As part of my one-year aspirant stilling at BEK, Bergen center for electronic arts that is coming to an end in January 2014, I will be curating a group show called I Love Your Manners Full of Deceit, opening at KNIPSU (Bergen) on the 23th of January til the 26th of January. The aim here is to organize and promote colleagues in a way that feels fitting to BEK and appropriate to my own ideas. I have chosen to put newly emerging artists and recent graduates in the spotlights as a way to contribute to an international flow of activity and network: to provide new input for a very strong but slightly self contained Bergen art scene.
Together we are also working on a small artist book, that will be released on the opening.
The participating artist are:
Mathijs van Geest (NL)
Bjorn Mortensen (NO)
Jake Davidson (US)
Christopher Holloran (UK)
Nina Barnett ( ZA)
Robyn Nesbitt (ZA)
Ming-Hwa Yeh (TW)
23.01-26.01.2014 at KNIPSU
Opening 23.01.2014 at 7pm
Lectures 24th Jan at 2pm-4pm @ BEK
This group exhibition is a play on the two verbs ‘to deceit’ and ‘to decipher’: The works chosen are works that ontologically function like proposals for alternative readings – readings that are playing either with the visual structures of objects or either with the digital on screen surfaces. Goal is to explore visual structures that are advancing the materiality of objects and sculptures or this materiality can also be the syntax, the structures, layering, rhythm and flow of video.
In particular the artists are touching on following themes: A visual language that is a breaking down of thoughts as proposed in Christopher Holloran’s work Fully Functional Family – a structure that is guiding the eye, slowing down movements, making sure you get awakened and engaged through minimal narration such as in Jake Davidson’s two channel video Elsewhere and Present. Furthermore we are looking at spatial relationships that shift the hierarchy of objects, and make you wander and relate in Bjorn Mortensen’s spatial installations and in the poetic play on banality that emphasizes the thin line, between art and life in Mathijs Van Geest sculptures. Finally Nina Barnett and Robin Nesbitt in collaboration with dancer Ming-Hwa Yeh in the work Experiments in Mirage-Making III are working with ideas relating to that of the director and the performer, and the eye of a subject in contra disctinction to the eye of the camera: where bodies perform with the idea of a ‘mirage’. In the work Same Seine, Nina Barnett is investigating what it means to encounter new places and the movements, observations and passing of time, where narration is not hidden under the skin but rather it is carried through it. The works are flirting with the themes ‘to decipher’ and ‘to deceit’: aim here is to explore not in words but through making.
Mathijs van Geest (b.1985) Through subtle and cryptic traces in the sideline of the everyday, Mathijs van Geest looks for simple ways to question cultural understandings in which established conveniences and materials are re-arranged and re-valued. His practice oscillates between traditional and domestic sculptural techniques, creating a relationship that is both formal and deeply subjective. Mathijs van Geest received his BA at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam and his MA at the National Academy of Arts and Design in Bergen in 2011. He has curated and exhibited widely nationally and internationally. Recent exhibitions include I-Traces Ayent Switzerland, Side Effects EKKM Tallinn, Mondays Begin Online Ytter.no and Det Glade Bergen in Bergen. Beside his own practice Mathijs van Geest is part of the artist collaboration Katla. In collaboration with Bjørn Mortensen he runs the small publishing house: Apis Press.
Bjorn Mortensen (b. 1977) Often composed of craft-like objects with a home-made aesthetic, which may remind the viewer of utility articles, Bjørn Mortensen’s work readily appropriates the form and dimensions of recognisable domestic objects such as decorative items and ornaments, interior design, tie-dye and flower pots. Formally the work often meditates on the formless and amorphous, crashing with strict and rigid geometric models or architectural components. The work frequently engages in a dialog with (art) history, while underneath the surface, a psychological space of dysfunctionality and repression is lurking.
For this show, Bjørn is planning to show a large landscape painting as a backdrop for an assemblage of objects.
Bjørn Mortensen has recently had Solo shows at Pasatge in Barcelona and Tagteam Studio in Bergen. Most recently he also was part of the parasite exhibition to Bergen Assembly, “Potsyd” in Bergen. Bjørn also runs several small publishing houses including “Apis Press” (w/Mathijs van Geest) and “Sherpa Press”. He also runs the project space “tollbodallmenningen 39” out of his studio, sporadically showing collaborative projects or group exhibitions.
Jake Davidson (b.1986) is an artist based in Brooklyn, NY. He makes objects, interventions, and moving images that encourage indirect, subjective, and minor moments of political realization. He holds a BFA from the California Institute of the Arts and an MFA from Bard College. In 2013 he travelled through Palestine to shoot Elsewhere and Present, a 2 channel video installation that focuses on an intimate relationship alongside Palestine’s telecommunication industry.
Christopher Holloran (b.1987) is UK born artist living and working in Amsterdam, NL. His applied mediums range from projection based installations to films and animations but each with a firm basis in exploring hyperreality and derealisation. His new work Fully Functional Family shown at Knipsu combines interviews, sound / video recordings, original rap songs and animations of a one week chance meeting in Berlin between four individuals – the work becomes a recapitulation of a seemingly insignificant week, and how the deception of recollecting memories is all we have to re-live a bygone moment in time.
Robyn Nesbitt (b.1984) and Nina Barnett (b.1983) have been working collaboratively for eight years, mostly at a distance (Barnett currently lives in Chicago, Robyn in Johannesburg) and periodically in close proximity on residencies. Over time, they have begun to describe the collaboration as a “third person”, separate from their individual lives and practices. Their sense of the others presence, when together or apart, makes space for a distinct way of thinking and making. There particular personalities (one subjective and sensitive, the other cerebral and pragmatic) form a necessary duality in the process, and in the work that results. In Experiments in Mirage-Making III (2013) the artists collaborated with Ming-Hwa Yeh, a Taiwanese choreographer and dancer, who placed and directed their bodies within a constructed studio setting. These sequences reflect a silent but palpable connection between the artists and the choreographer – based on an understanding through movement rather than language. The gestures are slow and methodical, and there is an awareness of the third person watching intently behind the camera.
Nina Barnett (b.1983) is a South African artist currently based in Chicago. She uses drawing, moving image and installation to examine particular landscapes in relation to time and vertical scale. Her work seeks connections between geology, narrative history and the physicality of surfaces, and playfully questions the relationship between theoretical and experienced qualities of site. Same Seine (2009) is about the Parisian river as a sightseer’s construct – this landmark as seen from the vantage point of a map, from one of the city’s 35 bridges or from the deck of a tour boat. In the video, boats filmed from a Paris bridge float in and out of the split screen frame, creating patterns and mesmerizing shapes from their moving forms.
This group exhibition is curated by Apichaya Wanthiang for BEK. It has generously been supported by BEK, KNIPSU, and Bergen Kommune.