We would like to thank (again) the curators who wish to remain anonymous

artforum.com

Nina Beier & Marie Lund, Alex Cecchetti, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Jochen Dehn,
Haris Epaminonda, Peggy Franck,Vlatka Horvat, Bethan Huws, Jiri Kovanda,
Charlotte Moth, Aurélien Mole,Yamini Nayar, Sarah Tritz

20 June - 25 July 2009
exhibition vues
Installation by Sarah Tritz
(photographs by Aurélien Mole)

For the tenth anniversary of the gallery anne barrault has invited a curator who, in turn, has invited eleven others. This collective exhibition will be like a game between these twelve curators who have wished to remain anonymous.

 Rather than construct a group exhibition the content of which would be the structuring of a single concept and the linear juxtaposition of artworks, this project provides a collective and dynamic process. The set up game proposes various ways of display (group and solo exhibition, white cube and installation), and reflection on the structures of production (exchange, storage, hanging, curatorial practise etc). This project calls upon the viewer, the gallery, the atists and the invited curators.
 Twelve international curators have been invited to take part in the exhibition. They come from different backgrounds : some are independent, others work for prestigious, private or public Collections, famous Foundations and Museums. They have built a collective conversation about the exhibition : they have entered a “domino” game. The first curator and instigator of it has selected a work and sent it to a second curator who, in return, has answered with another artwork. The third curator has reacted to the two artworks, adding one of his choice, and so on until twelwe artworks have been chosen by the twelve curators. Thus each of them has answered, completed and orientated the group exhibition which looks like a sentence for which each participant has added a word. They have all agreed to remain anonymous, and none of them (but for the instigator) knows who has been solicited.
 Sarah Tritz has been commissioned to create an environment, a global installation for this group show built up in this way. She provides the storage. Every 48 hours, one of the artworks will be taken from the group and put in a different, empty space, a “White Cube”. Each work will be displayed only once in the White Cube, on its own. This will go on until each work has been shown once in isolation. When each of them has been singled out, the show will be over. The passage inside the “white cube” follows the order of the selection by the curators :  the last piece exhibited is also the last one which has been chosen.
 When presented alone, the content of the artwork remains extraneous to the exhibition as a whole. When it is with the others, its content is merged into the group. The system is both elegant and awkward. It resists initial reading of a “theme”, focusing instead on the underlying structure of each personal work and of the collective project. It echoes  Sarah Tritz commissioned to create an installation for the group show.
One of the curators declares : “ I like the idea of the tension and exchange between the single foregrounded work and the overfilled, storage-like picture of the rear-space. Also the dialogue and the alternation of the works isolated and staged exclusively, like a flow of ideas in a very long sentence, must be really interesting to follow and analyse the decisions behind the choice of them. That’s why I decided to participate.”
We would like (once more) to thank the curators who have wished to remain anonymous.

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the comments are those of the curators who have chosen the works

 
1– Bethan Huws
Untitled (Quoi de Neuf?), 2008
Word vitrine
Courtesy of the artist and Yvon Lambert Paris/New York

“This work belongs to a series of Word Vitrines initiated by Bethan Huws in 1999. It reconsiders the legacy of Conceptual art and the bureaucratic structures of the passing on of information. “Quoi de Neuf”, that is to say “What’s up”,  is a pun, in French, on Neuf, meaning either new or nine. The work opens the exhibition process and determines its rules. It is telling a lot as well as nothing. It is both a question, an answer, a beginning and an end. »


2 - Vlatka Horvat  
Out on a Limb, 2003
Video (moniteur et socle)
Courtesy of the artist

« A short sequence constantly replayed, one single leg, cut off by the top of the frame. The leg is wobbling on a tree stump, struggling all the time to keep its balance. It is a body stuck in an in-between state, on the verge of something, but essentially denied both resolution and relief. It is a creepy piece which is a humorous answer to the question “What’s up? »


3 .A - Jochen Dehn
Flocks, 2008
Performance le samedi 27 juin à 18h
Courtesy of the artist

« According to me, what is actually the works of two artists  is the best answer to the previous two works (and to the concept of the exhibition). The first one is ephemeral and will not stay in the gallery, the second one will be installed near the scene of the performance and will be the only real sign of the first work. Flocks by Jochen Dehn is a lecture/performance which shows why it is necessary to become liquid, how to melt into the crowd, what behaviour must be yours to become invisible when amidst a crowd. »




3.B – Alex Cecchetti
The Diver, 2007
Collage, 19,5 x 14,8 cm
Courtesy of the artist

« Jochen Dehn’s performance was my instant answer : something liquid which disappears. But I also wished to leave something tangible , as the concept of the exhibition demanded. I wish to present Alex Ceccheti’s The Diver. This collage belongs to a series of collages and objects which must be installed in front of a video or some other artwork, as if they were permanent viewers. Jochen Dehn’s performance will stay in the eye of this special viewer. »




4 – Jiri Kovanda
Pure & Clean, 2007
Performance (documentation)
Courtesy of the artist and GB Agency, Paris

« This is an invisible performance, during the opening of the exhibition, when the artist hands out sweets without the viewers’ knowing, slipping them into bags and pockets. I like this work : it is simple and strictly invisible. Clandestine. There is no audience, the work must be told. I also like the story of its title: the artist chose it because he was asked a title for the programme of a biennial event, but he did not know what he was going to perform. He simply said : I do not know what I am going to perform, but I know it will be called Pure § Clean. »

 


5-A PEGGY FRANCK, »07«, 2007
C-Print
44 x 55 cm
 Courtesy Marion Scharmann, Cologne and KLERKX, Milan

5-B PEGGY FRANCK, »08«, 2007
C-Print
44 x 55 cm
 Courtesy Marion Scharmann, Cologne and KLERKX, Milan

« Two photographs by Peggy Franck : each of them is the photograph of a staged situation (not of a performance) as well as of a stage in which the onlooker must be immersed (or very near) to really grasp the photograph » 



6— Yamini Nayar
Under the Night Sky, 2009
C-print
90 x 120 cm
Courtesy of the artist and Thomas Erben Gallery, New York

« This minute diorama evokes a vague moment : something is going to happen (a scene for a performance) or has just happened (after effect). My choice has developed in a much more intuitive way than for the five curators before me. »


7 - FIESTA, Volume 10, Number 6, 1976
30 x 22 cm
Courtesy of the artist

« the tension in this pornographic magazine is obvious. It is a porn mag. A jazz mag. A filthy rag . It is also the scene of an intervention by Cosey Fanni Tutti ( one of her actions is to be found in the last pages of the magazine, to be precise). And at the same time, I am not sure whether it is actually one. Cosey appears in the magazine, but she has never validated or reckoned this magazine as belonging to her work. I did not buy it from the artist or from her gallery, it is not signed or framed to her usual specifications. I bought it from a vintage pornography dealer. He  sold it to me for less than what a copy of Art Forum costs. He had no idea that it was a work of art - like everyone else who bought it at the time, and looked at the photograph of Cosey naked. I choose this magazine (or this artwork by Cosey Fanni Tatti) because it rather nicely echoes some of the dialectical oppositions (in/visibility, un/certainty, disappearance/appearance, and so on) which underlie this exhibition as a whole, and the works chosen by the other curators. Cosey, like her work, like the other curaors, is there, and is not there »



8 - Haris Epaminonda
Untitled #32, 2008/09
Polaroid
10.3 x 10.2 cm
Courtesy of the artist and Rodeo gallery, Istanbul


« Taken from a magazine, the piece in this polaroid suggests a rather concise, ambiguous scene (emotional, histrionic) . The story is less revealed than concealed, thereby generating a feeling of uncertainty. Thus, the visible content of the photograph hangs in irresolution,  whereas the real content (the temporal blurring of present and past) is hard to place, and shrouds the work in a kind of symbolical invisibility. »


9 – XXXXXXXX

« I have chosen quite a small work, a work catching possible passers-by’s attention to a precise idea which both evokes a picture and the possibility of a city as a whole. »

NB : Neither the artist nor his agent have wished to participate in the exhibition.

 

 
10 - Charlotte Moth
Travelogue, 1999-2009
20 black and white images
Courtesy of the artist

« Charlotte Moth’s posters refer to her collection of images, Travelogue. It is a subtle reaction to the exhibition space as it is. Through the display of images of deserted or dilapidated buildings, the images function as a mise en abyme  that questions our relationship to the white cube. »

 



11- Nina Beier and Marie Lund
New Novels, New Men, 2009
Books and performances
Courtesy of the artists and Croy Nielsen, Berlin

The same novel, in various translations, is read in the exhibition space by men speaking the language of the translation.

« This work does fit the idea of absence/presence which is at the heart of the exhibition, as well in its structure as in the curators’ various answers. In my opinion, it is able to play on the open but also quite closed concept of the exhibition. It also plays on language and its various specifications. Exactly as any understanding or interpretation of rules (of the game between the curators, in the exhibition, of translation and language, in Nina’s and Marie’s work) is both scientific and subjective »



12 - Aurélien Mole
Phorésie, 2009
Sculpture and plinth
Courtesy of the artist


« A work which infects one, which is a fetish, which protects one, anonymous but signed, handled ; it is an objectivized belief, it is collective, virtual : Phoresis is a disease, a bacterium which spreads wonderfully well. The statuette is original : it is a nkissi fetish of the Mali Bakongo ethnic group. The sorcerer (Nganga) uses it to protect those who come and see him, and rid them of a curse; it also protects the sorcerer in return. For each person who comes and begs for protection, the nganga licks a nail or a point and sticks it into the fetish. This blade symbolizes the contract signed with the protective spirit represented by the statuette. Each blade symbolizes one person and a curse. Here the blades are let out and spread. The work is also a manipulation, like this exhibition. »

 
Sarah Tritz
_] 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11
Installation, 2009

Sarah Tritz’s installation has been created especially for this exhibition : it is the storage space, or the space for the group show. Tritz has worked on the vanishing points, the various levels of interpretation, the movements in the space of the gallery (visitors’) and between the works (the other artists’), included in her installation. The possibility to multiply levels, surfaces , stand-points is the basis of the installation : as much the potential confrontation of different points of view as their differences or the conflicts between the works and her installation. Her work can be read at several levels. It refers to scenery (Oskar Schlemmer’s stage setting, or David Hockney’s opera setting : where the visitor stands, his moving, all this is decisive for the installation, the visitor, an actor and a spectator at the same time), architecture, installations. This work is part of the line of sculptural practice, like a link between Kurt Schwitters, Manfred Pernice or Rachel Harrisson.