Rachel Shaw, All Seriousness, 2014. Acrylic on panel. Courtesy the artist and Galerie LOCK, Montreal.
Montreal based artist Rachel Shawâ€™s solo exhibition is currently on view at Galerie LOCK, showcasing her new series â€œAll Seriousnessâ€: a sequence of sterile, yet comically uplifting interiors. These waiting areas, offices, and living rooms have no visible entrance or exit; only black squares that lead to nowhere. Devoid of human presence, the furniture and objects no longer serve any utilitarian function and instead engage in aesthetic conversations with the viewers. The shadows, angles and intersections are only slightly off, lending to a peculiar unease on the part of the spectator. Caught in a state of in-betweenness, we canâ€™t help but ask: where did everybody go? Shaw discusses her work with Jessica Kirsh.
Jessica Kirsh [JK]: There appears to be a reoccurring trope in your body of work: that of the window or frame. Most often illustrated as a black rectangle, it holds a stark yet mysterious presence within the interior. What signification (conceptually or formally) does this device contain? How is it repurposed or reconfigured from one painting to the next?
Rachel Shaw [RS]: In the diorama â€“ a small-scale model of a real-life scene â€“ a window (or at least the absence of a wall) is often as a point of view or observation. Even the word diorama means â€˜through that which is seenâ€™, which I think is pretty appropriate. I donâ€™t use the word diorama to mean scale modeling or miniaturism, but I do use the window as a way to display a certain type of space while also containing it and the objects within it indefinitely. Formally, I think it works as a point of pause and reorientation, like a wall does in a maze, but it does hint at a space outside the one youâ€™re in.
Image courtesy of Hotel Maria Kapel, Hoorn
Open Call for Proposals 2015
Hotel Maria Kapel,
Hoorn, the Netherlands
Deadline: Sunday, 4 May 2014, 23H59 CEST
Application fee: â‚¬15
Hotel Maria Kapel is an artist-run residency and project space located in a 15th century chapel in Hoorn, the Netherlands; a small historic town 40 kilometres north of Amsterdam. Hoorn was founded in 716, and rapidly grew to become a major harbour town. During Hollandâ€™s â€˜Golden Ageâ€™, Hoorn was an important home base for the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and a very prosperous centre of trade. Hoorn is currently a city with a small touristic centre and larger sub-urban area and has a high number of commuters to Amsterdam for work and studies. HMK offers artists a stay in a concentrated work space, where dialogue and collaboration inform experimental, context based exhibitions and projects. The programme invites artists and curators working in a wide range of media, but mainly focusing on installation and context based work and video.
Exhibition view, from left to right: Boris Meister “Above the Cloud – Archeology of Social Networks” (2012), Sebastian Schmieg and Silvio Lorusso “56 Broken Kindle Screens” (2012), Ruth Beale “Now From Now” (2011), Klaus ScheruÌˆbel “MallarmÃ©, The Book” (2004). Copyright Les Territoires, Montreal.
Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk is an independent curator, writer and director of The Office for Curating based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. He curated the group show Dans Cinquante Ans dâ€™Ici (50 Years From Now), currently on view at Les Territoires in MontrÃ©al (12 March â€“ 19 April 2014). The twelve artists collective exhibition posits the book as art object, container and concept against the backdrop of ongoing discussions addressing the potential demise of the physically bound volume. Lekkerkerk explains in his interview his urge to look into the dynamics of co-existing analog and digital formats within our current media driven society, to raise the key question: â€œTo what extent have the changes in our relationship with information â€“ and the formats we employ for its transmission â€“ altered our rapport to knowledge and its production?â€
M-KOS [MKOS]: How did you develop Dans Cinquante Ans dâ€™Ici into a curatorial project?
Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk [NJL]: From a personal perspective, the exhibition Dans Cinquante Ans dâ€™Ici is the culmination of a previous exhibition cycle entitled Reading Complex, which I developed at various locations in London throughout 2012 together with curator Catherine Y. Serrano. At the time we were interested in â€“ generally speaking â€“ further exploring the relations between viewer-reader and image-text in the context of visual art and artistic practice. For instance, we wanted to look into the fact that we, as viewers, make a narrative reading â€“ an ABC reading â€“ of principally every encounter, whereas the visual evidence we â€œcollectâ€ in order to inform this reading is often incongruous and misplaced. We wanted to link this principle, inherent to our (over)stimulating image-culture, to by what means narrative arcs are employed in artistic practice, and how the connecting of the dots is left to the visitor, so to speak.
All photos by M-KOS except where mentioned.
Mohau Modisakeng presented by BRUNDYN+, Cape Town. Photo: Â©David Willems. Courtesy of David Willems and Volta NY
Volta 2014 counted a no-mean-feat 20,000 visitor attendance to its four day long SoHo-based art fair, uniquely consisting of solo artist-presentation gallery booths. Sojourning for a second year in its current Mercer Street location, the seven-year-old fair certainly was quick to make a impression on the busy Armory week calendar, from establishing its trademark white-on-black branding to boasting a veritable star-studded string of patrons from Israel, The Emirates as well as numerous local Big Apple-ers.
Richard Nonas installation at McCaffrey Fine Art, NY (Front space); Jessica Warboys at Gaudel de Stampa, Paris (back). Photo: M-KOS
The fifth installment of Independent art fair has once more invested the original spaces of DIA Center for the Arts, on 22nd street in Chelsea, New York City. This cozy location in comparison with other, more expansive fairs, did manage to host a total of 56 galleries from 14 different countries, mixing up big and small-scale commercial galleries as well as non-profit spaces across an interior design conceived by architects Andrew Feuerstein and Bret Quagliara. The most exciting features of this layout included triangular shaped booth to agreeably confuse audiences as to where one gallery presentation ended and another one started. Particularly conducive to opening parties, pop conceptualism and junk fluxus, Independent is the brainchild of Elizabeth Dee and Darren Flook, kept in high spirits by creative adviser Matthew Higgs, who also moonlights as director and chief curator of White Columns in New York. All in all, Independent could rightly claim the title of hip alternative art fair within Armory Week.
All photos by M-KOS except where mentioned.
Armory Week this year coincided with the opening of the highly anticipated 2014 Whitney Biennial, to add an extra layer of fervor to the usual art spectacle that is New York City at this time of the year. Opened to the public from the 6th to the 9th of March, The Armory Show welcomed the 16th edition of its current incarnation, which changed its name from Gramercy International Art Fair in 1999, as homage to the original 1913 gathering. As always situated on Piers 92 & 94 of Manhattanâ€™s western shore, stretching out onto the Hudson River, the fair hosted 205 galleries (146 for Contemporary, 59 for Modern) across 26 countries. Once again Armory opted to hold their VIP preview and benefit opening at MoMA, perhaps rubbing shoulders with the blue chip institution in a bid to upscale its brand and better compete with Frieze, the London based art fair franchise which started-up two years ago on Randall Island, flanked between Manhattan and Brooklyn.
MKOS is currently on pause whilst traveling to New York for the Armory week. Watch this space soon for our upcoming Art Marathons.