UNTITLED (TEA PARTY)
Klosterfelde is happy to present Untitled (Tea Party), a group show exhibiting works by Bas Jan Ader, Darren Bader, and Lara Favaretto. The concurrence of presence and absence with its multitude of notions can be seen as the connecting thread running through the exhibition, creating rather unexpected playful associations among these works.
Bas Jan Ader (Dutch, born 1942, disappeared at sea in 1975) was a conceptual and performance artist, as well as a photographer and filmmaker. Ader’s foremost concern was to challenge the boundaries between art and real life, and consequently documenting his actions. His last project, a three-part performance work, was named In search of the Miraculous. It was during the second section, aiming to cross the Atlantic in a 13-foot sailboat, that he disappeared.
Untitled (Tea Party) (1972), lending its title to this group show, is a short silent film. The camera slowly zooms into a sunlit clearing in a forest where Ader, formally dressed, is crawling towards a large cardboard box, propped up by a stick, under which he is taking his afternoon tea—in the English style. The camera zooms out again and finally, in the last frame, the stick has come away while the box has fallen to capture the tea-drinker like a mouse in a trap.
Darren Bader (American, born in 1978, living and working in New York) creates humorous and playful installations, using a range of varied media including video, music, digital images, fruits and animals, which are primarily made up of contrasting, often seemingly incompatible objects evoking a sense of lyrical absurdity and challenging concepts of perception. In his own words, the works are based on the notion that pieces placed together just „go together. That’s sculpture that I do. Find two things that complement each other and voilà!“
For the photograph—here, presented via a computer screen—documenting Kangaroo and Lobster, a recent performance by the artist, Bader placed two very different animal species next to each other. Coming from such unequal contexts, their seemingly casual togetherness provokes questions about possible stories beyond the picture’s surface. Also, contemplating the image, it becomes clear that their get-together could have lasted just a glimpse in time. What once appeared is now absent.
Lara Favaretto (Italian, born in 1973, living and working in Turin) works with sculpture, video, performance and photography. Aiming to evoke perplexity and a sense of magical fantasy, she frequently employs dualistic concepts as inspiration for her art—the durability of objects and the ephemeral nature of events, esthetic beauty and notions of negation, the carnevalesque and the sensation of failure. Old construction materials, discarded paintings and lost objects are often at the centre of Favaretto’s work challenging the world’s existing order.
Playing with the tension between materialization and invisibility, Favaretto has developed an ongoing series of temporary public installations and cenotaph-like memorials, entitled "Momentary Monuments," based on the idea of disappearance and destruction, and honoring people who had withdrawn themselves from the public eye. Homage to Thomas Grant Hadwin(2011) is dedicated to an Australian suffering from paranoia and loving the wild, who escaped prison after cutting down the Golden Spruth, the Haida people’s sacred tree.