Chert is pleased to present the group show That which doesn´t kill us is often made of foam, comprising of works from five international artists: Jonathan Binet, Kasia Fudakowski, Heike Kabisch, Siôn Parkinson and Erik van der Weijde. The pieces in the exhibition vary between installation, sculpture, painting, video and photography. Through different media and formal approaches, a sense of contradiction is explored within the work; camouflage, celebration, resignation and failure are all addressed.
The first piece we come across in the exhibition is entitled Gur and consists of an installation by British artist Siôn Parkinson. Gur is a 12 metre by 3 metre, transparent fabric structure designed to replicate the dimensions of the space within which it is placed, slumped against the wall and stretching across the floor. The scale of the sculpture and its indecorous positioning—inhibiting the space, obstructing doors and thoroughfares—offers the viewer an invitation to either tread upon the artwork or tiptoe around it. Either way, it is an awkward experience. This sense of ambivalence is echoed in a series of contrasts: the atmosphere of delicateness and silence that work evokes, its oddly aggressive standing within the room, the crafted (or laboured) with the gestural, and the mix of opaque and translucent materials. It is an image of anti-celebration or celebration imbued with a sense of apathy cognate to a damp firework, a weather-beaten marquee, a heavy sodden flag, or a national anthem sung off-key.
This links us immediately to the sculpture Brunnen by Heike Kabisch, a sort of monument built to acclaim her own subject, in this case the figure of a painter. This sculptural monument declares the oddity and idiocy of its purpose, transforming a celebration into its antithesis. While the painter is standing brave and proud in his position, his haughtiness is undermined by the constant sound of running water omitted from the sculpture. Instead of being a glorious fountain, this is little more than a trickle of water, reminiscent of a defunct statue.
Following the same ideas of monumentality and the latent comedy within it, the sculptures from the series Grand Stands by Kasia Fudakowski are demonstrations in over compensation. Small, quick, lo-fi clay sculptures uncomfortably perch on enormously elaborate plinths. The convoluted distraction of interconnected design and architectural references allow these diminutive figurines to get away with the monstrous. Isolated from their scale, they become small yet mighty dictators, gleefully riding their platforms and the space with which they interlock.
Both the works analyse, in a simple and ironic manner, a delicate and grave theme; the definition of power positions and the very present potential for tyranny.
A subtle reflection on definition of roles and hierarchies brings us to the intervention of Jonathan Binet, whose work fills a new section of the gallery, an additional outside wall. This wall has been painted white and prepared for use by the artist himself, a process of preparation that is the base for the art piece. The act is a subtle and poetic question concerning the role of the artist and his production, mixed with a delicate sense of humor and joyful resignation.
The piece, titled Mais où va la peinture? consists of a site-specific intervention where the artist is using his own jeans, left dirty from the painting process of the wall, to produce a form of abstract self portrait reflecting on the freedom and relevance of the art, created in contrast with more classical and conventional expectations.
The idea of camouflage suggested by Kabisch, Binet and Parkinson´s installations is revisited in the photographs of Erik van der Weijde, and in the video In the Event of Sculpture by Kasia Fudakowski; a looped film depicting the dance of a sculpture defying its own position, form and definition.
The photographs of Van der Weijde continue to deconstruct these themes. The photos from the series This is not my son portray the artist’s son showing and hiding himself at the same time in a delicate mixture of playfulness, performance and seriousness. The problematic relationship between wanting to attract attention, the temptation to appear as somebody different, and to establish his own position, is this time resumed in the complex and evocative motions of child’s play.
Jonathan Binet was born in 1984 in Saint-Priest. Lives and works in Paris.
Recent and upcoming projects include: Solo exhibition, Gaudel de Stampa (upcoming September); "graduation exhibition", Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Paris, 2011 (upcoming September); “56ème Salon de Montrouge”, Paris (upcoming September); "Livret II", curated by Irmavep Club, Art:Concept, Paris, 2011; "Yet to be titled", group show organized by Chert at Gaudel de Stampa, Paris (Berlin-Paris 2011), 2011; "lauréats du prix des Amis des Beaux-Arts" , espace Lohmond, Paris, 2010; "Carte blanche à Eric Suchère", Maison d’Art Contemporain de Chailloux, Fresnes 2009.
Kasia Fudakowski was born in 1985 in London. Lives and works in Berlin.
Recent projects include: II Sculpture Biennale, Przestrzeń. Rozwinięcie' Warsawa, 2010; "Przekleństwa wyobraźni" Bunkier Sztuki, Kraków, 2010; "Die Kleine Improvisation" Stadtgalerie, Kiel, 2010; Infernoesque projekt Raum, Berlin, 2010; "Hostile Aesthetik Takeover", Apartment, Berlin, 2010; "Irregular Wasps", Tintype Gallery, London, 2010; "Der agnostische Blick" mbf-kunstprojekte, München, 2010; "Ekspektatywa’", Fundacja Bęc Zmiana, Warszawa, 2009; "Anabasis. Rituals of Homecoming", Festival of Dialogue of Four Cultures, curated by Adam Budak, Ludwik Grohman Villa, Lodz, 2009; "Gleaning the Gloss", Zak/Branicka gallery, Berlin, solo exhibition, 2009.
Heike Kabisch was born in 1978 in Münster. Lives and works in Düsseldorf.
Recent projects include: "MAGIC AFFAIRS", Contemporaries Meet Magic Realists, Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem, 2011; Group exhibition, curated by Julia Ritterskamp, MINKEN & PALME, Berlin, 2011; Frieze Art Fair, Frame Section, with Chert Galerie, Berlin, 2010; “A House. A Light. A Hole.” Solo exhibition, Chert, Berlin, 2010; "Drinnen & Draussen", Chert, Berlin 2010; "Berlin - Paris. Un échange de galeries", “Petrit Halilaj, Heike Kabisch, Carla Scott Fullerton”, Galerie Carlos Cardenas, Paris, with Chert Galerie, Berlin 2010; “Do not go gentle into that good night”, Projekt Hafenweg 22, Münster, solo exhibition, 2009; “63. Bergische Kunstausstellung, Bergischer Kunstpreis 2009”, Kunstmuseum Baden Solingen. “63. Bergische Kunstausstellung”, Städtische Galerie Remscheid, 2009; “Summit Meeting, Young Sculpture from Switzerland and Germany”, KIT - Düsseldorf, 2009; “Snowy-White, Rosy-Red, Will You Beat Your Lover Dead?”, Wewerka-Pavillion, Münster, solo exhibition, 2007.
Siôn Parkinson was born in 1978, in Dundee. He lives and works in London.
Recent projects include: "Readings: Maria Fusco & Siôn Parkinson", ICA, London, January 2011; "New Contemporaries 2010", A Foundation (Liverpool) and ICA (London), 2010-2011; "American Mountains III: The Last Thing", The Nunnery, London, 2010; "Session_9_Object", Am Nuden Da, London, 2010; "Kam Lee and the Second Look", New Dalston Library, 2010; "New Music Action", Serpentine Gallery at Café Oto, London, 2010, Curated by Phyllida Barlow; "American Mountains II", Auto Italia, London, 2010; "Shelf", Whitestable Biennale, Whitestable, 2010.
Erik van der Weijde was born in Dordrecht, NL, 1977. Lives and works in Natal, BR.
Recent projects include: "End Note", Organized by Tanya Leighton Gallery & Archive Kabinett, Berlin, Berlin, 2010-2011; "ORT", curated by Ein Magazin über Orte, Berlin, Rathausgalerie Kunsthalle, Munich, 2010; “Der Baum”, Chert, Berlin, solo exhibition, 2010; “Thanks for sharing”, D21 Kunstraum, Leipzig, 2010; “Pages 2010”, Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam, 2010; “foto.zines”, Table d’hôtes, Lyon, 2010; “Superquadra”, Tijuana (Vermelho Gallery), São Paulo, 2010; “This is not my Son”, Ten Haaf Projects, Amsterdam, 2010; “Siedlung”, Exile Projects, Berlin, 2010; “Superquadra”, Self Service Open Art, Stuttgart, 2010; “In love with night”, Guggenheim Gallery (Chapman University), Orange, CA, 2009; “Siedlung”, Foam Photography museum Amsterdam, solo exhibition, 2008.