Curated by Jan Christensen Following text and photographs by Jan Christensen For high resolution pictures go to: www.janchristensen.org/buiadownloads.htm
BUIA Gallery, 41 W. 23rd St. New York, NY 10011, USA March 5 April 2, 2005 Participating artists:
Miriam Böhm, Michel de Broin, Andreas Dobler, Anders Eiebakke, Mai Hofstad Gunnes, Adad Hannah, Bjørn-Kowalski Hansen, Jooyoung Lee, Gabriel Lester, Elizabeth Linden, Josefine Lyche, Lars Morell, Kristofer Paetau, Carissa Rodriguez, Kalle Runeson, Johan Thurfjell, Eve K. Tremblay, Jordan Wolfson
Including 18 artists from Asia, Europe and North America, BUIA Gallery is pleased to present a group show with a diverse range of media and interpretations for the theme "Past/Present/Forever".
The concept of the exhibition begins in the poetic repetition of the stamped word "Memories" by Carissa Rodriguez. Further conceptualizations of time include Josefine Lyche's formula for time travel derived from Albert Einsteins; and the staged moments of the seemingly paused videos of Adad Hannah, taken to its most absurd consequence by actually presenting these moments as still photography.
Representing an intricate model of a spinning cycle, Michel de Broins small-scale model for an Escher-like sculpture of looped, intertwined stairs that lead nowhere but back to the beginning. Lars Morells series of photographs entitled "Successful Transfer" loosely refers to Heavens Gate, the group of internet designers from California who wished totranscend to cyber space. Morell takes it in another direction by humorous measures, crystallizing it into a simple empirical experiment of attempting to photograph substance in a cloud of smoke.
On the idea of retracing the past, Anders Eiebakke revisits the life of Malcolm X in a number of works, based on an archive of collected photographs, mimicking the effect of drawing by using state-of-the-art Photoshop tools. Upon the arrival of his letter at the gallery, Johan Thurfjell instructed the gallerist to wipe his parcel with the kind of powder used to expose fingerprints, thereby exposing all the traces of the people that handled his letter on its journey to the exhibition. Kristofer Paetaus meticulous little drawings are his copies of children's copies of Picasso's portrait of Igor Stravinsky.
In his project entitled "Håkki TM", Bjørn-Kowalski Hansen created business projects as art. In Ljungaverk, a small town in Sweden, the artist initiated clothing design, saunas, and top hairstylists in the spirit of the project, as an attempt to attract attention and inspire new hope in this town that is threatened by outgoing migration. For Buia Gallery, Hansen has installed a large vinyl design depicting an advertisement as the main compositional element, supporting a number of smaller elements that work like a time line with details referring to his earlier work for the project.
The element of time passing is also seen in the work of an animated countdown by Mai Hofstad Gunnes and a calendar by Elizabeth Linden which indicates the time between learning about the exhibition and its final installation as illustrated and defined as time lost. In addition, Linden exhibits a camouflage jacket with all the black spots cut out, entitled "May 1st, 2003" - the date George W. Bush declared "mission accomplished" in the Iraq war, as a further comment on the formal analysis of negative space. Another mundanely ironic take on our familiarity with the history, fascinations and phenomenon of popular culture is Jordan Wolfson's "Double Fantasy," a framed piece of paper with Sean Lennon's signature; and in aposter of the rather obscure 1979 "Moon Treaty" which lays out the general framework for the future administration of the moon.
Though creating very different works, from dance - both quirky and elegant - by Gabriel Lester in the video "A Man of Action," in which he performs as a pantomine magician; and in Kalle Runeson's witty drawing of a cool rhetorical wizard executing his magical powers on his surroundings, both artists share simultaneously the elements of comedy and thematic reflection.
Miriam Böhm carefully constructs her photographs by combining elements of cardboard, photography and other materials. The repeated process of constructing, photographing, printing, adding elements sometimes using elements of the same photograph within the same collage - and doing the same all over again produces multi-layered prints with a peculiar sort of abstraction. The work of Eve K. Tremblay continues the practice of symbolism and narrative in art history and contemporary art as her staged photography holds stories and references that unfold in time upon encounter. The same can be said of the drawings by Andreas Dobler. Bringing together imagery from history and popular culture, Dobler plays with scale within the compositions and combines symbols, objects, and references in the manner of Pop Art-meets-Surrealism. The exhibited drawings also hint to compositions in his larger paintings, revisiting the artist's own oeuvre.
Finally, the stencil work by Jooyoung Lee presents a prosaic comment on the exhibition's theme as she has cut out stencils from D.I.Y. advertisements available for shops and street vendors, with the word "new" cut out in a number of varieties and installed repeatedly in different ways, both spray painted on the walls of the gallery and produced on big sheets of paper to be hung.
The exhibition has been produced with generous support from the Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA) and the Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland.
BUIA Gallery, 41 W. 23rd St. New York, NY 10011, USA Tel 2123669915 Fax 2123669846 www.buiagallery.com