curated by_ Matthew Higgs
06 May - 13 Jun 2009
'Correspondences' is a series of five discrete two–person exhibitions that each takes the form of a cross–generational 'conversation' between artists and artworks. Over the past decade or so, inter–generational approaches to exhibition making have become more widespread. (Catherine David's influential Documenta X in 1997 was perhaps a defining moment, in which she introduced a series of idiosyncratic historical artistic positions into her exhibition through what she termed 'retro–perspectives.') Since then both artists and curators have accelerated and amplified this dialogue, seeking to establish and explore a more complex lineage (and progeny) for current artistic production.
The five individual exhibitions that comprise 'Correspondences' differ significantly from one another. Variously they consider photography's self–reflexive and mimetic dimension (Janice Guy and Anne Collier); the impact and legacy of the modernist project on post–war American photography (Jan Groover and Eileen Quinlan); the formal and psychological rupture inherent in collage (Rita Ackermann and John Stezaker); the figure of the artist as performer and the artwork as a form of performative document (Karl Holmqvist and Christopher Knowles); and the everyday poetics of a kind of informal formalism (Noam Rappaport and B. Wurtz.)
The ten artists in 'Correspondences' do not represent a tendency or movement. Distinguished by age, experience, and intentions their works have evolved independently and have been produced in highly specific contexts. Each exhibition - each pairing or juxtaposition - privileges points of departure as much as shared concerns. The intention ultimately is not to establish a form of equivalence, rather the hope is that in considering the spaces between each artist and work – differences informed by the individual artist's origins and intentions – a new conversation might emerge. 'Correspondences' – as the exhibition's title suggests – is intended as an unfolding and ongoing exchange, one that underscores the persistent flux in which ideas both emerge and evolve.