Juliètte Jongma

Making Sense

14 Mar - 18 Apr 2015

© Courtesy of the Artist and Galerie Juliètte Jongma
14 March - 18 April 2015

Efrem Angela, Jeroen Eisinga, Nathan Azhderian, Melissa Gordon, Vanessa Dislar, Robertas Narkus, Jacob Dwyer, Lisa Oppenheim

In the summer of 2014 she was sitting in front of the gallery, watching Efrem Angela — one of the two band members of Nancy Acid who had been playing on and off in the gallery during the summer — gliding back and forward over a self-made “skate ramp”. She noticed how it was made out of pallets and other material that he had found left behind in the street. His consistent effort of trying to jump over the ramp, while not managing, raised thoughts: “why engage in a repetitive act like this without having a clear goal? Or is the goal in the repetition of the act itself?” The gallerist wondered while blowing out a cloud of cigarette smoke.

In Différence et Répétition (1968), Gilles Deleuze explores the metaphysical concept of repetition. He views repetition as a unique series of things or events, opposed to generalities that deal with cycles, equalities and physical laws. He argues that art is often a source of repetition since no general law can be applied to works of art. Examples of repetition in art history can be found in Pop Art but peculiarly in the tradition of minimalism as well, where artists use manufacturing materials and industrial fabrication in their work too. Deleuze also stresses the importance of repetition within the process of digesting art works: “The repetition of a work of art is like a singularity without concept, and it is not by chance that a poem must be learned by heart. The head is the organ of exchange, but the heart is the amorous organ of repetition”. His approach to repetition is fairly positive, viewing the action of repetition as a way to make new discoveries. In this concept, repeating oneself is a way to begin again, experimenting to find new experiences within the repetition. The group exhibition Making Sense, investigates various sides of repetition and its sense —or lack thereof.

Tuna Roll or a Nut (2015), the title of Robertas Narkus’ art work created for the show is a palindrome. A metal bucket filled with various materials and liquid glass poured in the center represents parts of structures and molecules in the search for hypothetical matter. Narkus is a practitioner of pataphysics, a philosophy that is dedicated to studying what lies beyond the realm of metaphysics.

In the diptych Smoke (2015) Lisa Oppenheim made photograms of existing negatives from photographs which were taken during the riots in the American city Ferguson that erupted after a black teenager called Michael Brown was killed by the police. Oppenheim is interested in the history of photography, and often makes use of archived negatives, but also investigates historical techniques and incorporates this within her oeuvre.

When thinking of recurrences in art, music is a medium which often comes to mind. With the sound-installation Kozzie vs Sox (2013) in the gallery bathroom, Jacob Dwyer recreated the experience one would feel in the toilet of a basement hosting a rap battle between UK grime artists Kozzie and Sox. Elsewhere in the gallery the artist installedUntitled (PAULALIEN KNOWS BEST) (2015), another sound work made specifically for the show. As the tone of this piece moves through a motley of recognizable vocabularies, Dwyer continues his ongoing investigation into the possibilities and pitfalls that arise when approaching reality from a position somehow outside of it.

In her so-called Material Evidence series (2014), Melissa Gordon recreates the remains and traces that appear after the production of her paintings on her table, floor and walls. At first sight the paintings appear to be created in a chaotic way, as if it were a Pollock, but as a matter of fact, Gordon tricks the viewer with her meticulous attention to detail.

Nathan Azhderian contributes to the show with the laser installationAn Agonism (2015). Azhderian uses existing laser projections, called “little dippers”. The effect it produces is pandering, common, sleazy even, in its failure to convince us of its value nevertheless it does appeal extremely to our visual appreciation.

In the video installation 40-44-PG (1993) by Jeroen Eisinga, we see an old red Volkswagen Beetle without a driver circling around a blindfolded man. Calling it his own version of train surfing or Russian roulette, Jeroen Eisinga plays with suspense and chance, the artist performed this stunt occasionally with his brother in their shared year of unemployment.

Bad Dad Divorce Sculptures (2014) by Vanessa Disler are from a series of rusty gates made from construction rebar and bent and welded by hand. Measuring the height of the average female (150 cm) horizontally , and the height of a tallish man(190cm) vertically, the gates are physical manifestations of signs and figures that Bad Dad is trying to exorcise from his unconsciousness. The gates are attempts to make real, the residue of trauma and truth that come to him in the form of visions. Bad Dad is both a mindset and paradigm.

The structures of the previous exhibition are re-interpreted by Mike Pratt who curated the works of Vanessa Disler and Jacob Dwyer.

Tags: Michael Brown, Melissa Gordon, Lisa Oppenheim