The 58th Venice Biennale, May You Live In Interesting Times (11 May–24 November 2019), certainly benefitted from low expectations, given the lacklustre curatorial of the previous edition, when different segments of the show were conceptually framed with titles like 'Pavilion of Joys and Fears' and 'Pavilion of Colours'. Add to this the...
Hong Kong-based artist Zheng Bo's social, ecological, and community-engaged art practice has, in recent years, focused on moving beyond a human-centred perspective to an all-inclusive, multi-species approach. He takes up marginalised plants and communities of people as subjects in his large-scale interventions, which reintroduce wildness into...
The weather was clement for the annual Auckland Art Fair (2–5 May 2019), which was again at The Cloud on Queens Wharf. This year's edition was a get-together of 41 galleries, mostly from around Auckland and across New Zealand, with 5 spaces hailing from Sydney and the rest from Cook Islands (Bergman Gallery), Hobart (Michael Bugelli Gallery),...
Timothy Taylor is pleased to announce its second solo exhibition with Josephine Meckseper, which will open during London’s Frieze week.
For the last two decades Meckseper’s work has interrogated politics, capitalism and art history through paradoxical juxtapositions of images and objects, in order to create open narratives. Drawn from the visual and material cultures of protest and political activism, advertising, cinema and early twentieth century display architecture, Meckseper’s combinations are visually confrontational yet subtle, relying on a strategy of infiltration, rather than describing their explicit position. The resulting tension, produced by the relationship between the conceptual structure and the thoroughly executed finished object, creates a distinct visual language that Meckseper continues to expand upon in this exhibition.
Central to this new body of work is the investigation of the object as an analogue recording device. Found materials (such as detritus from the street and ephemera from experiential social interactions) record temporal environments or situations. This is realised through a variety of media ranging from wall vitrines, shelves, denim assemblages and abstract sculptures comprised of industrial display racks. Recalling Rosalind Krauss’s assertion that “the history of modern sculpture is incomplete without discussion of the temporal consequences of a particular arrangement of form,” Meckseper’s works exemplify the statement “that sculpture is a medium peculiarly located at the juncture between stillness and motion, time arrested and time passing. From this tension, which defines the very condition of sculpture, comes its enormous expressive power.”
The exhibition simultaneously documents a moment in time, while also acknowledging the larger social condition of transience. Whereas in previous exhibitions, films such as Mall of America (2009) and super-8 films of protestors were crucial elements, now the precursory cinematic and narrative aspect that led to the accumulation of Meckseper’s found objects is played out in a predominantly static form. Narrative is a leftover, which creates a distinction between reflection and representation and extends the notion of appropriating objects (readymade) to an act of salvation. Painted traces of film perforation create an affinity to the ‘frame’ in cinematography, in particular Jean-Luc Godard’s Film-tract no 968, in which he recorded red paint running over a French flag and pages of the newspaper Le Monde.
Expanding upon one of art’s key motifs, the window is a device through which Meckseper realises new works for this exhibition. The window frame becomes a vehicle to convey a perspective of the world inside and outside the studio. Deriving from the artist’s well-established wall vitrines and sculptures, accumulated objects and ephemera – recycled studio materials, various items salvaged from the street or obtained from now extinct local stores – are located within a new series of window vitrines. This method of simultaneously revealing and concealing summons Duchamp’s Fresh Widow (1920), a blacked-out window authored by Duchamp’s female alter ego, Rrose Sélavy, and is significant in its ambivalence – positioned somewhere between painting and sculpture.
In the tradition of late twentieth century installation art, the works in this exhibition are produced through the remains of action. Instead of a prescribed happening however, the works perform the everyday. As individual works they function as apertures into the same idea from different points of view, and as an exhibition, create a total work.
Josephine Meckseper’s large-scale installations and films have been exhibited in various biennials and museum shows worldwide. Her works are in the permanent collections of numerous institutions, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and the Migros Museum, Zurich. This year her works were featured in Storylines, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and Zabludowicz Collection: 20 Years, London, and are currently on view in America Is Hard to See, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. The artist lives and works in New York.
A fully illustrated catalogue, with new commissioned texts by Piper Marshall and Domenick Ammirati, will be published as a document of the exhibition.
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