press release

Through strategies of distance and retreat, both of the subject and its treatment, the artists in the exhibition comment on different levels of absence: disappearance, emptiness, self-effacement, isolation. Arranged on a neutral grey background, the works in the show reset the vaporous, fragile assemblage of the self and through its absence, they assert the sign of its immanent presence.

In the series Low Profile, Vassili Balatsos uses the automatic photomaton that one easily finds in railway or subway stations, supermarkets or other public spaces. In this on-going project, which started in 1988, the artist re-appropriates the conceptual form of serial registration and classification. Each picture is titled after the original place and date. Whereas one might expect an ID portrait, what is captured here is the moment of non-appearing identity, the unique and elusive prints of colored curtains and neutral laminated background addresses the deficiency of the subject.

Lynne Cohen photographs functional spaces. Despite the literalness of the titles ( Waiting Room, 1976, Apartment lobby, 1977, Retirement Resort, 1977-78) we get very little information about the content and the context of these pictures. The materiality and formal composition enhances the emptiness of what is normally perceived as inhabited space. J.L. Poitevin writes in the artist monograph “ Lynne Cohen, The Irrepresentable ”, if the presence of an absence is often embodied in a fetishized object, here, in these photographs by Cohen, it “is” the body. Absent, it is present precisely in its absence, and present, it is in the form of a simulacra and can thus be said to be doubly absent.

In her series Sometimes the desert is red (2004-05), Maria Finn takes inspiration from Antonioni's film Il deserto rosso (1964), focusing on the character of Giuliana and the industrial, foggy landscape surrounding her. From his early documentaries and films, Antonioni has been concerned with the theme of self-effacement; bodies and women's characters (Giuliana in Il deserto rosso , Vittoria in L'eclisse or Anna in L'aventurra ) come and go, appear and disappear, become present by their very absence. Through drawing and photography, Maria Finn emphasizes the relation between individuals and their surrounding and, in her remediation of Il deserto rosso , radicalizes this relationship between the characters and their background. People are no longer connected characters on a blurred background but simply empty figures in a detailed landscape (Cecilie Hogsbro).

Nina Papaconstantinou 's drawings are the result of a time-based process: copying, tracing, reproducing fragments of texts, of images, or entire books. Through enlargement, reduction and repetition, the text becomes an abstract image, it disappears and ‘becomes' a new surface, Text is not meant to be read but to be seen as a image, in order to reveal what language itself generates: a deceptive imagery . As well as in the works on view depicting landscapes taken from holiday pictures where all characters have been erased, the effacement of the text by its very repetition and assertion (enlargement) allows a new landscape to emerge: blurred surfaces, abstract shapes, empty spaces and grey tones, a suspended moment between a conceptual approach and process, and a poetic, allusive state, referring to what is not here rather than what is.

Bojan Sarcevic 's poetic works approach the condition of displacement, making use of a diverse range of medias including video and sculpture, architectural interventions, objects and printed materials; he investigates displacement both as a literal experience and a psychological state. In his video Miniatures , 2002, Sarcevic inscribes himself in a hermetic space, a zone of both isolation and protection as the window is gradually covered by condensation. While driving through the urban landscape, the artist draws a kind of geometric pattern on the window, the outlines of the surrounding buildings. The labyrinthic lines are ephemeral and unstable as they disappear under new layers of condensation, emphasizing Sarcevic's concerns of temporality and space.

Paris-based Tatiana Trouvé has been developing an evolving ensemble named “Bureau des Activites Implicites” (Office of Implicit Activities), BAI since 1997. BAI is comprised of three categories: the “Modules”, related to the activity of the artist, evoking a state of un/productivity, of potential activity and archival; the “Polders”, sorts of micro-architectures, models and structures, whose changing scale questions our relation to space and objects; and more recently “Intranquility”, combining drawings and sculptural objects, which, as the artist states, evoke the psychic relation with a ghostly space, whether it is a memory or a projection of space within another. These empty volumes, mental and spatial arrangements beyond the visible, develop the idea of a present/absent body, of bringing to the surface what has not yet emerged, a pure possibility.

The exhibition is curated by Ghislaine Dantan.

Short Biographical notes on the artists

Vassili Balatsos has had solo exhibitions at Unlimited Contemporary Art, Athens, Icebox, Athens and Villa Arson in Nice. His work has been included in a number of group exhibitions including MAMCO, Geneva and Maison Blanche, Switzerland. A prominent figure in conceptual photography, Lynne Cohen has been exhibiting internationally since 1975. There are more than fifty catalogues published on her work and several monographs. Her work is held in the collections of major international museums. Maria Finn has shown extensively in Europe. Her last solo exhibition with the gallery was in 2005. Group exhibitions include Kunstverein Hanover , Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and Louisiana Museum, Denmark. Nina Papaconstantinou's work was recently included in ‘Drawing Screen' at the Thessaloniki Cinema Museum, Greece, and the Sheffield Hallam University Gallery, UK. She has had a two-person exhibition with Corrina Peipon in December 2005 at Els Hanappe Underground, Athens. Bojan Sarcevic shows regularly with Carlier Gebauer, Berlin and BQ, Cologne. Museum shows include Stedelijk Museum Bureau, Kunstverein Munchen, Kunstverein Dusseldorf and others. Group exhibitions include Tate Modern, London , Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, MCA, Chicago . His work is featured in many public collections including The Museum Ludwig, Cologne, and the Daimler Chrysler Collection, Berlin. Tatiana Trouvé has had solo museum presentations at CAPC Bordeaux, MAMCO Geneva and Palais de Tokyo, Paris. Her work is featured in the collections of Musee National d'Art Moderne, Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Centre Georges Pompidou and many others. In 2007, she is scheduled to have solo shows at Palais de Tokyo (cur. Marc Olivier Whaler) and Villa Arson, Nice (cur. Eric Mangion).

Curated by Ghislaine Dantan

only in german

Kurator: Ghislaine Dantan

mit Vassili Balatsos, Lynne Cohen, Maria Finn, Nina Papaconstantinou, Bojan Sarcevic, Tatiana Trouve