press release

SculptureCenter presents Degrees of Remove: Landscape and Affect, a group show organized by SculptureCenter Curator Sarina Basta and Fionn Meade. Degrees of Remove will be on view September 7–November 30, 2008 with an opening reception on Sunday, September 7, 4-6pm.

Degrees of Remove regards landscape as an interpreted notion of space. The exhibition examines how contemporary experiences of landscape are increasingly mediated through various forms of documentation within urban societies.

While the word "landscape" was borrowed into English from the Dutch in the 16th century in direct relationship to painting, later definitions came to associate it with vista or natural scenery, and ultimately to a more general equation of landscape with image. As mediations between landscape and the individual have evolved through the increased prominence of photography, film, and other technologies, so has the perception of what constitutes landscape. With these technologies as intermediaries, the exhibition explores related ideas of the author as viewer and the viewer as witness.

The artists included in Degrees of Remove decode and alter the conventions of reproduced space through appropriation, interpretation, misinterpretation, and overlapping narratives. Anthony Hamboussi, for example, captures abandoned, recuperated, and in-between spaces through documentary-style photography. In La Petite Ceinture (2005), he has created one of the most extensive archives to date of a railway that connected the outer neighborhoods of Paris to the city's main railroad stations. Built in the 19th century, it has been abandoned since 1934. Returning to one of the sites, Hamboussi finds warning signs with racial overtones, of his previous passage. Captured in a subsequent photograph, is this trace of his visit, as an observed observer.

Embracing various degrees of distance from their sources, all the works on view portray a remove, exploring how spatial constructs relate to fiction and affect, the transposition of spaces into surfaces, and the elaboration of allegorical gestures. In Color Like No Other (2007) Cyprien Gaillard presents three different perspectives of a condemned multi-storey high-rise in Toryglen, Scotland. Gaillard shows the building as depicted in a Sony ad campaign, with a concert of paint blasting through the building's windows, as well as in quiet, unspectacular footage of the tower seconds before its demolition, and in a printed press release from the Glasgow Housing association validating the terms of the building's destruction.

As with the other artists included in Degrees of Remove, Cyprien Gaillard's work offers an examination of space and urban landscape that is simultaneously personal yet highly mediated. The choices of mediation have a direct impact on how the landscape is read, modifying the affective relationship between the source and the viewer.

Gianni Motti contributes Collateral Damage (2003), a series composed of appropriated journalistic photos documenting the war in Kosovo (1996-99), that were never released by the AFP (Agence France Press), for which Motti purchased the rights. Depicting explosions in a mountainous setting, Motti became interested in how the images, out of context, could be misread as the depiction of an idyllic Swiss village in a bucolic setting. Exploring the theme of dis-information and authorship, Motti was eventually sued by the AFP for selling the framed photographs as artwork.

A three night screening in conjunction with Degrees of Remove at Anthology Film Archive will take place in November.

only in german

Degrees of Remove – Landscape and Affect
Kuratoren: Sarina Basta, Fionn Meade

Künstler: Rosa Barba, Luis Buñuel, eteam , Cyprien Gaillard, Anthony Hamboussi, Carla Herrera-Prats, Tim Hyde, Marie Jager, Gianni Motti, Aura Rosenberg, Oscar Tuazon