Saturday, May 23, 2009

'Unaddressed Circumventions: Folds from a failed suicide' at Gresham's Ghost

*May 14 – June 9, 2009
'Unaddressed Circumventions: Folds from a failed suicide' curated by Ajay Kurian
Artists: Elena Bajo, Matt Connors, Alyssa Pheobus, Jason Fox, Jimmy Raskin, Matt Saunders, Alex Singh, Matt Sheridan Smith

521 W 26th Street (Groundfloor)
gallery hours Tuesday - Saturday, 10 am - 6 pm
New York, NY 10001

Elena Bajo 'One Hundred Watts, twelve forty seven, Post Meridium', acrylic and tape on found amateur painting, halogen lamp, light stand.It is a site specific piece in which a found painting has been erased partially, thinking about how a painting can commit suicide, but painting doesn't kill painting, at the end it is still a painting. For a pinting to be killed has to transform into something else, like a sculpture. Then I added a one hundred watts halogen lamp and placed it very close to the painting, so close that the heat will slowly burn the painting, not only the erased painting but the new painting that is created with the own lamp shadow reflected on the canvas, finally a succesful suicide

Small Logois proud to present its second exhibition entitled, Unaddressed Circumventions: Folds from a Failed Suicide. The show’s primary engine is a partially revealed suicide letter taken from William Gaddis’ first novel, The Recognitions. The physical letter was folded so as to exclude certain of its sections, breaking up the already questionable flow of the text. This version of the original, dissected and partially reassembled, was then sent out to the artists involved.

The eight artists included have varying backgrounds and find themselves at different points in their careers. Though the letter does indeed deal with painting, albeit in an obscure fashion, the artists participating are not simply painters. Most, if not all of them, have a troubled, troubling, or complicated relationship to painting and its hefty legacy. The negotiations regarding the addressing and address of the artist’s work and their context determine a significant portion of the exhibition’s content. Besides inviting the artists to participate, the idea of the invitation was taken further and became the curatorial methodology: setting the parameters of the letter, choosing the artists that would perhaps most interestingly “answer” the call, and allowing them to inform the rest of the show with their responses and/or circumventions. Given no other procedure or input, the letter became their prompt and perhaps their sphinx.

The levels of mediation, borrowing, and receiving fold over one another paralleling just one process the letter has undergone. From Gaddis, through his fictional character, through the funnel of curatorial intent, to a selected group of artists results a show that equivocates between having too many bounds and not enough. One can see these forms of mediation circumscribing too small an island of creation, but if we were to examine these links of reference and repetition, we would see that there is no real beginning nor end, no definitive space delineated. One can imagine a chain descending over a still puddle of water, appearing to both descend and rise into a pile of folds.

(A final addendum. As for painting, let’s not consider it so much dead or alive, but simply as a kind of passage.)

For press and other inquiries, please contact Hikari Yokoyama

646 831 3538 or

NO POWER FOR NOBODY (Keine Macht für Niemand), Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin

VON JETZT BIS DANN – goldrausch 2008
Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien
Mariannenplatz 2, 10997 Berlin-Kreuzberg

Artists: Elena Bajo, Anke Becker, Claudia Chaseling, Kerstin Gottschalk, Angela Köntje, Mareike Lee, Nicole Messenlehner, Rebecca Michaelis, Katja Pudor, Nadin Reschke, Sandra Truté, Miriam Visaczki, Ester Vonplon, Claire Waffel und Sinta Werner.

Elena Bajo Keine Macht für Niemand (No Power for Nobody), Film-Sculpture, 16mm film projector enclosed inside a found old glass vitrine placed in a hallway. Installation View, 16mm color film loop 2min 32secs, film depicting a Berlin bear walking in circles and backwards, Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, 2008

Video-Documentation of the installation at Kunstlerhaus Bethanien,
Berlin, 2008

‘No power for nobody’, borrows the title from the 1972 double album of the german band Ton Steine Scherben, which used above all social critical german-language texts in their rock music,as a request to the resistance against the existing system.
The Kunstlerhaus Bethanien building in Berlin, in which this 16mm film is projected was a hospital since 1854 and then was squatted. In 1972 the squatters occupying the building avoided demolition by lighting the building with a glow of blue light to make the public aware of the situation. As a remembrance of this gesture, the bear walking in circles backwards depicted in the film becomes an ephemeral monument to this act of resistance.
Mimicking a similar urban situation, the projected film has been placed in a transitional space, amidst the flow of the movements of the viewer in the corridor, the perception of the bear’s presence will be conditioned by the viewers presence. By altering a found urban situation, by reversing the bear’s walk, a new ‘dis-ordered space is created that questions issues of the social and the natural. “The landscape presented constitutes a mirror for a constant negotiation between order and disorder, stability and entropy “(Luca Cerizza)

Keine Macht für Niemand 'No Power for Nobody' is a 2min 32 sec loop, film sculpture projected on a hallway's wall, constructed with a 16mm film projector encased in a found glass old vitrine, and a system of mirrors, depicting the image of a captive brown beard, the mascot of the city of Berlin, walking backwards and in circles inside the bear's pit that belongs to the Museum of the city of Berlin. By contemplating and moving around the piece the viewer becomes embedded in this ephemeral monument, awkward behaviors generated by social anomalies.

No comments: