Saturday, 30 May 2009
... from Nicolas Leus.
1. For me, it's a good exhibition. I mean: it's the best exhibition possible with this variety of artists and works. Due to the specific circomstances it has become a real group exhibition, which is not so common... A lot of group exhibitions neglect the group-aspect by presenting their 'private' corners, which is also a concept, but not the official one presented in the texts that support most of those exhibitions. Which curator would have chosen these artists when he/she was not interested in the extreme diversity and the experiment of their working together? Now, the dealing with the heavenly blue structure (and with the works of Tamara and Iris) gave us something in common. It glued everything together, so that it became a unique thing, a vehicle in a dispersive mood. Strange, maybe, but that's no problem. That is why the exhibition appeared more like one big installation to me. Maybe an intriguing one. I don't know. I got used to it. Can one enjoy music without knowing solfège? Can one enjoy nature without being a biologist? Can one enjoy Temporary City without knowing about the process thing? Without any knowledge... it creates an exhibition, an environment for a walk, where senses can be triggered. That's the start of any reflection in/on art. Art has a lot to do with the unexplicable side of reality. Let's not kill it by explaining.
2. The structure often changed the perception of the individual works, this was not a bad thing (except for the little paintings which almost (unintentionally) drowned in the heavenly blue). The autonomous works were countered by the structure (anyway). The structure was countered by the artists interventions (turning upside down, corridor, cuttings) or the simple use of it. The total acts like a web with panoptic qualities. I like the fact that there is no private space, or at least less than in normal exhibitions. There is always something else around, that counters the smug autonomous side of the works.
3. The process seems, for me, only interesting for those who joined it as participants or attendants. (Is there any exhibition possible without a process?) But the exhibition clearly reflects the specific process. The special thing here, for me was the multitude of people involved. The result reflects this multitude,which is a good thing, and -of course- makes it difficult to read it in a classic way, which is also a good thing. The result was what it was, and I have (now) (more and more) problems with the fact that we (I also) explained so much and focused in such an amount on the process. Maybe we had to present it without softening talks.
1. Artists should be their own curators. Making solo exhibitions (and not listening to anyone ?) is the only way to really do so, I think. Curators and others keep lazy artists away from their self-curating capacities. Artists should have more self esteem. They are the artists. I really don't understand the difference in making an exhibition and making a painting/an installation/a video... It should be part of any artistic practice, logically. The structural thoughts and positions (in life and in art) taken by the artist in the production of any work, at once, seems to be without importance when it comes to presenting these works.
Making exhibitions has become something (unartistic) for specialized curators. This, for me, is a pernicious side of professionalism. Of course, there are interesting curators. But the balance is gone. The art world, behind the mask of professionalism, split up in a vaste apparatus of curators and evaluators (committees (for money, residencies, portofolios, academic degrees...), and, on the other hand, begging employees (artists) with very low dignity. The art institutions with office-windows often make me think of the pathetic creation of rock 'n roll- attitudes in rock-academies. Becoming an artist is the struggle to judge ones own work, without allowing any so called authority to be involved (alone in your atelier, okay romantic). Everything is possible if you accept the outcome as something that results 'naturally' out of the decisions, concepts taken... and present them as such. Artists make these days a lot of works on demand. Every theme/title of a group exhibition has tendencies to act as a demand. If not, why using that title anyway? Artists should be honest enough (very difficult) to say 'this is not my theme'.
2. The idea of an architectural structure/obstacle is just another possible entry, which might be interesting, especially for those artists who are prepared to really deal with it. In Temporary City, the totally different ways in (less or more) dealing with the structure, and the different outcomes mixed up in one big web/structure give the exhibition it's strength and tension. It 's not another classic exhibition
3. There are a lot of group exhibitions without a real curator. A strange result? Just confront the public with it, it will get used to it, or not. That's not important. The artist has to do what he/she has to do. Do the public a favour... ignore it.