FELIX BRÖCKER / IVO GRETENER / HANNE LIPPARD / NATASJA LOUTCHKO / MAHONY / ANTOINE RENARD / HENDRIK SCHNEIDER / TREVOR TWEETEN
Group Exhibition & Dinner Workshop
NR/Projects (Contemporary Food Lab)
February 26 – April 3, 2015
Curated by John Holten with Bon Bock Residency Programme
The group exhibition CIRCULATION is a survey of those moments of interruption, inflation and repetition of various notions and forms of currency in contemporary times. A fundamental organising factor of human behaviour and society throughout history, notions of bartering, exchange and monetary currency have consistently followed the development of humankind, taking on many different forms and guises and circulating as a form of communication in direct relation to the movement of goods and people.
The value imbued into objects agreed upon collectively as substitute ciphers of value such as banknotes and coins offer the most recognisable and longstanding instance of circulating currency. However as demonstrated once more in recent times, moments of rupture and crisis can break their looped trajectories, often stemming from aggressive inflation inherent within the systems in the first place. Antoine Renard’s Eurosystem series evinces just such mechanisms: the artist purchased at discount prices shredded banknotes from the European Central Bank, a result of inflation control, and repurposed them into artworks that bring to mind abstract expressionistic works which the art market favour so dearly, they quite literarily comment on the speculative ontology of contemporary art markets and the seven year long Euro crisis while also looking at what is considered the throwaway, wasteful and valueless.
Indeed it could be argued that a profligate system of exchange is mirrored by each of us in our reliance upon both the Internet but also centres for cheap production such as China and India. We put many things into circulation through our constant use of smartphones: Instagram, Whatsapp, Facebook, Tinder, fed with a currency generated from edited moments of our lives, which at one point or another we wish to share. The content of Ivo Gretener’s Stephanie was first sent presumably to a love before it was uploaded online in a form of malicious transmission via a so-called ‘revenge porn’ website, Gretener then sent the file to China to be painted for display in an art gallery; the interconnected global markets and production lines are both critically addressed at the same time as they are embraced, implicating each of us in turn, from the subject of the work to the audience spectator.
Trevor Tweeten, whose work lends the exhibition its title, travels down into the textural world of these value ciphers to reveal the black seas of what could be oil reserves festering and blistering on a blighted surface of the earth, the eye of Benjamin Franklin holding not some portal to the soul, but the hidden constellations inherent in the power of dollars. The materiality of banknotes was also explored in 2011 by Hendrik Schnieder when he carried out a performance happening in La Scatola Gallery right next to the City of London, the international centre of financial services. He oversaw a moment of crisis and inflation with the use of 64 participants, each with a £20 note they presently altered to collectively re-enact in a tangible way the abstract occurrence of monetary inflation. For CIRCULATION this is will be restaged alongside a dinner conceived and prepared by Natasja Lutschko with Felix Bröcker, the latter taking part in the Bon Bock Culinary Residency in Berlin.
Pervading all is the distinct voice of Hanne Lippard, an artist who revisits everyday life with a deadpan inspection, not least the connectedness of international cities such as New York and Berlin and the travails of travel, shipping and missing delivery-men. Her sound work Pandora’s Cat is a tale recognisable to many of packing, moving and shipping lives between multiple cities and continents. Likewise Mahony are a collective that often look at an expanded form of translation between cultures or social constructs. The Assembly is an artwork that responds to the past life of the FRAC in Rennes, France where it was first exhibited and which was a marketplace in its former life; a shoal of fish circulate around a fixed point, ready to be bought and sold wrapped as they are in newspaper, the daily throwaway that spreads the news and lines wastepaper baskets in equal measure, the repository of fish and chips, yesterday’s old news and rumours.