Preview Tuesday May 9, 18.00 – 20.00 until June 3, 2017
Wednesday – Saturday, 12.00 – 18.00 and by appointment
The exhibition will feature Jeremiah Day and Bart De Kroon in performance at Kunstraum on May 31.
Places are limited. RSVP to email@example.com
In the case of art works, reification is more than mere transformation; it is transfiguration, a veritable metamorphosis in which it is as though the course of nature which wills that all fire burn to ashes is reverted and even dust can burst into flames… Hannah Arendt
The works in the show oscillate between the events they materialise and the interpretations they point toward – between past and future. In John Latham and Kit Craig’s works, the event is simple and private: a one second spray of ink on paper or a finger pulling through wet clay. Echoing the first human methods of producing a mark they are indexical; direct results of the process of their production, embodying the history of their own making. But then…
In Latham’s ‘One Second Drawings’ dots of ink on the surface of the paper give the impression of deep spatial recession as scale telescopes in a viewer’s imagination and cosmoses appear. Latham saw the first spot of pigment as exemplifying a microscopic occurrence or a ‘least event’, while the containing canvas represented the macrocosmic context within which all such events take place: these simple pieces demonstrating his theories of event structure with deceptive economy.
This diagrammatic approach which links material and ideas is foregrounded and reversed in Kit Craig’s bronze casts of simple gestures – drawings trying to become sculptures. The dumb marks recall thought processes, touch screens and cartoon outlines, referring away from themselves, as intermediaries to explain something else. But cast into bronze, each one has a tangibly solid, haptic quality which shifts attention away from it as a signifier of something else towards being a thing in its own right.
Jeremiah Day’s drawings and Anna Barham’s text pasted to the wall are, in different ways, records of public events. Day’s improvisations grow out of movement-language-image pictures which unfold in the duration of public performance. The drawings come from a subsequent honing of these ‘pictures’ and serve as a better registration of the performances than any video or audio record. Rather than conveying the absence of the past event they insist on future potential, activating the viewer to pull the elements of image, language and gesture together in their mind, much as they would during the live performance itself.
Barham’s ‘scores’ are charts of the material generated in live production reading groups, traces of the mutations of a specific text event, particular renderings of the surface affects of language as the texts are given breath by the participants. Dissected, analysed and plotted they transform this material into something to be encountered anew, to be reinterpreted again by the movement of a viewer in front of them, to be read vertically or horizontally, forwards or backwards.
THE CHAIR IS EMPTY / BUT THE PLACE IS SET
The performance emerged from a long period of research into the work of Hannah Arendt and in particular her widely ignored affirmative argument for council democracy, revealed best in the work of Fred Dewey
This argument from political theory is then exemplified through two sites, both of which are at the intersection of personal and political history: New England and Istanbul. New England as the site where the tradition of town meeting democracy (the key source for Arendt) is still alive, if barely. And Istanbul, where in the aftermath of the 2013 Gezi protest, spontaneous public assemblies gathered in parks throughout the vast city to debate the meaning of current events.
The performance is made with the musical support of Day’s long time accompanist Bart de Kroon, with slide shows depicting key sites of Istanbul and New England. These elements are interwoven in a improvisation, or real-time-composition.