Annalisa Perazzi Kim Jong Il Ronald Reagan Marysia Gacek Matt Kleenex Natalie H채usler Ramon Esquiverna Laetitia Ann-Saedler Katharina Marszewski Camilla Perowski-Wittgenstein Edo Udo Rachel Minnesota
On the Golden Wire Longest ForThe Thirty-Four Show Title of the Universe is Here From March 15 to April 12, 2013 by: Opening Reception: Friday, MarchCurated 15, 7-9 PM Franklin Delano and NURTUREart Gallery Eric Sutherland 56 Bogart St., Brooklyn, NY 11206 From April 26 to May 28, 2012 Opening Reception: Friday, May 28, 7-9 PM NURTUREart Gallery 56 Bogart St., Brooklyn, NY 11206
On the Golden Wire For Thirty Four was a collaboration between Marysia Gacek, Natalie Häusler, and Katharina Marszewski. The project was one of the winners of NURTUREart’s 2012 open call to artists and curators and took place at NURTUREart Gallery between March 15 and April 12. 2013. Starting with the general idea of an exchange of content between artists, the initial focus of this project was put on the materiality of such content, rather than its possible meaning. The point of departure was the limit: the weight and volume of the most standard international package between the USA, UK and Germany. Each collaborator supplied one third of the materials and contributed to one Care Package*, which traveled from New York to Berlin to Glasgow to Berlin, before returning to its city of origin. This exchange of matter focused on the process, rather than what it manifested itself as in the end. The package was meant to supply three artists with the same materials to work with, without a pre-envisioned outcome. The collaboration examined individual methodologies leading to creating work using a model of giving and taking away. When the package returned to New York, it was put on display alongside artworks inspired by its content in a gallery exhibition at NURTUREart. *
Although “CARE package” is a registered trademarked term, origi-
nating in the wake of a World War II campaign to send food and supplies to Europe, the expression is still used in everyday vernacular to share the idea of providing comfort by sending food, supplies and small mementos. In 1945 Americans were given the opportunity to purchase a care package for 10 dollars to send to their friends or relatives. In 1962 President John F. Kennedy said that every CARE package is a personal contribution to the world peace and it expresses concern and friendship in a language all people understand.
edited by Marco Antonini
Marco Antonini: How did this project start? How did the idea of the Care Package come about?... I really wanted to start from a simple, almost obvious questions, because so many details in the project, its proposal, progress and outcome point to a pretty rich and complex shared history, to a friendship - I suppose - that is at the core of the gesture of exchanging and collaborating. It would be interesting to understand what of your personal life and of your relationship with each other went into the idea... and maybe what didn’t... and ultimately why, or why not, you would feel that’s important. Marysia Gacek: Fabio [Cavallucci, Director of Unosunove Gallery, Rome] emailed me one day and told me about NURTUREart’s call for proposals. I thought it would be interesting to do something with Natalie and Katharina. I met Natalie in 2010 when we did a residency at PS 122. We shared a studio for 2 months and had an exhibition there at the end. I met Katharina through Natalie when she came from Berlin to visit her in New York. We spent 2011 New Year’s Eve together. A lot of things have changed since then. I reached out to them and they suggested the care package idea. We didn’t have a clear vision of what the project was going to look like at the end. I think that the exchange of materials was the most important part of the idea, for us. Care packages bring out a lot of memories. I grew up in Poland so I had a chance to experience the world before the email. I used to send and receive real letters from my friends, I still have many of them. I love how
personal that type of communication was. A shared object carries a lot of information. Katharina Marzewski: I was in the kitchen. Natalie told me about the possibility of making a show together with Marysia in your space in New York and we both agreed that we would like to do that. At that time we were often busy preparing portfolios and other office stuff, and I think this was the reason why we thought about a care package... the idea brought us to “act” as artists again: we kind of combined our habits (preparing texts, photocopying stuff, filling out motivation letters, going to the post office) together with the further goal of setting up an exhibition. We knew that it was going to be hard, because we all lived in different countries and never really worked together before. I have meet Marysia in New York on a New Years Eve, as she just recalled. I found her to be an interesting and vivid person. Our backgrounds are similar: born in Poland, but emigrated early... I knew we would have shared similar feelings for the care package. Natalie Häusler: I also remember it very well. Katharina and I were both sitting together in the kitchen when we received Marysia’s email. We had to come up with an idea really fast, like, on the very same day. So Katharina and I started discussing and sending ideas back and forth with Marysia instantaneously. Something we had talked about earlier that
day was the relationship of an artist to her/ his materials and how the material itself by repetition becomes a content of its own throughout time. An initial idea and question was whether it could be interesting to treat material as content, in an almost literal way, to supply material and have the material chosen by each artist generate the content. At the same time we were interested in a gesture of sharing and the suggestion of another artist as an impulse, and where that would lead us.
non profit gallery like NURTUREart, where taking chances and letting diverse ideas, attitudes and styles in the general program is part of the daily “routine.” The final show was not so distant from what I expected, in terms of how it felt. I had no specific image in mind, I guess. I much liked the idea of leaving the contents of the box unaccessible and secret, instead of showing them. Let’s talk about the genesis and history of some of the work. Marysia, where did (if ) the Salt has lost its Savour came from? I seem to remember that there was no actual salt in the Box...
KM: I have a question for you, Marco: how did you feel about this project, before and after the exhibition? Was the care package idea, and its promise, more fascinating than the actual exhibition? Did you have a mental image of any kind of how the show could have ended up looking?
MG: It’s true, the package didn’t contain salt, but there was a box of Yunnan tea distributed in Poland that Katharina sent to me in Glasgow, from Berlin. I decided to trace it back to its origins in China. I was fascinated by the rich history of tea trade. Originally, tea was carried by foot from China to Tibet over the Tea Horse Road, through Himalayas. That’s when I got interested in the mountains and what words like “Tibetan” and “Himalayan” actually mean and represent in contemporary Western culture. “Himalayan salt” is just a marketing term for rock salt from Pakistan, mined about 300 km away from the actual Himalayas. Still, the salt was formed 250 million years ago and it has been highly valuable for centuries for its qualities. When I decided to paint a gallery wall with the salt, I thought of preservation, purification, provenance and value. Research only served as a point of departure. Without the package and this particular context the piece would have never happened.
MA: My feeling was... well, that the project would have represented a challenge. And I felt that it was appropriate for us at NURTUREart to take such a challenge, and help produce and present an exhibition that was inherently “difficult” to communicate in an open call proposal. I think this feeling was shared by the voting members of our panel. they voted the project based on the quality of your previous work and based on the assumption that this kind of experimental projects need a leap of faith and in a certain sense embody the meaning and the mission of a
Marysia Gacek, (if) the salt has lost its savour, 2013. Himalayan salt on gallery wall, dimensions variable.
MA: Katharina, do you want to spend a few words on your wall piece and Tea brew? KM: We were having a very cold winter, my feet nearly froze away. Then the care package really surpassed itself, as I found some self -reacting chemical insoles in it, the kind that get really warm. MG: I stole those insole warmers from my boyfriend. KM: I also found two blue and red carbon-paper sheets in the box, and came to think about the relation between those two colors and the temperatures (red=hot, blue=cold) they represent... all of a sudden McLuhan’s theory of hot and cold media also came to mind: we were communicating through the package, but also via Skype, mail, telephone, etc... but in the end, no work could have happened without trust and deeper understanding. My piece is based on these ideas. In the last few months I have been making lacquer-pigment drawings sealed with adhesive tape, and in this case i added a silk screen with our eyes and a wire, as a kind of totemic image. The whole thing looks a little beaten up, as if it had spent some time travelling, but that’s good. MA: The wire connection in Katharina’s wall piece definitely suggests a “mediated” dialogue (via phone in this case) were you girls interacting and talking a lot with each other all along this process? Or did you rather let the objects “speak” and determine the direction the show would take?
KM: Sometimes I wonder how the exhibition would have looked, if we had the chance to meet and talk to each other in real life at least once (maybe during a small tea ceremony?) … as Natalie mentioned before, the objects from the package where rather treated as material. Rather than “listening” to them, I considered them as evidence of the present life of the other girls... and in this way they somehow influenced my decisions and works. So the coiled wire of that image represents a form of trust in each other. MG: We had a few Skype meetings and exchanged some emails. We all have our own ways of working so we didn’t know what the final result would be till the very end. MA: Marysia, another curiosity I have is the idea of smell and taste in your work (the salt piece ended up being licked by unruly elementary school kids!)... and both your photographic pieces seem to imply the sense of smell... can you tell me a little bit more about those? One even bears the name of our organization which, I must say, was quite funny and flattering. MG: I’m glad some people had the courage to taste the wall. I still remember the thrill of secretly trying to lick walls of an old salt mine in Poland when I was a kid. Maybe that’s where the idea came from. I took a lot of photographs of the contents before I sent them back to Berlin. I spent some time just observing the objects and analyzing their qualities. I think Nurture is more about absorption than smell. The other one is a photo
of an opened perfume bottle. It was inspired by my favorite Hans-Peter Feldmann’s piece which is a collection of pictures of car radios taken while good music was playing. MA: Ha! I didn’t think about it... there is certainly a synesthetic quality to all of the pieces that you presented... taste, smell, sight... what do you mean by absorption? Did you use the word metaphorically? MG: I used it quite literally actually, both the sponge and the plant absorb water. Again, it’s the idea of giving and taking away. MA: Natalie, would you help us crack the code of your intriguing center piece to the exhibition... I can hear the Pants speaking to me as I write this. NH: Well, Crisis 3, as the piece ended up being called, was almost entirely made during my stay in New York. I spent most of my time with the package in Berlin reading the two books that were in there, The Crisis and Crisis in the Life of an Actress by Søren Kierkegaard and 73 poems by E. E. Cummings. I also looked at all the objects in the package and started doing recordings where I would describe each object, comment on it and ask questions to the person who supplied it. I did only use very few of those recordings in the end. The ones that I used were recordings from the bathtub of the Berlin apartment I shared with Katharina. But the piece developed gradually, from finding the title on my way to the studio, where I saw an advertisement for the computer game Crisis 3, to
finding a copy of the Manhattan Yellow Pages in Chelsea one day. I then decided to record all the jobs listed in the Yellow Pages, reading from A to Z. A section of the Kierkegaard text where he speaks about the decay of recognition and the Robert Creeley poem “I Know a Man” are the main components of the other two recordings. MA: And how did you connect that job directory (quite a feat. of endurance performance if I can say so... I love the parts where you get exhausted of reading and kind of crack up laughing) to the Kierkegaard and Cummings texts? Or was there some sort of link to your experience here in NY, to the way you perceived the city back then? NH: This sound collage was meant to be a sort of factual inventory of the concept of “crisis” at the current moment. One recording contains the sentence: “This crisis seems to reappear in infinite new versions of itself” which can be seen as a link between the three disparate components. The job directory reading forms a strange counterpart to the in-depth inquiry of a persons’ “craft” in Kierkegaard’s Crisis in the Life of an Actress. When I was reading out all those jobs I often had to read a description several times to understand it, or read it wrong, because I am not a native English speaker... which creates interesting ruptures with the quite different atmosphere of the two other recordings. And then certain job categories e.g.: “anxiety disorders” or “auto body coalition repair,” create interesting additional undertones in the pairing with sentences from the two other recordings. In the piece, Manhattan is read as a sum of all its professions, which in order become definitions of states of crisis.
Left Page and Above: Katharina Marszewski, DER HEISSE DRAHT (Whole and Detail), 2013. Silkscreen, collage, dimensions variable. Left: Instructions by Katharina Marszewski, assembled by Marysia Gacek + Natalie H채usler, Yunnan Tea, 2013, loose tea, water, bowl, burner, strainer, dimensions variable.
Perry Mason, 2012. Gouache on paper on panel, 20 x 16 inches.
Left Page: Natalie H채usler, Escape to New York, Archive, 2013. Digital print on crepe de chine silk. Above: Natalie H채usler, Crisis 3, 2013. Lycra pants, cardboard, speakers, sound, cement, nails, Manhattan yellow pages, fragrance oil flacons, spandex, dimensions variable.
Marysia Gacek, German Lawns, 2013, digital print, edition of 5, 4 x 6 inches (11 x 14 inches framed).
Marysia Gacek, Nurture, 2013, digital print, edition of 5, 4 x 6 inches (11 x 14 inches framed).
NURTUREart Non-Profit Inc. is dedicated to nurturing contemporary art by providing exhibition opportunities and resources for emerging artists, curators, and local public school students. The unique synergy between NURTUREartâ€™s programs generates a collaborative environment for artistic experimentation. This framework, along with other far-reaching programming, cultivates a supportive artistic network and enriches the local and larger cultural communities. NURTUREart Non-Profit Inc. is a 501(c)(3) New York State licensed, federally tax-exempt charitable art organization founded in 1997 by George J. Robinson. NURTUREart is funded in part by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Barclays, City Council Member Diana Reyna, City Council Member Stephen Levin, the Greenwall Foundation, the Greenwich Collection, the Harold and Colene Brown Foundation, the Laura B. Vogler Foundation, the Leibovitz Foundation, the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, the Milton and Sally Avery Foundation, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York City Department of Education, The New York State Council on the Arts, The Wolf Kahn and Emily Mason Foundation and generous individuals. It receives legal support from Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts.
NURTUREart Sponsors : The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts City Council Member Diana Reyna City Council Member Stephen Levin The Durst Family Foundation The Greenwall Foundation The Greenwich Collection, LTD The Joan Mitchell Foundation The Harold and Colene Brown Family Foundation The Laura B. Vogler Foundation The Leibovitz Foundation Lily Auchincloss Foundation Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation New York City Department of Cultural Affairs New York City Department of Education New York State Council on the Arts No More Poverty Urban Outfitters WNYC Star Initiative The Wolf Kahn and Emily Mason Foundation Many generous individuals Thank You : Brooklyn Brewery Societe Perrier Printing For Less Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
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Published on May 17, 2013
eBook/Catalog of "On the Golden Wire For Thirty Four," a collaboration between Marysia Gacek, Natalie Häusler, and Katharina Marszewski. Pre...