Archive for April, 2009

Interview: Eddie Martinez

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009


Eddie Martinez
Beautiful Decay

We´re all gonna die:::

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009


Simon Hoegsberg

The New Yorkers

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009










Pretty wild and EVIL:::::
THE NEW YORKERS
Jenny Holzer, KAWS, Francine Spiegel, Rammellzee, Dash Snow, Barbara Kruger, Joe Bradley, Jose Parla, Katherine Bernhardt, Futura, John Copeland, Ryan McGinness, Stephen Powers, Erik Foss, Doug James, Brian DeGraw, Agathe Snow, Peter Saul, Kostas Seremetis, Ryan Wallace, Takeshi Murata, Peter Sutherland, Daze, Erik Parker Timothy Walkiewicz, Bill McMullen, Sue Kwon, Andy Dolan, Noah McDonough, Greg Lamarche, Devin Flynn, Aurel Schmidt, Peter Beste, Richard Kern, Sarah Braman, Todd James, Brian Montuori

Opening reception: Friday May 1 2009. From 17.00-22.00
Exhibition period: May 1 2009 – June 22. 2009.

New York is difficult to fence in. It’s offensively arrogant and perplexingly tolerant. Erotically alluring and nauseating repulsive. An oxygen tank for thoughts, and quicksand for illusions. Sentimental Samaritan and merciless lyncher. Empty talk at predictable receptions, and genuine interest in unlikely situations. Voluptuous muse, and flat canvas. Cool business card, target oriented CV, brief acquaintance, entertaining fuck, miserable marriage, harmonic partnership and lifelong friendship.

The exhibition The New Yorkers at V1 Gallery is equally difficult to map out. Quirky installations mixed with classical painting. Sprouts shoot up next to legends. Aesthetes hang out with rebels. The refined photograph with the crude posca pen. And surreal systems runs along coordinated chaos.

Veterans Jenny Holzer and Barbara Kruger brand the city with sharp words while young kid KAWS with his tongue in cheek and pen in hand creates fluffy havoc and death. The remarkably talented John Copeland’s paintings, that at a glance resembles works from the 50s, reveal a world in which cynical competition, sexual frustrations, strategic warfare and suppressed feelings lurk under the decorative surface. Shooting star Francine Spiegel lets her feverish nightmares run amok over the canvas with a death, rot and destruction trailing rights behind. Peter Sutherland’s poetic lens highlights sensitive nuances and tender colours in stark contrast to both Peter Beste’s razor sharp portraits of musical identities and Dash Snow’s slippery polaroids that clasp onto self-serving decadence and intriguing irony.

Sarah Braman’s strange sculptures balance on the ground and at the knife’s edge between genius and vexing, while they’re throwing pebbles in Joe Bradley’s minimal and provocative shoe, which in return kicks prejudiced hipsters in their hypocritical behinds. Hyped Agathe Snow from the 2000s empties a dustpan of art, shit and filth over traditions and superstition, while 80s cult hero Rammelzee unleashes his army of complex and gruff superheroes in a hierarchical world of catastrophes and doubtful redemption.

A common denominator for the city, the artists and the works is defiance against generalizations and predictability. And they are tangled together by connections that in some instances are straight as Broadway and in others are twisted as the alleys of Brooklyn. It races through time and dwells in the moment. Skips generation gaps and swoops under genre definitions. Pisses on narrow minds and gallantly opens the door for curiosity.

The New Yorkers is an ode to the thoughts that dare stand alone in both shade and sun, and at the same time also has the courage to open up and let inspiration flow freely. The exhibition is also a unique chance to experience a rare and sublime piece of New York in Copenhagen. The New Yorkers is curated by Mikkel Grønnebæk and Todd James.

V1

Johannes Wohnseifer

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009


JOHANNES WOHNSEIFER

Johannes Wohnseifer will be opening his 5th solo exhibition at Johann König, Berlin, with new sculptures, wall pieces and photographs. Connected with each other formally as well as in content, the works investigate culturally shaped representational forms and transformation processes.

The series “Canon” (2009), a photographic documentation of historical and contemporary coffee-table books about the African continent, creates the frame for the exhibition. Using the principles of object photography, the book-covers and pages work as a kind of contextual parenthesis for a sculpture series. Composed of seven shelf-like objects, each “shelf” is in turn made out of nine elements which correspond in form, color and material exactly to those used by Gerrit Rietveld for his “Berliner Stuhl”. The De Stijl designer developed the chair in 1923 for his exhibition in the actual capital and brought it into the market as a do-it-yourself construction set, as he did with many of his license-free designs. Some shelves vary in the original gray-black-white palette of Rietveld’s design. Others are lacquered in monochrome yellow, white or red – colors in the standardized RAL- palette, used frequently by Wohnseifer in his works.

Formally, Wohnseifer uses Rietveld’s asymmetry and plane composition, however questions the logic of functionality. The free combination of the pieces gives way to bizarre forms which negating any function. The artist plays here with the idea of object “recycling”, a widespread practice in non industrial countries, in which discarded materials with almost no more value are transformed into practical or also humorous products. In addition Wohnseifer titles his transformed objects with street names pertaining to the African quarter in Berlin “Wedding”: “Sambesistraße”, “Dualastraße”, “Ugandastraße” and “Tangastraße” stand for an uncritical appropriation of a very questionable part of German colonial history within the Berlin street scenery. The artist thus triggers notional links between Berlin and Africa and vice versa, which also come forth in the wall pieces from the series “Shutter Stutter“ (2009). The aluminum pictures are reminiscent of blinds used to protect buildings from strong sun rays. Wohnseifer adapts the blinds’ form but dissolves their materiality into abstract painting. Colorful, striped staccatos create moving images, whose effect also works, on a linguistic level, on the title “Shutter Stutter”.

The stylized face of a handless and thus “timeless“ clock, is present in another work. At the gallery’s entrance, placed above the counter, the “Schwarze Sonne” (2009) – a perforated aluminum plate lacquered in black and placed on top of a yellow monochrome painting – works as one of the endlessly ticking measures of time in the world’s cultural institutions. In this way Wohnseifer sets, right at the beginning, a comment on the possible reception of the exhibition, which questions the culturally defined system of values and their reading.

Johannes Wohnseifer (*1967, Cologne) lives and works in Cologne and Erfstadt. In 2008, the galleries Gisela Capitain, Cologne, Casey Kaplan, New York and Galería Helga de Alvear, Madrid held solo exhibitions of the artist. In 2007 Wohnseifer’s series “Kleenex Mathematics” was shown at the Presentation House Gallery in Vancouver. The exhibition “Vertrautes Terrain – Aktuelle Kunst in und über Deutschland” at the ZKM in Karlsruhe and the shows “The Porn Identity. Expeditionen in die Dunkelzone” at the Kunsthalle Vienna recently presented works of the artist. Currently, Wohnseifer’s works can be seen at „Compass in Hand: Selections from The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection“ in the New York MoMA.

Johann Koenig

MELANIE GILLIGAN | MICHAEL STEVENSON | EMILY WARDILL

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009


The International Project Space is pleased to present the first in a series of three person exhibitions that will draw together a number of related themes prevalent within contemporary art and culture. The opening exhibition will present new work by internationally acclaimed artists Melanie Gilligan, Michael Stevenson and Emily Wardill. Through these respective practices the exhibition will attempt to visualize the abstract economic and political theories of how financial crises develop and how, theoretically, they can be prevented.

Crisis In The Credit System (2008) is a four-part drama dealing with the credit crisis, scripted and directed by artist Melanie Gilligan. A major investment bank runs a brainstorming and role-playing session for its employees, asking them to come up with strategies for coping with today’s dangerous financial climate. Role-playing their way into increasingly bizarre scenarios, they find themselves drawing disturbing conclusions about the deeper significance of the crisis and its effects beyond the world of finance.

Using fiction to communicate what is left out of documentary accounts of the crisis, the short, TV-style episodes reflect the strangeness of life today in which the financial abstractions that govern our lives appear to be collapsing.

Crisis in the Credit System, commissioned and produced by Artangel Interaction, is the result of extensive research and conversation with major hedge fund managers, key financial journalists, economists, bankers and debt activists.

Michael Stevenson will present The Bull And The Beginning Of The World(2009), a 35mm slide projection of an illustration taken from his forthcoming publication which will take the form of an anthology of illustrated fables.

The economy has been of central interest to the artist and these stories are based on the subject of art and the business cycle. Initially a small number of stories were realized by Stevenson and Jan Verwoert (contributing writer to Frieze Magazine), whereupon Verwoert and the artist co-wrote fables as the written component to Stevenson’s project Lender of Last Resort 2008 at the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo, Holland. The writings engage fields as diverse as economy, anthropology and philosophy via a multi-disciplinary approach using writing, drawing and also performance (keeping in mind the fable’s oral potential). The illustrations are derived from graphic styles common in the early 20th century. The 1920s are a particular point of reference here, as they are known as a period of financial experimentation and crisis, which was indeed the framework through which the Kröller-Müller project evolved.

Emily Wardill’s contribution, Sea Oak (2008), is an imageless 16mm film. Shown in the sole spotlight of the space, only the apparatus – the film projector – can be seen staged like a sculpture. The film’s content is developed from a series of interviews conducted by the left-orientated Think ‘The Rockridge Institute’ in Berkeley, California. The Institute focused its research between 2001 until its closure in 2008 on contemporary political rhetoric with an emphasis on the employment of metaphor and framing.

Sea Oak traverses the use of symbolism in and through politics and the methods in which emotional values and religious paradigms have been woven into Republican discourse. The film tracks the impact of right-wing think tanks in America that are used to explore ideas of commonality, and the conservatives’ use of language and metaphor to co-opt progressive ideas.

The title of the work is taken from the name of an industrial housing estate in a short story by George Saunders. Sea Oak is a settlement where there are neither oaks nor any view of the sea, just a hundred subsidized apartments and a rear view of FedEx.

NOTICES

Benjamin Alexander Huseby

The International Project Space is also pleased to present NOTICES, a new project space that will co-exist alongside the forthcoming program of exhibitions. NOTICES will present a series of works by international artists, designers, musicians, photographers and writers. The opening contribution will be May In April (2009) by Benjamin Alexander Huseby. Huseby is a photographer of Norwegian/Pakistani descent who was born in 1978, and grew up outside Oslo in Norway. He came to Chelsea School of Art in London to study Fine Art in 1997, during which time he began making fashion imagery for Dazed & Confused magazine. Since then he has gone on to work with high-profile stylists including Nicola Formichetti, Cathy Edwards, and Jane How. He has contributed to a number of fashion magazines including i-D, Vogue (US and UK), V, Another Magazine, Another Man, Pop, Arena Homme + and Self Service. His work has recently been shown at the Whitechapel Art Galley and in solo shows at KunstWerke (Berlin), Fotogalleriet (Oslo) and Dicksmith Gallery (London).

The International Project Space would like to thank Rachel Elliston, Jonathan Viner, Standard Gallery (Oslo), IKON Gallery and Vilma Gold for their support in the realisation of this exhibition.

International Project Space