Carlier | Gebauer

Caroline Mesquita

21 Mar - 25 Apr 2015

© Caroline Mesquita
Windsurfers, 2014
oxidized copper, fabric
140 x 357 x 357 cm
21 March - 25 April 2015

carlier | gebauer is pleased to present three solo exhibitions of new work by represented artists Tomasz Kowalski, Marcellvs L., and Caroline Mesquita opening Saturday 21 March, 2015 from 6-9 pm.

Planck Time is Polish artist Tomasz Kowalksi‘s fifth solo show with the gallery. Kowalski merges figuration and abstraction with his latest oil paintings on canvas and related drawings. As a key figure among today’s young Polish artists, Kowalski draws upon the legacy of German Expressionism, Surrealism, the Polish School of Posters, geometric abstraction, and graphic design. The exhibition title is derived from the smallest possible unit of time called the 'Planck' which was defined by German physicist Max Planck, the progenitor of Quantum Theory.

Kowalski's work pivots around this scientific reference, articulating a microcosm of feeling and expression complete with its own laws of space, time, and measure. Depictions include a lone man tipping backwards as if performing a trust fall as he slips into an abyss of chattering mouths; a diminutive character who balloons into a luminescent grey mass; and various compressed figures whose physical boundaries multiply in space. In several works, twin boys appear, occupying a universe of childish games that seem at once playful and cruel.

Influenced by the Derrridean notion of hauntology, Kowalski activates the vagaries of childhood. He examines nostalgia as a pattern, evincing an enigmatic form of fragmented and anachronistic memory outside the confines of historical and material time.

Slow Ontology is Brazilian artist Marcellvs L.'s fifth solo exhibition with the gallery which includes an immersive installation in the video room with a three-channel projection and four-channel sound. A new sound work titled Dreamlessness will also be presented on wireless headphones to be used throughout the gallery space. Through his work, Marcellvs L. employs a dilated sense of time and a sharp photographic eye combined with the investigation of acoustic phenomenon to alter our perception of the ordinary.

The work Slow Ontology was recorded while traveling by boat down the British canals between Birmingham and Manchester. During the Industrial Revolution, the canal system played a key role in the emergence of modern capitalism. However, today its function has shifted and the canals are used almost exclusively for leisure. In the work, modulations of sound range from pure white noise to barely perceptible, bringing the tension between the pastoral landscape and the absence of industry in the built environment into stark relief. The only constant is the presence of the boat‘s engine. In this complex surrounding, the artwork insists on the instability of its reality. The camera captures a languid drift from a fixed point on the moving narrow boat, observing subtle changes in the environment. This effect slows the viewer's attention, and is meant to heighten their sense of perception. As the journey advances, the act of becoming and permanence are integrated into a cycle of repetition. This includes elements that change through duration and elements that endure through change.

With a similar attention to subtle tonal fluctuations, the sound work Dreamlessness is created from a binaural recording of an individual with sleep apnea – a disorder characterized by infrequent or disturbed breathing. Presented on wireless headphones, this aspect of Marcellvs L.'s exhibition seeps into the other exhibitions like an invisible guest.

Windsurfers is French artist Caroline Mesquita’s first solo exhibition with the gallery, which includes large format metal and fabric sculptures, as well as new site specific installation works. In the feature piece Windsurfers (2014), Mesquita etches abstract silhouettes of life-size human figures into flat copper plates shaped like surfboards. The naked human forms are then cut-away from the flat surface, to be bent, lifted and animated in three dimensional, sculptural space.

For Mesquita, the raw materials provide the possibility for eternal transformation and even incarnation. She draws inspiration from antique sculpture and imagery of the Etruscans and Ancient Egyptians, as well as illustrations from the Indian Kama Sutra that reveal intimate aspects of human attraction and group behavior. The figures encircle a set of broken fabric sails that co-exist as waves for the surfers to ride on. Mesquita presses the oxidized metal bodies against swathes of fabric. These direct prints function like avatars for the spirits of the sculptural figures. The images overlap and interact, projecting a feeling of physical intimacy and imagined erotic scenes between the forms.

The animated characters in Mesquita’s works are darkened, patinated and roughly textured through the oxidation process that she utilizes. With this technique, Mesquita manipulates the metal like a form of painting. The object becomes an image, or even a sound, and vice versa. What was once shiny, reflective and glossy, is cut, grinded, welded, melted and oxidized to reveal the many elements within – shifting in texture and in tone, becoming matte, green, brown and pink. These transformations provide a format for storytelling about the human experience and the directness of action and exchange in relationships.

Tags: Tomasz Kowalski, Marcellvs L., Caroline Mesquita