press release

And to stop you interfering, I shall have to dematerialize you again was a curated exhibition of four artists, two Vancouver-based and two from Los Angeles and Cologne. Their works in language, sculpture, and video installation reshuffle the positions of artist, object and viewer within the construct of the gallery.

Alex Morrison (Vancouver), Isabelle Pauwels (Vancouver), Frances Stark (Los Angeles) and Johannes Wohnseifer (Cologne) presented works whose form becomes tightly condensed down to a self-reflective centre. The particular terms under which each piece operates—its physical medium, conceptual influences, and the anecdotes that accompany its entrance and exit from the gallery—further speak to the relationship of the private self to the public, particularly the staging of the self in relation to the gallery structure.

Alex Morrison’s large sign painting (4 x 5 feet) depicts a quote that reflects the desire to determine the self as artist/author on one’s own terms. Styled through street lingo and an itinerant, crafted design aesthetic, the work conflates ideas of making a painting and of making a statement. Isabelle Pauwels’ new video installation, Making a Living (2005), is structured formally on Vito Acconci’s Undertone (1973) and performs the artist for the viewer—or the viewer for the artist—intimating the necessary give-and-take between subject and object. Pauwels simultaneously interrogates and legitimizes the self through the circumstances of viewing through the conditions of video.

From the series entitled The Unspeakable Compromise of the Portable Work of Art (1998-2002), two works by Frances Stark serve as delicate conveyors for her observations on the artwork’s transition from the studio and into the care of the gallery or collection. Drawing upon Daniel Buren’s early 1970s writings on the public and private spaces through which art objects circulate, the thirteenth work in Stark’s series consists of a carbon text-drawing and small collage element. Also shown, the sixteenth and final work is a limited edition, self-produced catalogue whose content is generated by the works that precede it. Stark’s installation notes—comprising part personal anecdote, part condition report, part poem and part receipt—accompany each.

The final work in the exhibition, entitled, Everything you forgot is still there (2004) by Johannes Wohnseifer, redirects the museological practice of placing the name of the artist upon the wall of the gallery. The sculpture collapses the black and red vinyl letters of the artist’s name into the self-reflecting confines of a mirrored plinth.

And to stop you interfering, I shall have to dematerialize you again addresses the makers, viewers, and objects of art in order to gently torque the concentric definitions that distinguish and enclose them.


And to stop you interfering, I shall have to dematerialize you again

mit Alex Morrison, Isabelle Pauwels, Frances Stark, Johannes Wohnseifer