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in F r agmen t s


Mor a l i t y in F r agme n t s

W I T T E DE W I T H CEN T E R F OR C ON T EMP OR A RY A R T


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I ntroduction

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Act I

24

Act II

44

ACT III

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ACT IV

88

ACT V

116

ACT VI

136

ACT VII

152

ACT VIII

174

Act IX

200

ACT X

212 230

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Texts by


What´s Morality? Beautiful from Every Point of View

From Love to Legal And the moral of the story is...

I Could Live in Africa Power Alone Remember Humanity

Of Facts and Fables Nether Land

Let Us Compare Mythologies Rotterdam Dialogues: Morality Between You and I Web-Platform Aaron Schuster, Alev Ersan, Hu Fang Michael Stevenson, Peter Wächtler


Morality

Morality is a multi-faceted project that was presented at Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art (Rotterdam) in 2009 and 2010.

While there are certain moral principles that are usually unquestioned (the

right to life, for instance), morality remains ambivalent and amorphous in terms of the principles it provides for humans acting in the world. It is these amorphous areas, these gray zones, that this project sought to address, particularly in how they form a difficult aspect of our reality today.

Morality is an invitation to reflect and debate situations in contemporary life

that refuse clear distinctions between right and wrong, what is and what ought to be. As a whole, this project has been defined by a desire  –  inherent to contemporary art  –  to open spaces for active, engaged forms of spectatorship that are not predetermined by either moral or ideological imperatives.

Morality is a provocative theme, especially in a world that is now determined

by the experiences of war, displacement, political and economic crises, the rise of religious stereotypes, and the radicalization of seemingly old doctrines and ideologies. Morality is also a broad subject that affects everybody in many different ways. From the bathroom to the parliament, there is a total field of social engagement, in which morality functions without boundaries, between a set of abstract, intangible, and general ideas. Morality is neither a base nor a superstructure, but a smooth network of influences that operates outside the law, governing both regulated and unregulated social spaces, and affecting daily lives in subtle, seductive, unexpected ways. Yet, there is not a unique or purely affirmative sense that one can give to this notion. A number of moral attitudes – often at odds with one another – inform the positions that, as political subjects, we assume vis-à-vis the events that take place in our world.

Seemingly simple, but also disturbingly difficult to grasp, morality is an ideal

leitmotiv for a project that sought to explore critical points of fragmentation in everyday life.

Rather than presenting statements that can be perceived as being right or

wrong, good or evil, the project Morality aimed to create a space for showing a wide range of attitudes that problematize a total conception of morality, focusing on the less tangible forces and attitudes that shape common thinking and behavior.

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Introduction

W h at ´s M o r a l i t y ?

The year-long Morality program at Witte de With was structured as a series

of interrelated Acts that began in the Fall of 2009 and ran until November 2010. The project included six in-house exhibitions: Beautiful from Every Point of View (10 October 2009 – 10 January 2010); From Love to Legal (10 October 2009 – 7 February 2010) curated Juan A. Gaitán and Nicolaus Schafhausen, assisted by Anne-Claire Schmitz; I Could Live in Africa curated by Michał Wolinski, Anne-Claire Schmitz, and Nicolaus Schafhausen; Power Alone (both 20 February – 25 April 2010); Remember Humanity (13 May – 29 August 2010); and Of Facts and Fables (13 May – 26 September 2010) curated by Juan A. Gaitán and Nicolaus Schafhausen, assisted by Amira Gad. It included one satellite exhibition Nether Land (20 June – 11 July 2010) at the Dutch Culture Centre in Shanghai as part of the World Expo 2010, curated by Monika Szewczyk and Nicolaus Schafhausen, assisted by Amira Gad.

Also presented as part of the Morality project were: A film cycle tilted And

the moral of the story is… (4 – 7 February 2010) curated by Zoë Gray, assisted by Hessel de Ronde. Let Us Compare Mythologies (18 –  20 June 2010), a performance program curated by Renske Janssen and Dorothea Jendricke that took place at Witte de With and other venues in Rotterdam. Rotterdam Dialogues: Morality (19 – 20 November 2010), a symposium including master-classes organized by Juan A. Gaitán, Nicolaus Schafhausen, and Monika Szewczyk, and assisted by Amira Gad. And four interventions on Witte de With’s façade under the umbrella of “Between You and I ” (10 October 2009 – 31 December 2010) curated by Anne-Claire Schmitz and Nicolaus Schafhausen, in collaboration with Fulya Erdemci from SKOR (Stichting Kunst en Openbare Ruimte, Amsterdam) that presented works by AES+F, Ayse Erkmen, Isa Genzken, and Maider López. Beyond the exhibitions, online visitors were invited to participate by contributing to a web-platform, initiated by Belinda Hak, conceived together with Marijke Goeting, and designed by Richard Vijgen. The Acts were structured and conceived as tentative hypotheses, casting an unusual light on important themes in contemporary political thought and realities. After years of contemplation, deliberation, and retrospection, this book Morality in Fragments, is the final Act that summarizes and concludes the loaded Morality project.

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Act I Beautiful from Ever y Point of V iew 10 Oct. 2009 — 10 Jan. 2010


Morality

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Ac t I

B e au t i f u l f r o m E v e r y P o i n t o f Vi e w

The title of Act I: Beautiful from Every Point of View derives from Horace’s famous aphorism of the first century BCE, “nothing is beautiful from every point of view.” Not so long ago, under a regime of the imagination that took Truth and Beauty to be inseparable, this statement would have seemed incongruous. Today, however, Horace’s sentence is little more than a platitude, increasingly deployed in a rhetoric, in which any point of view, and any action, can find its justification merely in its right to exist.

This first Act brought together a selection of works that refuse

to assert an immediate, self-evident point of view on the subjects they represent. The works ranged from poignant simulations of the capitalist sublime, to humorous commentaries on the relationship between struggle and power, aiming at the grace that we inhabit between images and power. Featured artists: Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Marko Lulić, Kris Martin, Josephine Meckseper, Sarah Morris, Ron Terada, Tobias Zielony, Artur Żmijewski. Performances by Spartacus Chetwynd. — Curated by Juan A. Gaitán and Nicolaus Schafhausen, assisted by Anne-Claire Schmitz. Performance program curated by Renske Janssen.

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Morality

fig. I.1 Josephine Meckseper Thank a Vet, 2008 Walker, mannequin legs, socks, toilet mat, metal clip stand, steel wool, box of underwear, toilet brush, mannequin chest, T-shirt, motor oil container, Plexiglas cube, 69 Ă— 240 Ă— 120 cm

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Ac t I

B e au t i f u l f r o m E v e r y P o i n t o f Vi e w

fig. I.2 Josephine Meckseper (left) Sanitätshaus Hofmann No. 1 2007 Photograph C-print, 160 × 233 cm (right) Nußdorf Sanitätshaus Hofmann No. 2, 2007 Photograph C-print, 160 × 233 cm

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Morality

fig. I.3 Marko Lulić Fragment of a Modernist Monument made to fit the foyer of Witte de With, 2009 Poplar wood, paint Dimensions variable

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Ac t I

B e au t i f u l f r o m E v e r y P o i n t o f Vi e w

fig. I.4

fig. I.5

Ron Terada

Kris Martin

(left) Voight Kampff, 2008

(right) Mandi VIII, 2006

HD-DVD / Blue-ray disc

Plaster

2' loop

221 × 150 × 100 cm

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Morality

fig. I.6

fig. I.7

Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia

(left) Tennille, 2004

(middle) William Charles Everlove,

(right) Ike Cole, 38, Los Angeles, CA, $25, 1990

Fuji Crystal C-print mounted

26 years old; Stockholm, Sweden,

on Dibond

via Arizona; $40, 1990 – 1992

Ektacolor Professional print

152.4 × 100.3 cm

Ektacolor print, 51 × 61 cm

40 × 60 cm

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Ac t I

B e au t i f u l f r o m E v e r y P o i n t o f Vi e w

fig. I.8 Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia

(left) Mike Vincetti, 24, NYC

(middle) Brent Booth; 21 years old;

(right) André Smith, 28 years old;

or Tulsa, OK, $30, 1990 – 1992

Des Moines; Iowa; $30, 1990 – 1992

Baton Rouge,Louisiana, $30, 1991

C-print

C-print

Ektacolor print

76 × 101 cm

76.2 × 101.6 cm

76 × 101 cm

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Morality

Featured Artists

Philip-Lorca diCorcia’s photographs focus on relatively marginal

subjects – pole-dancers and hustlers, for instance – with a strange logic based both on an aesthetics of glamor (Helmut Newton, for instance) and an aesthetic of individual emancipation (Richard Avedon), refusing to opt for either of these strategies. The subjects in the photographs are thus left in an ambiguous process of fictionalization of the body that is inimical to the emancipation of an individual subjectivity.

Marko Lulić’s Fragment of a Modernist Monument uses the bombastic

and abstracted modernist monuments from the Communist era, under Marshal Tito in Yugoslavia, as a point of departure. These monuments, idealized and heroic, were scattered all around the country in the public realm. He strips these monuments or fragments of them out of their original context, shrinks them, and reconstructs them with cheap materials into new locations. Lulić’s work explores the connection between form and ideology, architecture and power politics, and reflects the failure of systems and ideals.

Kris Martin’s Mandi VIII is a plaster-cast replica of the famous classical

sculpture Laocöon and his Sons. The snake has been removed, leaving the actors of this epic drama to wrestle an absent or intangible force, suggesting a panoptical theme of power and struggle: the disappearance of an identifiable origin, and the replacement of an ethereal, intangible power whose effects are disturbingly real. Martin’s sculpture thus adds a contemporary allegory to a figure whose allegorical connotations had for a long time been reduced to a specific Greek tragedy. It also reinforces the fact that our present continues to expand its relationship to that remote past from which we are ontologically distant yet fatally tied through a lexicon that informs most of our political ideologies.

Josephine Meckseper’s sculpture and photographs make reference

to the ease with which our culture brings together images of power, militarism, home, and consumption, replicating thus the contemporary drive to make power operative in every available social space. Yet, Meckseper indicates this by creating sculptures and arrangements, in which the different elements are kept clearly distinct, making it impossible to perceive them as a total system. In other words, Meckseper’s work aims to reveal the non-identical nature of the systems that

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Ac t I

B e au t i f u l f r o m E v e r y P o i n t o f Vi e w

operate in our everyday lives, presenting a perhaps naïve or hopeful alternative, in which distinctions between different modes of living and different experiences of everyday life may be able to regain autonomy vis-à-vis the totalitarian system that capitalism presents us.

Sarah Morris’ Beijing is an epic “eulogy” to a corporate aesthetic

intensely involved in displacing all other relationships to reality. The film reveals how a cold, clinical construction of society intersects with ostensibly disinterested events such as the Olympic Games. Adopting the neutral, uninvolved mood that is commonly presented as intrinsic to high-definition audiovisual technology, Morris’ film points to the capacity we have to observe the world without taking part in it.

Ron Terada’s Voight Kampff is a videowall on which an image of a

geisha plays in an endless loop. Upon closer examination, one realizes that there are three different women dressed almost identically. The title comes from the machine used in Blade Runner to identify “replicants” based on whether they are capable of having emotional responses. Terada’s work plays off ideas of the future that are at once archaic and impossible to dispel: the loss of emotion, overpopu­ lation, and more importantly, the idea that “humanity” will only be able to see itself as one once it is confronted with an absolute “other,” be it an extraterrestrial or a cyborg, as long as this other is made, as it were, “in the image of man.”

Tobias Zielony’s Le Vele di Scampia is a neo-realist-inspired stroll

through the Vele di Scampia, the infamous modernist housing project by architect Francesco di Salvo taken over by the Mafia since the 1970s. Commonly photographed from a distance as a decayed and abandoned project of post-World War II modernism, Zielony produced instead a stop-motion animation from thousands of photographs taken at night of the building’s exterior, interior and its inhabitants, producing a narrative of “approach” that starts with images taken from a distance, surrounding the building, entering, and finally revealing the people who inhabit it. Consistent with his former work, Zielony here presents us with a surprising, counterintuitive image of these marginal social spaces.

Artur Żmijewski’s Democracies poses a radically different image

of the present, one that is at once more concrete and more expansive. Through a series of 23 vignettes, Żmijewski's film presents a world, in which democratic ideals are at odds with the enactment of democratic rights. Quickly one notices in Żmijewski’s poignant video that the right of expression (manifestation, protest, self representation) often intersects with ideologies of power and supremacy, xenophobia, irrational nationalism, and especially with the replication or even

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Morality

revival of historically problematic symbolisms and sentiments. Consistent with his other works, ŝmijewski forces the viewer to confront a series of moments that are aesthetically similar but profoundly different in content, asking us to question which of these will gain the upper hand, or reminding us of Marx’s dictum that, unable to invent everything from scratch, revolutions must by necessity begin as a costume drama. Spartacus Chetwynd or Marvin Gaye Chetwynd (born Alalia Chetwynd, 1973) is a British artist known for reworkings of iconic moments from cultural history in deliberately amateurish and improvisatory performances. In 2012, she was nominated for the Turner Prize.

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Ac t I

B e au t i f u l f r o m E v e r y P o i n t o f Vi e w

List of Works

fig. I.1

fig. I.6

Sarah Morris

Josephine Meckseper

Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Beijing, 2008

Thank a Vet, 2008

Tennille, 2004

35 mm / HD, 84’47”

Walker, mannequin legs, socks, toilet

Fuji Crystal C-print mounted on

Courtesy of the artist

mat, metal clip stand, steel wool, box

Dibond, 152.4 × 100.3 cm

of underwear, toilet brush, mannequin

Courtesy Galerie Rodolphe Janssen,

chest, T-shirt, motor oil container,

Brussels

Plexiglas cube, 69 × 240 × 120 cm fig. I.7 (left) William Charles Everlove, 26 Josephine Meckseper

Le Vele di Scampia, 2009 PAL HD, 8'47", loop

Courtesy Arndt & Partner, Berlin fig. I.2

Tobias Zielony

Courtesy of the artist and Galeria Lia Rumma, Milan-Naples

years old; Stockholm, Sweden, via Arizona; $40, 1990 – 1992

Artur Żmijewski

(left) Sanitätshaus Hofmann No. 1

Ektacolor print, 51 × 61 cm

Democracies, 2009

2007

Courtesy David Zwirner, New York

20 videos shown as single-channel

Photograph C-print, 160 × 233 cm

and Sprüth Magers, Berlin

video projection (23 films), 2'26''

Courtesy Sammlung Klein,

(right) Ike Cole, 38, Los Angeles, CA,

Sound, color, with English subtitles

(right) Nußdorf Sanitätshaus

$25, 1990

Courtesy of the artist and Galerie

Hofmann No. 2, 2007

Ektacolor Professional print

Peter Kilchmann, Zurich

Photograph C-print, 160 × 233 cm

40 × 60 cm

Courtesy Sammlung Klein, Nußdorf

Courtesy Galerie Rodolphe Janssen,

Spartacus Chetwynd

Brussels

The Triumph of Death and King Midas

fig. I.3

Friday 9 October, 7 – 9 p.m.

Marko Lulić

fig. I.8

Fragment of a Modernist Monument

(left) Mike Vincetti, 24, NYC or Tulsa,

made to fit the foyer of Witte de With

OK, $30, 1990 – 1992

2009

C-print, 76 × 101 cm

Poplar wood, paint

Courtesy Galerie Almine Rech,

Dimensions variable

Brussels/Paris

Courtesy of the artist

(middle) Brent Booth; 21 years old;

Performance

Des Moines; Iowa; $30, 1990 – 1992 fig. I.4

C-print, 76.2 × 101.6 cm

Ron Terada

Courtesy David Zwirner, New York

Voight Kampff, 2008

and Sprüth Magers, Berlin

HD-DVD / Blue-ray disc, 2' loop

(right) André Smith, 28 years old;

Courtesy Catriona Jeffries Gallery,

Baton Rouge,Louisiana, $30, 1991

Vancouver

Ektacolor print, 76 × 101 cm Courtesy Galerie Almine Rech,

fig. I.5

Brussels/Paris

Kris Martin Mandi VIII, 2006 Plaster, 221 × 150 × 100 cm Courtesy of David Roberts Art Foundation, London

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Ac t I I F rom L ove to L ega l 10 Oct. 20 0 9 — 7 Feb. 2010


Moralit y

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Ac t I I

F rom L ov e t o L e ga l

Act II: From Love to Legal brought together a selection of contemporary artworks that confront oppositions between anecdotal and factual, personal and historical, making it problematic to separate desire from even the most ascetic relationship to the world. Exploring references to biographical and factual histories, with Act II we wanted to suggest a cyclical trajectory that begins in private life – that space and time, in which one “is not an image, an object” (Barthes), addressing the utopia of a time and a space, in which one would be able to remain untouched by power, truth, and morality. This Act opened with two works by Nedko Solakov, Agreement, and The Bill, two seemingly naïve and harmless statements that, as is common in Solakov’s work, set up a fictional space of intimate communication between the visitors and the artist. Agreement announces to the visitor that by entering the gallery she or he is therefore liable to being harassed by the (absent) artist; The Bill tempts the visitor to take a € 20,- banknote the artist has left lying with a message that presents an irresolvable cycle of moral and practical dilemmas should one choose to take it, or should one find that it has already been taken. The exhibition thus opens with a subtle reference to the series of fraught relationships between individuals and the social systems, in which individuals unfold. Featured artists: Isa Genzken, Joachim Koester, Christodoulos Panayiotou, Isabelle Pauwels, Mark Raidpere, Tobias Rehberger, Nedko Solakov, Danh Vo, Peter Wächtler, Katarina Zdjelar. — Curated by Juan A. Gaitán and Nicolaus Schafhausen, assisted by Anne-Claire Schmitz.

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Moralit y

fig. II.1 Isa Genzken Dedicated to Jasper Johns, 2009 Mixed media Dimensions variable

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Ac t I I

F rom L ov e t o L e ga l

fig. II.2 Isa Genzken The Poverty, 2009 Mixed media Dimensions variable

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Moralit y

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Ac t I I

fig. II.3 Tobias Rehberger (front left) Cheese-eating practicing Chinese (Adolf Hitler version), 2007 Wood, metal, paint, spray paint, acrylic on Plexiglas, marker, dripping device, water 205 × 90 × 95 cm

F rom L ov e t o L e ga l

fig. II.4 Tobias Rehberger (front right) Odd-breasted New York man unfit for life, 2007 Wood, pvc-pipe, acrylic on Plexiglas, paint, spray paint, marker, aluminium foil, water 160 × 75 × 75 cm

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Moralit y

fig. II.5 Christodoulos Panayiotou GuysGoCrazy, 2007 Two-channel video installation with sound

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Ac t I I

F rom L ov e t o L e ga l

fig. II.6 Danh Vo Oma Totem, 2009 Tombstone for Nguyên Thi Tý Wood, marble, granite, bronze, wood relief of sculpture 216.5 × 65 × 62.5 cm

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Moralit y

fig. II.7 Nedko Solakov The Agreement, 2008 – 2009 Handwritten text on wall Dimensions variable The Bill, 2009 Handwritten text, €20,- bill Dimensions variable

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Ac t I I

F rom L ov e t o L e ga l

fig. II.8 Peter Wächtler Tom Cruise, 2005 C-print 118 × 86 cm

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Moralit y

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Ac t I I

F rom L ov e t o L e ga l

fig. II.9 Joachim Koester The Hashish Club, 2009 Installation with black and white photo, moroccan lamps, 16 mm film, 6’, black and white, no sound, looped Dimensions variable

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Moralit y

fig. II.10 Mark Raidpere Pühendus, Dedication, 2008 Video projection, 9’10”

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fig. II.12 Isabelle Pauwels (bottom right page) B&E, 2009 Video projection on DVD, 45’, 2 unframed documents with mattes 40.64 × 50.80 cm, 35.56 × 27.94 cm


Ac t I I

F rom L ov e t o L e ga l

fig. II.11 Katarina Zdjelar Everything is Gonna Be, 2008 Video projection 16:9, 3’35�, song: Revolution, The Beatles

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Moralit y

Featured Artists

Through her work, over the past few years, Isa Genzken has intensified her critical approach to modernism, producing objects and situations that reveal how nearly all technological utopias, socialist or not, have been perfected within the context of capitalism. Generally pitched against a purist modernism, her assemblages invoke a world without resolution and without method, a world in which nothing can be fixed or given over to any singular purpose, a world without scale, an anarchic world that is nevertheless meticulously constructed, and whose resemblance to our contemporary reality is surely coincidental. Joachim Koester’s Hashish Club is a simple installation that includes a large photograph of a 19th century Parisian living room, a 16 mm film loop featuring a montage of images of marihuana leaves, and two lamps hang from the ceiling. In these images, there is a basic reference to a situation that is utterly foreign to our present, when the consumption of narcotics and mind-altering substances still lie beyond the grasp of the law – even if within the grasp of morality. But there is also, in the absence of people, an inability for us to imagine the kind of collectivity that would fill these spaces, a collectivity perhaps already fragmented by the individual desire to retreat into itself. Christodoulos Panayiotou’s GuysGoCrazy is a two-channel video structured as a before-and-after image of a set for a gay porn production. The videos show the set, before and after an “orgy” has taken place, without actors, though the camera, operated by a professional pornography cinematographer, behaves as it would during the actual shoot. Eliminating the bodies, this video brings forth a methodical and highly sophisticated stage that awaits action. One is therefore left with the surplus or excess of a sexual emancipation whose bounds and frame have already been preset. One might argue that today the surplus is the body itself. Isabelle Pauwels’ B&E is a video and a document, though not a documentary, of a few days that she and her family spent at her grandparents’ home in Flanders, during the process of dividing the inheritance. With this video Pauwels registers a series of candid conversations during which the

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Ac t I I

F rom L ov e t o L e ga l

family reveals a series of “betrayals” to the bourgeois values upheld by the grandparents, while at the same time noting how the objects and histories of this household carry, for example, the legacy of Belgian colonialism. More significantly perhaps is the fact that, through the process of inheritance, things and people disclose the extent of their instability. Mark Raidpere’s Dedication shows his parents sitting against a reflective door while listening to the chamber-piece Dedication by the Estonian composer Erkki-Sven Tüür. After having depicted them separately on several occasions, here the artist brought both his parents together, “for the first time within a single frame,” and the artist himself can be seen reflected on the door, videotaping the scene. Faced with this familial triumvirate, one might imagine the absurd psychoanalytical kingdom, within which subjects learn the relationship between privacy and silence. Tobias Rehberger’s sculptures are somewhat fugitive objects containing elements of destruction and impermanence. Seemingly coming from a fictional world, Rehberger’s ambiguous and unsteady sculptures remind us of archetypal capitalist designs, such as those of Walt Disney, that turn absurdist assemblages into acceptable images, and through which childhood, is methodically compartmentalized into aesthetic categories. This Act opens with two works by Nedko Solakov, Agreement, and The Bill, two seemingly naïve and harmless statements that, as is common in Solakov’s work, set up a fictional space of intimate communication between the visitors and the artist. Agreement announces to the visitor that by entering the gallery she or he is therefore liable to being harassed by the (absent) artist; The Bill tempts the visitor to take a €20,- banknote the artist has left lying with a message that presents an irresolvable cycle of moral and practical dilemmas should one choose to take it, or should one find that it has already been taken. The exhibition opens thus with a subtle reference to the series of fraught relationships between individuals and the social systems, in which individuals unfold. Danh Vo’s Oma Totem is a gravestone that the artist has designed for his grandmother’s tomb. The gravestone is a marble relief, approximately 1 meter in length, based on the four gifts that his grandmother received from the Catholic Church upon arriving in Germany from Vietnam: a television set, a washing machine, a refrigerator, and a crucifix. Thus, contrary to habit, this gravestone does not emancipate the individual’s subjectivity or

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“soul” from the material world but, rather, elegantly registers, through an assemblage of things left behind, a complex set of spiritual, anecdotal, social, and historical relations that affect and construct a singular life. Peter Wächtler’s Tom Cruise is a large paparazzi-style photograph of Tom Cruise that Wächtler took in Berlin during the promotional tour of War of the Worlds. The photograph shows the actor speaking on his mobile phone as he gives autographs to a long line of fans, contrasting the idealization of character typical in Hollywood with a sense of banality and disengagement, presenting the encounter with the star more as a disenchantment than as a climactic moment. Katarina Zdjelar’s Everything is Gonna Be is a video of an amateur choir singing the Beatles’ song Revolution that tangentially brings up the impasse that “private life” presents in relation to the formation of collectivities. Though focused on a collective activity, in the video the different actors are individuated, framed mostly by themselves, suggesting thus that the leitmotiv of this inspirational song can only gain meaning and become tangible in extremely private and personal ways. The static camera and the rather expressionless character of the actors give a sense of distance and coldness that seems more ominous than hopeful.

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Ac t I I

F rom L ov e t o L e ga l

List of Works

fig. II.1 Isa Genzken Dedicated to Jasper Johns, 2009 Mixed media Dimensions variable Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin fig. II.2 Isa Genzken The Poverty, 2009 Mixed media Dimensions variable Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin fig. II.3 Tobias Rehberger Cheese-eating practicing Chinese (Adolf Hitler version), 2007 Wood, metal, paint, spray paint, acrylic on Plexiglas, marker, dripping device, water 205 × 90 × 95 cm Courtesy Galerie Micheline Szwajcer, Antwerp fig. II.4 Tobias Rehberger Odd-breasted New York man unfit for life, 2007 Wood, pvc-pipe, acrylic on Plexiglas, paint, spray paint, marker, aluminium foil, water 160 × 75 × 75 cm Courtesy Galerie Micheline Szwajcer, Antwerp fig. II.5 Christodoulos Panayiotou GuysGoCrazy, 2007 Two-channel video installation, sound Courtesy of the artist and Rodeo Gallery, Istanbul

fig. II.6 Danh Vo Oma Totem, 2009 Tombstone for Nguyên Thi Tý Wood, marble, granite, bronze, wood relief of sculpture 216.5 × 65 × 62.5 cm Courtesy of the artist fig. II.7 Nedko Solakov The Agreement, 2008 – 2009 Handwritten text on wall Dimensions variable Courtesy of the artist The Bill, 2009 Handwritten text, €20,- bill Dimensions variable Courtesy of the artist fig. II.8 Peter Wächtler Tom Cruise, 2005 C-print 118 × 86 cm Courtesy of the artist

fig. II.10 Mark Raidpere Pühendus, Dedication, 2008 Video projection, 9’10” Courtesy of the artist fig. II.11 Katarina Zdjelar Everything is Gonna Be, 2008 Video projection 16:9, 3’35”, song: Revolution, The Beatles Courtesy of the artist fig. II.12 Isabelle Pauwels B&E, 2009 Video projection on DVD, 45’, 2 unframed documents with mattes 40.64 × 50.80 cm, 35.56 × 27.94 cm Courtesy Catriona Jeffries Gallery, Vancouver Thanks to the support of Fonds BKVB

fig. II.9 Joachim Koester The Hashish Club, 2009 Installation with black and white photo, moroccan lamps, 16 mm film, 6’, black and white, no sound, looped Dimensions variable Courtesy Jan Mot, Brussels Thanks to the support of the Danish Arts Agency, Visual Arts Centre

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AC T III And the mor al of the stor y is... 4 – 7 Feb. 2010


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A n d th e moral of th e s tor y i s . . .

Due to the ease of its digital production, reproduction, and distribution (legal or otherwise), film is now a ubiquitous medium, beamed onto buildings and billboards, visible in metro stations and car consoles, at home on DVD, television, and the Internet, as well as in cinemas and in a worldwide proliferation of festivals. Used and abused in the form of propaganda, or employed more subtly to reinforce (and undermine) dominant modes of thinking, film speaks directly to a broad audience, making it one of the most sophisticated ways to transmit a moral message or explore a moral question. Occupying one floor of Witte de With’s galleries, this curated film cycle was a kaleidoscope of over 100 hours of film, open 24 hours a day, for four days. It presented moral tales as told by artists and filmmakers through the medium of the moving image. As a deliberate curatorial decision, no hierarchical distinction was made between video, DVD, 35 or 16 mm film, between artists’ videos or major Hollywood productions. The films presented range from mainstream to art-house movies, from technically complex works with elaborate scripts and settings to hand-held, “homemade” films. Grouped thematically into 12-hour long categories, each period ended with Rossella Biscotti’s La cinematografia è l’arma più forte (2003 – 2007), which translates as “Cinematography is the strongest weapon,” a phrase used by Mussolini in 1937, as a reminder to maintain a critical view of film and its power to influence us. — Curated by Zoë Gray, assisted by Hessel de Ronde.


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fig. III.1 Job Koelewijn Spinoza Mondial Reading Performance 2009 – ongoing 8 × 45’, 8 DVDs, 8 MP3 files, non-synchronised sound

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And the moral of the story is...

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And the moral of the story is...

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fig. III.2 Erik van Lieshout (top left page) Rotterdam – Rostock 2005, 17’

fig. III.4 Renzo Martens (top right page) Episode 1, 2003, 44’

fig. III.3 Stefan Constantinescu (bottom left page) Troleibuzul 92 2009, 8’

fig. III.5 Stefanos Tsivopoulos (bottom right page) The Interview 2007, 32’

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A n d th e moral of th e s tor y i s . . .

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fig. III.6 Cyprien Gaillard Cities of Gold and Mirrors, 2009, 9’

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fig. III.7 Wendelien van Oldenborgh Instruction, 2009, 30’

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And the moral of the story is...

fig. III.8 Julika Rudelius Tagged, 2003 3 synchronized DVDs, 13’24”

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Film Pr og ram Thursday 4 February 00:00 – 11:59

Luis Bunuel Belle de Jour, 1967, 101’

From flaneur to outlaw Presenting a range of characters on the margins of society, these films focus on people who deliberately abdicate themselves from moral responsibility, from the repressive framework of moral norms, as an act of rebellion or defiance.

Robert Bresson Pickpocket, 1959, 75’ Sven Augustijnen L'école des pickpockets, 2000, 48’ Courtesy of the artist and Jan Mot Gallery, Brussels and Auguste Orts, Brussels

fig. III.2 Erik van Lieshout Rotterdam – Rostock, 2005, 17’ Courtesy of the artist and Stella Lohaus Gallery, Antwerp

Masaharu Sato Traum, 2007, 10’ Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Voss, Düsseldorf

Chim l Pom Black of Death, 2007, 9’ Courtesy of the artists and Mujin-to Production, Tokyo

Sunah Choi Taichi City, 2002, 5’ Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Cinzia Friedlaender, Berlin

Fikret Atay Tinica, 2004, 8’ Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris

Rossella Biscotti La cinematografia è l'arma più forte, 2003 – 2007, 6’ Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Wilfried Lentz, Rotterdam

Ivan Grubanov A Guy I Know, 2002, 17’ Courtesy of the artist and Lock Gallery, Berlin fig. III.3 Stefan Constantinescu Troleibuzul 92, 2009, 8’ Courtesy of the artist Mike Hodges Get Carter, 1971, 112’ Sidney Lumet Dog Day Afternoon, 1975, 125’ Sergio Leone The Good, the Bad and the Ugly 1966, 161’

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fig. III.4 Renzo Martens Episode 1, 2003, 44’ Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam Phil Collins how to make a refugee, 1999, 12’ Courtesy of the artist fig. III.5 Stefanos Tsivopoulos The Interview, 2007, 32’ Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Jette Rudolph, Berlin Georg Lendorff Beheading of a Smiling Dog 2008, 7’ Johan Grimonprez Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y, 1998, 68’ Courtesy of the artist, Zapomatik, Brussels, and Argos, Brussels Deborah Stratman In Order not to be here, 2002, 33’ Peter Watkins Punishment Park, 1971, 88’

Thursday 4 February 12:00 – 23:59 The all-seeing eye Looking at questions of surveillance, visibility, safety, and voyeurism, these films explore the power and the role of the media in shaping our attitudes to morality. They also refer to film itself as a medium, and ultimately to the moral role of the artist and filmmaker. Julika Rudelius Your blood is as red as mine, 2004, 16’ Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Reinhard Hauff, Stuttgart

Hans Teeuwen Masterclass, 2005, 70’ Stefanos Tsivopoulos Reverse, 2008, 29’ Johan Grimonprez Double Take, 2009, 80’ Courtesy of the artist and Zapomatik, Brussels Julika Rudelius Looking at the other/desire, 2003, 3’ Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Reinhard Hauff, Stuttgart


And the moral of the story is...

Act III

Olaf Breuning Home 2, 2007, 30’ Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures Gallery, New York

Christian Jankowsk i The Holy Artwork , 2001, 16’ Courtesy of the artist and Lisson Gallery, London

Steven Soderbergh Sex, Lies and Videotape, 1989, 100’

Valérie Mréjen Dieu, 2004, 12’ Courtesy of the artist and Serge le Borgne, Paris

Rémy Belvaux, André Bouzel, Benoit Poelvoorde C'est arrive près de chez vous/Man Bites Dog, 1992, 95’ Rossella Biscotti La cinematografia è l'arma più forte 2003 – 2007, 6’, courtesy of the artist and Galerie Wilfried Lentz, Rotterdam

Friday 5 February 00:00 – 11:59 Saints, sinners & disbelievers The major religions of our time prescribe a morality governed by an objective set of rules. These films tell the stories of moments of doubt, of battles against the inflexibility of religious moral codes, revealing instead the subjective and in­di­ vidual side to morality. Artur Zmijewsk i Them, 2007, 27’ Courtesy of the artist, Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw, and Peter Kilchmann, Zurich Martha Colburn Myth Labs, 2008, 7’ Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Diana Stigter, Amsterdam Mark Boulos Jerusalem, 2004, 3' Courtesy of the artist

Hany Abu-Assad Paradise Now!, 2006, 90’ Beeban Kidron Oranges are not the only fruit , 1990, 165’ Heidi Ewing & Rachel Grady Jesus Camp , 2006, 84’ Peter Mullan The Magdalene Sisters , 2002, 119’ Kenneth Anger Lucifer Rising, 1981, 27’ Mel Gibson The Passion of the Christ , 2004, 127’ Mark Boulos The Gates of Damascus, 2005, 25’ Courtesy of the artist Rossella Biscotti La cinematografia è l'arma più forte 2003 – 2007, 6’ Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Wilfried Lentz, Rotterdam

Friday 5 February 12:00 – 23:59 The burden of history History is usually written by the winners, which can lead to an over-simplification of moral choices and positions. Without lapsing into apologist or revisionist sen­ timents, the films in this section explore the moral complexity of the past, and the way that it is represented today. fig. III.6 Cyprien Gaillard Cities of Gold and Mirrors , 2009, 9’ Courtesy of the artist, Laura Bartlett Gallery, London, and Bugada and Cargnel, Paris Deborah Stratman O’er The Land, 2008, 52’ Courtesy of the artist Yael Bartana Mary Koszmary, 2007, 10’ Courtesy of the artist and Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam Sylvestre Amoussou Africa Paradis, 2006, 86’ Gillo Pontecorvo La Bataille d'Algiers , 1966, 121’ Terry George Hotel Rwanda, 2004, 121’ Ari Folman Waltz with Bashir, 2008, 90’ fig. III.7 Wendelien van Oldenborgh Instruction, 2009, 30’ Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Wilfried Lentz, Rotterdam

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Florence Lazar Les Femmes en Noir, 2002, 12’ Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Anne de Villepoix, Paris

Guy Ben-Ner Wild Boy, 2004, 17’ Courtesy of the artist and Postmasters Gallery, New York

Chto Delat/What is to be done? Partisan Songspiel: A Belgrade Story 2009, 29’ Courtesy of the artists

Joost Conijn Siddieqa, Firdaus, Abdallah, Soelayman, Moestafa, Hawwa and Dzoel-kifl 2004, 41’ Courtesy of the artist

Harun Farocki & Andrej Ujica Videogram of a Revolution, 1992, 106’ Courtesy of the artists Jeremy Deller The Battle of Orgreave , 2001, 63’ Courtesy of the artist and Artangel Media. Co-commissioned by Artangel and Channel 4 Rossella Biscotti La cinematografia è l'arma più forte 2003 – 2007, 6’ Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Wilfried Lentz, Rotterdam

Hirokazu Kore-Eda Nobody Knows, 2004, 141’ Dom Rotheroe My Brother Tom, 2001, 111´ Keren Cytter Family, 2002, 6’ Courtesy of the artist, Schau Ort, Zurich, and Thierry Goldberg Projects, New York Thomas Vinterberg Festen, 1998, 105’ Larry Clark Ken Park, 2002, 96’

Saturday 6 February 00:00 – 11:59

Gus Van Sant Elephant , 2003, 81’

Happy families Exploring morality within closely-knit social groups, the films in this category look at the conflicting moral codes between children and adults, and the moment at which they overlap: adolescence.

Harmony Korine Gummo, 1997, 89’

Adrian Paci Albanian Stories , 1997, 7’ Courtesy of the artist, Galleria Francesca Kaufmann, Milan, and Galerie Peter Kilchmann, Zurich

Fikret Atay Rebels of the Dance , 2003, 11’ Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris

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Fikret Atay Fast & Best , 2002, 8’ Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris

Rossella Biscotti La cinematografia è l'arma più forte 2003 – 2007, 6’ Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Wilfried Lentz, Rotterdam

Saturday 6 February 12:00 – 23:59 With great power comes great responsibility Spiderman’s words echo far beyond the realm of the superhero, bringing together this selection of films that depict “nor­­­ mal” people thrust into positions of power, or those who hold sway behind the scenes. Luchio Visconti La Terra Trema, 1948, 165’ Ciprian Muresan Dog Luv, 2009, 31’ Courtesy of the artist and galeria Plan-B, Cluj Stefanos Tsivopoulos Actors, 2004, 36’ Courtesy of Galerie Jette Rudolph, Berlin Artur Zmijewsk i Repetition, 2005, 75’ Courtesy of the artist, Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw, and Peter Kilchmann, Zurich Sidney Lumet 12 Angry Men, 1957, 96’ Armando Iannucci In the loop , 2009, 106’ Sunah Choi Cheek to Cheek , 1999, 4’ Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Cinzia Friedlaender, Berlin


A n d th e moral of th e s tor y i s . . .

A ct I I I

Oliver Stone Wall Street , 1987, 126’

Spike Lee Bamboozled, 2000, 135’

Sunday 7 February 12:00 – 23:59

Alex Gibney Enron: The Smartest Guy in the Room 2005, 110’

k r buxey Negrophilia – A Romance, 2001, 10’ Courtesy of the artist and the Heather and Tony Podesta Collection, Washington DC

Moral citizen, critical individual Taking a cue from Kant, this category brings together films whose main protagonists take a stand against the status quo: from whistleblowers to informers, political crusaders to tricksters.

Pilvi Takala Real Snow White , 2009, 9’ Courtesy of the artist Rossella Biscotti La cinematografia è l'arma più forte 2003 – 2007, 6’ Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Wilfried Lentz, Rotterdam

Sunday 7 February 00:00 – 11:59 (Re)presentable? Pushing the boundaries of the “acceptable,” artists and filmmakers have often tackled the taboos of their time. The films in this category include the politically incorrect, the sexually explicit, the graphically violent, tres­­passing the boundaries of taste. Heather Burnett Witness: AnAesthetic , 2001, 4' Courtesy of the artist Ruggero Deodato Cannibal Holocaust, 1980, 95’ Pier Paolo Pasolini Salò or the 120 Days of Sodom, 1975, 116’ Stanley Kubrick A Clockwork Orange , 1971, 136’

Nathalie Djurberg Badain, 2005, 6’ Courtesy of the artist and Zach Feuer Gallery, New York

Chim l Pom Super Rat , 2006, 5’ Courtesy of Mujin-to Production, Tokyo

Paul Verhoeven Turks Fruit / Turkish Delight , 1973, 112’

Lars von Trier The Idiots , 1998, 117’

Kenneth Anger Invocation of My Demon Brother, 1969, 12’

Jason Reitman Thank you for Smoking, 2005, 92’

Artur Zmijewsk i An Eye for an Eye , 1998, 10’ Courtesy of the artist, Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw, and Peter Kilchmann, Zurich

Michael Moore Sicko, 2007, 123’

Vera Chytilová Sedmikrásky, 1966, 74’ Nathalie Djurberg Tiger Licking Girl's Butt, 2005, 2’ Courtesy of the artist and Zach Feuer Gallery, New York Rossella Biscotti La cinematografia è l'arma più forte 2003 – 2007, 6’ Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Wilfried Lentz, Rotterdam

Alfredo Jaar The Ashes of Pasolini, 2009, 38’ Courtesy of the artist Yael Bartana Summer Camp , 2007, 12’ Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Annet Gellink, Amsterdam Joel Schumacher Veronica Guerin, 2003, 98’ Neil Jordan The Brave One , 2007, 122’ Gillo Pontecorvo Burn! / Queimada, 1969, 112’ Rossella Biscotti La cinematografia è l'arma più forte 2003 – 2007, 6’ Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Wilfried Lentz, Rotterdam

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Installations

WORKSHOP

TOUR

In addition to the screenings, four artworks were selected to compliment the program.

In collaboration with Witte de With, WORM.filmwerkplaats organized a workshop led by artist and film-maker Deborah Stratman, titled The Moral Lens, from 9 to 11 February. The main focus of the workshop was the experimental world of D.I.Y. 16 mm filmmaking.

From 18 – 20 March 2010, an extract of the film program was presented at Apex Art New York, featuring works by the following artists:

AES+F The Feast of Trimalchio, 2009, 13’18” HD video, single-channel, trailer Courtesy of the artists, Triumph Gallery, Moscow, and Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow fig. III.8 Julika Rudelius Tagged, 2003, 13’24” 3 synchronized DVDs Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Reinhard Hauff, Stuttgart Stan Douglas Monodramas, 1987 – 1988, 17’ Courtesy of the artist and David Zwirner, New York fig. III.1 Job Koelewijn Spinoza Mondial Reading Performance 2009 – ongoing, 8 × 45’ 8 DVDs, 8 MP3 files, non-synchronised sound Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam

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On Wednesday 10 February, at 9 p.m. WORM presented the public screening of Deborah Stratman’s 16 mm films in the presence of the artist.

Ciprian Muresan Stefan Constantinescu Chim l Pom Valérie Mréjen Pilvi Takala Guy Ben-Ner Joost Conijn Cyprien Gaillard Martha Colburn Wendelien van Oldenborgh Stefanos Tsivopoulos Ivan Grubanov Chto Delat Julika Rudelius Renzo Martens Deborah Stratman Olaf Breuning Sunah Choi


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Act IV I Could Live in Africa 20 Feb. – 25 Apr. 2010


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I C o u l d Li v e i n A f r ica

Act IV: I Could Live in Africa is the only exhibition of Morality that cast a retrospective glance, highlighting the attitudes of artists in Poland who were active, often collectively. It is difficult to say whether there was a common aim, even a “movement,” but it is possible to say that there was a general motivation to resist the hermetic and authoritarian social-political system that prevailed at the time, to open spaces from which to resist the moral and aesthetic standards brought about under martial law. Martial law was imposed in Poland on 13 December 1981 by the Military Council for National Salvation, led by then prime minister Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski. It was imposed to “defend socialism” against the threat of the Solidarity movement, the first such (counter)revolutionary concession in the Soviet bloc. This state of martial law brought about a large number of arrests, along with a highly controlled environment: the borders were sealed, telephone lines disconnected, curfews imposed. Most importantly, radio and television networks were controlled and managed by the communist state, and only official newspapers were published. This reality was exceptionally painful. For the youth it seemed clear that under such regime there was no future. There was active and even widespread resistance to martial law, mainly by strikes and street marches, but nearly all forms of resistance were brutally crushed. The fate of the ruling Communist Party was sealed in 1989 when the Solidarity won by a land-slide in the first free election after World War II. Borrowing its title from Dutch filmmaker Jacques de Koning’s documentary on the Polish post-punk and reggae band Izrael, the exhibition I Could Live in Africa explores the mood shared by the “new wild” artists and the music subcultures (punk, new wave, reggae) in 1980s communist Poland. Determined by a gloomy 65


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political and economic context, this mood translated into an eruption of subcultures that managed to circumvent both the limited means of production and the monopoly that the ruling regime had over publishing and recording. These subcultures thrived against a background of police brutality, closed borders, empty shops, and frequent power shortages. Their aesthetic weapons included anti-regime stencils and graffiti, safety pins, wildly expressive and “primitive” forms, assemblages of waste and detritus, collages, concerts that turned into ecstatic group rituals, opening receptions that morphed into improvised happenings, zines, and samizdat. Though the times were hardly “funny,” these cultural manifestations were infused with humor, openly sneering at the system, contemptuous of communist propaganda, of the absence of democratic rights, of the hypocrisy of the mass media and the Church. While the punk movement of the West was brandishing its slogan “no future,” the Polish artists from the 1980s were deeply engaged in shaking reality, fighting against the system, and dreaming of a better future. Far from consuming a trend or criticizing from within the premises of capitalism, these artists created not only a resistance to what existed, but made room to exist differently. Throughout the exhibition one can sense a desire of the youth to “flee” from Babylon, to warm countries. The aesthetic resulting from this state of mind was driven by an ironic, sometimes naïve approach to the Rastafarian ideology to see the rise of Zion (which for Rastafarians meant Ethiopia) and the fall of Babylon (i.e., the Communist regime). Actions and art works would take form under an intuitive impulse, a pensée sauvage removed from pre-established codes and rules. 66


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Featured artists: Mirosław Bałka, Krzysztof Bednarski, Mirosław Filonik, Wiktor Gutt & Waldemar Raniszewski, Jacques de Koning, Zbigniew Libera, Luxus, Neue Bieriemiennost (Mirosław Bałka, Mirosław Filonik, Marek Kijewski) + Warchoł (Andrzej Łopi´nski), Włodzimierz Pawlak, Józef Robakowski, Darek Skubiel & Zdzisław Zinczuk, Marek Sobczyk, Jerzy Truszkowski, and many more, represented through archival matter. — Curated by Michał Woli´nski in collaboration with Nicolaus Schafhausen and Anne-Claire Schmitz.

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fig. IV.1 Krzysztof Bednarski Sphinx, 1982 Matchboxes 100 × 200 × 70 cm

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fig. IV.2 Jacques de Koning (top left page) I Could Live in Africa 1983 16 mm film transferred to DVD 20’18”

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fig. IV.3 Darek Skubiel & Zdzisław Zinczuk (AWA Amateur Filmmakers’ Club, Poznan) (bottom left page, left) Touching the Sound, 1981 16 mm film transferred to DVD, 6’9’’ Wiktor Gutt & Waldemar Raniszewski (right) Expressions on a Face, 1981 Slide show transferred to DVD

fig. IV.4 Józef Robakowski More Air!, 1986 16 mm film transferred to DVD 2’30’’ (music video, performed by Moskwa)

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fig. IV.5 Neue Bieremiennost (Mirosław Bałka, Mirosław Filonik, Marek Kijewski) from Mirosław Bałka's archive; Mirosław Bałka (1958) The music, which tattooed my brain, 14 audio tape cassette boxes, 1980s DIY covers

fig. IV.6 Zbigniew Libera (left) Libera-Furniture Piece, ca. 1985 (2006) 3 black and white photographs, silver-gelatin prints on baryta paper 48 × 38.5 cm each (right) Teofilów (excerpts) 1987, video transferred to DVD

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fig. IV.7 Włodzimierz Pawlak (top) Adolf Hitler, 1986 Oil on canvas 130 × 180 cm fig. IV.8 Luxus (bottom) Luxus artzine (1981 – 1986)

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fig. IV.9 Marek Sobczyk (left) Ganja, 1981 Oil on canvas, 90  ×  90 cm

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fig. IV.10 (right) Polish punk and reggae clip selection. On the screen: Michał Tarkowski, The Concert (excerpts from the feature film), 1982

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fig. IV.11 Mirosław Filonik Honoloulou Baboon, 1986 Installation, papier machÊ, wallpaper, taperecorder, audio tape, sand Dimensions variable

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fig. IV.12 Neue Bieriemiennost (Mirosław Bałka, Mirosław Filonik, Marek Kijewski) + Warchoł (Andrzej Lopinski) Neue Bieriemiennost for Jean Bedel Bokassa 1987/2010, installation, mixed media

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Featured Artists

Mirosław Bałka “In the eighties almost nobody had an original record or tape with music from the other side of the [iron] curtain. But most of us had a two-pocket tape recorder and we shared music. Nobody knew where the music came from. The CIA? That time was about sharing, and not just tapes. Now after 20 years the ink is a little bit faded, but that was the music that tattooed my brain.” (Mirosław Bałka, 13 February 2009) In the exhibition was a selection of cassette covers made by Mirosław Bałka in the 1980s. These covers are collages, made from various found materials, like invitations, postcards, or photos cut from news­papers. Photos of bands were largely unavailable in Poland at that time. The cassette covers were therefore meant to make up for the absent images of bands and artists from outside of Poland. These covers are significant signs of the tape-swapping phenomenon that took place in Poland and elsewhere. As the circulation of “un­official” music was virtually nonexistent, tape-swapping was tolerated by performers as the only effective means of distribution.

Krzysztof Bednarski's Sphinx is a miniature representation of the Egyptian Sphinx made of matchboxes. Seemingly naïve, the sculpture actually spoke to the double theme of animality and power that ran through the entire exhibition. The Sphinx’s enigmatical stare seems analogous to a mysterious power that, in the context of 1980s Poland, might well be an allegory for a severe and volatile political system. Sphinx also stands in for the mysterious quality that the “future” was taking on for this generation of the 1980s. Mirosław Filonik's “revolving” sculpture was originally shown on 9 May 1986 at Galeria Wieza in Warsaw, in the exhibition K.C. Noje Bieriemiennost for peace (curated by J. Kiliszek) and later in Sopot in Expression of the 80s (curated by R. Ziarkiewicz), the most important exhibition about the new wild art in Poland. Filonik’s work expresses the general feeling Polish citizens had about the communist regime in their country as a kind of Banana Republic (an absurd, corrupted system ruled by tyrants) and as an annex to the Soviet Union, as Hawaii was to the USA.

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Wiktor Gutt & Waldemar Raniszewski's Expressions on a Face is an action that happened in November 1981 during the Rockowisko ’81 rock festival in Łód´z, as part of Koncert, a documentary directed by by Michał Tarkowski. “At the end of November 1981, a crowd of young people met for a collective trip of several days, fleeing from an offensive reality. The festival became an opportunity for expressing and manifesting their generation’s separation from earlier ones. The idea behind this body painting session was to help participants to manifest themselves just as performers could do on stage. The suggested scenery was simple: large mirrors and an announcement panel saying ‘Body Painting – Expression on a Face.’ For the three days of the festival, about a dozen persons simultaneously painted faces, sometimes torsos, backs, or arms. In extreme congestion, to the deafening sound of the music, a surprisingly intimate contact occurred between the painters and the painted. Some of the participants, adorned at their request with symbols or inscriptions expressing their critical attitude toward politics, were taken by police officers to the bathroom and forced to wash off the scandalous make-up. After which they returned and asked for a repeat. Sometimes the washing-off and repainting took place several times. Some wanted to pay as if for a commercial service. Others brought their friends and acquaintances. That is how whole groups marked themselves as armies – gangs of rascals, engaged couples… Some closed their eyes during the session and remained in a state of quasi-coma, while others watched the whole process in the mirror, controlling it and assuming full responsibility for the final result. Those were intimate events transferring the participants into an area of creation and self-creation. A person we called the Mad Mathematician wore his ‘make-up’ for several days until the paint fell apart. Those days, it was an act of civil courage.” (Wiktor Gutt, 1993) I Could Live in Africa is a documentary about the band Izrael made by Dutch filmmaker Jacques de Koning. The film is a conscious tongue-in-cheek over-identification with roles, confronting a student from the “affluent West” making his first film, with the members of a postpunk and reggae band from communist Poland. The film features a conversation, in which Izrael’s band members come up with the statement “I could live in Africa” when speaking about their needs and expectations for the future. This ironic, but deeply honest, response is symptomatic of the exaggerated, cliché but

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perceptive tone and attitude of Izrael that can be perceived throughout the whole documentary. At the beginning of martial law, Zbigniew Libera was imprisoned, because of his activity against the communist regime. While in prison he managed with other political prisoners to transform the external courtyard into a beach for sunbathing. The photographs shown in the exhibition are significant selections of Libera’s “punk” attitude in his practice. For Art, 1982 (2006) “A prophetic work, in a way. A week after taking this picture – on 26 August 1982 – I was arrested for printing illegal leaflets. Those days, a bald-shaven man was explicitly thought to be a former inmate. The secret police officers interrogating me were very impressed, unable to understand that I had shaven my head of my own free will – for art. This picture, under precisely such title, I published later in one of the issues of Tango, the leading art zine on the 1980s Łód´z scene.” (Z. Libera, 2009) Home Performance, ca. 1984 (2004) “I carried out the performance at my own apartment. Its addressees and participants, and at the same time its sole audience, was my mother, Jadwiga, and my then-best friend, Romek. I asked them to take pictures during the action, which consisted in feigning suicide attempts.” (Z. Libera, 2009) Teofilów (excerpts), 1987 These are excerpts from a film documenting an artist gathering in the village of Teofilów. The gathering was organized by Kultura Zrzuty (an artist group that had an attitude comparable to the punk subculture scene) and turned out as a kind of “festival of artistic impotence.” As part of this event, Zbigniew Libera gave an unbearable “concert for the heater” a performance in which he is joined, among others, by the art critic Jolanta Ciesielska. Moskwa’s gig, though not very successful, nonetheless stands out above the rest of the event. In the film one can see artists and critics, among them Jan Swidzinski, Andrzej Rzepecki, Marek Janiak, Zbigniew Libera, Jacek Kryszkowski, jiggling around to the beat of music. Guma, the Moskwa leader, and his band mates, lost in the space of art, eventually decide to stop the embarrassment and leave during one of the artistic appearances by Przemysław Kwiek. Luxus artzine first appeared in the early 1980s. It was founded by Paweł Jarodzki with Ewa Ciepielewska, Boz˙ena Grzyb, Artur Gołacki, and Andrzej Jarodzki, all colleagues from the Academy of Fine Arts in

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Wrocław. Subsequent issues of the magazine were authored collectively and produced in only a few copies, later expanded to runs of twenty, with the use of hand-made drawings, stencils, collages, and simple graphic techniques (possession of duplicators and publishing without censorship was forbidden). The magazine’s title was, on the one hand, an ironic reference to the country’s economical, social, and political context, and on the other hand to the neo-avant-garde associated with Fluxus. The second issue featured a satire on women’s issues, sex, pseudo-punks and pseudo-junkies, while the fourth issue included radical anti-regime lyrics by the reggae band Miki Mauzoleum. Neue Bieriemiennost (Mirosław Bałka, Mirosław Filonik, Marek Kijewski) + Warchoł's (Andrzej Łopi´nski) installation Jean-Bedél Bokassa presented at Witte de With is a reconstruction based on an active opening originally held at at the Stodoła student club in Warsaw in 1987 by the artist group Neue Bieriemiennost + Warchoł. Neue Bieriemiennost was a collective (a “consciousness” in their terminology) founded by three graduates of the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts. The group was active in the years 1986 – 1987 (then, as Keine Neue Bieriemiennost, until spring 1989). The way its name was written (in German and Russian, using Gothic and Cyrillic script) alluded to two countries neighboring with Poland and, at the same time, places where the largest totalitarian regimes of the 20th century were born. A sense of “new pregnancy” was an effect of that ironic dialectics. Neue Bieriemiennost's exhibition titles usually alluded to anniversaries, holidays or other occasions, or to famous personalities. The openings usually transformed into what they called active openings, during which music played, texts were read aloud (usually in order to confuse the audience), activities with installation elements were carried out, fire burned, people danced, drank, and various unexpected situations took place provoked by the atmosphere and the artists’ activities. The main element of the Stodoła event was an oversized figure of a black man, made of papier-mâché and painted with stinking bitumen paint. The figure sat on a throne made of wooden planks, had no head, but instead had a 16-meter-long phallus. The installation was made complete with ritual music from central Africa, pot plants (brought from the Stodoła office spaces), soil, wallpaper glue (left over from the sculpting of the figure), and a water bucket. The brochure accompanying the show was a photocopy collage of the cover of the menu of Troika, a Russian restaurant located in the Palace of Culture and Science in

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Warsaw, which the artists frequented, and a drawing of a black man’s face made by Bałka. During the opening, before the public was let in, the director of the Stodota gallery stood in front of the door and read out the text “The Metaphysical Shift” (written by Anda Rottenberg). A text about magical rituals and cannibalism (inspired by Bałka, who had told her about the planned installation). From behind the closed door, African music could be heard. While the audience waited to be let in, listening to the lecture, the artists drank wine and, using ropes attached to the ceiling, hoisted the phallus roughly to the eye level of the people entering the room. The phallus, whose tip was initially dipped in the bucket with wallpaper glue, dripped large drops of the thick white liquid on the floor, forming a puddle. After the exhibition the Stodola closed and Bokassa was moved to the Remont gallery, affiliated with another student club, where it was to be stored. Before that, however, at the organisers’ request, it was used as part of the stage design for a concert of the rock group T-Love and the punk rock band TZN Xenna. During the concert, the piece was destroyed by the musicians and the audience. The installation presents an absurd and ironic glorification of the leader of all excesses, dictator Jean Bedel Bokassa, who declared himself president of the Central African Republic in 1966 through one of the most megalomaniac of ceremonies. Along with a list of other excesses, this lavish celebration bankrupted his already impoverished country. The installation offers an ironic reinterpretation of this outrageous investiture ceremony, putting together a poorer decorum made of soil, plastic bags, plants, and fake ferns. Celebrating Bokassa, who was accused of cannibalism, it also derides the Polish situation, in which one had to queue in order to get a piece of meat. Włodzimierz Pawlak's painting shows a peaceful Hitler taking a nap amidst luxurious tropical vegetation. The landscape was representative of the (mythical) place to which many Polish youth wished to escape. Like a political fiction, the work expresses the frustration of an isolated society dreaming of an alternative future. Józef Robakowski's More Air is a two-and-half-minute-long film montage of pogo dancing at the Jarocin festival. Robakowski shot it by himself standing with a camera in the center of the crowd – immersed in a frantic ritual. It is a unique recording of a live show, and at the

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same time a fulfillment of Robakowski’s artistic strategy, under which he explored issues such as art as a field of energy transmissions, of biological-mechanical processes – focusing on celebrating qualities poorly represented in the field of art, such as intensity, vitality. The aim of Darek Skubiel & Zdzisław Zinczuk's film was to present the Jarocin festival as an ecstatic, virtually delirious manifestation of the state of anarchy, the kind of “life in suspension,” that reigned in Poland between the signing of the August Agreements in 1980 and the introduction of martial law in December 1981. Touching the Sound’s incredible atmosphere is built by a rigorous formal structure – the growing ecstasy of the ritual’s participants is accompanied by ever louder trance music that, at the climax, unable to keep up with the image, suddenly stops. Getting closer to nature turns out to be the best way to escape the paranoia of reality. Made just one day after the imposition of martial law, Marek Sobczyk's Ganja pictures General Jaruzelski in the same way Polish citizens could watch him on TV while announcing the establishment of new regulations. Through this work, Sobczyk expressed his first reaction to the imposition of martial law. Less than a solution, martial law only served to freeze a situation that was already beyond the grasp of the regime. Jerzy Ruszkowski's Farewell Europe is a performance by Truszkowski (filmed by Zbigniew Libera) that he made just before he was sent to do military service. Symbolizing the impact of the system on individuality, he seems to sing an ode to the alienation emerging from the ruling morals and power figures, provoking a disarticulated body.

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List of Works fig. IV.1 Krzysztof Bednarski Sphinx, 1982 Matchboxes 100 × 200 × 70 cm Courtesy of the artist and Centre of Polish Sculpture, Oronsko fig. IV.2 Jacques de Koning I Could Live in Africa, 1983 16 mm film transferred to DVD 20’18” Courtesy of the artist fig. IV.3 (left) Darek Skubiel & Zdzisław Zinczuk (AWA Amateur Filmmakers’ Club, Poznan) Touching the Sound, 1981 16 mm film transferred to DVD, 6’9’’ Courtesy of the artists (right) Wiktor Gutt & Waldemar Raniszewski Expressions on a Face, 1981 Slideshow transferred to DVD Courtesy of Wiktor Gutt fig. IV.4 Józef Robakowski More Air!, 1986 16 mm film transferred to DVD 2’30’’ (music video, performed by Moskwa) Courtesy of the artist fig. IV.5 Neue Bieriemiennost (Mirosław Bałka, Mirosław Filonik, Marek Kijewski) from Mirosław Bałka's archive; Mirosław Bałka (1958) The music, which tattooed my brain 14 audio tape cassette boxes, 1980s DIY covers

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fig. IV.6 Zbigniew Libera (left) Libera-Furniture Piece ca. 1985 (2006), 3 black and white photographs, silver-gelatin prints on baryta paper, 48 × 38.5 cm each Courtesy of Raster Gallery, Warsaw (right) Teofilów (excerpts), 1987 Video transferred to DVD Courtesy of the artist

fig. IV.12 Neue Bieriemiennost (Mirosław Bałka, Mirosław Filonik, Marek Kijewski) + Warchoł (Andrzej Lopinski) Neue Bieriemiennost for Jean Bedel Bokassa, 1987/2010 Installation, mixed media Courtesy of the artists

fig. IV.7 Włodzimierz Pawlak Adolf Hitler, 1986 Oil on canvas, 130  ×  180 cm Courtesy of Richard Egit Collection, deposit: Egit Foundation and Zacheta National Art Gallery

Zbigniew Libera Untitled (Hommage à Gawron, ca. 1985) Black and white photographs Courtesy Raster Gallery, Warsaw

fig. IV.8 Luxus Luxus artzine (1981 – 1986) Courtesy of Paweł Jarodzki fig. IV.9 Marek Sobczyk Ganja, 1981 Oil on canvas, 90  ×  90 cm Courtesy of Archiv der Forschungs­ stelle Osteuropa, Universität Bremen fig. IV.10 Polish punk and reggae clips selection. On the screen: Michał Tarkowski, The Concert (excerpts from the feature film), 1982 fig. IV.11 Mirosław Filonik Honoloulou Baboon, 1986 Installation,  papier maché, wallpaper, taperecorder, audio tape, sand Dimensions variable Courtesy of the artist and the J. Kiliszek Collection

For Art, 1982/2006, Black and white photograph, silver-gelatin print on baryta paper 38.5 × 48.5 cm Courtesy of Raster Gallery, Warsaw Home Performance, ca. 1984 / 2004 6 black and white photographs, silver-gelatin prints on baryta paper 80 × 100 cm Courtesy of Raster Gallery, Warsaw Józef Robakowski Photographs from a photo shoot for the punk band Moskwa made by Józef Robakowski and a fanzine devoted to the band from the archives of Exchange Gallery Courtesy of the artist Jerzy Truszkowski Farewell Europe, 1987 Video transferred to DVD, 12’36’’ Courtesy of the artist


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Act V Powe r A lon e 20 Feb. — 25 Apr. 2010


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Act V: Power Alone started from the premise that power operates and is made tangible in the encounter between the general (society, morality, history, gender, and so on) and the particular (the individual). It is the moment, in which the individual recognizes or “feels” the process of becoming a subject, a part of society, through encounters with others and with the law. If power is also something that is experienced, it has no aesthetic value in the traditional sense; yet it is integral to what Jacques Rancière calls “the distribution of the sensible,” that “system of self-evident facts of sense perception that simultaneously discloses the existence of something in common and the delimitations that define the respective parts and positions within it.” (Politics of Aesthetics, p. 12). This is one way in which this exhibition engaged with the notion of power. Power Alone also proposed a more fictive narrative linked to the myth of Narcissus. Like Narcissus, the Greek hero renowned for his beauty and for his cruelty towards those who love him, the abstract notion we call power would be condemned to become infatuated with itself, perishing by love with its own semblance. Taking Narcissus as the personification of power, this exhibition presented a series of hypothetical scenarios, on power’s withdrawal from class, gender, or race, and its inscription in two opposing forms: the individuated body and the mythological world. The works included in this exhibition engage with the cleft between power as a general force and solitude as a state of mind, and between power as the name we give to structures that regulate our everyday lives, and individuated encounters with these structures. The exhibition presented a number of different guises and forms of power operating in society. It did not exclude the idea 91


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that solitude may be a collective experience or even the experience of a collectivity. Power, in this sense, can be the name of an ideology that sets an entire society apart, or through which a “class” of citizens – the corporate class, for example – may be formed, one that doesn’t see government as a form of social contract but, rather, as an institution that can be instrumentalized. Featured artists: Adel Abidin, Ziad Antar, Mark Boulos, Piero Golia, Jaebum Kim, Miki Kratsman, Erik van Lieshout, Goshka Macuga, Randa Mirza, Willem de Rooij, Canan Şenol, Andreas Slominski, Corin Sworn, Ron Terada, Luc Tuymans. — Curated by Juan A. Gaitán and Nicolaus Schafhausen, assisted by Amira Gad.

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fig. V.1 Adel Abidin Foam, 2007 Video installation, color, sound, 4’15” (loop), Blu-ray disc Edition 3 / 5

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fig. V.2 Andreas Slominski Mandy, 2009 Metal, plastic, photograph 175  ×  75  ×  56 cm, 28  ×  21 cm

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fig. V.3 Canan Şenol Exemplary, 2009 Single-channel video projection 27’30”

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fig. V.4 Erik van Lieshout Rotterdam, 2010 Installation

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fig. V.5 Ron Terada (left) Stay Away From Lonely Places, 2005 White neon, brushed aluminium, Plexiglas, wood, paint

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fig. V.6 Willem de Rooij (right) Bouquet VI, 2010 50 black tulips (Ronaldo) and 50 white tulips (White Dream), vase, plinth

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fig. V.7 Canan Şenol (top left page) Exemplary, 2009 Single-channel video projection 27’30” fig. V.8 Jaebum Kim (bottom left page) No Casualty, 2008 C-print, framed, 125 × 153 cm

fig. V.9 Goshka Macuga On The Nature of the Beast, 2009 Woven textiles, 290  ×  560 cm

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fig. V.10 Willem de Rooij Bouquet VI, 2010 50 black tulips (Ronaldo) and 50 white tulips (White Dream), vase, plinth

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fig. V.11 Luc Tuymans Transitions A, 2008 Gouache on paper Framed, 76.2  ×  90.2  ×  3.2 cm each

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fig. V.12 Mark Boulos All that is Solid Melts into Air, 2008 Two-channel video installation 15'

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fig. V.13 Ziad Antar La Marche Turque, 2006 Single-channel video, black and white, 3’, played by Matea Maras

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fig. V.14 Jaebum Kim And then there were none, 2008 Framed C-print, 100  ×  133 cm

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fig. V.15 Piero Golia (front) Untitled (siege tower), 2010 Installation, steel 250  ×  120  ×  120 cm

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fig. V.16 Miki Kratsman (back) Territory series, 2005 Digital prints 90  ×  60 cm each

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Featured Artists

In Adel Abidin’s video Foam, children practice their shaving skills on a rubber balloon. The balloon is covered in foam, and a kid runs a razor blade through it, cleaning the surface, carefully so as not to cut it. The balloon’s surface is therefore an analogy for a person’s skin, but such analogies are either too far-fetched to enter the realm of metaphorical thinking, or too problematical to pass for stable metaphors. The video shows a decidedly unheimlich image, accentuated by the fact that the balloon has been placed on the barber’s chair, exactly at the level at which a human being’s head would rest. Ziad Antar’s La Marche Turque is a simple video, in which Mozart’s eponymous piece is played on a soundless piano keyboard, so that all one hears is the clicking of the fingers against the keys. The rhythm with which the keys are struck, however, is enough to evoke the actual tune, producing a complicated relationship to memory and to the imagination. La Marche Turque is, of course, one of the most famous and recognizable songs – so recognizable, in fact, that it is close to being a mark of ideology, a trace or trait that remains latent in one’s worldview and which automatically surges up to proffer meaning in a moment of apparent aphasia. That the tune refuses to recede in the experience of Antar’s video, speaks to the habits of the imagination, and of the insurmountable distance that lies between the subject and the world of facts. Mark Boulos’ All that is Solid Melts into Air is a documentary film that draws up an unstable encounter between revolutionary impulse and transnational oil economy – an encounter that takes place in an insurmountable gap between the world of Wall Street and the forests of the Niger River Delta. In one screen we see interviews with members of a small guerrilla group who, believing themselves to be immune to bullets and firearms, orchestrate operations against the exploitation of oil in the Niger River Delta by foreign companies. In a second screen, the numbers on the trade-screens in Wall Street change relentlessly, an image that is by now archetypal of capitalist speculation. In a sense, as viewers, caught between the two screens, we are inhabiting the proverbial space of alienation between economic abstractions and lived realities.

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Piero Golia’s work consists of a tube, approximately 2.5 meters high, with a round surface on which one can stand and a ladder made of iron, with which to ascend. The installation awaits a performance in which an individual, perhaps the artist himself, will make use of it as a platform for free speech. Free speech is, by now, a profoundly ideological concept, less attached to its democratic meaning than to a contemporary political rhetoric that often takes a fundamentalist tone. Freedom of speech (indeed, freedom of expression tout court) is not a “natural” but a “human” right. As such it relates to meaning, to syntax and grammar, and not to the biological capacity to utter sounds as a dog barks or a sheep bleats. In this sense, freedom of expression relates to communication and not, as it is often asserted, to the right to voice diatribes and soliloquies. Golia’s work was commissioned both for the exhibition, and as the inaugural work for a series of discussions on the idea of free speech, which took place at Witte de With throughout the remainder of the Morality program. Jaebum Kim’s mesmerizing photographs evoke what has very recently become a cliché iconography of catastrophe and disaster. Taking a range of different sites and playing with visual “tricks” indicative of omens, Kim’s photographs could be referred to as refined reconstructions of ready-made images, socially constructed and, by and large, reminiscent of the media. The mise-en-scène also brings up an idea of solitude, the images appear as snapshots of an individual’s idiosyncratic memories of the recent past, products of a mind whose imagination is absolutely determined by an increasingly limited timeframe. Devoid of history and of sense, they render a world that seems impossible to transcend. Miki Kratsman’s Territory is a series of photographs that show desolate landscapes and “dehumanized” places. The references are clear: abandoned or aborted housing projects, mostly modeled after a 1950s idea of suburban living, and most likely in contested areas in Israel-Palestine. Yet, there are few elements in the images to orient us as to place and time, forcing us, as viewers, to speculate on the realities that underlie these landscapes, as well as the historical moment they are supposed to signify. In a sense the images remain in an ambiguous space between an illusory, post-apocalyptic world and photojournalist realism, refusing to either fictionalize a reality that is perhaps already too overrun by fictions, or to “represent” any of the archetypal subjects of journalism. One might say that the absence of humans becomes,

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in these pictures, allegorical of a desire to place the social, the political, or even the geopolitical, under erasure. In Rotterdam, “reconstruction” has been a permanent motif since the mid-20th century, and continues to be so. At present, this reconstruction is taking place in the context of a society perplexed by its heterogeneity, and gripped by an ambivalence as to what social ideals its architecture is meant to represent and advance. Referring directly to Rotterdam’s architecture, to the complicated social landscape that composes this city and to the subjective engagement with both, Erik van Lieshout’s installation Rotterdam provides a preamble to the exhibition, situated at the stairway, before the entrance to the exhibition gallery. As is usual in his work, Van Lieshout presents his milieu from a deeply personal, and consciously idiosyncratic perspective, obliterating any hope for neutrality in the structure of everyday life. A tapestry of Picasso’s Guernica appears mise-en-abîme in Goshka Macuga’s On The Nature of the Beast; Picasso’s Guernica, a painting whose message against war and destruction can be seen now as ominous of the entire 20th century. Commissioned by Nelson Rockefeller in 1955 and later lent to the UN building in New York (where it was covered over during Colin Powell’s announcement of the US invasion of Iraq) the tapestry was brought by Macuga to the Whitechapel in London as a reminder that the original Guernica painting had once been housed there, in 1959. The Rockefeller tapestry is therefore an ersatz picture, appearing in Macuga’s image as the backdrop for an unlikely assembly of public figures and socialites who stood before it, at the Whitechapel, at one point or another over the one-year period of Macuga’s exhibition. Brought together in this image, these figures now testify to the unwieldy afterlife of a painting, the ambiguity that lies in between Picasso’s image of devastation, as the record of an original intention, and its subsequent appropriations. Randa Mirza’s minimal photograph, set in Beirut, shows a “tourist” smiling and giving the camera the “peace” sign. In the background we see a tank, a group of soldiers, and an old woman collecting water. The image replicates the archetype of the naïve tourist who feels her- or himself entirely alien to the present she or he is in. She or he is also entirely separate from (i.e., ignorant of) the social and political milieu. Yet, the apparently childlike mise-en-scène reveals a triple discrepancy,

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between the “spirit” that motivates the girl to give the peace sign (while smiling), the stern sense of purpose displayed by the soldiers, and the old woman’s obvious obliviousness to anything other than the task at hand: in short, a reality whose fatal disjointedness seems to have no resolution. Willem de Rooij has produced a bouquet of black and white tulips for this exhibition. Flowers travel daily all over Europe, all over the world, carrying geographical traces, as well as traces of origin and of symbolism. Flowers thus have the potential of becoming the uncanny report of an unlikely passage. Such associations were not uncommon in Netherlandish paintings, and flourished in the princely gardens of the Renaissance and of the colonial periods. Yet these geographical and political associations have become less than secondary to the contemporary traffic of flora, and even to the contemporary politics of the environment. Willem de Rooij’s arrangements act as obscure signifiers of facts – of the fact that even these apparently decorative elements are geopolitically charged; but also of the fact that the bouquets inhabit a “geopolitical aesthetic” – to use Fredric Jameson’s phrase – in a paradoxically neutralizing way. Canan Şenol’s Exemplary is structured around a deliberately allegorical narrative, rich in fantastical motifs. In a relentlessly grim series of scenes and scenarios, fate is proffered to the main character of the film through appeals to the Law and to superstition. In the video, a woman is followed throughout her life by her mother, whose “motherly” advice proves ominous at every turn. Thus the girl’s mother is, in a sense, the Lacanian Mother, that is, the figure that communicates the Law; and in another sense she represents the figure of cultural intuition, the love child of tradition and belief. Andreas Slominski’s Mandy presents us with an enigmatic image: a group of naked or semi-naked people are emerging from, or lying around, a bathtub. The photograph is affixed to the wall merely by a strip of tape, as one would hang a photograph whose physicality is less important than the memory it brings. Next to this image is the actual bathtub, empty, resting in the gallery space. Clearly the bathtub is a “stage” for an event that has already taken place; yet –  as with all stages  –  it awaits a repetition. It is, quite literally, the empty vessel waiting to be filled. To be filled, perhaps, with an action and with content,

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the two enemies of minimalism or, more precisely, of the minimalist war against expressionism. It might be that this minimalist resistance to expressionism and lyrical abstraction is, in turn, what Slominski’s work is set against. Corin Sworn’s After School Special is a film made from fragments of the 1979 movie Over the Edge. In Sworn’s “version,” a parallel narrative emerges, in which there are no references to the adult world, and in which there are only indirect references to violence. Sworn’s video thus draws upon a different motif of the suburban dystopia: youth and alienation. Up until the 1950s, youth or adulthood were categories that existed only outside the world of Capital, mostly linked to biological and ritualistic notions, rites of passage. Thus, After School Special places us in a specific historical moment, in which teenagers were becoming a class, and also a category in the consumerist landscape. Determined neither by economic nor by political imperatives, but by leisure, it is now – to follow one of Dan Graham’s critiques – difficult to say what gave rise to this class of “transitional” citizens. Corin Sworn’s After School Special responds to this historically specific construction of the teenager with a world that seems utterly self-contained, severed from itself and from history, a teenage world in which the behavioral and social values seem to come out of nowhere. Ron Terada’s second contribution to the Morality program is a characteristically dead-pan sign that reads Stay Away from Lonely Places. As with his other text-based works, this sign functions as a statement (un ennoncé) through which a strange and enigmatical relationship is established between a tacit emitter and a present receiver whose experience – if not life-experience – is evoked so as to settle an otherwise obtuse and unstable demand. To “stay away from lonely places” is also a deliberately sentimental appeal to keep oneself in good (mental) health, and to avoid – one might presume – too much introspection and even self-reflection. Luc Tuymans’ series of drawings, Transitions and Inserts, take as their motifs utopian designs that Walt Disney made for an ideal city that was never built. Transitions show aerial views of cities, reminiscent of the physiocratic designs, which were in fact an early form of emancipation from nature, derived from the rationalization of natural resources and labor. Yet, Tuymans’ rendering of these designs are set

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in a void, accentuating the utopian principle that motivated them, as well as the incongruity between them and reality. Inserts are literally the underbelly of these designs. Microscopic and detailed, this second set of drawings shows a series of underground systems of transportation and service, and thus a highly sophisticated idea of alienated labor. In a sense, these designs anticipate the obsessive ways, in which our world conceals its basic mechanics; yet, in another sense, these models are but a large-scale development of the classical separation of the biological and the social, the microscopic and the general.

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List of Works

fig. V.1 Adel Abidin Foam, 2007 Video installation, color, sound, 4’15” (loop), Blu-ray disc, edition 3 / 5 Courtesy of the artist fig. V.2 Andreas Slominski Mandy, 2009 Metal, plastic, photograph 175  ×  75  ×  56 cm, 28.0  ×  21.0 cm Goethe Collection Courtesy of the artist fig. V.3 Canan Şenol Exemplary, 2009 Single-channel video projection 27’30” Courtesy of the artist fig. V.4 Erik van Lieshout Rotterdam, 2010 Installation Courtesy of the artist fig. V.5 Ron Terada Stay Away From Lonely Places 2005 White neon, brushed aluminium, Plexiglas, wood, paint Courtesy of the artist and DekaBank – Kunstsammlung fig. V.6 Willem de Rooij Bouquet VI, 2010 50 black tulips (Ronaldo) and 50 white tulips (White Dream), vase, plinth Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Cologne

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fig. V.7 Canan Şenol Exemplary, 2009 Single-channel video projection 27’30”, courtesy of the artist

fig. V.14 Jaebum Kim And then there were none, 2008 C-print, framed, 105  ×  138 cm Courtesy of the artist

fig. V.8 Jaebum Kim No Casualty, 2008 C-print, framed, 125 × 153 cm Courtesy of the artist

fig. V.15 Piero Golia Untitled (siege tower), 2010 Installation, steel 250  ×  120  ×  120 cm Courtesy of the artist

fig. V.9 Goshka Macuga On The Nature of the Beast, 2009 Woven textiles, 290  ×  560 cm Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp (M HKA) fig. V.10 Willem de Rooij Bouquet VI, 2010 50 black tulips (Ronaldo) and 50 white tulips (White Dream), vase, plinth, courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Cologne fig. V.11 Luc Tuymans Transitions A, 2008 Gouache on paper Framed, 76.2  ×  90.2  ×  3.2 cm each Collection of Charlotte and Bill Ford fig. V.12 Mark Boulos All that is Solid Melts into Air, 2008 Two-channel video installation, 15’ Courtesy of the artist fig. V.13 Ziad Antar La Marche Turque, 2006 Single-channel video, black and white, 3’, played by Matea Maras, courtesy of the artist and Almine Rech Gallery, Paris

fig. V.16 Miki Kratsman Territory 2757 10, 2005 Digital print, 90  ×  60 cm Courtesy of the artist and Chelouche Gallery, Tel Aviv


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Jaebum Kim Beyond Science, 2009 C-print, framed, 105  ×  182 cm Courtesy of the artist

Territory 0676 22, 2005 Digital print, 60  ×  90 cm Courtesy of the artist and Chelouche Gallery, Tel Aviv

I am Jesus Christ, 2008 C-print, framed, 105  ×  153 cm Courtesy of the artist

Territory 2757 3, 2005 Digital print, 60  ×  90 cm Courtesy of the artist and Chelouche Gallery, Tel Aviv

Ismael Ax, 2008 C-print, framed, 100  ×  182 cm Courtesy of the artist Jungle high school, 2009 C-print, framed, 157  ×  125 cm Courtesy of the artist Sakakibara, 2009 C-print, framed, 125  ×  155 cm Courtesy of the artist They pretended they were God, 2009 C-print, framed, 125  ×  139 cm Courtesy of the artist Miki Kratsman Territory 020-1 5, 2005 Digital print, 90  ×  90 cm Courtesy of the artist and Chelouche Gallery, Tel Aviv Territory 0201-4, 2005 Digital print, 90  ×  90 cm Courtesy of the artist and Chelouche Gallery, Tel Aviv Territory 0674 6, 2005 Digital print, 60  ×  90 cm Courtesy of the artist and Chelouche Gallery, Tel Aviv Territory 0675-24, 2005 Digital print, 60  ×  90 cm Courtesy of the artist and Chelouche Gallery, Tel Aviv

Territory 2760 2, 2005 Digital print, 90  ×  90 cm Courtesy of the artist and Chelouche Gallery, Tel Aviv Territory 3305-22, 2005 Digital print, 60  ×  90 cm Courtesy of the artist and Chelouche Gallery, Tel Aviv Territory 3305-11, 2005 Digital print, 60  ×  90 cm Courtesy of the artist and Chelouche Gallery, Tel Aviv Territory 5734 10, 2005 Digital print, 90  ×  90 cm Courtesy of the artist and Chelouche Gallery, Tel Aviv Territory 7100 7, 2005 Digital print, 60  ×  90 cm Courtesy of the artist and Chelouche Gallery, Tel Aviv

Luc Tuymans Inserts #1, 2008 Gouache on paper Framed, 50.8  ×  60  ×  3.2 cm Courtesy of the artist and David Zwirner, New York Inserts #2, 2008 Gouache on paper Framed, 50.8  ×  60  ×  3.2 cm Courtesy of the artist and David Zwirner, New York Inserts #3, 2008 Gouache on paper Framed, 50.8  ×  60  ×  3.2 cm Courtesy of the artist and David Zwirner, New York Transitions B, 2008 Gouache on paper Framed, 76.2  ×  90.2  ×  3.2 cm Collection of Charlotte and Bill Ford Transitions C, 2008 Gouache on paper Framed, 76.2  ×  90.2  ×  3.2 cm Collection of Charlotte and Bill Ford Transitions D, 2008 Gouache on paper Framed, 76.2  ×  90.2  ×  3.2 cm Collection of Charlotte and Bill Ford

Randa Mirza Untitled #2, 2008 40  ×  60 cm Courtesy of the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Hamburg/Beirut Corin Sworn After School Special, 2009 Single-channel video projection, 22’ Courtesy of the artist

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Many of the themes that have dominated contemporary political thought point to the ominous view that “humanity” has become an historical subject, no longer essential to contemporary economic and political considerations. For instance, the notion of “bare life” taken up by Giorgio Agamben, suggests a bankruptcy of the human rights charter in terms of humanity’s capacity to hold to its principles of freedom and equality. The notion of “immaterial labor,” most famously developed by Maurizio Lazzarato, indicates a further alienation of the world from its material fabric and concrete foundations. The imperative suggested in the title of this exhibition, to “remember humanity,” is therefore an allusion to a present condition, in which humanity has become an historical subject rather than part of our objective reality. The exhibition Remember Humanity started from this hypothesis and included the work of artists who approach “our” present as a field of fragmented existences and isolated interests. Together, these works provided a partial sense of how the construction of the world and the construction of the idea of humanity are mutually conditioned. The works here included do not set out to affirm “humanity” in a nostalgic way, nor attempt to “retrieve” it from the record of lost ideas. More central to their logic is an examination of how the notion of human is constructed – in opposition to the animal, to madness, to the idea of the primitive, in contraposition to war, and also in the affirmation of “labor” and “consciousness.” Featured artists: Ziad Antar, Julieta Aranda, Mirosław Bałka, Milena Bonilla, Lee Bul, Luke Fowler, Nicoline van Harskamp, Minouk Lim, Goshka Macuga, Kent Monkman, Christodoulos Panayiotou, Julika Rudelius, Michael Stevenson, Rosemarie Trockel. — Curated by Juan A. Gaitán and Nicolaus Schafhausen, assisted by Amira Gad. 119


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fig. VI.1 Lee Bul Torso Cyborg (orange), 2002 Silicone, neon sockel 49  ×  38  ×  27 cm

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fig. VI.2 Christodoulos Panayiotou (right page) Never Land, 2008 153 color slides, three-channel projection


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fig. VI.2 Christodoulos Panayiotou Never Land, 2008 153 color slides, three-channel projection

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fig. VI.3 Julika Rudelius (right page top) Forever, 2006 Video installation, two synchronized DVDs, 16’50”

fig. VI.4 Luke Fowler (right page bottom) Bogman Palmjaguar, 2007 16 mm film and Super-8 film transferred to video, color, sound, 30’


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fig. VI.5 Michael Stevenson Landscape with the Beginning of Civilization, 2010 Installation with 10 aquariums, glass, plastic, organic material

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fig. VI.6 Kent Monkman (left) Clouds in the Canyon, 2008 Acrylic on canvas Framed, 90 × 115 × 5 cm

R em em b e r H u manit y

fig. VI.7 Ziad Antar (middle) Terres de Pommes de Terre, 2009 Installation, Super-8 film transferred to DVD, 5’, starring Fadi Danab and Habib Abaza 11 framed C-prints, 30 × 30 cm 4 framed C-prints, 50 × 50 cm

fig. VI.8 Minouk Lim (right) S.O.S Adoptive Dissensus, 2009 HD single-channel video projection

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fig. VI.9 Mirosław Bałka I Knew it Had 4 in it, 2008 DVD / HD video, 15’48”

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fig. VI.10 Rosemarie Trockel (top) Wearing Propaganda, 1996 Scannerchrome on canvas, painted In Plexiglas frame, 127 Ă— 157 cm fig. VI.11 Milena Bonilla (bottom) Stonedeaf, 2010 Graphite on rice paper, 196 Ă— 100 cm (unframed), HD video loop

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fig. VI.12 Julieta Aranda Tools For Infinite Monkeys, 2010 Mixed media installation Dimensions variable

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Featured Artists

Since at least the 1990s, the representation of labor has become almost entirely totalized by the image of revolution, with its emphasis on collective disaffection. Ziad Antar’s Terre de Pomme de Terre introduces a strange space between the artisanal and the mercantile dimensions of globalization, presenting an eccentric narrative that focuses on potato farming in Lebanon, where potatoes are grown from buds imported from the Netherlands. The images themselves recall the incorporation of social realist imagery into the rhetoric of 1960s and 1970s agricultural enthusiasm, by way of instructional and educational films and photographs that ultimately laid the ground for many of the hyper-mechanized and disenfranchised rural economies of today. Julieta Aranda’s Tools for Infinite Monkeys is about technological enthusiasm that causes scientists to follow a line of investigation that is inherently flawed. This time it is the assumption, common in scientific explorations and behavioral psychology, that man-made machines express a natural – rather than naturalized – logic. Aranda’s work is drawn from an experiment in which monkeys were put in a room with a computer, to see if they would learn to produce “meaning” out of the machine, as if they could develop naturally a desire and use for the keyboard, alphabet, screen, or printer. The result was a long text composed mostly of the letter S, which Aranda has placed in a “recreation” of the space of the experiment, in an endlessly looping system whose logic is, in turn, inaccessible to scientific discourses. I Knew it Had 4 in it is a short video by Mirosław Bałka. It consists of a simple image zooming in and out on the number four. Deliberately obscure, this work was made in response to an interview the artist heard regarding the holocaust, in which the interviewee could not remember the exact number of deaths in the concentration camps of Poland (4,000? 400,000? 4,000,000?) but did remember “it had 4 in it.” The camera zooming in and out of a number four rendered in black vinyl provides an analogy for this strange relationship between “4” and “0,” the former changing drastically each time a zero is added.

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Milena Bonilla’s Stonedeaf comprises a video of “life-forms” crawling across the tombstone where Marx and his family were first buried. A frottage or “rubbing” taken from this tombstone rests next to the video, revealing that the tombstone’s basic message is that Marx is no longer there. This absence speaks to an uncritical reverence to Marx that has characterized the Left in many of its guises not least in Colombia, Bonilla’s native country. Commonly, Marxist self-reflexive critiques are directed at one in a series of the “qualifiers” of Marxism – Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky – but not against Marx himself. It is no secret that many Marxisms have been constructed in spite of Marx. Deliberately mordant, Bonilla’s work is ultimately about questioning the place of Marx in the great Humanist enterprise that is Marxism. Lee Bul’s work is based on variants of modernism that are not part of the mainstream. One might call it a baroque modernism, reminiscent of – and at times directly referencing – figures such as Bruno Taut, famous for the Glass Pavilion at the Cologne Werkbund Expo of 1914, and for spearheading the famous correspondence on utopian architecture known as the Crystal Chain Letters. For this exhibition we are presented with a bust titled Torso Cyborg (orange) that is lit from within. The work is consistent with the artist’s interest in an aesthetic that has now become historical and which connects the contemporary and modernist ideas of the future and the technological sublime. Luke Fowler’s experimental films explore a wide range of themes in the individual’s relationship to society, experimental forms of community, and social engagement. Bogman Palmjaguar is a stunning film about withdrawal from society. Such withdrawal may have had a number of different variants over the centuries, but the type presented here, which is an escape to nature, is particularly modern. In fact, it could be said to be the only form developed within the framework of modernity and modernism, namely the environmentalist or nature-oriented variant. This documentary-style film focuses on Palmjaguar, an elderly hermit, unfit and unwilling to interact with “civilization,” who lives in isolation in the Fowl Country in Southern Scotland. Simultaneously, he struggles with his medical classification as a paranoid schizophrenic, against which he has launched a legal battle.

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Communication, we are told, is the foundation of society. Speech the foundation of communication. Nicoline van Harskamp’s The Phenomenology of Speech is an event that puts into question the form that speech takes when the idea of communication takes a dangerously ideological tone. For this event Van Harskamp engaged a number of actors that represented a play she scripted based on a seminar on “non-violent communication” she attended. “Non-violent,” it turns out, means passive aggressive, it means being able to avoid confrontation, conflict, unwelcome or challenging questions. This leaves us wondering what kind of idea of “society” is being produced or affirmed through these instances. Minouk Lim’s S.O.S. Adoptive Dissensus is a document of a performance she staged in Seoul along the Han River. As a boat sailed down the river, along the banks were actors playing different roles, performing for the boat. The work took several hours to complete, and was a commentary on the speed with which a city like Seoul has been changing, how it leaves its citizens behind. At a crucial stage in the performance, the voice of an invisible captain begins speaking to the people on the boat; when the voice doubts itself the boat also hesitates, and it announces that it regards itself the captain of the Han River, that the Renaissance was really about building a place “with no neglect or segregation and to remember and ponder upon the truths that are being forgotten” in order to “restore humanity.” Kent Monkman’s Clouds in the Canyon is a large canvas showing a landscape painter painting the Grand Canyon. His canvas is visible to us. Before him, between the painter and his “subject,” stands a crowd of “natives” that do not appear on the painter’s canvas. The painter has deliberately decided to leave them out of his representation. Yet, there is an over emphasis on the native’s body and dress that, as is typical of Monkman’s work, introduces a homo-erotic element in a world of representation that is usually marked by hetero-normative values. This makes them hard to miss, and thus the painter and the natives seem to exist in different times. The painting evokes the many misconceptions that have been brought into the space of representation when it comes to land, to people, and to homosexuality: the painter, for instance, blind to the obvious reality that stands before him, exemplifies the colonial attitudes that expanded throughout the “Wild West” (and other supposedly “virgin” territories) in spite of the fact that there were people living there already.

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For his second contribution to Morality, Christodoulos Panayiotou presented a new work titled I Land, the third in a trilogy of works that includes Wonder Land and Never Land (both 2008), which he has developed from a number of archives in Cyprus. Composed entirely of found images, these slide projections focus on historical narratives of post-colonial imagination. Never Land is an image-history of the 1990s (when Cyprus moved to become a member of the European Union) told through the archives of the oldest newspaper in Cyprus, Phileleftheros. It is a work that tells a complex story about how a nation represents itself, to itself and to the outside world. The title of the new work, I Land, stresses a rhetorical and primeval tendency to produce ethnically and culturally determined allegories of nation and belonging. It is researched at the Press and Information Office in Nicosia, an agency dedicated to documenting the activity of the president and ministers. It comprises 160 black and white images from the presidential period of Archbishop Makarios III, first president of Cyprus. Alongside the official register are unexplained images taken by the photographers and kept on file. Julika Rudelius’ Forever is a video, in which five women who appear to be in their fifties or sixties are sitting by the swimming pool outside upscale homes. They speak about what they consider constitutes beauty and happiness. Their own lives are their point of reference. One hears a Polaroid camera taking pictures as they speak, and at several moments we see the subjects pose and press a remote shutter to photograph themselves. Their monologues are as revealing about the women as they are about the radically self-involved world they inhabit in their daily lives. Yet, the alternatively hard and generous light that Rudelius casts on them opens their lives up for more complex speculations, allowing moments of self-reflection to surprise and even problematize views of this hermetic and seemingly claustrophobic world, both from within and from without. Michael Stevenson’s work, difficult to characterize as it is, might be said to be about the absurd forms that universalisms take in insular situations, especially when it comes to naturalistic representations or scientific discourses that arrive in “foreign” lands in radically perplexing guises. For this exhibition, Stevenson has produced a work titled Landscape with the Beginning of Civilization. It is an installation with a series of used aquariums, decreasing in size, each one containing a recreation of what the landscape would look like for the beginning

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of terrestrial and aquatic life on earth. This sends the narratives – or the Ur-narrative – of the civilization in a delirious search for its origins, presenting the fabulous view that “origin” means temporally inaccessible, when in fact since Nietzsche we know this to be otherwise. Rosemarie Trockel’s work belongs to a moment in the late 20th century in which the hetero-normative values that dominated society and art were radically questioned. Wearing Propaganda is a puzzling photograph in which a woman appears holding a baby. Upon closer inspection, the baby turns out to be a doll. Whilst the image is not misleading enough to be called a trompe l’oeil, the trick still interpolates the regular associations between woman and child in uncanny ways. In the space of representation with which the picture is in dialogue, namely the tradition of the Madonna and Child, it should not matter that the woman is holding a doll. This tradition of woman and child is a double wording tradition founded on transparency, and on the direct connection between the figures, a connection that is biological and affective. Here, however, there is no transparency, and the possibility of affect is denied by both figures: the doll, whose artificiality threatens to counterfeit the entire scene; and the woman, who has turned her back to the camera and thus also to the viewer.

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List of Works

fig. VI.1 Lee Bul Torso Cyborg (orange), 2002 Silicone, neon sockel 49 × 38 × 27 cm Collection Thaddaeus Ropac Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris/Salzburg fig. VI.2 Christodoulos Panayiotou Never Land, 2008 153 color slides, threechannel projection Images sourced from Phileleftheros, Nicosia, Cyprus Courtesy of the artist fig. VI.3 Julika Rudelius Forever, 2006 Video installation, two synchronized DVDs, 16’50” Courtesy of the artist fig. VI.4 Luke Fowler Bogman Palmjaguar, 2007 16 mm film and Super-8 film transferred to video, color, sound, 30’ Edition of 5 + 2 AP Courtesy of the artist fig. VI.5 Michael Stevenson Landscape with the Beginning of Civilization, 2010 Installation with 10 aquariums, glass, plastic, organic material, Courtesy of the artist and Vilma Gold, London

fig. VI.6 Kent Monkman Clouds in the Canyon, 2008 Acrylic on canvas Framed, 90 × 115 × 5 cm Courtesy of the artist and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London fig. VI.7 Ziad Antar Terres de Pommes de Terre, 2009 Installation, Super-8 film transfered to DVD, 5’, starring Fadi Danab and Habib Abaza 11 framed C-prints, 30 × 30 cm 4 framed C-prints, 50 × 50 cm Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Almine Rech, Paris fig. VI.8 Minouk Lim S.O.S Adoptive Dissensus, 2009 HD single-channel video projection Courtesy of the artist and Gallery Plant, Seoul fig. VI.9 Mirosław Bałka I Knew it Had 4 in it, 2008 DVD / HD video, 15’48” Courtesy of the artist and Muzeum Sztuki Nowoczesnej, Warsaw fig. VI.10 Rosemarie Trockel Wearing Propaganda, 1996 Scannerchrome on canvas, painted In Plexiglas frame, 127 × 157 cm Edition AP Private collection Courtesy of the artist and Sprüth Magers, Berlin/London

fig. VI.11 Milena Bonilla Stonedeaf, 2010 Graphite on rice paper, HD video loop, 196  × 100 cm (unframed) Courtesy of the artist fig. VI.12 Julieta Aranda Tools For Infinite Monkeys, 2010 Mixed media installation Dimensions variable Courtesy of the artist Nicoline van Harskamp Expressive Power Series #1 Max Bonner on The Phenomenology of Speech, 2010 Scripted event Intervention within the exhibition Goshka Macuga On The Nature of the Beast, 2009 Woven textiles 290 × 60 cm Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp (M HKA) Courtesy of the artist and M HKA Christodoulos Panayiotou I Land (1960-1977), 2010 160 black and white slides, two-channel projection Images sourced from the Press and Information Office, Republic of Cyprus, Ministry of Interior Courtesy of the artist and Rodeo Gallery, Turkey

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Act V I I O f Fact s a nd Fable s 13 May — 26 Sept. 2010


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Ac t V I I

Of Fac t s a n d Fa b l e s

There is a traditional distinction between the earth as the space of nature, and the world as the space of humanity. Fictions and abstractions belong to the world, as do thought and action. The fable, however, invariably returns to nature in search of motifs that are excluded from the principles and imperatives of morality: animals, plants, inanimate objects. Children are the fable’s ideal audience, and are also exempt from the sphere of morality and moral imperatives, even if only temporarily – that is, for as long as they are children or remain “child-like.” In this sense, that which is excepted from morality is susceptible to becoming an example – a negative one – of the seemingly chaotic and “anarchic” state of nature. Animal behavior, for instance, is often mobilized by moralistic discourses in order to prove that the true nature of humanity is one of uninhibited impulses that morality is designed to set right. Of Facts and Fables brought together a selection of works that mobilize this realm of exception, presenting a critical image of the world and its fictions, operating in a space of representation that relies on fabulous motifs. History, mysticism, fiction, and scientific discourse came together in this exhibition as both outmoded forms of thought, and as potential for new kinds of speculative critique. Featured artists: Saâdane Afif, Danai Anesiadou, Mirosław Bałka, Keren Cytter, Stan Douglas, Agnès Geoffray, Erik van Lieshout, Philippe Parreno, Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Luc Tuymans, Ola Vasiljeva, Danh Vo, Tris Vonna-Michell. — Curated by Juan A. Gaitán and Nicolaus Schaf hausen, assisted by Amira Gad.

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fig. VII.1 Keren Cytter Four Seasons, 2009 16:9 digital video, color, sound 12', DVD

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fig. VII.2 Tris Vonna-Michell Monumental Detours / Insignificant Fixtures, 2008 – 2009 Installation, dimensions variable

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fig. VII.3 Ola Vasiljeva Alchimie du Verben, 2009 81 analogue slides

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fig. VII.4 Danai Anesiadou Paralipomena, 2010 3 overhead projections, slides, video (in colla足boration with Sophie Nys)

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fig. VII.5 Danh Vo Carnation, 2010 Gold on cardboard, 35 kg

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fig. VII.6 Philippe Parreno Marquee, 2007 Plexiglas, 8 neons, 11 light bulbs (60 and 75 watt), 140 × 100 × 65 cm Unique (PP 048)

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Featured Artists

Saâdane Afif’s installation, Pirate’s Who’s Who, includes a collection of books about pirates (which the work’s owner or the exhibiting institution must expand), the lyrics of a song commissioned by Afif, and a caption written by the artist. This work brings to mind a naïve world of the imagination whose real counterpart is far from ideal: a world of perennial travel and navigation, of figures whose fame is founded on the blemishes they have left on the historical record, and on the wildly imaginative myths that have been built around them. Afif’s work draws some surprising parallels, between piracy and design, music, printing culture, and pamphleteering. These parallels are not conclusive, but they do indicate the highly ambiguous place that anarchical and antagonistic attitudes occupy in a world where all vehicles of communication are nearly totalized by the capitalist imperative of profit. It also brings up questions about authorship, not only of a work but also of an idea. “Drama means action,” writes Jacques Rancière – and not just etymologically (as in “play,” “action,” or “deed” in Greek theatre) but also because dramatization has become a regular trope in contemporary politics and political engagement. Central to Danai Anesiadou’s work is a notion of drama that explicitly places character as a schizophrenic assemblage of “exemplary” subjects. In Paralipomena this means Maria Callas in her multiple guises (as Medea, as the Greek opera singer, as the strong modern woman disencumbered from traditional values, and as the woman dying of a broken heart) channeled through Anesiadou’s performance, itself bracketed by two famous poems, Portrait of a Lady by T.S. Eliot, and Portrait d’une Femme by Ezra Pound, both of which were published in 1915. Through this “encounter,” Anesiadou proposes, among other things, a tentative story of the 20th century, a brief history of “woman.” The work of Mirosław Bałka has consistently explored a range of difficult and volatile issues surrounding the recent history of Poland and its relationship to the Nazi past. Much of his work relies on the fraught intersection between this history and the different subjectivities that have been formed in relation to it, including his own. 2 × (60 × 62 × 200) is

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an enigmatic sculpture, consisting of two cylinders, each with two dents resembling eyelids. Together, the two columns seem to form a couple that can be seen as the reuniting of two lost halves or as the result of an assemblage of two hitherto unrelated wholes. Bałka speaks of these columns as a retreat from the world: “You can look out through the eye slits when you are inside the soft warmth of the felt to view the world from a calm perspective.” For this piece as for others, Bałka’s sense of proportion derives from his own measurements. Founded on the aesthetics of the cinematic trailer, Keren Cytter’s Four Seasons tells a perplexing story of love and betrayal. The narrative unfolds within the space of an apartment that has been radically reduced to the scene of a crime. The two incompatible poles, within which her work operates are clearly visible – Artaud’s “theater of cruelty” with its emphasis on dissolving the distinction between audience and actors, and cinema’s reduction of acting to a purely mechanical representation of everyday life. The nature of the work is established at the onset: it is a thriller, yet the plot is at best perplexing in its disregard for continuity, trapping us in the maze of a detective story that offers little or no relief or chance of conclusion. Four Seasons is structured as an assemblage of ritornellos brought in from the outside in order to illuminate an “inside” whose logic is entirely its own. Stan Douglas’ Suspiria was originally set in Kassel, Germany, hometown of the Brothers Grimm, from whose tales Douglas has extracted a series of references to money and Capitalism. Particularly significant among these themes is the capitalist version of the Rote Fortuna, or “Wheel of Fortune,” by which fortunes and misfortunes are held to fate rather than historical contingency. The work takes its title from Dario Argento’s 1977 horror film Suspiria, the first “gore” film and the last Technicolor made in the West. Argento’s film dominates the “plot” of Douglas’ work, set in a world that is severed from ours, but which pro­­ mises to be its representation: a self-contained, self-perpetuating reality so detached and introspective that it cannot but regenerate itself before our eyes, unfolding as a dystopian or utopian simulacrum of our present, in which body parts are exchanged for money. Agnès Geoffray’s photographs have a deliberately phantasmagoric appearance, one that is not (or does not seem) staged, and a quality that does not seem too concerned with the nature of the medium.

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They are, in other words, potentially “unmediated,” although this is also clearly a fiction. The images presented here are drawn from two series, one in which the photographs are veiled under a milky surface, another one made of black and white photographs. The former ones recall a photo-journalistic style of representation, the latter an aesthetic that has come to illustrate notions of the paranormal and phantasmagoric. Neither “photographs” nor “film stills” (which they also resemble), they are caught within a strange dramatizations of fear, desolation, terror, and horror, all tropes that form the substance of a reckless enthusiasm typical of contemporary journalistic imagery. The Broadway marquee is now mostly a mythological object that has close associations with the stage and with the idea of limelight. Its pragmatic function was to illuminate a space immediately outside the theater, where people gathered as they waited to enter the show. This function has been now replaced by the less dramatic lounges built in multiplexes, or by the shopping mall. Philippe Parreno’s Marquee brings into the gallery space this symbolic function of marking a distinction between the space of reality and the space of theater. They also interpolate the idea of public space, showing themselves as arcane objects belonging to a world, in which the separation between fiction and reality might have been sharper. Thus, one way in which we can approach the odd presence of a marquee in an exhibition is by assuming it to be a hopeful object, a thing that desires that we begin to ask ourselves, as “theatergoers” and as citizens, what is true and what is false, as Harold Pinter once put it. If Sun Ra remains such an bewildering figure, difficult to speak about, it is because in his image were condensed the brilliance of the free jazz movement, the allegories about Ethiopia that lie at the heart of the black emancipation movements (especially in the western hemisphere), and a Cold War imagination, limited as it may seem to us today, regarding life in outer space and cosmic consciousness. Lili ReynaudDewar presented a series of panels reproducing three texts by Sun Ra, on “what America should consider” (namely art and beauty) signed El Ra. A second panel is titled “The Bible was not written for Negroes!!!”, signed Raphael, in which Ra rants against the Evangelical sense of whiteness. The third panel is called “There are two Ethiopias.” It is unsigned and claims that Ethiopia has already a fragmented origin, partly from India, partly from Egypt. One of the most striking aspects of Sun Ra’s texts is

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his desire to adopt an extra-terrestrial and messianic tone. It is decidedly political, and at the very least it should force us to question the rational and scientific tone of our own political discourses. The Worshipper was Luc Tuymans’ second contribution to Morality. It is a deceptively simple painting depicting a white figure that resembles an Orthodox priest. In Tuymans’ explanation, it is a painting made after a Polaroid he took of a doll at the International Carnival and Mask Museum in Binches, Belgium, while he was preparing an exhibition. The image is painted in trompe l’oeil, a baroque pictorial motif that places the picture within a tradition of mimetic images that aim at transcending representation. Yet, it is precisely in this trompe l’oeil that the painting fails its subject – assuming, that is, that the subject is worship – for a paradox lies at the heart of the trompe l’oeil picture: it is, on the one hand, an allegory for the desire to escape representation, and on the other hand it is a pictorial form that focuses the eye on the fictions of representation. This worshipper is thus caught in an impossible space, entrapped by the painter. Ola Vasiljeva’s installation Alchimie du Verbe takes its title from a section in Arthur Rimbaud’s extended poem Une Saison en Enfer [A Season in Hell], from 1873, which is largely accepted as being about opium. On the floor is a slide projector, through which we are shown a series of images of a woman posing in a set, surrounded by objects. On the floor are a series of ceramic figures that the artist calls “artful dodgers,” after the character in Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist (1838). Vasiljeva’s work thus places back into the space of art a series of themes that were once central in the Humanist critique. The work of Robert Bresson comes to mind, themes like the pickpocket or common thief, and the range of historically accepted truths about poverty that led many of the neorealist novels to complicate the simplistic distinctions between right and wrong, truth and falsehood, that characterized much of the moral discourse of modernity. Danh Vo’s Carnation is an American flag made of gold leaf on cardboard. It was installed at the end of the hallway, resting on the ledge, against one of the windows above the exit door. As is characteristic of Vo’s work, this flag is deceptively unassuming. The cardboard on which the flag has been printed is the base of a box tins of Carnation condensed milk. The title is in reference to this product, mythologized as

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a sign of homeliness and nurturing. The flag is the first US flag after the war of independence. The 13 stars and stripes represent the 13 colonies of England. 26 changes have been made since then, adding more states that have been incorporated in the Union. Thus this piece also sends us back to another time, to a different conception of the Republic, but also to the beginning of a process of economic and political construction and “incorporation” that brings together geopolitics and economic interests in a number of ways. Tris Vonna-Michell’s performances and installations are a complex assemblage of image, sound, and storytelling. For this chapter of Morality he contributed an adaptation of Monumental Detours / Insignificant Fixtures, which was presented at Jan Mot in Brussels in 2009. The work’s main orchestrator – Tris Vonna-Michell himself – is conspicuously absent, his chair waiting for the narrator of the work. This absence also indicates an important element in Vonna-Michell’s work: its reliance on storytelling (on the narratives that he brings to the works when he presents them, when he performs them) only to take part in a critique of narration, or the construction of events through historical plots, and an insistence on the individual’s role in the construction of these.

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List of Works fig. VII.1 Keren Cytter Four Seasons, 2009 16:9 digital video, color, sound, 12’, DVD Courtesy of the artist and Pilar Corrias Gallery, London fig. VII.2 Tris Vonna-Michell Monumental Detours / Insignificant Fixtures, 2008 – 2009 Installation, dimensions variable Courtesy of the artist and Jan Mot, Brussels fig. VII.3 Ola Vasiljeva Alchimie du Verben, 2009 81 analogue slides Courtesy of the artist fig. VII.4 Danai Anesiadou Paralipomena, 2010 3 overhead projections, slides, video (in collaboration with Sophie Nys) Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Elisa Plateau, Brussels fig. VII.5 Danh Vo Carnation, 2010 Gold on cardboard, 35 kg Courtesy of the artist and Isabella Bortolozzi Gallery, Berlin fig. VII.6 Philippe Parreno Marquee, 2007 Plexiglas, 8 neons, 11 light bulbs (60 and 75 watt), 140 × 100 × 65 cm Unique (PP 048) Courtesy of the artist and Esther Schipper, Berlin

Saâdane Afif Pirates’ Who’s Who, 2000 – 2010 A collection of books on piracy “Lovely Rita,” bookshelves by Ron Arad for Kartell Glitter paint, contract Dimensions variable Courtesy of the artist Pop (Pirates’ Who’s Who), 2005 Wall text, black glitter vinyl 66 × 195 cm, edition of 6 Courtesy Michel Rein, Paris and Xavier Hufkens, Brussel Pirates’ Who’s Who, 2000 – 2010 Black Plexiglas carved white 15 × 21 cm Courtesy of the artist Mirosław Bałka 2 × (60 × 62 × 200), 2001 Steel, felt, 200 × 60 × 61.9 cm BA048; Courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York Stan Douglas Suspiria, 2003 Video Installation, color, sound, total running time: infinite Courtesy of the artist and David Zwirner, New York Agnès Geoffray Extasis, 2008 Lambda photograph mounted on aluminium, 45 ×  40 cm Courtesy of the artist Horde, 2008 Lambda photograph mounted on aluminium, 90 × 120 × 2 cm Courtesy of the artist Last, 2009 9 framed Lambda photographs 30 ×  40 ×  2 cm Courtesy of the artist

Pin, 2008 Lambda photograph mounted on aluminium, 80 × 55 × 2 cm Courtesy of the artist Veiled, 2008 Lambda photograph mounted on aluminium, 80 × 130 × 2 cm Courtesy of the artist and Jo Walbers Erik van Lieshout Rotterdam, 2010 Installation, courtesy of the artist Marko Lulic Fragment of a Modernist Monument made to fit the foyer of Witte de With, 2009 Poplar wood, paint Dimensions variable Courtesy of the artist Lili Reynaud-Dewar Interpretation (There Are Two Ethiopias), 2010 Color pencil on cardboard 320 × 240 cm Courtesy of the artist Interpretation (The Bible Wasn’t Written For Negroes), 2010 Color pencil on cardboard 280 × 240 cm Courtesy of the artist Interpretation (What America Should Consider), 2010 Color pencil on cardboard 280 × 240 cm Courtesy of the artist Luc Tuymans The Worshipper, 2004 Color on canvas, 193 × 147.5 cm Photo: Felix Tirry Courtesy of the artist and Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp

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Act VIII Nether Land 20 Jun. — 11 Jul. 2010


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Welcome to Nether Land… For the “world stage” of the Shanghai Expo 2010, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam chose to explore selected international artistic practices that engage with the paradoxes of cross-cultural perception. Highlighted here are the fantasies of “other” cultures, of foreign and alternative production. The title of the exhibition is a play on the Netherlands. In English, the word “nether” can mean “low” as in the “Low Countries,” (which is an alternative name for the Benelux nations, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg) or it can evoke a faraway region, as in “the nether reaches of the universe.” And indeed, many works in the exhibition explore the idea of a better life “elsewhere.” The Chinese title He Guo – a poetic rather than literal translation – also plays with the Chinese name for the Netherlands: He Lan (which sounds a bit like “Holland”), but He Guo actually means “What Country?” The questioning tone gained in translation invites you to ponder: Exactly what part of the world is being evoked by this exhibition? What connections are being drawn between cultures? And how do values (spiritual, cultural, and economic) shift as a result? Nether Land was the eighth Act of a year-long program at Witte de With, which included exhibitions, screenings, performances, a website, and a symposium. All of these are linked by the question of “morality.” We had chosen to investigate this complex thematic in fragments, in an attempt to creatively explore the increasingly fragmented reality of contemporary life. Moreover, some works in this exhibition were fragments of 155


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earlier Acts of Morality and were previously shown in Rotterdam. Others were new pieces created specifically for this Shanghai exhibition. We hoped that the experience of Nether Land would encourage viewer to re-think certain well-established boundaries and binaries. Featured artists: Meschac Gaba, Zheng Guogu, Jacques de Koning, Erik van Lieshout, Ken Lum, MadeIn, Sarah Morris, Allan Sekula, Jennifer Tee, Lidwien van de Ven. — Curated by Nicolaus Schafhausen and Monika Szewczyk, assisted by Amira Gad.

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fig. VIII.1 Ken Lum Melly Shum Hates Her Job (Chinese version for Shanghai) 1990/2010 Inkjet print on canvas billboard

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fig. VIII.2 Erik van Lieshout Me Power, 2010 Installation, wooden structure, digital prints, 3' Blu-ray video

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fig. VIII.3 Allan Sekula This Ain’t China: A Photonovel, 1974 Silver gelatin prints and C-prints on paper, booklets in English and Chinese

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fig. VIII.4 Madeln (front) Calm, 2009 Stones, waterbed, water, plastic

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fig. VIII.5 Lidwien van de Ven (back) Lifta, 15/05/2006 (Jewish Boy) Digital print on paper

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fig. VIII.6 Allan Sekula Eyes Closed Assembly Line, 2010 Plexi-mounted transparency in lightbox

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fig. VIII.7 Sarah Morris Beijing, 2008 35 mm film transferred for HD projection, 84'47"

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fig. VIII.8 Jennifer Tee Star-Crossed, 2010 Installation, ceramics, textiles

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Featured Artists

Meschac Gaba is a Beninese artist based in Cotonou, Benin and Rotterdam, the Netherlands. He is well known for his Museum of Contemporary African Art, 1997­ – 2002, which comprised twelve “rooms” of diverse purpose that moved to various institutions in Belgium, Egypt, France, Italy, the Netherlands (among others) and culminated with a presentation at Documenta 11 in Kassel, Germany. Gaba has exhibited internationally, including solo exhibitions at the Tate Modern in London, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, and inIVA, London, and group exhibitions such as the Liverpool Biennial in England (2010), the Sydney Biennial in Australia, and the São Paolo Biennial in Brazil (both 2006). Yangjian-based artist Zheng Guogu, often in cooperation with other artists and friends, experiments with different media and materials to resolve the frontier between art and everyday life in another dimension. If Nether Land is a fragment of an entire program that considers the question of morality, Zheng Guogu’s Barbarous Stone is one very solid fragment of a project that may occupy the duration of the artist’s life and beyond. Began in 2004, this ongoing adventure involved the purchase of a tract of farmland in Yangjiang, Guangdong Province (pictured on the invitation to this exhibition). Zheng Guogu calls this The Age of Empire, after the eponymous video game, attuning us to the virtual qualities (and real impact) of a transaction that he is still attempting to legalize in a close dialogue with local authorities. As Hu Fang writes: “The Age of Empire comes from the construction of a personal utopia by Chinese artist Zheng Guogu. This garden-style utopia is not an imaginary historical model or a goal of personal desire, but a tangible space for living that can be concretely felt, a space within reality capable of transforming reality. His praxis is to traverse this space with certain sensibilities and perspectives. It is a life experiment in which problems can only be solved by the passage of time, and in which a sense of the work emerges only with time.”

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It is a challenge to manifest Zheng Guogu’s life/work in a gallery, but the potential of a fragment to resonates with an entire world points at the key questions put in play in the Nether Land exhibition. The Dutch screenwriter and filmmaker Jacques de Koning traveled to Poland in 1982 after the imposition of martial law and encountered an underground punk and reggae scene full of dreams for a better life. One band, formed by Robert Brylewski and Pawel Kelner (who called themselves Izrael, in opposition to the anti-semitism they found around them), became the subject of de Koning’s poetic documentary. The film’s title – which is borrowed from one of the band’s best-known songs – expresses the longing for a faraway continent that none of the protagonists have visited. It also announces an unlikely openness to the world and an optimism about freedom of movement in the face of an increasingly difficult political situation. De Koning captures the stark contrast between the young men’s aspirations and their actuality: Poland’s proverbial and real winter on the one hand; the fantasy of Africa as sun, rhythm, and the easy life on the other. Earlier in 2010, the film also lent its title to an exhibition on the Polish punk scene organized at Witte de With, which was the fourth Act of Morality. Erik van Lieshout, a Dutch artist, produces ludic and expressive drawing and video installations, and often implicates himself in broader social taboos, identifying with protagonists across the cultural and political spectrum. His characteristically make-shift sculptural installation with video, engages with one of Rotterdam’s architectural icons who is also a prominent figure in China: Rem Koolhaas. Borrowing the diamond-shaped motif from the façade of Koolhaas’ CCTV tower in Beijing, Van Lieshout covers a giant sculpture in the shape of the letters ME. The angles of the ME structure even seem to echo the unusual shape of the CCTV building. Lieshout created this playful form especially for the Nether Land exhibition in Shanghai, having been asked to adapt an earlier version of this work, that was on view at Witte de With in Rotterdam where it was part of the group exhibition Power Alone, which meditates on narcissism as a mechanism of power (the fifth Act of Morality). If Van Lieshout is bold enough to critique the narcissism of a Dutch architectural star, he is also good-humored enough to implicate himself in this game of self-absorption. In the context of the Nether Land exhibition, which

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examined projecting and producing “elsewhere,” his work highlights an important question: How much “ME” is involved in building something in a foreign context? Ken Lum, a Canadia artist of Chinese decent, is well-known for works that combine image and text, comedy and critique, private sentiment and public modes of display – forging a complex view of multicultural realities. Melly Shum Hates Her Job is a much-loved, if perplexing, work of public art, which since October of 1990 has greeted passersby on the Witte de Withstraat in Rotterdam. Indeed, the billboard has been around for almost as long as Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art itself. Melly, its slyly smiling protagonist, even has a flickr site devoted to her! Perhaps the fact that Melly Shum has become a household name in Rotterdam testifies to this Dutch city’s ethnic diversity – her features and name easily read as Chinese, but it may be important to keep in mind that the artist behind her image is Canadian. Which country does Melly come from? The question may be posed differently in China, or not asked at all, as Melly Shum could indeed be from Shanghai. Perhaps what comes to the foreground instead is Melly’s contradictory relationship to her work, an issue which resonates within several artworks in the exhibition, which investigate work conditions in highly industrialized nations. MadeIn is a company, formed as a platform for artistic production by Xu Zhen, an artist of international acclaim living and working in Shanghai, whose diverse practice has tested the artist’s capacity to formulate alternate modes of production and to rethink artistic, national, and moral boundaries. Calm is one of several works of diverse media created for the exhibition Seeing One’s Own Eyes: Contemporary Art from the Middle East, which was curated/created by MadeIn, and which premiered at ShanghArt Gallery in Shanghai in the Fall of 2009. Seeing this show inspired the development of the Nether Land exhibition, as the paradoxes of cross-cultural perception, which this exhibition attempted to highlight, find strong echoes in MadeIn’s approach. (This is a strategy at the limits of representation shared by several artists in Nether Land, but perhaps especially pertinent to the viewing of the two photographs of the Middle East by Lidwien van de Ven.) The minimal and enigmatic sculptural installation Calm heightens this sense of paradox. Contrary to the work’s title,

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the animated rubble may be understood to evoke the turbulence of a region plagued by war and conflict. Yet we might also perceive a hopeful tone in Calm, especially when considering how the opportunities of cross-cultural perception are emphasized in MadeIn’s curatorial statement for the Seeing One’s Own Eyes exhibition: “This exhibition is an artistic representation of the multiaspect situation in the Middle East from a Chinese point of view. Creation of the exhibited works was based on respect, objectivity and strictness. […] The selection was done according to both cultures’ differences, as equal as possible, to reduce misunderstanding and enhance comprehension.” Since the mid-1990s, the New York- and London-based artist Sarah Morris has been internationally recognized for her complex abstractions and films, which play with architecture and the psychology of urban environments. Morris views her paintings as parallel to her films – both trace urban, social, and bureaucratic topologies. In both these media, she explores the psychology of the contemporary city and its architecturally encoded politics. Morris assesses what today’s urban structures, bureaucracies, cities, and nations might conceal and surveys how a particular moment can be inscribed and embedded into its visual surfaces. Often, these non-narrative fictional analyses result in studies of conspiratorial power, structures of control, and the mapping of global socio-political networks. Morris attended Brown University, Cambridge University, and the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Independent Study Program. She received the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painting Award in 2001, and in 1999 – 2000 was an American Academy Award, Berlin Prize Fellow. Allan Sekula was an American artist whose photographic and writing practice has sustained an insightful critique of economic, social, and cultural globalization. Two works, from two different moments in one artist’s career, testify to an ongoing interest in the changing role of China in the global imaginary. The earlier work, This Ain’t China: A Photonovel was produced in 1974, shortly after Allan Sekula graduated from art school, while he worked in a fast-food restaurant in San Diego. Crucially, the word “China” takes on at least two meanings in the course of the narrative (which accompanies the photographs): China (uppercase C) is the faraway country of the

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Cultural Revolution that the workers of the piece evoke in contemplating their aspirations; but china (lowercase c) also means fine dinnerware, an example of elegance and high quality craft to which their boss aspires (hence the English term “fine china”). Yet another notion of China may be seen to emerge in the backlit transparency Eyes Closed Assembly Line, an image (seen at the entrance to the Dutch Cultural Center) that Sekula captured very recently, while filming in a kitchenware factory near Guangzhou: the assembly line evokes the new perception of China as a modern, industrialized global producer of just about everything – a world “Made in China.” Within this bustling factory, Sekula isolates a moment of one woman’s concentrated listening; she is closing her eyes so as to better hear any loose parts in the appliance she is assembling. Thus, we may be invited to draw new connections between two seemingly faraway realms: aesthetic production and working life. Amsterdam-based artist Jennifer Tee creates symbolic, synthetic, even fantastic sculptural installations that the visitor can contemplate, but also sometimes enter or engage with ritually. Her works often balance seemingly contradictory factors: great sculptural sophistication with a transparency in production; the interest in evoking spiritual realms with active material experimentation. Jennifer Tee’s Star-Crossed invites poetic association. Consider these words, some of which are stamped on the ceramic vessels distributed throughout her sculptural installation: secret selves; replacing; healing; inner process; recovered memory; a great miss; infinite worlds; spiritual retreat; ruled fate; transcend & escape; hair, heart, liver, ovary; ancestral sacrifice; and star crossed… The last words come from astrology and refer to the inevitability of paths crossing, on both a human and a more abstract scale, of which the implications are often – but not always – unlucky. Interested in the duality of concepts and forms, Jennifer Tee holds out the possibility of transcending differences and asks us to attend to deeper processes. When we consider how her work was made, a story emerges that weaves together diverse geographies and ancient forms of production: The ceramic vessels and feather forms were produced in Jackson Li’s Sanbao Ceramic Art Institute at Jingdezhen, with the assistance of Min Shen. This is the area most identified with China’s legendary ceramic production or “fine china.” The hexagonal textiles, which may be seen to connect to traditional hand-loomed crafts from

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the Americas, India, and Africa, were produced with Sahara Briscoe, a very contemporary artisan from the Bronx, New York. The fabrics allow the space to blend the functions of sculpture and stage as the five hexagonal forms become the basis for a choreographed routine performed by five women. Tee asked Shanghai-based choreographer nunu kong to develop these poses and postures while reflecting on her poetic phrases, in an attempt to unify the functions of mind, body, and spirit. The women’s movements, accompanied by a trumpet improvisation based on Duke Ellington’s The Star-Crossed Lovers (1967), are as modern as jazz. But they also connect to the Taoist treatment of objects both as everyday useable things and as highly symbolic forms, or companions in daily ritual. Dutch artist Lidwien van de Ven’s photo-based art involves the production of images that signal their status as fragments of the visible truth. The two images taken in the Middle East exemplify how the artist works at the limits of visibility. The captions of both photographs point to facts that cannot be seen. Lifta is the name of an ancient Palestinian village, whose inhabitants were driven out in 1948, but which was not re-settled and remains in ruins. The name is no longer in use. The memorial day alluded to in the next photo is the Genocide Memorial Day for the Armenian Genocide of 1915, which falls on 24 April every year. But in 2006 this day coincided with another memorial day: the Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah in Hebrew), which is an Israeli national day to commemorate the six million Jews murdered in World War II that falls on the 27 Nisan between April and May. That same day, there was also a triple bomb attack in the Egyptian resort town of Dahab, and another memorial may be erected in the memory of the victims. The wall in the image, showing graffiti being painted away, was photographed in the Old City of Jerusalem. The only visible word is “nation,” but exactly which nation is being called up remains ambiguous.

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List of Works

fig. VIII.1 Ken Lum Melly Shum Hates Her Job (Chinese version for Shanghai) 1990/2010 Inkjet print on canvas billboard Courtesy of the artist

fig. VIII.6 Allan Sekula Eyes Closed Assembly Line, 2010 Plexi-mounted transparency in lightbox Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Michel Rein, Paris

fig. VIII.2 Erik van Lieshout Me Power, 2010 Installation, wooden structure, digital prints, 3' Blu-ray video Courtesy of the artist

fig. VIII.7 Sarah Morris Beijing, 2008 35 mm film transferred for HD projection, 84'47" Collection of MMK – Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main

fig. VIII.3 Allan Sekula This Ain’t China: A Photonovel, 1974 Silver gelatin prints and C-prints on paper, booklets in English and Chinese Courtesy the artist and Christopher Grimes Gallery, Los Angeles fig. VIII.4 Madeln Calm, 2009 Stones, waterbed, water, plastic Courtesy of the company and ShanghArt, Shanghai fig. VIII.5 Lidwien van de Ven Lifta, 15/05/2006 (Jewish Boy) Digital print on paper Courtesy of the artist Jerusalem, 24/04/2006 (Memorial Day) Digital print on paper Courtesy of the artist

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fig. VIII.8 Jennifer Tee Star-Crossed, 2010 Installation, ceramics, textiles Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam With thanks to the Fonds BKVB

Zheng Guogu Barbarous Stone, 2009 Mixed media Courtesy of the artist and Vitamin Creative Space, Beijing/Guangzhou Punishment of illegal land use 2007 – 2009 Oil on paper Private collection Jacques de Koning I Could Live in Africa, 1983 16 mm film transferred to DVD, 21' Courtesy of the artist Meschac Gaba Works from the series Tresses including: Gaba Studio Building, Rotterdam, 2008; L’étoile rouge, Cotonou, Benin, 2008; Disa Park, Cape Town, South Africa, 2008; Gherkin Building, London, United Kingdom, 2008; Château d’Eau, Cotonou, Benin, 2008 Courtesy of the artist


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What happens when two myths meet, will they dissolve or will they reinforce each other? ACT IX of Witte de With’s Morality program, Let Us Compare Mythologies, was a three-day cycle of staged events presening international artists exploring the nature of performance. Based on a wide variety of topics, like man’s intrinsic relationship to objects, the program was centered around the continued existence of myths in today’s society and their creative force. Featured artists: Danai Anesiadou, Baktruppen, Geneviève Belleveau, Dineo Seshee Bopape, Keren Cytter & Andrew Kerton, Oskar Dawicki, Simon Denny, Lili ReynaudDewar, D.O.R., Leeroy the Duck, Gergely László, Mark Leckey, Patrizio Di Massimo, Tris Vonna-Michell, Nishiko, Rory Pilgrim, Eliza Newman-Saul, Jeremy Shaw. — Curated by Renske Janssen and Dorothea Jendricke.

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Featured Artists D.O.R. is short for "Deadly Oregone Radiation," and consists of the members Sverre Gullesen, Steinar Haga Kristensen, and Kristian Dahl. In their practice, they mix facts and fables into an almost baroque visual idiom that characterizes their eccentric way of working. In their installations, they explore different theatrical strategies. The new commission made for Witte de With’s Let Us Compare Mythologies was set in the city of Danzig. In this city there was a group called the Kashubians, who represented only three percent of the population but who still regarded the city as their beloved capital. Their small number gave the Kashubians a unique cultural identity and position. The focus of this performance, however, was not the Kashubians themselves, nor the city Danzig. It was their situation that served as point of departure for the story, as a poetic tool to draw attention to the different discursive positions one can take amidst society while being part of a minority. D.O.R. attempted to show the fragility of storytelling in a performance they describe as “a neo-relational shadow play on the postmodern situation,” adding: “As a wise man once said: poems are a commodity. Commodities satisfy on quantitative and qualitative different ways, different humans needs. Commodities have a value. Commodities can also have an exchange value.” In the Rotterdam Nordic Seamen’s Church, the Norwegian theater group Baktruppen (Rear Guard), staged the first edition of a work in progress. Baktruppen has been known since the mid-1980s for their ironic and playful performance and theater pieces. Consisting of six steady members, the group works with new members worldwide, expanding and shrinking as it continues to work in-situ. Their choice to work in and collaborate with the members of the Nordic Church stemmed from their ongoing curiosity to relate to “home” whilst also provoking tradition. The title First Waffle, then Morality refers to the tradition in this Norwegian church where they serve coffee and waffles to the churchgoers after mass, and is a take on Brecht’s line “Food first, then morals” from the 1928 musical The Threepenny Opera. Together with musicians, 18 6


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a children’s choir, coffee, and waffles, Baktruppen evoked adventurous travels, a longing for proximity to one’s homeland, traditions, and questioned this new economy in their song lyrics. During three days of the performance cycle, Scottish actress Mary Knox read out three different texts inside the exhibition installation by French artist Lili Reynaud-Dewar. The drawings are literally copied and enlarged from typewritten texts written by innovative jazz musician and composer Sun Ra (1913 – 1993) in the 1950s. They were recently “rediscovered” and published by Chicagobased independent publisher Whitewalls (Anthony Elm). Some are political pamphlets on the racial situation in the United States, in the context of the civil rights movement. Another is a religious preaching theory, with a very particular vision of theology and etymology. Sun Ra was listening to preachers on the radio and TV, and delivered these texts as a parody and comment on this form of speech. For this reason, they contain a lot of alliterations, repetitions, and rhythmic structures. As far as research showed the artist, Sun Ra never actually preached them. The texts are very polemical, confrontational, and direct. The main idea behind Reynaud-Dewar’s appropriation, and the simple fact of showing these texts as large drawings, is to question what can actually be appropriated, and in which way. How can those texts be read today in the Netherlands by a white woman of Scottish descent, after having been copied for many days by a French white woman in her studio in the Paris suburbs (is this also the most basic way to appropriate something  –  by being a copyist)? It is also possible that the texts were misread, and probably were never even meant to be preached out loud, to be enlarged to such an extent, nor, of course, to leave the streets of Chicago to be relocated in the Netherlands in 2010. Polish artist Oskar Dawicki was originally educated as a painter, but during his studies he became interested in performance art, to which he remained faithful during the following years. In 2000, he broadened his scope of interest to include video works, photography, documentation, and, finally, objects and installations. All of his works have a post-conceptual character, and emanate a slightly grotesque, ironic, and even absurd aura. In his works, Dawicki combines a romantically-tragic component (highly 187


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saturated with his own existential dilemmas) with poetics and the critical dimension of conceptual art. The self-reflection on his own institutional status as a contemporary artist is tightly interwoven with the reflection on his own identity, or rather on its transitoriness, conventionality, airiness, and weakness. Discomfort, disagreement, complication – these are the terms, on which this artist’s imagination is founded, while the non-productivity of art seems to Dawicki to be its most promising aspect. In the performance "I’m Sorry," the artist apologizes for a failed performance, which has not even failed yet. Bursting into tears, he takes all the responsibility, being sorry for having wasted the chance and the efforts the curators have put into the program. Gergely László lives and works in Budapest. He is a member of the photographic collective POC and also works in collaboration with Péter Rákosi under the name Tehnica Schweiz. His projects, as well as those of Tehnica Schweiz, often deal with notions around the dynamics of communities and the political/ social influences of the photographic medium and the archive. The play The Collective Man was first performed at ISCP – International Studio and Curatorial Program in NYC on 10 April 2010, on the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Kibbutz Yad Hanna. Israel’s best-known communist kibbutz was founded near Tulkarem – bordering the West Bank – by young Hungarian survivors of the Holocaust. It was named Yad Hanna (Hannah Memorial) in homage to the heroic memory of Hannah Szenes, a Hungarian Jew trained by the British army to parachute into Yugoslavia during World War II to help save the Jews of Hungary prior to their deportation to Auschwitz. She was executed by a German firing squad. The founders of the kibbutz – which was famous for its committed leftism – included the younger sister of Gergely László’s maternal grandmother and her husband who are still among the hundreds to live on the premises of the once exemplarily managed settlement. László’s The Yad Hanna Kibbutz Project is the reconstruction of the (hi)story of a community, which presents the richness of its differences, patterns, and identities in the context of personal and collective memory. The project material included many different elements and materials, such as a keyword database archive of photographs collected in the kibbutz, archival film footage, as well as László’s photographs showing the present state 18 8


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of the kibbutz, its inhabitants and their living conditions, and documenting the everyday life of the migrant worker and refugee communities that have settled there in recent years. The theater plays held on Purim – the most important of celebrations that defined the life of the kibbutz community and determined its chronology – constitute a separate theme inside this extensive project. The carnival costume party – emptied of any religious elements – included short, humorous performances and comedy skits by small groups, for which participants sometimes prepared over several months. With the breakup of the community, the disintegration of community life, and the loss of the function of communal spaces, these events were discontinued. Using elements of archival photos, and based on ideas taken from conversations with the kibbutz members, László and the Yad Hanna Theater Group (consisting of amateur actors, friends, and artists), performed a play about events in the history of a small community in continuous struggle with problems of sharing and living together. Mark Leckey is a British artist working with collage art, music, and video. His found art and found footage pieces include several videos, most notably Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore (1999) and Industrial Lights and Magic (2008), for which he won the 2008 Turner Prize. Leckey’s Cinema-in-the-Round is a collage-style documentation of fragments of staged talks he gave on different occasions. Their topics range from video, to film, to television, and serve as a reflection on the relationship between object and image, between the medium and the subject. The images shift between a rather personal narration about the experience of on-screen materialization to the very nature of the image, implying an art historical reading beyond the common patterns of viewing. Nishiko studied photography in Japan and fine art in The Hague, where she has been working since 2006. Her poetic, performative installations often engage with personal or “everyday” tragedies such as accidents or the encounter of cultural differences. For the work She commands and we obey, Nishiko highlighted accidents featuring broken glass by fixing the glass fragments back in their original shapes, casting them with plaster, and leaving them at the spot where the accident occurred. 18 9


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In Let Us Compare Mythologies, Nishiko appeared with two bags filled with tools and materials during other artists’ performances, in preparation for an accident, in which glass was broken. Keren Cytter is an artist who works experimentally in film, engaging in methods that challenge the restraints of both written and cinematic genres and languages. She is also a novelist, poet, and librettist, and in 2008 she formed the dance theater group Dance International Europe Now. Andrew Kerton is an artist working in video and live performance. They both attended de Ateliers artist’s program. Now they are known for their collaboration with Dance International Europe Now. The evolving ensemble is composed of an increasingly intricate inter-play of theatrical genres and visual mediums. In Let Us Compare Mythologies, Cytter and Kerton performed the seven-minute-long performance Poker Face. On a small stage, Kerton lip-synched a poem into a microphone, in the character of an entertainer who tells the story of being killed by his alter ego. The alter ego is represented by a disembodied voice from an opposite microphone, lit by a spotlight. The voices were heard from speakers positioned opposite to each other, and implicitly raised the question of where authenticity begins and where it ends. Genevieve Belleveau currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She studied theater, visual art, and voice at Bennington College. An ongoing work of Belleveau's is her development of alter ego gorgeousTaps through a weekly telecast on http://newtownradio.com/ and a forthcoming pop album. Belleveau’s work contains elements of live performance, costume, video, music, and installation environments, which create a heightened sense of drama in both formal and pedestrian settings. Drawing on the work of sociologist Erving Goffman, Belleveau regards every aspect of human behavior and ritual as a dramaturgically manipulable concept. She exists as an active performer, exhibitor, and investigator of the human condition. The Church of gorgeousTaps and the Reality Show is a secular theatrical event that utilizes the structure of a traditional Lutheran mass that explores playful, as well as provocative themes. In Let Us Compare Mythologies she performed alone, but the project originated as a collective work-in-progress in the artist’s backyard in Greenpoint. It inspires its members 19 0


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to examine their deepest desires and belief systems, and take comfort in a community that encourages the collective unfolding of the creative process. The radio service, entitled: The Business of Pleasure, examines an endurance exercise, in which the artist was engaged in seven consecutive one-night-stands. Rejecting the traditional contractual codes of a “one-night-stand,” and instead adhering to gorgeousTaps’ own Ten Commandments for The Business of Pleasure, each transient experience was undertaken as a full and loving relationship, rather than a meaningless merging of bodies. The congregation joins gorgeousTaps in worship and meditation through pop song hymns, a responsive, sermons, and the taking of sacrament. gorgeousTaps does not seek to convey a moral code. It rather leads the congregation through a process that reveals personal opinions about love, sex, and the negotiations inherent in all relationships. Eliza Newman-Saul’s first-person narrative works emphatically and stubbornly use innocuous moments in order to address larger social questions. The artist positions herself as a writer and director, using actors and non-artists to de-emphasize the role of her own body. The narratives she constructs appear again and again in her practice, moving between writing, video, drawing, and performance. Often fragmented, but rarely ambiguous, the works argue for a return to decipherable meaning. For Let Us Compare Mythologies, Newman-Saul created a new work, in which the audience was invited as a witness instead of a participant for an evening of wine, conversation, and performance. This theatrical work, Generally I feel Nothing but the Sea, uses a circus structure to explore the history of Coney Island, the Brooklyn peninsula that was formally an island, as a site of love and loss. This particular performance had been in development since 1999, beginning as a short story, and looked for the first time during LET US COMPARE MYTHOLOGIES to confront the audience. Jeremy Shaw is a Berlin-based artist, whose multi-faceted practice incorporates film, video, sound, and various studio-based media in a quasi-documentary style to discuss periphery culture and cultural deviance. By reinterpreting conventional aspects of documentary, rock video, pop and psychedelic art in a conceptual framework, his interest lies in creating work that establishes 191


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a dialogue within and around cultural practices that aspire to transcendental experience. In his lecture-performance I Am A Laser/Scream Like a Baby, Shaw discusses state-of-the-art laser technologies, using comprehensive diagrams and schematics to illustrate the rigor and speed at which they are shaping today’s surgery, weaponry, theory, and, arguably, even thought. This serves as a stepping-off point for a dramatic proposition that links the laser’s advanced scientific capabilities to that of its aid in the transcendence-seeking activities of popular culture from the 1970s until the present. This duality is highlighted by a narrative written in 1973 that recurred in 1980 – the second being labeled “future nostalgic” by its two-time author, David Bowie. Patrizio Di Massimo’s performance event Untitled (Purebred) connected Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art with the equestrian sculpture of Stadhouder (Governor) Willem IV, located in front of the main entrance of the Historisch Museum, Rotterdam. The event involved a horse and his rider repeatedly covering a path between the art center and the nearest equestrian sculpture. It was occasionally visible to the public just outside the exhibition space, where for just a few seconds the horse passed at a gallop. It was the third time that this event had been realized. The first, Untitled (Pureblood), established a connection between a non-profit space in the East End of London with Bank Station, the economic heart of Great Britain. The second, Untitled (THOROUGHBRED), made a connection between the Academy of Fine Arts of Rome and the oldest existent equestrian sculpture, that of Marco Aurelio in the Campidoglio in Rome. Untitled (Purebred), conceived for Witte de With, established a connection between the institution itself and the historical museum, thus metaphorically questioning whether we need to create a classical monument in a temporary way. Central to Rory Pilgrim’s practice is the questioning of the role of cultural, social, and global ownership. Pilgrim explores the forms in which we profess what we believe in, individually and collectively, as individuals, communities, and nations   —   be they present or absent, Pilgrim embraces working with varied groups and individuals from around the world. He uses his own role as an individual citizen to ask what is urgent, needed, and wanted. This has varied from an attempt to completely integrate two separate 19 2


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European towns (weymouthaapsalu, 2008) to asking groups of choirs to stand in public spaces to ask a simple question to others: “Can we help you” (A ee el u?, 2009). With these works, Pilgrim explores the differences of how we act and profess ourselves in language through the structures of speech, written word, and music. Love in Uganda is a performance centered around a piece of music Pilgrim wrote in response to the anti-homosexuality bill that, at the time, politicians were trying to pass through the Ugandan parliament. The original bill attempted to criminalize homosexuality with the death penalty for specific acts, including a committed relationship. Its aim was to broaden a historical law made by the British criminalizing homosexuality. A revised version of the bill passed in late 2013 despite international condemnation. American Evangelical Churches were instrumental in pushing forward this bill, churches that since the election of Barak Obama have increased their efforts in Africa, creating a wave of increased homophobia and persecution across the continent. However, within Uganda 35% of the population are aligned with the Anglican Church that neither completely condemns nor accepts homosexuals and LGBT people. Only after external pressure did the head of the Anglican Church comment against the bill. In February 2010 Pilgrim wrote a simple letter asking many Anglican cathedrals around the world if the piece of music could be performed within their sacred walls. There they would collectively proclaim “We must protect all Love.” So far no church but the Arminius church, a place for religious mass as well as a lively debating center for literature, politics, and culture, has welcomed the piece to be sung within their walls. It was also the first time that Love in Uganda was performed while the bill was still trying to be passed in Uganda. With his booming duck voice, Leeroy is a powerful force to be reckoned with. Currently the Major of Leeroytown, he has some grand plans and ambitions that any normal man would be ashamed of. Not Leeroy though. Although projected onto a curtain for now, Leeroy is not merely an entertaining mask for another embarrassed homunculus, badly concealed. No, not at all. Or a modest homunculus even. Again, not really. The most narcissistic of men can and do learn to be modest. But this is not the point here either. Little men like these are just drivers. Leeroy is what matters; everything else is scaffolding. Your intimate guide Leeroy invites 19 3


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you to lose yourself in his eyes and nipples, which are the same anyway. He will show you around Leeroytown and beyond. A land of strange living rooms, Monolithic Duck Feet, Badweird TV, Good TV, silence filled with paranoia, inboxes full of hope, a cornucopia of bad poetry, job centers graced by winged white horses, the tattered mind of a failed memory champion, and more. The audience was addressed by a large animated duck, who spoke. This was accompanied by a unique soundtrack based on the image of a slice of Rocquefort cheese as seen from three different perspectives by the composer. Besides, the composer imagined it was snowing, but the snowflakes did not stick to the cheese, instead they were repelled by it. Leeroy contemplated his feet and spoke his mind. He was assisted in the physical sense by “Anonymous Andy.” Danai Anesiadou is based in Brussels, and was originally trained as a costume designer before she moved into the field of visual arts. She is known for her extensive collaborations with artists, theater makers, and dancers, where she mixes both personal and historical fiction in the form of staged events and characters. For Let Us Compare Mythologies, Danai Anesiadou contributed a staged act to her current installation Paralipomena inside the exhibition Of Facts and Fables. She wrote: “Brussels, May 12, 2010. ’Trophies fished up; some curious suggestion, Fact that leads nowhere; and a tale for two, Pregnant with mandrakes, or with something else That might prove useful and yet never proves’ (from Portrait d’une Femme by Ezra Pound) Hello everyone, my name is Danai Anesiadou. Over the years people have mistaken my name for Diane, Diana, Aida, Medea,.. JFK and I share the same day of birth but he got shot. When I was twelve I read the biography of Jackie Onasis Kennedy. I decided that I didn’t like her. Billy Wilder’s mother once said that Marilyn Monroe used to pee like a horse, she didn’t like her... I have 30 days up till the day of my performance to tell the story about a woman who beheads her brother, stabs her children and sends her lover’s wife up in flames and that accompanied by the ‘Hands of Glory’ and 19 4


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some overhead projectors. If that doesn’t work out I’ll hire a donkey.” Dineo Seshee Bopape was born in Polokwane, South Africa. Bopape’s sculpture, video, and performance works are concerned with the mythologies and realities of African identity, the power of ritual, and the intersection between objects and memories. As a sculptor, she often takes on the role of the bricoleur, gathering cast-off objects and bodily detritus (tampons, hair, tissues) to create assemblages that are psychosexually charged, geographically allusive, and littered with triggers for social and personal recollection. For Let Us Compare Mythologies, she staged herself in Witte de With’s library around this text she sent us: “  T here are viewers, spectators, witnesses, participants, onlookers, passers-by... and the absent who may hear about it later there are those who are fully invested those who are half invested, those w ho have no interest (all these can collectively be called: group1/the mirrors/the reception) for the ideal performance there is some type of space wherein the performance is to take place... the space could be demarcated in any what way or how... within the performance there should be space to (existentially) locate group 1. it is questionable w hat for m the perfor m ance should take... w hether it should be entertaining or boring... in the ideal perfor m ance there should be a perfor m ance that takes place.... so m ething to satisfy all of our expectations... and surpasses them. surprises us.... and maybe disappoint us.” Introductory Logic Video Tutorial is a series of “canvas video sculptures” accompanied by selected material – course books, texts, assignments, and tests – that the New Zealand-born artist Simon Denny used while studying an introductory logic course at the University of Sydney, Australia. Denny produces sculptural installations that combine selected subjects with conventional exhibition styles. Working through different layers of authorship and forms 19 5


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of structural logic, he has developed a unique visual idiom with an attention to the most common formats of visual experience. Working with the idea that philosophical logic determines validity on the basis of form without needing to know content, some logical structures are translated onto a video format, in text-book style, with background photographs of sand dunes and rock formations from Australia’s Mungo National Park. The exercise in part documents a Sydney art institution’s entire inventory of monitors, using these as a limit to the number of “lessons” created, while also making the project serve as a record of the varying display hardware of that institution, a kind of history. The Sydney presentation, where these images were reproduced on canvas, 1:1 scale, in double, also included a selection of universal remotes, consumer electronics’ best placeholder for a form that can perform a series of tasks no matter what the variables are. For Let Us Compare Mythologies, the artist delivered a series of teaching points based on the education material formatted in the not-quite-video slides from Introductory Logic Video Tutorial. Part tutorial, part transmission, the delivery reflected the content, giving physical, visual, and audio examples for what could be a performative tautology, an educational negation, and others. Tris Vonna-Michell’s performances and installations are complex assemblages of image, sound, and storytelling. His performances and installations function as chapters within a non-linear story, combining personal myth with historical traces, using photographic imagery and accumulated ephemera. For Witte de With’s exhibition Of Facts and Fables, he contributed with an adaptation of Monumental Detours  /  Insignificant Fixtures, which were presented at Jan Mot Gallery in Brussels in 2009. Inside this installation, Vonna-Michell created a performance, in which he improvised a new set of narratives.

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Friday 18 June 2010 between 4.30 p.m. and 10.30 p.m. fig. IX.1 D.O.R. Situation. The Kashubian interregnum (New theory), 2010 location: Entrance of Witte de With building and auditorium (1st floor) time: 4.30 p.m. duration: 20 min. fig. IX.2 Baktruppen First Waffle, then Morality 2010 lo: Nordic Seamen’s Church ti: 5 p.m. du: 60 min. fig. IX.3 Lili Reynaud-Dewar There Are Two Ethiopias, 2010 lo: Witte de With (2nd floor) ti: 6 p.m. du: 10 min. fig. IX.4 Oskar Dawicki I’m Sorry, 2010 lo: Bonheur Theatre Company Rotterdam ti: 8.30 p.m. du: 10 min. fig. IX.5 Gergely László The Collective Man, 2010 lo: Bonheur Theatre Company Rotterdam ti: 9 p.m. du: 30 min.

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fig. IX.6 Mark Leckey Cinema-in-the-Round, 2007/2010 lo: Witte de With’s library (1st floor) ti: 10 p.m. du: 30 min. Saturday 19 June 2010 between 1 p.m. and 10 p.m. fig. IX.7 Nishiko She commands and we obey 2010 Lo: Various locations ti & du: Saturday, spontaneously among the performance program fig. IX.8 D.O.R. Situation. The Kashubian interregnum (New theory), 2010 lo: Entrance of Witte de With building and auditorium (1st floor) ti: 1 p.m. du: 30 min. fig. IX.9 World Cup Football Holland vs. Japan, 2010 lo: Het Dorpshuis ti: 1.30 p.m.  – 3.15 p.m. du: 2 hours fig. IX.10 Keren Cytter & Andrew Kerton Poker Face, 2010 lo: Het Dorpshuis ti: 4 p.m. du: 7 min.

fig. IX.11 Oskar Dawicki, Lili ReynaudDewar and Mark Leckey Dialogues lo: Het Dorpshuis ti: 4.15 p.m. du: 45 min. fig. IX.12 Geneviève Belleveau The Church of gorgeousTaps and Ablehearts, 2010 lo: Bonheur Theatre Company Rotterdam ti: 5 p.m. du: 30 min. For this performance, visitors were asked to bring a relic offering that represented a romantic experience that was deeply meaningful for them. Friendly fellowship followed performance. fig. IX.13 Lili Reynaud-Dewar The Bible Was Not Written For Negroes, 2010 lo: Witte de With (2nd floor) ti: 6 p.m. du: 10 min. fig. IX.14 D.O.R. Situation. The Kashubian interregnum (New theory), 2010 lo: Witte de With’s auditorium (1st floor) ti: 6.15 p.m. du: 30 min.


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fig. IX.15 Eliza Newman-Saul Generally I feel Nothing but the Sea, 2010 lo: Het Dorpshuis ti: 8.30 p.m. du: 20 min. fig. IX.16 Jeremy Shaw I am A Laser/Scream Like a Baby, 2010 lo: Witte de With’s library (1st floor) ti: 9.30 p.m. du: 15 min. Sunday 20 June 2010 between 1 p.m. and 2 a.m. fig. IX.17 Patrizio Di Massimo Untitled (Purebred), 2010 lo: Streets of Rotterdam, route departed from Witte de With to the Historisch Museum ti: 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. du: 3 hours (including breaks for rider and horse) fig. IX.18 D.O.R. Situation. The Kashubian interregnum (New theory), 2010 lo: Witte de With’s auditorium (1st floor) ti: 1 p.m. du: 30 min.

fig. IX.19 Rory Pilgrim Love in Uganda, 2010 lo: Arminius Church ti: 2 p.m. du: 10 min. fig. IX.20 Danai Anesiadou, Patrizio Di Massimo and Rory Pilgrim Dialogues lo: Het Dorpshuis ti: 3 p.m. du: 45 min. fig. IX.21 Leeroy the Duck Leeroy!, 2010 lo: Bonheur Theatre Company Rotterdam ti: 4 p.m. du: 20 min. fig. IX.22 Danai Anesiadou Paralipomena  – Portrait of a Woman, 2010 lo: Witte de With (2nd floor) ti: 5 p.m. du: 10 min. fig. IX.23 Dineo Seshee Bopape The Ideal Performance, 2010 lo: Witte de With’s library (1st floor) ti: 5.30 p.m. du: 10 min.

fig. IX.24 Lili Reynaud-Dewar What America Should Consider 2010 lo: Witte de With (2nd floor) ti: 6 p.m. du: 10 min fig. IX.25 D.O.R. Situation. The Kashubian interregnum (New theory), 2010 lo: Witte de With’s auditorium (1st floor) ti: 6.15 p.m. du: 30 min. fig. IX.26 Simon Denny Introductory Logic Tutorial Video, 2010 lo: Witte de With’s library (1st floor) ti: 8.30 p.m. du: 15 min. fig. IX.27 Tris Vonna-Michell Untitled, 2010 lo: Witte de With (2nd floor) ti: 9 p.m. du: 15 min. fig. IX.28 Party Body Xerox, 2010 lo: Roodkapje ti: 10 p.m. du: till 2 a.m.

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ACT X Rot terda m Dia log ues: Mora l it y 19 & 20 Nov. 2010


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Witte de With presented a two-day symposium structured around lectures, dialogues, and a master-class by Wendelien van Oldenborgh. It was the penultimate Act of our Morality program. From the Fall of 2009 to the Fall of 2010, the team at Witte de With had been developing a series of exhibitions and events that made visible the grey zones of contemporary morality. This was motivated by our perception that an exponential number of moral attitudes are emerging in the public sphere that reinforce rigid, binary frameworks for thought and action. With this in mind, our aim was to shed some light on the workings of morality from a range of different perspectives, focusing on the areas where its application is elusive and unstable, culturally specific and politically ambivalent. Our sense was that the question of morality must remain in play, yet open and undefined. The purpose of Rotterdam Dialogues: Morality was to forge a constructive discussion around this increasingly ubiquitous but elusive term, transferring the explorations and speculations developed throughout the past year’s exhibitions and events to the discursive field. With this symposium we wished to shed some light on the fraught encounter between the values that characterize the idea of an open, egalitarian society, and the intolerances articulated in the name of morality. As with previous Acts of the program, the symposium guests had not been asked to specify the meaning of morality, but rather to introduce case studies, through which to think constructively about spaces and instances where binary distinctions – good and evil; right and wrong – fall apart. From the figure of the zombie and its dubious status as an allegory of the contemporary capitalist subject, through the role of comedy as a

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site for the performance of political critique, to the social organization of tent cities as forms of social protest; each guest shared her or his intellectual experience to form a base for concrete discussion. Featured participants: Lars Bang Larsen, Clémentine Deliss, Dessislava Dimova, Felix Ensslin, Rainer Ganahl, Nikolaus Hirsch, Candice Hopkins, Koyo Kouoh, Mian Mian, Matthias Mühling, Wendlien van Oldenborgh, Adriano Pedrosa, Tariq Ramadan, Aaron Schuster, Tirdad Zolghadr.

— Curated by Nicolaus Schafhausen, Juan A. Gaitán, and Monika Szewczyk, assisted by Amira Gad.

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Candice Hopkins

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Felix Ensslin

Adriano Pedrosa

Matthias Mühling

Koyo Kuooh

Monika Szewczyk

Rainer Ganahl

Lars Bang Larsen

Mian Mian

Juan A. Gaitán

Tariq Ramadan

Nicolaus Schafhausen

Dessislava Dimova

Nikolaus Hirsch

Clémentine Deliss

Wendelien van Oldernborgh

Aaron Schuster

Tirdad Zolghadr

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Between You and I 10 Oct. 2009 – 31 Dec. 2010 Between You and I was a joint project by SKOR (Foundation Art and Public Space) and Witte de With that took place between the Fall of 2009 and the Summer of 2010. Four international artists were commissioned to intervene on Witte de With’s façade in order to create a critical interface dealing directly with the urban fabric of the city of Rotterdam. Part of Morality, the interventions aimed to re-imagine and re-negotiate the limits of public engagement with the institution. Between You and I strove to open a space to reflect about morality today, inviting an active response by the public concerning the presence of contemporary art in public spaces. Featured artists: AES+F, Isa Genzken, Ayşe Erkmen, Maider López. — Curated by Fulya Erdemci (SKOR), Nicolaus Schafhausen, and Anne-Claire Schmitz.

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Between You and I #1 10 Oct. 2009  –   14 Feb. 2010 AES+F, The Feast of Trimalchio The Feast of Trimalchio continues the ironic epic set in the real and virtual world of our time, an epic first presented in Last Riot, shown in the Russian pavilion at the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007). The heroic and senseless battle of immortal gods in a virtual Valhalla is replaced by an attempt to create a model of Heaven, embodied in the image of the ideal hotel with its guests, primarily representatives of the Golden Billion, and its service personnel, who come from the rest of the world. Like patricians and slaves during the celebration of Saturnalia, the guests and servants of the hotel change places, living out their capricious fantasies. Like a shared dream, an eternal pleasure unites the characters, but a feeling of anxiety and oncoming catastrophe is ever present among the inhabitants of this artificial island Paradise. AES+F is a group of four Russian artists: Tatiana Arzamasova (b. 1955), Lev Evzovich (b. 1958), Evgeny Svyatsky (b. 1957), and Vladimir Fridkes (b. 1956). The group was formed in 1987 as AES by three artists: Tatiana Arzamasova, Lev Evzovich, and Evgeny Svyatsky. Photographer Vladimir Fridkes joined the group in 1995, and the name of the group changed to AES+F. The collective lives and works in Moscow.

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AES+F The Feast of Trimalchio (2009 – 2010)

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Between You and I #2 20 Feb. – 16 May 2010 Isa Genzken, Wind The second intervention, Wind, is a work by German artist Isa Genzken in response to the death of, and as an hommage to Michael Jackson.

Although Isa Genzken's primary focus is sculpture, she uses

various media including photography, film, video, works on paper and canvas, collages, and books. Her diverse practice draws on the legacies of constructivism and minimalism and often involves a critical, open dialogue with modernist architecture and contemporary visual and material culture.

Since the end of the second half of the 1990s, Genzken has been

conceptualizing sculptures and panel paintings in the shape of a bricolage of materials taken from DIY stores and from photographs and newspaper clippings. She often uses materials that underline the temporary character of her works. As part of her deep-set interest in urban space, she also arranges complex, and often disquieting, installations with mannequins, dolls, photographs, and an array of found objects. Isa Genzken (b. 1948, Bad Oldesloe, Schleswig-Holstein) is a contemporary artist who lives and works in Berlin.

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Isa Genzken Wind (2010)

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Between You and I #3 3 Jun. – 5 Sep. 2010 Maider López, Polder Cup Polder Cup was a site-specific project by Spanish artist Maider López. The façade of Witte de With functioned as an open call to participate in a one-day football championship, which took place on 4 September 2010 in the polders of Ottoland (Municipality of Graafstroom).

Maider López’s projects focus on the intriguingly humorous or the

extraordinary behind the obvious and ordinary. López creates various events and situations for individuals to gather through a common language, in this case, football. Polder Cup became a moment where diverse groups from society were brought together through play, sports, and social exchange. Unlike a typical football game, López’s displaced football field, intersected by water channels, challenged the rules of football and encouraged players to seek and invent new strategies.

Not only did the location create an unusual situation, it reflected

on the long Dutch history of fighting against water and maintaining a consensus society. With this project, López hoped to transform the function of the polder, going beyond its historical and agricultural uses, to host a public event held within the framework of a common sporting match. Through the participation of football players and audience from all walks of life, the polder underwent a transformation in which its use was opened up for new interpretations, challenging the way in which we perceive our spatial surroundings. Maider López (b. 1975, San Sebastian, Spain) lives and works in San Sebastian. Various exhibitions of her work have been held in countries such as New Zealand, Shanghai, the United Arab Emirates, Spain, the Netherlands, and France.

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Maider L贸pez Polder Cup (2010)

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Between You and I #4 11 Sep. –  31 Dec. 2010 Ayşe Erkmen, 15-5519 15-5519 was a site-specific public intervention by artist Ayşe Erkmen that playfully engaged with the tactile characteristics of the Witte de With’s architecture. Erkmen added a temporary “coat” to the building by partially covering its façade with a monochrome composition reminiscent of a nylon winter jacket. The work’s title, 15-5519, is the color code representing the Pantone Color Institute’s proposed color of 2010. The source of the stitched pattern composition is Theo van Doesberg’s painting Contra-Composition XVI (1925). Instead of the primary and non-colors propagated by the Dutch De Stijl movement, Erkmen’s work adopts a contemporary tint of turquoise. Through her translation, Van Doesburg’s iconic work is given an alternative sculptural form. 15-5519 animated the architecture and offered an uncommon physical experience for passersby and for the institution. Ayşe Erkmen's (b. 1949, Istanbul, Turkey) work often takes the form of interventions in a space that are sometimes so subtle and minimal as to be almost unnoticed. Erkmen currently lives and works between Berlin and Istanbul.

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Ayşe Erkmen 15-5519 (2010)

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Morality web-platform As part of the Morality project Witte de With’s education de­ part­ ment produced an innovative web-platform as an extra­ ordinary tool for engaging our audiences in discussions and debate at www.wdw.nl/morality. The web-platform acted as the interactive link between a broad public and the other parts of Morality such as six in-house exhibitions and one satellite exhibition, the film pro­ gram, performance cycle, and the symposium. Given the multiple and complex intersections between education and the theme, Morality promised to open up an unprecedented and exciting space for a wider and even more amorphous public than usually addressed by contemporary art. This web-platform was vital for the production and expansion of the different levels of discourse that Morality intended to provoke. Alongside contributions from Witte de With’s staff and invited guests, the audience was encouraged to bring content into the project (through texts, images, video) and to react to other contributions. The web-platform also presented developments and results of education projects as well as artistic processes and discussions prior to the performance cycle, film program, and symposium, with the intention to stimulate an intense inter­ action with our audiences. The web-platform explored the potential of engaging directly with our visitors, and aimed at integrating a range of levels and forms of engagement for a diversity of audiences, from discourse to simple observation. That is why five categories of users were distinguished based on their level of engagement: 1. Observers. The activity of visitors browsing the web-platform was visualized in an interactive graph by the amount of clicks on specific contributions.

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2. Participants. Everybody could register, respond to the question of the week, do assignments, create and edit content, comment, and take part in discussions. 3. Guest contributors. Artists, curators, educators, writers, teachers, and students were invited by Witte de With to contribute to the web-platform, related in the form of projects specially created for Morality. 4. The observed. The web-platform continuously filtered the feeds of Twitter users worldwide on specific keywords. Although they were unaware of Morality, they still contributed to the project. 5. Witte de With. The institution produced projects and programs related to Morality. Every staff member could make her or his projects and related content visible to the audience in a variety of ways. This included educational projects, lectures, artistic processes, performances, discussions, and interviews.

— Initiated by Belinda Hak, conceived together with     Marijke Goeting, and designed by Richard Vijgen.

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texts Aaron Schuster Alev Ersan Hu Fang Michael Stevenson Peter Wächtler

 (p. 237 – 249)

 (p. 251 – 262)

 (p. 263 – 268)

 (p. 269 – 274)

 (p. 275 – 330)

Bibliography

(p. 331)


A aron Schus ter Reflections on Plato’s Definition of Pleasure (p. 238 – 249)


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Alev Ers an A Sprinkler Even! (p. 252) Blue Rabbit (p. 253 – 255) A Walking Gesture (p. 256 – 259) East Vancouver Rope Trick (p. 260 – 261) Listen close from the knee (p. 262)


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A sp r inkl er ev en !


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east vanc ouver r op e tri ck


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LISTEN CLOSE FRO M TH E KNEE


Hu Fang The Initiator-Practitioner (p. 264 – 268)


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Th e Initiator - Pr ac tition er


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The In it iat or -P r a c t i t i o ne r

H u Fan g

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Th e Initiator - Pr ac tition er


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Michael Ste v enson The Lion and the Hairdresser (p. 270) The Bull and The Beginning of the World (p. 271) The Lizard and the Eagle (p. 272) The Moon and the Temporary Museum (p. 273) The Skunk and the Chinese Lantern (p. 274)


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The B ul l an d Th e B e g i nni ng o f t h e W o r l d

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Th e Liz ar d and the Eag le


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The Moon an d t h e T e m p o r a r y M u s e u m

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Th e Skunk and the Chinese La nte r n


Peter Wächt l er The Set (p. 276 – 330)


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Bib li o g r a ph y

Bibl iography Aaron Schuster, “Reflections on Plato’s Definition of Pleasure.” Originally published in Russian: “Двойная Перспектива: Размышления О Платоновском Определении Удовольствия.” New Literary Observer 112 (2011). Alev Ersan, “A Sprinkler Even!” (2009). Performed in Vancouver between 2007 – 2009. Alev Ersan, “Blue Rabbit” (2008). Performed in Vancouver between 2007 – 2009. Alev Ersan, “A Walking Gesture” (2009). Excerpt from a forthcoming publication (2014) and most recently performed at the Cunda International Workshop for Translators of Turkish Literature (2012). Alev Ersan, “East Vancouver Rope Trick” (2008). Performed in Vancouver between 2007 – 2009. Alev Ersan, “Listen close from the knee” (2008). Performed in Vancouver between 2007 – 2009. Hu Fang, “The Initiator-Practitioner.” In Troubled Laughter. Beijing: Gold Wall Press, 2012. Michael Stevenson, “The Lion and the Hairdresser.” In Animal Spirits: Fables in the Parlance of Our Time. Self-published, 2008. 2nd edition: Michael Stevenson and Jan Verwoert, ed. Christoph Keller. Zurich: JRP|Ringier, 2013. Michael Stevenson, “The Bull and The Beginning of the World.” In Animal Spirits: Fables in the Parlance of Our Time. Self-published, 2008. 2nd edition: Michael Stevenson and Jan Verwoert, ed. Christoph Keller. Zurich: JRP|Ringier, 2013. Michael Stevenson, “The Lizard and the Eagle.” In Animal Spirits: Fables in the Parlance of Our Time. Self-published, 2008. 2nd edition: Michael Stevenson and Jan Verwoert, ed. Christoph Keller. Zurich: JRP|Ringier, 2013. Michael Stevenson, “The Moon and the Temporary Museum.” In Animal Spirits: Fables in the Parlance of Our Time. Self-published, 2008. 2nd edition: Michael Stevenson and Jan Verwoert, ed. Christoph Keller. Zurich: JRP|Ringier, 2013. Michael Stevenson, “The Skunk and the Chinese Lantern.” In Animal Spirits: Fables in the Parlance of Our Time. Self-published, 2008. 2nd edition: Michael Stevenson and Jan Verwoert, ed. Christoph Keller. Zurich: JRP|Ringier, 2013. Peter Wächtler, The Set. Brussels: (Sic) and Etablissement d’en Face, 2011.

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CURATORS’ BIOGRAPHIES Fulya Erdemci (IST) was most recently curator of the Istanbul Biennial (2013) and director of SKOR, Foundation for Art and Public Space, Amsterdam. Previously she was director of the International Istanbul Biennial, 1994–2000; director of Proje4L –Museum of Contemporary Art, Istanbul, 2003–2004; and temporary exhibitions curator at Istanbul Modern, 2004–2005. Erdemci taught at Bilkent University, Ankara (1994–1995); Marmara University, Istanbul (1998); and Bilgi University, Istanbul (2000–2007). Erdemci was a member of the curatorial team for the 2nd Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Moscow, 2007. Other curatorial projects include: Wandering Lines: Towards a New Culture of Space, (co-curated with Danae Mossman), 5th Scape Biennial of Art in Public Space, Christchurch, 2008; and Istanbul Pedestrian Exhibitions, a series of public art exhibitions realized in two editions, Istanbul, 2002 and 2005. Erdemci lives and works in Amsterdam and Istanbul. Amira Gad (EG/FR) is managing curator at Witte de With, where she has worked since 2009. In 2012, Gad was appointed curator for the Collectors of Contemporary Art (C.o.C.A.) commission with the solo presentation The Retired Engineer by Jay Tan. Gad is also editor of Witte de With’s online platform WdW Review (www.wdwreview.org) and a correspondent editor for Ibraaz (www.ibraaz.org), an online publishing forum dedicated to contemporary visual culture in the Middle-East & North Africa. She received her MA in contemporary art from Sotheby's Institute of Art in London (UK) and her BA from University College Utrecht (the Netherlands). In 2014, forthcoming exhibitions include Blue Times at Kunsthalle Wien (Vienna, Austria) and Trains of Thoughts at the Goethe-Institute in Rotterdam (the Netherlands). Juan A. Gaitán (CA) was curator at Witte de With from 2009 to 2012. He trained as an art historian and aesthetic theorist at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Past exhibitions outside of Witte de With include Models for Taking Part (Presentation House, Vancouver and Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Toronto, 2011) and Exponential Future (Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver, 2008). His essays have been published in Afterall, The Exhibitionist, and as part of the series Ten Fundamental Questions of Curating in Mousse Magazine. Gaitán is curator of the Berlin Biennale 2014. Zoë Gray (UK) was curator at Witte de With, where she worked from 2006 to 2012. She studied history of art (BA Hons) at the University of Cambridge and completed her masters in curating at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Outside of Witte de With, past curatorial projects include Cyprien Gaillard’s Beton Belvédère (Stroom, The Hague, 2009) and Manufacture (Parc Saint Leger, Pougues-les-Eaux, 2011). She is also vice president of IKT (International association of curators of contemporary art), and the curator of Les Ateliers de Rennes – Biennale d'Art Contemporain (2014). Belinda Hak (NL) was Business Coordinator at Witte de With, where she has worked from 2000-2013. She is currently working as Curator of Education at Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna, Austria. She was trained as an artist and in 2009, she graduated in Arts & Culture Management from Erasmus University in Rotterdam. Hak was also an external consultant for the public educational program at FRAC Nord-Pas-de-Calais, as well as the co-founder and board member (treasurer) of the new arts festival Tik van de Molen. Renske Janssen (NL) is currently based in Amsterdam as an art historian and writer. Her specialities are contemporary and 20th century art and history of Dutch art policy and management. She was a curator at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam organising numerous exhibitions, lectures and symposia such as Bantar Gebang by De Rijke/ De Rooij (2000), Faces of Laughter on feminism and humor in art (2001), Life in a Glass House (2002). From 2004 onward she continued as an assistant of Catherine David at the Witte de With with solo exhibitions by German artists Ulrike Ottinger and Lukas Einsele. From 2006 she curated numerous exhibitions and side programs such as Mathias Poledna (2006), Ian Wallace (200g) and the Cornerstones lectures (2009) as well as published Changing Roles (2007) and Rotterdam: Bas Princen (2007). She guest curated at different international venues such as the Kunstverein Duesseldorf (DE) and Artspeak, Vancouver (CAN). Besides she was teaching at many international art schools and universities.

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More recently she received a grant from the Mondriaan Fund for an artist-in-residence at the Banff Arts Centre (2013) to research the relationship between aesthetics and ethics in a capitalised art world. She is currently writing as a freelancer amongst other for Frieze Magazine and is a board member of the MU foundation in Eindhoven (since 2011). Dorothea Jendricke (DE) was guest curator for Act IX of Morality. She is a London-based curator and was the director of Neuer Aachener Kunstverein from mid-2010 to mid-2013, where she commissioned projects by Karl Larsson, Matias Faldbakken, Morag Keil, Simon Denny, Slavs and Tatars, Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys, Lena Henke, Goldin & Senneby, AIDS 3D (Keller/Kosmas), and Corin Sworn, among others. Prior to this, she was guest curator at Malmo Konsthall and assistant curator at Portikus in Frankfurt. Nicolaus Schafhausen (DE) was curator and director at Witte de With from 2006 to 2012. During his tenure at Witte de With, Schafhausen was also engaged in several international projects: In 2010, he was co-curator of the Media City Seoul 2010 Biennial in South Korea; in 2008, he was co-curator of the first Brussels Biennial; and he was appointed curator of the German Pavilion at both the 52nd and 53rd Venice Bienniale in 2007 and 2009. Prior to coming to Witte de With, Schafhausen was founding director of the European Kunsthalle in Cologne, Germany (2005 – 2007). He was also curator at The Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art (NIFCA) in Helsinki (2003 – 2005); as well as director of the Frankfurter Kunsteverein (1999 – 2005); and artistic director of the Kunstelerhaus Stuttgart (1995 – 1998). In 2003, Schafhausen was awarded the Hessian State Prize for Culture. Currently, he is a also member of various advisory boards, such as the Ursula Blickle Foundation, Germany; HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Programme, Finland. As of October 2012, Schafhausen is the artistic director of Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna. Anne-Claire Schmitz (BE) joined Witte de With in 2009, where she worked as junior curator until February 2012. During this period she curated and co-curated several projects, among them: The Artist Has to Live Like Everybody Else and From the Sculpture International Rotterdam Collection, two billboard commissions by Billy Apple® in public space, and the group exhibition Melanchotopia. In 2012, she co-curated Un-Scene II at Wiels with Elena Filipovic. From 2007 to 2009, she managed Galerie Micheline Szwajcer in Antwerp. Schmitz has been a guest teacher for the Master of Fine Arts at the Oslo Academy of Fine Arts, l’ENSAV La Cambre in Brussels, and The Dirty Art Department of the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam. She studied at l'ENSAV la Cambre in Brussels and obtained her masters at the Faculty of Arts & Culture, University of Maastricht. Schmitz is the founding director of La Loge, a Brussels-based institution that started its activities in September 2012. Since its opening she programmed and curated projects with, among others; Sophie Nys, Roe Ethridge and Zin Taylor, Kate Newby, Peter Hutton, UP, and Emily Wardill. Monika Szewczyk (CA/PL) was head of publications at Witte de With from 2008 to 2012. Following studies in international relations (BA) and art history (MA) at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, she split her time between curating, writing, editing, and teaching. In Rotterdam, she was also a core tutor at the Piet Zwart Institute. Her writing on art and culture may be found in numerous catalogues and in journals such as Afterall (print and online), A Prior and e-flux journal (online). Szewczyk is currently visual arts program curator at the Logan Center for the Arts in Chicago. Michał Wolinski (PL) is founder and editor in chief of Piktogram magazine. Wolinski’s texts have been published in numerous international magazines and he has curated exhibitions in several international venues.

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C o l o p h on

The Morality project was supported by:

Concept Juan A. Gaitán, Nicolaus Schafhausen

Statens Kunstråd (Danish Arts Council) Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa Mondriaan Stichting (Mondriaan Foundation) SNS Reaal Fonds Ursula Blickle Stiftung Maison Descartes Cultures France Fonds BKVB WORM.filmwerkplaats Cultvideotheek Next Page Cyprus Ministry of Culture Office for Contemporary Art Norway Dienst Kunst & Cultuur Rotterdam Goethe Institut Niederlande Netherlands China Arts Foundation/ Dutch Culture Centre State Corporation for Spanish Cultural Action Abroad (SEACEX) Directorate General for Cultural and Scientific Relations and the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Stichting Doen VSB Fonds Cultuurfonds BNG

Editors Amira Gad, Juan A. Gaitán, Nicolaus Schafhausen, Monika Szewczyk English Copy-Editors Iines Råmark, Marnie Slater Contributors Aaron Schuster, Alev Ersan, Hu Fang, Michael Stevenson, Peter Wächtler Production Amira Gad Design Lambl /Homburger, Berlin Flyers designed by Kummer & Hermann, Utrecht Photography Bob Goedewaagen Publisher

Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art is supported by: The City of Rotterdam (DKC) and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW)

Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art Rotterdam, the Netherlands ISBN 978-90-73362-97-0 All rights reserved. © artists, authors, and Witte de With, Rotterdam, 2014

Special thanks to: Ellen Augenbroe Zoë Gray Renske Janssen Dorothea Jendricke Anne-Claire Schmitz Maria-Louiza Ouranou Distribution This book is available as an e-book via Witte de With's online store: www.wdw.nl/shop

MAISON DESCARTES

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M or al ity in Fr agm en t s

W i t t e de W i t h S taff

External

Director Defne Ayas

Administration Frank van Balen Suzanne van Heck

Deputy Director Paul van Gennip Business Coordinator Sarah van der Tholen Managing Curator / Publications Amira Gad Curator of Education & Theory Yoeri Meessen Associate Curator Samuel Saelemakers Assistant Curator Virginie Bobin Chief Editor of WdW Review Adam Kleinman PR & Communication Josine Siderius Sibum Office Manager & Communication Assistant AngĂŠlique Kool Office Manager Gerda Brust Office Assistants Emmelie Mijs Wendy Bos Reception Desk Erwin Nederhoff Erik Visser Technician Line Kramer

Installation Team Ties Ten Bosch Jonathan den Breejen Carlo van Driel Rick Eikmans Chris van Mulligen Hans Tutert Reception Desk Francine van Blokland Ella Broek Marguerite de Geus Rabin Huissen Laura Lappi Gino van Weenen Serena Williams Art Mediators Lisa Diederik Fleur Flohil Merel van der Graaf Hannah Kalverda Hanna van Leeuwen Germa Roos Gino van Weenen Marloes van der Wiel Board Kees Weeda (President) Bart de Baere Claire Beke Ellen Gallagher Nicoline van Harskamp Patrick van Mil (Treasurer) Karel Schampers Nathalie de Vries Jeroen Princen Business Advice Chris de Jong

Interns Iines RĂĽmark (Curatorial) Maria-Louiza Ouranou (Publications) Lesley Wijnands (Education)

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W I T T E DE W I T H P UBL I S HE R S


Morality in Fragments