artists & participants
The present initiative might be understood, before anything else, as a collaborative exercise between all the parts involved in the project (that is artists, spectators, gallerists, curators, collectors, etc). Based on this simple premise, the exhibition is delineated by a chain of circumstances related to the collective dimension shared by all group shows, in contrast to a singular voice that endorses or determines. Likewise, the experience of this exhibition has been conceived as a self-reflexive activity around the accidents that are stumbled into when acting collectively within a shared space, in a specific time. The show intends, within reason, to emphasise its hybrid condition and to stall both a comprehensive search for a balanced mise-en-scène, as well as the use of any discursive make-up that justifies the conjunction of the selected works.
That said, this exhibition seems to be on unstable ground, untrustworthy and not very seductive. In a way, whatever is posed here triggers a tautological proposition: a collective show about the elements that integrate a collective show. Lacking a specific subject and conceptually orphaned, this show unavoidably reflects upon itself. As a result the exhibition’s works are abandoned to the fate of a cojoined headless form where uniqueness and difference nonetheless shine. The works are relinquished of a wrapping that homogenises, and their negotiation of space, dialogue and advocacy become the points of inflexion of this exhibition foray.
The nonsensical expression Alrededor de todos juntos, una entre tantas (Around all together, One amongst many) sketches a utopian process of group experience. Leading up to this title are mottos—many of them of Latin origin—that describe models of collectiveness or conviviality, such as E pluribus unum (Out of Many, One), In varietate concordia (Unity in Diversity), Plus quam circulum (More Than a Club), Maior singulis, universis minor (Greater than One, Less than All). The first two stand out for their sociopolitical connotations. E pluribus unum was, between 1782 and 1956, the official motto of the US. After a long history of motions from Congressmen of solid Christian faith, the motto was summarily replaced with the now well known In God We Trust during the tenure of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. In varietate concordia incidentally, was adopted almost simultaneously by the European Union and South Africa in the year 2000.
Even though it would be counterproductive or spurious to assign the works of this show a unique stamp or a shared political dimension, it is worth highlighting how, from very different vantages, they each temporarily trace an existential meander through a cognisance of a collective fabric, the will to contribute in a given situation and the questioning of acceptable behaviour. Association and difference are present at different registers: the limits, failures and moments of change, the negotiations or rules that come with such a cohabitation. Nevertheless, what has been said is just a trail of clues as to what these artworks might guard. The junctures of this collaboration remain at the disposal of the public. As Søren Kierkegaard surmised, the art of the observer “consists of nothing less than to discover what is hidden.”
Víctor Palacios With the collaboration of Latitudes (Max Andrews & Mariana Cánepa Luna)
Kirstine Roepstorff's medium is large scale collage and sculpture using common found visuals and vernacular materials. “What I like about the collage”, Kirstine Roepstorff has explained, “is that it refers directly to our negotiated ‘common’ reality and yet it mirrors different versions of it; brought together in one image this could look like a misunderstanding”. Drawing on the strident legacy of Hannah Höch, Roepstorff makes photomontages – as well as banners and installations – that exploit and orchestrate this potential for tangled motives. Taking on the vicissitudes of subjects such as the international diamond market, the economics of debt trading or the collusion of terror and therapy, her work deploys magazine pages, photocopies, sequins, ribbon and glitter in a heady excorcism of luxury and degradation (Max Andrews). Roepstorff´s piece presented at ProjecteSD, Scene one act two (Dried Head), 2005 is a good example of Roepstorff practise.
Kirstine Roepstorff (Copenhagen, 1972) currently lives and works in Berlin and Copenhagen.
New York Garbage Flag Profile (2003) presents Berlin-based artist Michalis Pichler's six month long project in which he collected and documented discarded paper cups, plastic bags, pizza boxes, newspapers and other mass-produced materials emblazoned with the American Flag. Photographed in the public waste baskets, gutters and snow drifts of New York where he found them, the individual items are catalogued with uniformly formatted information about their location, the date of their collection, number of flags depicted, number of stars, number of stripes, etc. Each record also includes a full transcription of the text found on the item. The nearly three hundred color photographs are organized into pairs showing the collection site before and after the artist's intervention (Rachel Bers, Printed Matter, NY). A solid piece of conceptual photography and concrete poetry where Pichler shows his interest in the object but also about the space it leaves behind when disappeared: object perdu as opposed to object trouve. The work is presented in ProjecteSD with the book of the same title, published by Revolver in 2005.
Michalis Pichler (Berlin, 1973) lives and works in Berlin.
Jordan Wolfson´s films, videos and installations, are composed with a generous conceptual and formal elegance, leaving themselves open to the viewer's emotional and interpretive response. Whether tempered by melancholic memory, expectations or wonder, his works often evoke instances of transformation. In Day (2006), a new sound work specifically produced for the show, he presents a sound recording of the lighting of matches. Simple, elegant and subtle, Day is, according to Wolfson, a story and a narrative where all moments have been removed except one. He finds in the sound (and inevitably in the image) of creating fire a metaphor for the beginning of an invention, a moment of change, destruction, life or death. Played on a reel-to-reel player, the piece is presented as a construction where all the equipment is part of the work. This composition contrasts with the fragility, intangibility and unconspicuousness of the work as it also adds a path to it. As curator Beatrix Ruf has stated “Wolfson's works lead us with an image and an evocation into the doubtfulness, fragility and ambiguity of the patterns into which our emotions fall”.
Jordan Wolfson (New York, 1980) lives and works in New York and Berlin.
Jenny Perlin locates her practice in an archeological space of sifting and discovery. Her main medium is film. Some are live-action, appearing to conform to a conventional model of documentary filmmaking, and some are stop-motion animations, which she also thinks of as "documentaries." In each aspect of her practice she takes a close look at the ways in which social machinations are reflected in the smallest aspects of daily life. Whether it is copying a receipt from Wal-Mart, a headline from Reuters, or filming documentary-style interviews at the corner store, her interest is in the ways in which the sweeping statements of "History" affect specific details of human experience. Amend (2005) is a 16mm stop motion animation film, which combines the Oxford English Dictionary definition of the verb “amend” with the index pages of a 1927 book titled The Invert, and lists of sodomy laws recently stricken from the books of numerous U.S. states. The film is shown with the series of pencil drawings that make the piece. In Associated (2006), Perlin filmed at her neighborhood corner store, a former Associated supermarket, from opening to closing on July 4, 2004 (Independence Day, U.S.). One roll of 16mm film shot every two hours reveals little except the unchanging patterns of the 14 hour workday. Interview with owner Charles Leem reflects on the history of his store and his favourite musicians.
Jenny Perlin (Williamstown, Massachussets 1973) lives and works in New York.
Space and time are the two basic concepts of Sebastián Romo´s art practise. By means of photographs, sculptures, drawings and interventions, he creates structures where he emphasizes the presence of the transitory, the fragile and unforeseeable. In On the Will of Nature, according to Schopenhauer (2006), the work presented in the exhibition, Romo reconstructs an earlier work. The sculpture consists of a series of sprouting plants, one for every year of the artist´s life, lined up on a long, fragile piece of wood balanced on four legs. One leg resting on a copy of the book The world as Will and Representation by Schopenhauer. The work is about time and processes of growth. It is also about creating a work in transformation, about change, the idea of research and representation.
Sebastián Romo (México D.F., 1973) lives and works in Mexico City.
For Nikolaj Recke, art is a continuous attempt to make art, and to reflect on and challenge this condition – to turn the attempt to do the impossible into an aesthetic possibility and an existential statement; a possibility to talk about and comprehend the impossible; and a statement that allow us to live and perform the impossible and eventually reach beyond it. Recke’s most symbolic attempt in this respect is his work Knowing You, Knowing Me (1997). An email correspondence with Robert Morris about his famous felt sculptures and the possibilities of a rendez-vous transformed into a silent video with text and slow-motion images. The two never got to talk about the sculptures and they never met up. The artist transformed the failed attempt into a ‘readymade’ communication.
Nikolaj Recke (Copenhagen, 1969) lives and works in Copenhagen.
Angelo Ferreira de Sousa´s work uses the institutional – and almost universal – languages existing in symbols, in the advertising industry, in the clichés… resulting in an ironic “game” and puns, in an attempt to boycott systems and to enlarge communication, laugh and denunciation. Brûle, 2006, is a video work shot in the streets of Port at the time serious riots were taking place in the outskirts on main cities in France that resulted in many burnt cars. The characters in the video imitate the gestures of the French turmoil in an extremely subtle way, repeating the child game of blowing breath to write on glass the word "Brûle!" (Burn!). A minor intervention, that fades away during the day but comes back at right humidity conditions and stays until the glass is inexorably cleaned up. This piece is ironically linked another minimal intervention, a sentence "Ignis lucet ômnibus" (Fire lightens all) drawn on one of the gallery outside walls, Ferreira´s transformed version of “Sol lucet omnibus” (Sun lightens all) used as a statement in one of the Portuguese universities.
Angelo Ferreira de Sousa (Porto, 1975) lives and works in Barcelona and Porto.
Many thanks to: Annett Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam Peres Projects Gallery, Berlin T293, Naples Plumba art gallery, Porto The Danish Arts Council´s Committee for International Visual Art
only in german
ALREDEDOR DE TODOS JUNTOS, UNA ENTRE TANTAS
/ Around all together, One amongst many
Kuratoren: Victor Palacios with Latitudes (Max Andrews and Mariana Cánepa Luna), Kirstine Roepstorff
mit Kirstine Roepstorff, Michalis Pichler, Jordan Wolfson, Jenny Perlin, Nikolaj Recke, Sebastian Romo, Angelo Ferreira de Sousa