Agency: Assembly (E.L.P.)

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© Courtesy of Elaine Levy Project
Agency: Assembly (E.L.P.)
Curated by: Agata Jastrzabek

Rue Fourmoisstraat 9
1050 Bruxelles
June 30th, 2012 - August 31st, 2012
Opening: June 30th, 2012 2:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Center - Uptown
+32 (0) 484 966 647
Thursday to Saturday, 2 to 7pm and by appointment


Assembly (E.L.P.)

For Assembly (E.L.P.), Agency calls forth a selection from its list of things, speculating on the question: “How can commons get included within art practices?” Many compilations get classified as non-original or common. Intellectual property law defines compilations as “a collection of materials, factual or other, that have been selected or organized in such a way that the resulting work constitutes an original work of authorship.” Compilations can be eligible for copyright protection if the selection, coordination, arrangement or ordering is original. For many compilations as for examples lists, charts, directories, maps, databases, albums, exhibitions, periodicals, anthologies, encyclopedias, guide books, law reports, catalogues, charts, taxonomies, collections, etc... this distinction is hard to make. If the choice is entirely controlled by the requirements of a common preexisting system or formula, then the compiler is considered rather a clerk, a scribe, an archivist, or a copyist then an author. A selection of things, as for example Thing 000768 (Passion-Cinema) and Thing 000863 (Musee National de l’Automobile), will convene an assembly at Elaine Levy Project in order to bear witness.



Agency is the generic name of a Brussels-based initiative that was founded in 1992 by Kobe Matthys. 

The modern concept of intellectual property relies fundamentally upon the assumption of a division between the ontological categories of “nature” and “culture”. However, for many art practices such a bifurcation is difficult to make. Agency constitutes a growing list of things that resist this split. These things are derived from juridical processes, lawsuits, cases, controversies, affairs and so forth, around intellectual property (copyrights, patents, trademarks, etc...). 

Agency calls things forth from its list via varying assemblies inside exhibitions, performances, publications, etc... Every assembly poses a different speculative question. The series of assemblies explores in a topological way the operative consequences of the apparatus of intellectual property for an ecology of art practices. 

Most recently Agency presented assemblies based on it's list of things at Les Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers, Aubervilliers (2012), Objectif-Exhibitions, Antwerpen (2011), The Showroom, London (2011), Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis (2010) and in “Mind the System, Find the Gap” at Z33, Hasselt, "Animism" at Extra City and M HKA, Antwerp, Kunsthalle Bern, Generali Foundation, Vienna, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (2009 -12), “Grand Domestic Revolution” at Casco, Utrecht (2011-2012), "Speech Matters" at Biennale, Venice (2011), "Watchmen, Liars, Dreamers" at Le Plateau, Paris (2010), etc...

This summer exhibition at E.L.P. is curated by Agata Jastrzabek.

Selection from the list of things
thing 000781 (area-wide telephone directory)
thing 001043 (Computerized Valuation Service)
thing 001201 (real estate ownership maps)
thing 001817 (yellow pages classified business directory)

From July 11 to August 31, the gallery will be open by appointment.
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