press release

The etymology of the word ‘okay’ is one of the most disputed. Entire books have been written, linguists debate and no definite agreement seems to be found on the subject. Strange for a word used often to state that everything is under control. With a change of tone the meaning of ‘okay’ can move from utterly positive to downright dismal. The double exhibition OK / OKAY aims to focus on this kind of blurring and movement between meanings, where information that might seem obvious reveals itself as much more ambiguous and subtle. Through the work of 14 European artists, OK / OKAY will bring to light the slippage of meaning and translation that shakes up our interpretative system.

OK / OKAY will be presented at two sites, at the Grey Art Gallery of New York University in Greenwich Village and at the Swiss Institute - Contemporary Art in SoHo, and will focus on some of Europe’s most promising and innovative artists, many of whom have never shown in New York. The dual location of the exhibition will provide a literal manifestation of the idea of moving between meanings in both art and language, and many of the artists will present different projects at each venue. Each location’s show will function independently but when viewed in combination, the two exhibitions will accentuate the ambiguity of interpretation and flexibility of meaning through rifts in space and communication.

Like the other group exhibitions Marc-Olivier Wahler has curated (Under Pressure and Mayday in 2001, Extra and Liquid Sky in 2003, and Five Billion Years in 2004), OK / OKAY does not intend to develop a discourse, nor to deliver a specific message. Art is no longer defined by position or place. It glides over the visible and exposes the limitless number of strata that make up its structure. It contributes to the densification of the real, it adds to its complexity. What matters is the dynamic triggered by the slippage of interpretations and the constant oscillations between languages (as between different objects). This dynamic defines the force of a work of art, it is in this always unstable electric field that a work of art finds its meaning. In this way, contemporary art is not seen a cultural domain in search of possible aesthetic definitions, but as a true dynamic.

OK / OKAY is made possible in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, (NYSCA), a State Agency; and with support from the Abby Weed Grey Trust; ProHelvetia; Étant Donnés, the French-American Fund for Contemporary Art; Bundeskanzleramt Oesterreich Kunstsektion; the Consulate General of Sweden, Cultural Services of the French Embassy, the Danish Arts Council, Fundação Luso-Americana Para o Desenvolvimento, and IASPIS; as well as in kind support from Betson Enterprises, Brooklyn Brewery and the Vendo Company. For more info on the OK / Okay sponsoring partners, click here.

SWISS INSTITUTE-CONTEMPORARY ART / 495 Broadway / 3 Fl. / New York NY 10012 / (212) 925-2035 Gallery Hours: Tues – Sat 11 am – 6 pm / Press Contact: Gabrielle Giattino /

GREY ART GALLERY / New York University / 100 Washington Square East / New York NY 10003 / (212) 998-6780


only in german

Kurator: Marc-Olivier Wahler

Swiss Institute, New York
Grey Art Gallery / New York University, New York

in beiden Ausstellungen: Christian Andersson, Valentin Carron, Gabriele di Matteo, Leopold Kessler, Werner Reiterer, Ben Woodeson

OKAY at the Grey Art Gallery: Lara Favaretto, Laurent Grasso, Graham Gussin, Nedko Solakov, Jean-Luc Verna

OK at the S I ; Olivier Blanckart, Bob Gramsma, Adam McEwen