over the table and which are linked to some fragments in the text. To fully view and understand the piece, the participation of the visitors is required. Each set of drawings has to be unrolled to be seen and read, as they need to be displaced over the table to be able to read the text on it.
The three artists presented at Forever share a similar attitude in the way they approach art practice: the reference to language, the idea of temporariness, the will to extend the limits of the art object and in a way subvert art practise, and some performative aspect. In all the works shown at Forever, there is a sense of circularity, repetition. Things change, but stay pretty much the same. The idea of certain elusiveness and the open-ended aspect of the work is also present. They are works where experience is always available but shifting, where the viewers are required to complete the work for themselves and allow the works to gain meaning and depth over time.
The atmosphere in Lima is opaque, cloudy and little renewed, due mostly to the city’s location. Encircled by the Northern mountain range, the city holds the vapours coming from both the coast and the perspiration of the fertile vegetation that surrounds it, and given the weakness of southern winds, the fog cannot overcome the mountain tops. Thus, sun rays dissipate much more easily the fog in the surrounding areas of Lima and because of this, in turn, winters are more temperate in those places than here…
Observations on the climate of Lima and its influence on the organized being, specially man, Lima, 1799-1805.
For their second show at ProjecteSD, Raimond Chaves and Gilda Mantilla present their new work Observaciones sobre la ciudad de polvo. This is a project which approaches Lima, the city where they both currently live in, from its weather conditions as a peculiar poetic-meteorological observatory. Chaves and Mantilla confront Lima’s climatic particularity, its long and dreary winter, with a burden of scientific conventions, social stereotypes and other concerned discourses, which through adversity present as natural and unmovable a social and political “status-quo”, which is desired to be immutable. Observaciones sobre la ciudad de polvo seeks to evidence the strange and alienated condition of life in cities, highlighting the own circumstances of Lima.
Observaciones sobre la ciudad de polvo signifies a rupture with the earlier artistic projects of Chaves and Mantilla. The artists abandon their most recent modus operandi -the practise of drawing and its broad range of possibilities- and change radically their approach and concern over images, presenting a series of new bi and tridimensional works somewhere between sculpture and installation. Manipulating simple materials –essentially recycled cardboard and wood- with rigour and conceptual straightforwardness, the results use austerity, roughness and hermeticism as signaling forms. As Chaves and Mantilla point out: “Through an speculative game of proof and error we engage ourselves in the construction of objects: instrumental and sampling of the meteorological observatory, with our thoughts set in a space-time frame which, although based on the city where we live in, intends to be basically imaginary, utopian and open”.
Observaciones sobre la ciudad de polvo was awarded a Fundación Marcelino Botín fellowship in its 16th edition, and was part of the “Itinerarios 2008-2009” exhibition last January in Santander. Chaves y Mantilla, with exhibitions in Madrid, Barcelona and Lima, have presented their collaborative work in international venues, such as the 27th Sao Paulo Biennial (2006) and the II Trienal Poli/Gráfica de San Juan, Latinoamérica y el Caribe (2009). They have shown their work in the MUSAC (Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León) and the Patio Herreriano (Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Español) in Spain. Their oeuvre is present in private collections in Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain and the USA, and in public collections such as the MOMA (Museum of Modern Art, New York), the MUSAC and the MALI (Museo de Arte de Lima). Observaciones sobre la ciudad de polvo is shown in parallel at the galería Revolver in Lima (until June 19th).
ProjecteSD is pleased to present its second exhibition of artist´s books. For this occasion two young independent editors have been invited: Christoph Keller and ROMA Publications. Working in different environments but with similar attitudes and interests, Roma and Keller have pursued outstanding careers and created for themselves a solid space in the publishing field of contemporary art.
Christoph Keller (Stuttgart, 1969) was founder and former director of “Revolver—Archiv für aktuelle Kunst”, the non-profit publishing house based in Frankfurt am Main. Keller is presently starting a new series of artists’ books, published by the Swiss publisher JRP/Ringier, Zurich, entitled “Christoph Keller Editions”. The new publishing series is aiming to explore the bandwith of artistic book making and the mediation of contemporary art in the printed format of the book. Kellers´s contribution to our show consists of, as he puts it: “A very personal and coincidental selection of the most inspiring artists’ books and similiar conceptual publications of the last decade, dropped down from my top shelf, mostly black on white”. Under this statement the editor has selected around 60 titles, all books by artists of different generations. His selection includes books strictly visual like the selfproduced books by young painter Josh Smith, or the famous Concorde by Wolfgang Tillmans, or publications where the work of the artist is a text. This is the case of the exclusive edition of Two Views, which carefully links a story by contemporary artist Joe Scanlan with Melville´s Bartleby the crivener. Or Rodney Graham´s work The System of Landor´s Cottage, after the artist´s appropiation of the last story by Edgar Poe, presented in its French edition published by Yves Gevaert. And the intriging book by Liam Gillick, Erasmus is late. Some of the books are polemical like Die Toten by Hans-Peter Feldmann or The Nazis by Piotr Uklanski. Some apparently innocent like the work by Glasgow artist David Shrigley. Others almost blank books like the recent publication by Tim Lee & Markus Soo Modern Optical Experiments in Typography: Univers Ultra Light Oblique (1968). There are magazines, Re-Magazine, Dot Dot Dot, and books in the form of video like Heinrich Dubel´s issue #8 of Ohio. Worth mentioning is the new extravagant book by Isa Genzken, I love New York, Crazy City, the work by artist Helen Mirra Names and Poems or the peculiar publication of Paul MacCarthy (black on white), Hammer, Oranges, Apple, edited by Keller with Revolver. There are also books that quote other artist´s books, like the works by Jonathan Monk or the nice book by young artist Edgar Arceneaux 107th Street Watt´s. Keller has also made a point in adding some historical publications. Among them, Feuer im Weizen, by Thomas Bayrle, a wonderful example of erotic pop art, Flux Paper Events by Georges Maciunas, some of the famous Ed Ruscha´s books of the late 60´s and early 70´s, An Anectoted topography of chance by Daniel Spoerri, or the seminal works Blue Print for a Higher Civilisation by Henry Flynt, or Cover to Cover by Michael Snow.
ROMA Publications is an independent editorial project founded in 1998 by artist Mark Manders (Volkel, The Netherlands, 1968) and graphic designer Roger Willems (Tilburg, the Netherlands, 1969). Based in Amsterdam, ROMA Publications has been expanding in an informal and dynamic way as a platform for the production of autonomous publications, in close collaboration with a growing number of artists, designers, curators, writers and poets. During these years, Mark Manders and Roger Willems have defined their own territory that fuses art, design and curatorship. Among the 96 publications so far released, with print runs between 2 and 150.000 copies, there are artist books, newspapers, catalogues, posters, postcards, dvd’s and an audio cd. The exhibition will proudly introduce ROMA Publications in Spain for the first time not only through its printed works but also through works from several artist this publishing project has collaborated with. Mark Manders shows two installation pieces in close relationship with his publications. Hallway with sentences (1999-2006) is an installation of sentences on the wall that derives from his book Colored Room with Black and White Scene (1999). A selection of about 70 words was alphabetically arranged and then used to form as many sentences as possible. Some of the sentences, originally presented on the book pages like horizons, are poetic landscapes or places while others are linguistic or cinematic focal points. Many of the sentences have been developed later in spatial works, and, in that sense, the Hallway with sentences can be seen as a key element in Mark Manders´ development. Floor with Fake Newspapers (2006) is the other work by Manders in the show. A simple piece that requires no further explanation, 3 publications that have the appearance of a “newspaper” but with meaningless words and unidentifiable images, laid out on the floor. Marc Nagtzaam (Breda, 1969), will show a selection of drawings with repeated patterns, and drawings of texts collected from
publications on art, works closely linked to the concept of “the book”. Other works included in the ROMA presentation are Batia Suter´s Parallel Encyclopedia infinite collection of images and a series of photographs by Bart Lodewijks.
We would like to thank: Alex Gifreu, Yves Gevaert, Annja Theobald, Jacob Fabricius, Thorsten Baensch, Walther König, Lukkas Haller and JRP Ringier, David Platzker, Max Schumann, Ludovic Burel, Florence Loewy, Jop van Bennekom, Maxine Kopsa, Jenny Perlin, Luhring Augustine gallery, Johannes Schlebrügge, Christoph Merian Verlag , Uschi Huber & Jörg Paul Janka, Daniel Marzona, Lisette Smits, Blumenbar Verlag, Cornerhouse Publications, 1301 gallery, James Brook and BookWorks, Florian Pumhösl, NAi Publishers, Annett Gelink gallery, Stuart Bailey, CCA Kitakyushu Editions, Amanda Cuesta, Miguel Wandschneider and all the publishers that have contributed to the books here presented.
...“Mal de América” is a sickness of the spirit that affects certain inhabitants of the Old World. It manifests as alonging for spacing beyond the Ocean and the know, to reach a new world: an ambiguous zeal, indeed, denied bythe yearning for going back to Europe and reaffirmed by the irresistible, even fatal, impulse to cross the Atlantic over and over again to eternity…”
Mal de América (Morbus Americae)
“Old cosmographers from Aristotle to Ptolomy, assured that of the five circles in which the Earth is divided, the third one, corresponding to the “torrid” zone, was not habitable. “Poor the Europeans who dared to approach the equinoctial line! Medieval wise men (...) stated that sun´s rays would immediately transform them in blacks. (...) but, how to resist the call of the “torrid zone” if in one of the mountains forming it, at the farthest end of Occident, Earthly Heaven was found?
Mal de América. Las obras y los días de Agustín Codazzi, 1793-1859. Giorgio Antei
Mal de América (Dibujos de Viajes) is the title chosen by Chaves & Mantilla to present in ProjecteSD a work that they have been doing for the last two years, where the act of drawing is linked to a reflection about a specific territory. This project known as Dibujando América (Drawing America) results from two trips to Latin America. A first trip took place from May to September 2005 along Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Northern Peru. A second trip, in June 2006, followed the river to the triple border area of Peru, Colombia and Brazil. The project is built through a compilation of drawings, sketches, notes, photographs, interviews, research on maps, books, magazines, records, and other materials found in the different places the artists travelled through. From this pool, Chaves & Mantilla interpret genres and traditions associated to the concepts of travel drawings, cartography, landscape and portraiture.
As the artists put it: “We travel leaving our homes, but we also travel with the news, readings and story-telling. We think that drawing underlies everything we do and that it functions as an archive and a medium to reach knowledge. Drawing enables us to construct an image of the world and to rethink this world in different imagined ways”.
The project Dibujando América has been approached differently in each of its previous presentations. In Casa de América (Madrid, 2005) and the Museum Patio Herreriano (Valladolid, 2006) the focus was put on the travelling as a way for learning and re-knowing as well as it showed the limitations of any desire to belong to the places they travelled around. In its exhibition at the 27ª Bienal de Sao Paulo (Brasil, 2006) the emphasis was on the “dislocation” idea as a means to express the impossibility to cover such an immense territory. At the Centro Cultural de España in Lima (Peru, 2007) the concept was to decompose the idea of landscape as a constructed context and a space of process and tension.
In the exhibition at ProjecteSD, Mal de América (Dibujos de Viajes) is presented as an irony on both the morbid role entailed by Chaves & Mantilla as impenitent obstinate draughtspeople and the Latin American imagery still dealing with contradictory visions of “hell” and “heaven”.
Space and architecture are essential elements in Pieter Vermeersch’s work. Although his work is often purely abstract, it is an abstraction of something real and physical. In a way, light, colour, paint and space are not just the mediums of his work but the the subjects as well.
For his third exhibition at ProjecteSD, Reception: Pieter Vermeersch hosts…, Vermeersch will transfom the entire exhibition space of the gallery with a vast “wall painting” single coloured, shifting in an imperceptible gradient from 0% of the colour through to 100%, from white to black in a progression of 72 grey tones. This new graduated surface redefines the way the space is perceived, inserting a new volume and thus giving dimension to the exhibition room. In front of this enveloping mural work, the observer is confronted with the idea of moving within and through painting as opposed to passively observing it. This wall gradation holds at the same time a combination of two new paintings, oil on canvas, in a configuration where space, architecture colour and light subtly merge and intersect.
The installation proposed by Vermeersch is conceived as a autonomous piece but for this specific occasion it is envisaged to also act as a framework, a vessel to host and present sculptural and painting works by four other artists: Katinka Bock, Miriam Cahn, Guillaume Leblon and Christoph Weber.
Notions as space, materiality, temporariness, process and confrontation emerge in the exhibition. Another aspect of the show is all artists’ approach to media and materials. Working with a range of different materials, techniques and forms, each artist uses them with formal precision as well as contextual consistency.
With resonances on the Arte Povera and Minimalism tradition, three sculptural works by Katinka Bock, Guillaume Leblon and Christoph Weber are laid out in the exhibition space. The city, the landscape, the territory and the exhibition space are at the heart of Katinka Bock’s artistic practise. In Stadt am Fluss (City with river), 2009, the artist merges found objects belonging to a domestic environment to construct a poetic sketched sculptural view of a possible cityscape crossed by a river. In Christoph Weber’s sculpture, Untitled (Base line), 2009, the idea of a landscape is also evoked. Attached to the main wall of the gallery space, the work is seen by the artist as a materialized construction of a line. Three raw elements, water, concrete and wood blend to create an abstract, organic composition. The sculpture can also be read as a tridimensional drawing. Guillaume Leblon’s piece Double Puits (double well), 2008, is an arrangement of hand-made raw clay bricks which create a sort of double well. First shown at Leblon´s solo show at the CGAC, Double Puits shows a functionless object, of illogical dimensions, where anthitetic notions such as function and decorative element are confronted and a tense relationship between object and model is established. The work is also a reference to a constructive element associated to a particular landscape. The rawness of the materials used, connects with Bock and Weber’s pieces. Its austerity and elegance with Vermeersch’s painting works.
The works by Swiss artist Miriam Cahn, stand out from the ensemble as a counterpoint. Miriam Cahn’s intriguing paintings show portraits of individuals of indeterminated gender, humans or animals, with wide-eyed faces. The striking colours, the intensity and immediate impact of her ghostly images show the personal iconography developed by the artist, heavily influenced by the pugnacious feminist movement of the 1960s. The worlds of silence, women, animals and war, the transfigured body as an object of violence, are constantly reflected in her work. Cahn’s works simultaneously convey a sense of melancholy solitude and a vivid impression of creative, revolutionary force.
This exhibition is the result of a collaborative project between ProjecteSD and Paris based Galerie Jocelyn Wolff. The first presentation was a curated group exhibition held last summer in the Parisian gallery where works by both galleries’ artists were shown.
“The thing is, and everyone who follows football understands this, that most of the time you live in pain. Most seasons end in disaster. You probably lose half the games. You travel far to follow the games away, for every game you use 3-4 hours more. Perhaps you get cold, get wet feet, and when you get home your better half says: You’ve been out. You’ve had fun. And you have had a terrible afternoon.” (Ken Loach)
On November 14th Danish artist, Jakob Kolding (FC Liverpool, Defender) and German editor, Christoph Keller (VfB Stuttgart, Right Winger), both serious football fans, will talk about football. And of tragedy, pain, wasted years. And about passion, love, excitement. With more than 60 years spent following football (the two together), they know what to say. Lifelong supportership, you have no choice. Or as artist Jonathan Monk puts it: “One is born into it and perhaps we were born in the wrong place, but it would be impossible for me and you to really support any other team. We keep on dreaming.” They will have their usual conversation: crazy money, crazy managers, European leagues, heart and soul, bad decisions and a little bit on contemporary art. And they will try to get out of Barcelona one single time without getting beaten up!
You’ll never walk alone!, a show tune from the 1945 musical, Carousel, became in the 1960s the anthem of Liverpool Football Club and since then has been invariably sung by its supporters moments before the start of each home game. This tradition later spread to several other clubs around the world and You’ll never walk alone! is performed by a massed chorus of supporters on matchday. This song has been chosen by Christoph Keller to entitle this exhibition, which brings together works by three renowned contemporary artists: Jakob Kolding, Hans-Peter Feldmann and Peter Piller. For this special event, we will present four new collages by Jakob Kolding, a new series of photographs by Peter Piller, and the series Fussballers by Hans-Peter Feldmann.
This is the first time ProjecteSD shows Jakob Kolding’s work. His collages, drawings and posters reflect a wide range of references and techniques that can be inscribed within the act of cut & paste reproduction. This technique of mixing opens up the possibility of engaging with diverse specific subjects such as architecture, visual arts, subculture, popular culture and social theory. Some early works by Kolding lead us to understand this dynamism as resembling Russian Suprematism, in particular the influence of El Lissitzky’s approach to innovative typographies and photomontage. However, the artist’s construction of a personal vocabulary based upon a play on repetition - where visual and textual elements of one montage are further repeated in continuous variations - has given an additional edge to this technique of appropriation. This has to do with a reminiscence of hip-hop culture and its constant present reconfiguration by younger generations.
Christoph Keller (*1969, Stuttgart) founded and was former director of the well-known Frankfurt-based art publishing house “REVOLVER – Archiv für aktuelle Kunst”. He has been a professor for artistic publishing and typography at Hamburg art academy and a regular lecturer at many international art schools. He has curated a number of exhibitions and organized a globally travelling archive on independent art publishing called “Kiosk”. Keller has edited and designed some hundreds of artists’ books and published numerous texts on the subject in various international media. He is an advisory board member for publishing ventures in Canada, New Zealand, Germany and Switzerland. Keller withdrew from REVOLVER in 2005 and moved with his family to an old farm near Lake Constance in southern Germany, where he now raises rare-breed livestock, distills award-winning eau-de-vie (http://www.staehlemuehle.de), and works as a freelance designer and editor with a new series of artist’ books published by JRP/Ringier, entitled “Christoph Keller Editions”.
Jakob Kolding (*1971, Albertslund, Denmark), has been exhibiting internationally over the past twelve years. He has had solo shows in London, Geneva, Rome, Berlin, Vienna, Amsterdam, Helsinki, Stockholm and his native Copenhagen. His work has been included in shows at such prestigious venues as the DeAppel Foundation; the South London Gallery; The Rooseum; The Kölnischer Kunstverein; the Palais de Tokyo, among many others. He had a solo exhibition at the Kunstverein in Hamburg, mounted an ambitious solo project at the Frankfurter Kunstverein, and participated in Utopia Station in the 2003 Venice Biennale. In Spain his work has been presented at the D.A.E. in San Sebastián, the Centre d’Art Santa Mònica in Barcelona, Sala Rekalde in Bilbao and most recently at the gallery Salvador Díaz in Madrid.
Hans-Peter Feldmann (*1941, Germany) lives and works in Düsseldorf. His work appeared in Documenta 5 and Documenta 6 (1972, 1976). More recent shows include Guggenheim Museum Soho, NY (1993), Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany (2003); do it, curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist in Ritter Klagenfurt, Austria (1994); Utopia Station, curated by Molly Nesbit, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Rikrit Tiravanija at the 2003 Venice Biennale; and The Last Picture Show: Artists Using Photography, 1960-1982 at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota and at the Marco de Vigo (2003), Contemporary Art gallery, Vancouver (2006), Hamburger Banhof, Berlin (2006), Kunsthalle Wien (2007), Sculptur Project 2007, Munster, and solo shows at the Sprengel Museum in Hannover, Arnolfini gallery, Bristol and Landesgalerie, Linz, Austria (2007-08). His first solo show in Spain was at The Tàpies Foundation (2001-2002). More recently his series 100 Jahre was shown in The Gift of Life at the Centre d´Art La Panera in Lleida (2008). He has also participated in La sombra de la historia at the CGAC in Santiago de Compostela (2008) and in Universal Archive. The Condition of the Document and the Modern Photographic Utopia at MACBA, Barcelona (2008-2009). His work has been shown at the latest Venice Biennale (2009).
Peter Piller (*1968, Fritzlar, Germany) studied German language and was trained as visual artist. He was awarded the Ars Viva Prize and received the Rubens Prize from the City of Siegen in 2004. His work has been shown in the Museum of Contemporary Art Siegen (2004), the Witte de With Rotterdam (2005), the Ludwig Museum in Cologne (2005), Kunsthaus Glarus, Switzerland (2007). More recent shows include Decollecting I, FRAC Nord-Pas de Calais, France (2008), The order of Things at Muhka, Antwerp, Belgium (2008); Swiss Landscapes at ProjecteSD, Barcelona (2008); Peripheriewanderung Bonn at Kunstmuseum Bonn (2009); To Be Determined at Andrew Krepps Gallery, NY, USA (2009); Then the work takes place. On the Paradigm of the Conceptual in Contemporary Photography at Kunsthaus Graz, Austria (2009) and Pequeña historia de la fotografía at CGAC, Santiago de Compostela, Spain (2009). His work is part of important public and private collections.
This event is part of the initiative of the GIC galleries Off site! within the Tardor de l´Art events supported by the ICIC.
“Any picture containing multiple images of excessive similarity, or ‘sameness’ or conditions to that effect, no matter how questionable the posture, is a benevolently powerful picture.” Richard Prince
“Appropriation is something I have used or worked within my art since starting art school in 1987. At this time (and still now) I realised that being original was almost impossible, so I tried using what was already available as source material for my own work. By doing this I think I also created something original and certainly something very different to what I was re-presenting. I always think that art is about ideas, and surely the idea of an original and a copy of an original are two very different things.” — Jonathan Monk, 2009
It is a great privilege for ProjecteSD to present Richard Prince and the Revolution, the first exhibition curated by Berlin-based British artist Jonathan Monk for a Spanish gallery.
Richard Prince’s appropriations and reiterations of images and contents from American and Western everyday culture for his photographs, paintings, objects, drawings and fictional literary pieces have been among the most influential and radical artistic formulations since the late 1970’s. He was at the forefront of a generation of artists challenging ideas of authenticity, originality and the value of the unique art object. Appropriation is, undoubtedly, a key strategy in Jonathan Monk’s work. It is not coincidental then, that Monk has chosen Richard Prince’s legacy as the subject for this curatorial experience. In Richard Prince and the Revolution, Monk revisits Prince’s work through a group show with an interesting selection of a younger generation of artists: Dave Allen, Pierre Bismuth, Anne Collier and Matthew Higgs, Ryan Gander, Daiga Grantina, Isabell Heimerdinger, Tobias Kaspar, Annette Kelm, Scott Myles, Dan Rees and Kati Simons von Bockum-Dolffs. The ten artists present in the show use an approach that can be seen as a reactivation of some of the ideas, the motifs or the aesthetic codes found in Richard Prince’s oeuvre. The exhibition is about authenticity and originality, about repetition and re-appropiation. A collage from a myriad of works with direct or subtle allusions to Prince’s imagery. With elements of seduction and desire, collages, objects taken from popular culture, drawings, books, magazines or photographs, the show suggests a variety of models for the production and interpretation of art, which lead by Jonathan Monk, aims to test the continued strength of the Modernist canon and to demystify the creative process.
The medium of the book has always been a special category within Richard Prince’s oeuvre. The artist is an avid collector of rare books and has been a prolific maker of books. This is also a quality shared by Jonathan Monk. Books then are an important part in the show presented now. A library with an interesting selection of Richard Prince’s books is presented in the exhibition, as a connecting link to the rest of the works on view. Some of Prince’s well known titles such as Second House, Women, Spiritual America or newer books such as Naked Nurses or Jokes and Cartoons, are on view. To accompany these books and the show, Jonathan Monk has created a new artist book published specifically on the occasion of this exhibition and presented for the first time at ProjecteSD. Studio visit (2009) is an artist book by Jonathan Monk, edited by Tobias Kaspar and published in collaboration with JRP Ringier/Christoph Keller editions.
We remain indebted to Jonathan Monk for his great generosity and commitment in the development of this exhibition. Thank you so much to all the participating artists for their great contributions and enthusiasm in this project. Thank you also to their representing galleries: Tanya Bonakdar (New York), Elastic (Malmö), Johann König (Berlin), The Modern Institute (Glasgow), Jan Mot (Brussels) and T293 (Naples). And finally, thank you to Christoph Keller for his valuable contribution to the show, expertise and collaboration in the publication of Jonathan Monk’s Studio Visit.