Invited by Rosa

02 Nov - 07 Dec 2013

António Areal
The Dramatic Story of an Egg, 1967
2 November - 7 December 2013

António Areal
Christoph Bruckner
Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven
Hugo Canoilas
Francisco Sousa Lobo
Club Moral
Ute Müller
Astrid Nobel
Atlas Projectos
Pedro Diniz Reis
Benjamin Valenza
Viola Yesiltaç

Organized by Hugo Canoilas

I'm writing concerning a show I'm organizing at Rosa, a program within Galerie Kamm in Berlin that will open on 1st of November this year.

The show was built with a group of artists that have been using language in their work: António Areal, Christoph Bruckner, Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven, Francisco Sousa Lobo, Club Moral, Ute Müller, Astrid Nobel, Pedro Diniz Reis, Benjamin Valenza, Viola Yesiltaç and me.

The title of the show is a sound, although it's hard to link to a precise word or group of letters. I connect this drawn line to the work of Fernand Deligny, whom I discovered recently and wish to understand better. I wonder how this world is without language. And I imagine if we disconnect language from the authority or will to introduce meaning, the absolute meaning, it would allow us to consider the spaces in between words, their form and other open doors, that are active forces which can provide a shade over the idea, keeping it alive. Drawing is that light over an idea; it's an event-idea that maintains its secrecy and inner life.

The title that Ute Müller gives to the show provides the space to understand language as a thing in itself, its presence and contingency. Her display is an idea, overlapping the need of any sort of visual occurrence or display construction to place art as image for the space of convergence of all differences that come with a show built with a loose idea. One can say that the elasticity of poetry flies over the exhibition within the display and interconnects the heterogeneous group of works.

The image that you see above is The dramatic history of an egg made in 1967 by António Areal (1934-78) and it only exists in this exhibition as digital reproduction of the original work, used here for communication of the show. The original work is a rather opaque matter. The enamel on wood implies a materiality from which one can state that the series of paintings - even with the empty speech balloons, are not waiting for our projections towards it but calling for an emancipated human, capable to be with an other - an absolute other outside of him.

Another work that correlates the title and image of the invitation is a video inside a small room that is the recording of the concert The second coming of Joachim Stiller by Club Moral. Although the title of the concert is already evoking literature, it's the absence of singing or any sort of lyrics - the singer presses the microphone against several parts of his body, that is here at play. The titles of the three parts of the concert: "The Sound of One Mouth Clapping", "Her Arm was His Elbow" and "Do the Joachim Stiller (Headkick)" create an arch in tension with the music that works in through our stomachs.

The drawings of Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven enlace this counter cultural force. AMVK's works have this existential charge that results from the interface between the interior body, with its infinitive affirmative force, and its reaction to an oppressive exterior. Text comes and territorializes the image and the image affects the text.

One can follow the thread of existentialism in Francisco Sousa Lobo's cartoon The Dying Draughtsman. A failed architect, wandering the streets of London from gallery to gallery, visits bad exhibitions that are projections of his own works. Projections that run the whole pathos of the main character from love to art, the church and the family. The fall is a consequence, a stone thrown in the super speedy and slick surface of contemporary life.

In the verge of falling. We walk with our eyes on Viola Yesiltaç's drawings as if walking on a sharp double blade knife. We are placed in the verge of an abyss with this apparently weak voice, which is a courageous one, that states its feelings, doubts and wonders.

With different modes of expressing and a different time in the making, Astrid Nobel works can resume a thought over a whole book or an author. There is an expressionist quality in the way literature is evoked through image; image that is more a receptacle to receive our projections.

On another wall, there's a magenta monochrome stretched on a canvas by Christoph Bruckner, an artist who has been working with language by making self-referential (to art) visual poetry and mostly writing about artists or subjects he is interested in, contributing for catalogues and various publications. His paintings are made in mechanical processes like using the washing machine with a colored piece of cloth mixed with a raw canvas at 60 degrees. The economy of it is similar to the process of writing his visual poetry works. Here we present his painting and his text about his own work.

We hear once the word Becket as if someone called. Maybe it was an accident. On the floor there's a monitor playing a video with informal color forces that move against each other. The voice of a medium completes the synesthetic experience, that is, for the stomach. The video plows our stomach, but in a second moment one thinks of the relation of a body that takes or transports the voice of the other in relation to quotation, the new conceptual art and writing.

Visitors will join us! And drink the same schnapps from the big fish bottle. Benjamin Valenza, who made the container for the liquid - that will be libidinously inside everyone ́s body, will read poetry during the opening.

The inclusion of my work happens because unfortunately Vlado Martek, had to withdraw from the show last week. Martek is a poet who suspended his activity and a "true intellectual" that inserted his works (texts and images) in direct relation with the people in the streets of Zagreb during Tito ́s soft dictatorship in ex Yugoslavia - without any frame or call to the object as art but establishing an horizontal relation between the object and the passer by. Feeling that his absence from the show leaves a hole in a harmoniously built exhibition, I'll try to echo his work in the streets of Berlin.

Atlas Projectos will make an invisible performance to the audience. On the night of the 6th of December they will stay inside the gallery and work all night on a fanzine that takes the exhibition as their source material. The Fanzine will be launched on the last day of the exhibition, the 7th of December.

A folder, with conversations I had with Ivan-Berislav Vodopija, José Miranda Justo and all the artists of this show plus family of books and publications, will be available to consult (i.e. the facsimile versions of two artist books by Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven and original Provo publications). Several other publications, connected to the show, will be available at the Rosa Public Library so visitors can requisite and take home.

Tags: Hugo Canoilas, Anne-Mie van Kerckhoven, Vlado Martek, Benjamin Valenza, Viola Yeşiltaç