curated by_Matthew Higgs
06 May - 06 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 Corespondences 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.