Temporary Gallery, Köln
artists & participants
Opening: Fr., 12.12., 7 p.m.
A thing is nothing other than the difference between that which is in the thing and that in which this thing is. (Tristan Garcia, in: Form and Object, 2014:122)
“Cacophony of Things” explores the developmental logic of contemporary art, whose often hybrid and open works describe an extremely diverse scope of themes and frames of reference. The limitlessness of artistic references goes hand in hand with the question concerning an artistic idea, how it emerges and how it is conveyed by a work of art. The exhibition deals with these questions by dividing itself up into two spaces; one is devoted to the works and the other is devoted to the things. Work and thing are differentiated here to the extent that the one appears self-contained and defined while the other (at least in the world of art still) appears vague. Language is the element that links the two. This is shown polyphonically in the exhibition, if not even cacophonously. It is language that is inherent to works and things and it is language that attempts to create connections between works and things. The exhibition consequently describes a physical and a linguistic moment of transition from the space of the things into that of the artworks.
An array of things is presented on a table in the front room of the Temporary Gallery. Each object, whether an mp3 player with a personal selection of music, a letter from the artist, a selected quotation or something lent by a friend, was made available by the five young international artists participating in the exhibition – Paweł Kruk (1976, PL), Mélanie Matranga (1985, F), Shelly Nadashi (1981, IL), Sue Tompkins (1971, UK) and Jala Wahid (1988, UK) – and is to be comprehended as a fragment from a considerably more complex, subjective frame of reference. The reasons for their selection and their intrinsic meanings and interpretations as well as the connection to the work can be successively examined over the course of the exhibition in public discussions between the artists and invited guests. These talks are an integral part of the exhibition and will both explore the respective artistic idea and the connection to the work.
The rear space in the Temporary Gallery is dedicated to the works. Cables recalling the information channels in a conference room wind their way under the beige carpet covering the floor of the exhibition space, albeit without any visible entrance or exit. A lack of connections, semantic uncertainty and a metaphorical flow of information characterise “Complexe ou compliqué” (2014) by the French artist Mélanie Matranga. A bed construction hovers on thin wires under the ceiling. Here as well, Matranga explores the question of the alternity of spaces in the digital age: The bedroom is increasingly replacing the office; intimacy and the data universe merge into each other.
“Backpacks and Other Objects” (2014) designates the multipart installation by the Israeli artist Shelly Nadashi consisting of tree-like sculptures with branches and delicate metal stands and mask-like papier-mâché heads in addition to three coloured charcoal drawings depicting various backpacks. The notion of a body as an amorphous form or as a container is also expressed in Nadashi’s projection “A Hidden Quiet Pocket” (2014) in the gallery’s central space. A masseuse and a rich client encounter each other in this 20-minute long video. The question concerning the most profitable form of investing capital in real estate culminates in a surreal and orgiastic trial of strength between their bodies and languages.
The video “I’ve got a burning desire (come on, tell me boy)” (2014) by the London artist Jala Wahid crystallises a moment of corporeal-sensual yearning on a flat screen. Wahid not only replaces potential dialogue with recurring sound patterns from Lana Del Rey’s eponymous music clip in this four-minute long loop but also employs the few technical means of blue filter and limited picture detail in order to make the indifference between inorganic and organic bodies evident.
The loss of language is likewise the theme of Paweł Kruk’s contribution, “The Lost Interview” (2009). The Polish artist’s video presents the re-enactment of a 1971