Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Saâdane Afif + Piano and Rogers

Anthologie de l’humour noir
Winner of the 2009 Prix Marcel Duchamp, Saâdane Afif takes over Espace 315, where an imposing coffin lies in state. With that black humour drawn from André Breton's famous anthology of the same name, Saâdane Afif invents an installation where the Centre Pompidou becomes a sarcophagus of utopias.
Curator : Mnam/Cci, Jean-Pierre Bordaz

Charlotte Moth + Parent and Pasmore

For Claude Parent and Victor Pasmore, 2016
double slideshow installation including 81 colour 35mm slides each
ed 5 + 1

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Martin Boyce + Jacobsen

Suspended Fall
Medium Powder coated steel, chain, wire and chair parts 
Suspended Fall 2005 is a hanging mobile with six balanced elements joined by lengths of wire and powder coated steel. Each of the elements consists    of a sawn section of vintage Jacobsen Series 7 chairs, which the artist bought in    Berlin. Hung freely in the gallery space, the individual elements of the work can move independently or as a whole when prompted by air    movement or direct contact. Designed by Arne Jacobsen (1902–1971) in 1957, the Series 7 chair was    styled for modern living. Although the ideology and ambition of Jacobsen’s    modernism have faded, the classic plywood moulded chair is still being    manufactured using the same methods and materials, and it has become one of    the most popular chairs of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century.    Suspended Fall makes reference to the art of Alexander    Calder (1898–1976) and his distinctive, colourful mobiles of the 1930s which in turn were    influenced by the abstract work of Piet Mondrian (1872–1944) and Joan Mir¿ (1893–1983). The work explores and reflects the cross-fertilisation of ideas and forms between art    and design during the period of early twentieth-century modernism. It is one of an ongoing series of mobiles that Boyce has been making since    2001. It has been exhibited in the following exhibitions: This Storm we call    Progress, Arnolfini, Bristol 2005; Material Intelligence, Kettles Yard,    Cambridge 2009; and The 4th Auckland Triennial, New Zealand 2010.
 Martin Boyce’s work explores the visual language of modernist architecture    and design. Drawing on its iconography and history of production, classic    pieces of furniture by Arne Jacobsen, Charles and Ray Eames, Jean Prouvé and    Charlotte Perriand, among others, have often been the focus of Boyce’s    attention. Boyce’s selected objects engage with the ethos of modernism:    democratic and mass-produced, they reflect an ambition for what can be    understood as a utopian vision – a re-imagining of society on egalitarian terms.    Boyce is also interested in how meanings change over time, in particular how    the significance of particular objects alters as society changes. Displaced from    their original ideals and context, Boyce’s objects take on an alternative life.
Further reading
Martin Boyce: For 1959 Capital Avenue, exhibition catalogue, Museum für    Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt 2002.
Martin Boyce Undead Dreams, exhibition catalogue, RomaRomaRoma, Rome    2003.
Martin Boyce, Zürich 2009

Clarrie Wallis
May 2010

Jorge Pardo + Le Corbusier

‘Me and my mum’ (1991)
A refabrication of Le Corbusier’s classic chair and loveseat using industrial copper tubing, rather than the polished steel tubes that form the core of the original.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Céline Condorelli + Bayer and Gray

After Image (Gray and Bayer)

Materials: Powder-coated perforated aluminum, piano hinges, vinyl, paint
Dimensions: variable

Room dividers, screens and curtains separate space and articulate the multiple, and always changing relationships between inside and outside, day and night, public and private. They contain and protect, and yet also reveal, frame, overlay, juxtapose. The screens of both Herbert Bayer and Eileen Gray function as spatial devices that have almost sculptural presence, here merged and unfolded through form, colour, scale, and surface. The idea of background also has a history, and developed for instance regarding its colour, in relation to the changing notion of neutrality. Only about 150 years ago most museums in Europe would take part in heated arguments in conferences, and publish extensive treatises on how best to exhibit art, arguing on exactly the same issues, notions and requirements as they do today, but in parallel to completely different devices and operations, like curtains and wallpapers, ceiling roses and decorative friezes. Green was for a long time the accepted standard colour for museum walls, normalised as far as today’s white is, but it had also been at some point in time red, and yellow.

Céline Condorelli + Scarpa

Afterimage 3, 4 & 5

Materials: screenprint on acrylic. Installation view, Kunsthalle Lissabon, Lisbon. Photograph by Bruno Lopes.

How Things Appear, after Carlo Scarpa (2016)

Materials: jotoba wood, painted steel, brass, acrylic.

These works are conceived as portals, boundaries or thresholds; acting simultaneously as obstacle and point of access. They present and problematise what can be perceived as very simple, or even banal spatial devices, which in fact establish binary systems of visibility operating through the logic of inclusion and exclusion, of hiding and revealing, of granting and refusing access, dividing space and time.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Luis Jacob + Mies van der Rohe

Luis Jacob, Album XII, 2013-2014, image montage in plastic laminate, 148 panels (44.5 x 29 cm each). Courtesy of Birch Contemporary, Toronto, and Galerie Max Mayer, Düsseldorf.

Luis Jacob’s historical and urbanistic considerations are coupled with a philosophical and anthropological approach that characterizes his artistic, literary and curatorial practice. The bank of images found and then assembled by Jacob in Album XII (2013-14) highlights the subjective framework of the aesthetic experience, which is projected from the work of art into a broader perception, toward the gaze we cast on what we are made up of individually and collectively. Grouped together according to a principle of free correspondence, the images suggest analogies that are to be constructed, developed or completed by the viewer. Analogy is offered as form and content, both in the dialogue between the images and in the meeting of the perceiving subject and the perceived object.

Graham Fagen + Mackintosh

Graham Fagen has been invited by The Glasgow School of Art Exhibitions Department to research Charles Rennie Mackintosh and to create a solo exhibition of new work to be featured as part of GENERATION.

This offers him the unique opportunity to examine the cultural forming aspects of Mackintosh and his peer group and to use his findings as a catalyst for the creation of a body of new artwork.
Looking at the common ground between his own practice and that of Charles Rennie Mackintosh Fagen will research the early, formative works, focusing on concepts of form and place. In particular he is interested in Mackintosh’s early plant drawings which were collated with the work of his peers to form a DIY publication called ‘The Magazine’. Works such as Tree of Influence or Cabbages in an Orchard, have text as part of the art work and together with the image, offer insight on the creative thought process, perception of place and meaning of form.
For this exhibition Fagen will present original works by Mackintosh and his peer group drawn from ‘The Magazine’, alongside the new pieces inspired by his own research.  A book work, influenced by the DIY concept of ‘The Magazine’, will also be produced.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Elizabeth Lennard + Gray

'Talking House' is a 40-minute montage of Villa E-1027, the iconic modernist villa built by Eileen Gray and Jean Badovici on the Cote d’Azur in 1929. Filmed today, and using Eileen Gray’s 1929 photographs of the villa and recently restored Le Corbusier film footage, the camera takes us through E-1027 as the couple talks and argues off screen about the design philosophy behind the breakthrough layout, interiors and furniture. Heated correspondence between Corbu (Le Corbusier) and Bado (Badovici) adds a bit of controversy over the later addition of Corbu’s wall paintings.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Brian Jungen + Safdie

Brian Jungen / HABITAT 04, cité radieuse des chat, 2004

Brian Jungen is interested in hybrid combinations and eclectic mixes from different cultures. He creates interfaces between distinct universes so apart that they collide while delivering a critical message. Themes such as: ecology, anthropology, ethnology or mythology is the most recurrent in his work. Sociological archetypes, such as mass culture and pre-fabricated materials are sources of inspiration as well.
Again, two worlds are juxtaposed in the artwork installed at the Darling Foundry: an ideal city for cats, based on the plans of Habitat 67'. Inspired by Le Corbusier's Radiant City, which prioritized esthetical standardization "for more harmony", Moshe Safdie conceived and realized Habitat 67 at the age of 23. His principle, based on assembling pre-fabricated concrete modules, makes it mass production architecture, closely associated with the ideals of community and equality. Paradoxically, Habitat 67 today has become one the most expensive lodgings in Montreal.
Inside a variation on this structure, Jungen will introduce orphaned and abandoned cats. The artist has created for them a genuine luxurious city, made with inter locked modules. By doing so, each cat that is part of Habitat 04 becomes imbued with all the impetus of Brian Jungen's name in today's modern art world. As Kitty Scott, curator of Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Canada explains: "In offering a version of the complex to the disenfranchised cats, the artist appears to be salvaging something of Safdie's original plan".
The artist goes beyond simple compassion by associating with the SPCA, whose reputation as an animal protection organization is known by all, to create an adoption mechanism. The project is inspired by "The Cat's Sanctuary", on Ottawa's Parliamentary Hill, where volunteers have erected a shelter for homeless cats. By adding this ethical dimension to his work, Jungen once again demonstrates his belief in an engage art that goes beyond the boundaries of the exhibition. Herein lies the true meaning of his living installation. Much more than an exhibition, the artist has envisioned Habitat 04 as a way to support the SPCA's cause, a cause that he, as well as his entire body of work embraces totally.
12 February 2004

Dear Brian,
As you are well aware, I am writing this letter before the project for the Quartier Ephémère has been fully realized. Josée St-Louis, the Head of Programming, forwarded a copy of your proposal and the gallery's press release. I would have liked to have spoken with you more about the proposal, but given our current schedules this has been next to impossible. What follows are my thoughts on such a project.
As I understand it, you are transforming Quartier Ephémère into a temporary satellite of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) for the duration of what was to be an exhibition. The gallery space will contain an enclosure housing three cats and a volunteer from the SPCA will be on site at all times. A respectful sculptural interpretation of Moshe Safdie's Habitat '67, modelled out of cat furniture, will be displayed within the enclosure. By cat furniture, I mean those vertical towers consisting of carpet covered scratching posts supporting inhabitable boxes, trays and cylinders. I imagine the new cat-friendly Habitat '04, a spin on pet paraphernalia designed to achieve maximum feline happiness, will offer the confined animals a humane and attractive backdrop providing of hours fun.
Rather than treat this situation as an exhibition, you have conceived of it as a mechanism in support of the mandate of the SPCA. To this end all publicity will be directed towards finding permanent homes for these homeless animals. There will be no opening, as this type of art world event would presumably make the cats nervous. Thank you, by the way, for the invitation to attend the fundraising dinner for the SPCA. I am honoured to be invited and graciously accept.
I have always loved Safdie's iconic modular building. When Safdie was designing Habitat, his intention was to make affordable, community-oriented, mass-produced housing using a pre-fabrication process. However, the units were very expensive to produce and paradoxically, Habitat is now an exclusive condo-community. In offering a version of the complex to the disenfranchised cats you appear to be salvaging something of Safdie's original plan.
At the other end of the spectrum, you have homeless cats and the SPCA. Both have a direct relation to your interest in labour and the consequences of mass production. The SPCA, originally a British institution, was founded, in part, to protect working animals during a period of increasing industrialization. With a little research I learned that the Montrealers who imported the concept in 1869 and founded what was then known as the Canadian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals, were mostly concerned with the conditions of Montreal workhorses. I was surprised to find out that the formation of the RSPCA in England in 1824 predated the founding of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in 1884 and that both institutions have a shared history.
One of the primary reasons the SPCA concerns itself with the welfare of cats today is that the supply far outweighs the demand. In this situation the institution functions as a feline halfway house between life and death. One of the SPCA's goals is to find prospective homes for cats. Sadly, the remaining cats that do not find homes are put down. As I understand your proposed scenario, the cats brought to Quartier Ephémère will remain there until adopted and new cats will replace those that leave. Effectively, this means you are extending the lives of a number of cats and for those that find homes, you are giving the gift of life.
Your proposition is worthy enough. Still, I cannot escape the art context and the value of your increasing fame within this system. For every cat passing through the Safdie inspired compound becomes a ready-made imbued with all the worth your name signifies in the current art world. In other words, the value-added cat becomes a Jungen artwork, or perhaps "multiple" is a better word. Such signification will hopefully increase the chances a cat will be "collected" and thus survive.
I wish you every success with this ambitious project and look forward to seeing it.
Sincerely yours, Kitty

Kitty Scott is Curator of Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Jill Magid + Barragán

The Barragán Archives

The Barragán Archives is an extended, multimedia project examining of the legacy of Mexican architect and Pritzker Prize-winner Luis Barragán (1902–1988). Magid considers both Barragán's professional and personal archives, and how the intersections of his official and private selves reveal divergent and aligned interests, as well as those of the institutions that have become the archives' guardians.

Along with the vast majority of his architecture, Barragán's personal archive remains in Mexico while his professional archive, including the rights to the architect's name and work, were acquired in 1995 by Swiss furniture company Vitra, under the auspices of the newly founded Barragan Foundation. By developing long-term relationships with various personal, governmental, and corporate entities, Magid explores the intersection of the psychological with the judicial, national identity and repatriation, international property rights and copyright law, authorship and ownership.

The project is ongoing and results in a series of objects, installations and performances. Exhibitions of the project exist as opportunities to push the narrative forward, and reflects —within the work— the legal parameters of the country in which they are shown.

David Maljkovic + Sambito

Lost Memories From These Days, 2006
video/ dvd One channel video and sound installation
Edition of 5
6.44 minutes

David Maljković + Bakic

David Maljkovic
Scene for a New Heritage, 2004
Image courtesy Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam

Croatian-artist David Maljkovic’s epic film series Scene for New Heritage Trilogy presents a futuristic world set in the year 2045. Shot over three years spanning 2004 - 2006, the first film focuses on a group of travellers visiting a memorial park, erected in Petrova Gora, Croatia, for victims of the Second World War under the Communist government of Yugoslavia. As they visit the monument, debate is sparked as to its long-forgotten meaning - it means nothing to them, just as their strange dialect is alien to us.  The second film, set 20 years later, features a young boy approaching and looking out from the monument's tower to an empty snow-filled landscape, as if on some spiritual pilgrimage. The third and final film depicts young teenagers milling aimlessly around the central tower; talking, playing and walking around the derelict monument.
Amid the desolate landscape, this bastion to 20th Century history has become a folk tale for the visitors, its raw concrete structure an empty shell offering no indication of the brutality it represents. The film invites viewers to travel through time to discover the artist's vision of the future and look at how the meaning of history and monuments changes from one era to the next. The film’s powerful subject matter comes from the artist's own memories of obligatory visits under the Communist regime.

Andreas Bunte + Lasdun

Stills from New University, 2010
16mm film, b/w, silent, 7:26 min.

Beton, 2010
two 16mm films and framed paper collages
During the early 1960’s a number of new universities were founded in England. Each of them set out to subject the traditional concepts of teaching and organisation – of the educational institution as a whole – to a severe amount of reformation and experiment. It was a shared believe  at the time that the new ideas and programmes had to be embodied in an entirely new kind of campus architecture which should bring forth not only academically mature, but also socially better adjusted citizens and create a new sense of community.

Andreas Bunte’s b/w 16mm film „New University“, 2010, documents a key example of this type of Postwar University Architecture, the University of East Anglia, designed by Denys Lasdun. A series of static shots exposes empty walkways, staircases, lecture theatres, halls of residence, etc. The campus seems completely deserted, an impression that is increased by the aged concrete which is omnipresent in every part of the site. Bunte left his footage to be a mostly uncut document of his exploration of the campus.

The second 16mm film, „Normbewegungen“, 2010, stages a selection of simple body movements in front of a measuring grid as used in photogrammetry. The ususal purpose of this set-up is to measure the exact dimensions of space required for the execution of a particular movement. Here, a chart of movement measurements found in a publication on norms and regulations for university construction served Bunte as a storyboard for the postures in his film. The crude choreography of banal activities recalls ideas of staging the movements of everyday life as in Postmodern Dance.

In the collages the artist uses pages from architecture magazines and publications on construction engineering. Bold prints of text fragments, invented diagram drawings and simple colour fields made from filter foil are added to them. The paper works are presented in frames alluding to standardised clip frames one might find in students’ homes and function like externalised intertitles commenting on the film.