The Beginning and The EndTHE BEGINNING AND THE END
Place: Gdańska Galeria Miejska 2, ul. Powroźnicza 13/15
Openning: 24.05 godz. 18.00
Artists: Paweł Althamer, Alberto Baraya, Jarosław Fliciński, Barbora Kleinhamplová, Diana Lelonek, Honorata Martin, The Otolith Group, Ewa Partum, Slavs and Tatars, Tran Tuan and Hoang Ngoc Tu, Piotr Urbaniec
Curator: Patrycja Ryłko
Hydrofeminist cooperation: Karolina Majewska-Güde
Photo: Ewa Partum, New Horizon is a Wave, 1972/2019
Guest - publication/exhibition:
Artists: Bas Jan Ader, Matthew Barney, Milena Bonilla, Elizabet Cerviño, Yornel Martínez, Cildo Meireles, Oscar Muñoz, Marianela Orozco, Adrienne Rich,
Ulay, Luisa Ungar, Irving Vera, José Yaque
Curators: Noach & Gago
The works presented in the exhibition engage with hydro-logics and relational
The Herbarium of Artificial Plants, 2002-2019
The Herbarium of Artificial Plants is a collection of vegetal representations collected in different parts of the world, many of them made by local artisans, others brought by merchants from China. In the files of the artificial plant herbarium we can find all kinds of plants, as well as documentary records of the uses of plants in different situations and places. Infinite variety of decorative flowers taken in restaurants, shops, airports, churches and cemeteries, as well as in private spaces of homes, bathrooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, rooms and workplaces. Baraya have made collections in different places, making a particular emphasis on altars, constructions of adoration of spiritual beings or memories of loved ones, but also commercial stores, airports and offices. With criteria of collecting and expanding the Archive, he has taken photo documentation and registration. In spatial cases, and as an exchange, new taxa of Chinese silk and plastic flowers (poppies, roses, lilies, jasmines, peonies and carnations, all brand new) have been placed in order to compensate for the extraction of these particular samples and restore the spirit of offering here assumed. Their works carried out questions around the notion of travel, post colonialism and exoticism as discourses of cultural vindicated. All these issues converge in a particular way at his project Herbario de Plantas Artificiales / Herbarium of Artificial Plants, an ironical project trying to reconstruct the identity of nature and men, trough the ‘studies’ of fake botanics, based most on ‘made in China’ silk plants. He have led the field of Fake plants Expeditions in Venice, New Zealand, Sao Paulo, Girardot, Santa Marta, Los Angeles, Sicily, Norway… gathering taxons for the herbarium.
Alberto Baraya (b.1968) lives and works in Bogotá, Colombia. Arts degree, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Master in aesthetics at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Lecturer and teacher, serves as artist with projects around the field of photography, installation at national and International level since 1992.Their works carried out questions around the notion of travel, post colonialism and exoticism as discourses of cultural vindicated. All these issues converge in a particular way at his project Herbario de Plantas Artificiales / Herbarium of Artificial Plants, an ironical project trying to reconstruct the identity of nature and men, trough the studie of fake botanics, based most on ‘Made in China’ silk plants. He have led the field of Fake plants Expeditions in Venice, New Zealand, Sao Paulo, Girardot, Santa Marta, Los Angeles, ... gathering taxons for the herbarium. Alberto Baraya has worked as a teacher in arts at different universities, and has been a lecturer in cultural, academic and educational institutions, participating in forums and debates on art and science issues. His art was presented in such institutions as: Galeria Nara Roesler, Rio de Janeiro. 2018; Museo de Arte. Pereira ,2016.; Bronx Museum, New York, USA, 2014; The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum Florida International University, Miami, FL., 2013; Galería La Central, Bogota 2012; Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth. New Zealand, 2009; Palais de Tokyo. París, France, 2001; Sala Oriente. Sevilla, Spain 2000. And at such festivals as: 8 Berlin Bienale. Bienal internacional de Cuenca, Cuenca Ecuador, 2012; Expedición Venecia. Latin American Pavillion. IIlA. Arsenale. 53 Venice Biennale.Venice, Italy, 2009; 8 Bienal del Caribe. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 2003; Bienal de Fotografía de Tenerife. CF. Islas Canarias, Spain, 2001; 1o Bienal de Medellín, Medellín, Colombia, 1997
You Know Something’s On, But You Don’t Know What, 2019
Jarosław Fliciński’s You Know Something’s On, But You Don’t Know What is a series of fourteen gouaches from February 2019. Don’t be mistaken by their formal similarity to his Jumps into the Water from 1993-1994. Those are different works altogether. Made with a different experience, from a different perspective, and for utterly different reasons. And that they are still similar, that’s possible. To experience wonder one doesn’t necessarily need experiments and a trip full of adventures. We know there is a surer and swifter way for this. You just need to keep looking at the same object until you get the feeling that you’ve never seen it before.
Jarosław Fliciński (b. 1963) lives and works in Warsaw. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk. Fliciński takes special interest in formal necessities. His practice is almost radical, often considered as non-narrative, non-literary and non-descriptive. He does paint, but his paintings communicate nothing but a state of flux, constantly investigating relational order and chaos, regularity and irregularity. He goes beyond his large canvasses spread on the walls to move onto the walls themselves and shuttles between smooth surfaces and industrial bent aluminium. He works with scale and its substance, always revolving around his own gesture as the main point of reference. This expressive force refers also to the limits of his chosen medium and the space he works with. He identifies and explores places and senses in-between, while often operating on the margins. After all, the artist himself chose to live on the fringes of the European continent in Portugal and Poland. Fliciński finds coherent aesthetics only to deny it immediately, since he derives pleasure from redoing things and searching through the corresponding densities of patterns and colours. At one point, he concentrates on the rigid and symmetrical seriousness of objects, but the next moment he turns to the effortlessly fluctuating colours and desires – never shutting the door for further possibilities and chances. The artist‘s formal explorations betray almost existential qualities. Fliciński permanently questions his own artistic vocabulary, extending his practice from the canvas to the wall, from necessary rigid patterns to unnecessary found objects.
Sickness Report, 2018
In her metaphoric film denouncing the contemporary liquid reality, Barbora Kleinhamplová uses the case of seasickness to reflect on the malaise of neoliberalism that affects us all. A group of young consumers are sailing on a yacht on what could be carefree vacations, has it not turned out to be endless nausea and being stuck in the present continuous. Also the viewer finds themselves in a situation where it is very hard to remain distanced and unmoved. The film is part of an installation where the artist combines alluring images with tedious and hazardous work – the shiny surface of luxury yachts is contrasted with the monotonous procedures performed by the women who polish, spending whole days it in toxic fumes. Through her work, Kleinhamplová talks not only about the fever that has gripped the world, but also about the potential of the ocean as a metaphor immersed in reality and an area that has become heavily politicized. In the ocean is found all that we want to hide, all that we want to get our smooth-surface consumer world rid of: plastic, pollution, trash. But by poisoning the oceans we are also poisoning ourselves. Recent research demonstrates that microplastics have become part of our bodies. Water therefore, connects humans not only with nature.
Barbora Kleinhamplová (b. 1984) is an artist living and working in Prague. Barboras‘ work is rooted in the relationship of human existence and the contemporary political and economic institutions. She comments on different layers of society, using associations and metaphors. For some time it has been her overarching aim to pose questions like what is a society, how it works, what are its constitutive elements, what are its illnesses, its emotions, its future or a situation of an individual in the middle of it. In her work she borrows concepts and methods from different sciences such as anthropology or biology, not in a strict sense but rather as a common element of art practice. Recently she takes advantage of a strategy we might call constructed or staged situation. The script is often derived from an existing format of group interaction (therapy, coaching session etc.. Performative dimension of some of her projects try to accent the symbolic role of the body politics in the economic and power system.
Her work has been exhibited widely in the Czech Republic as well as internationally - including this years Gwangju Biennale, New Museum, Astrup Farnley Museet, Jakarta Biennale.
She received a scholarship within the framework of the residency programme of MMCA, Seoul, South Korea in 2015, Gasworks, London in 2016 and Residency Unlimited in 2017. In 2015 she was awarded the Jindřich Chalupecký Prize.
Diana Lelonek (b. 1988) is a visual artist and ecological activist. Holding a master’s degree in Multimedia Communication and a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies, both from the University of Arts in Poznań, she uses her art to explore human relations with other species and search for redefinitions of the concept of nature. Winner of prizes at international competitions, such as the Polityka Passport 2019 for Visual Arts, Show Off at the Kraków Photomonth, ReGeneration 3 at the Musée de l’Elysée w Szwajcarii, Award of the Vordemberge-Gildewart Foundation 2018, Nomination for Talenty Trójki 2017, Nomination for Grand Prix Fotofestiwal 2018. Associated with the Warsaw-based gallery lokal_30.
In January 2015, Honorata Martin entered the dirty waters of the Radunia Channel at Krosna Street in Gdańsk. Submitting herself to the flow of cold water, she wanted to pinpoint the liminal moment of endurance.
Michał Szlaga stood on the bridge, documenting the process.
Honorata Martin (b. 1984) lives and works in Gdańsk. She studied Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk with Prof. Mieczysław Olszewski, followed by anadditional course in Intermedia with Prof. Wojciech Zamiara. She has practiced art in various ways and using various media ever since. If she knew how to precisely describe reality verbally or in writing, she’d probably be doing so, if she knew better ways of changing things, she’d probably be using them. For now, her preferred language is the art language. She uses it when she is unable to express a problem or matter in words or when she feels that it would be impossible or absurd to do so. Various science disciplines intersect, sometimes complementary, at other times antagonistic – the more she knows, the less she knows, but the more she senses. Then the best recapitulation comes through intuition. She tries to trust it and act upon it, even if it seems a bit risky to do so. The moments she appreciates the most are when she doesn’t know how things will unfold and art happens in real time. Through self- experience and by exposing others to it, she learns new things and tries to show it in the most natural manner.
The Otolith Group
Hydra Decapita, 2011
The first installment in a trilogy of film essays, Hydra Decapita uses the imaginary world in the concept albums of Detroit based techno duo Drexciya to comment on globalisation , capitalism and climate change.
‘Drexciya’ is an underwater country populated by the unborn children of pregnant women thrown overboard during the middle-passage of slave ships across the Atlantic. In this world a new species has evolved through the children who survived, breathing and living underwater as they did in the womb. The constellation of historical and present day episodes within the essay explores the relationship between finance, death, abstraction and language.
The Otolith Group was founded in 2002 and consists of Anjalika Sagar and Kodwo Eshun who live and work in London. The term ‘Otolith’ is named after the calcium carbonate micro crystals located within the middle ear that maintains human capacities of verticality and balance under the terrestrial condition of planetary gravity. During our longstanding collaboration The Group have drawn from a wide range of resources and materials. Their work is research based and spans the moving image, audio, performance, installation, and curation. Their incorporate film making and post-lens-based essayistic aesthetics that explore the temporal anomalies, anthropic inversions, and synthetic alienation of the posthuman, the inhuman, the non-human, and the complexity of the environmental conditions of life we all face. Expanding on the work of The Otolith Group is their curatorial public platform The Otolith Collective. On this platform programming, exhibition-making, artists' writing, workshops, publication, and teaching are aimed at developing close readings of images and sounds in contemporary society. Approaching curation as an artistic practice of building intergenerational and cross-cultural platforms, the collective has been influential in critically introducing particular works of artists such as Chris Marker, Harun Farocki, Anand Patwardhan, Etel Adnan, Black Audio Film Collective, Sue Clayton, Mani Kaul, Peter Watkins, and Chimurenga in the UK, US, Europe, and Lebanon. The Otolith Group and Collective have been presented by biennials, museums, foundations, public galleries, community spaces, art schools, universities, cinemas, and informal spaces across the world. Most recently their work has been presented at the 13th Forum Expanded, Berlinale, Berlin; Savvy Contemporary, Berlin, Khiasma, Paris; The Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven; the 13th Sharjah Biennial, Sharjah; Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; and Haus Der Kulturen de Welt, Berlin. The Otolith Group was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2010 and commissioned to create a new work for Documenta 13 in 2012.
New Horizon Is a Wave (1972/2019)
Produced in 1972, New Horizon Is a Wave was one of the ephemeral poems by ewa that the artist distributed through the mail-art network. In 2006, Partum returned to the motif, rewriting the minimalist paper format into the medium of a colour photograph literally representing the text overlaid on it. In 2017, she again translated and updated the work, restaging New Horizon Is a Wave as an affective single- channel installation, adding to the work’s visual and textual aspects an acoustic element – the sound of waves – commenting thus on the contemporary conditions of art’s presentation and consumption. The GGM exhibition puts on show yet another stage of the inter-media motif’s long journey; this time, New Horizon Is a Wave is presented as a site-specific work, in the form of a large-format photograph that dialogues with architecture of the gallery space.
Ewa Partum (b. 1945)has lived and worked in Berlin since 1982. A member of the first generation of Polish Neo-Avant-Garde women artists and a precursor of of European conceptual and feminist art, she has been preoccupied with the themes of the art language, institutional critique, and artistic conventions as well as feminist ideas. In 1963-1965 she studied at the State Graduate School of the Fine Arts in Łódź and in 1965-1970 she did the master’s course in Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. In her artistic actions, performances, photographs, installations, and experimental films, Ewa Partum has explored the structures of the art language and developed an individual idiom of conceptual art. Already in her early works, dating from the early 1970s, she drew attention to the female subject’s subordinate position in the public and artistic discources, in order to develop a fully-fledged feminist critique at the beginning of the next decade through a series of photo-collages and a sequence of radical feminist performances. In the 1980s, Partum pursued a language of conceptual feminism through series of performances as well as aleatoric practices, appropriating and rewriting texts of the so called high culture. In recent years she has participated in numerous solo and group shows, such as We Are at the Zachęta National Gallery in Warsaw (1991); Wack! Art in the Feminist Revolution at MoCA Los Angeles (2007); European Contemporary Art Biennale Manifesta 7 in Italy (2008); re.-act. - feminism - performance art of the 1960s and 70s today at the Akademie der Künste Berlin; REBELLE. Art and feminism 1969-2009 at the Museum voor Moderne Kunst in Arnhem (2009-2010); Gender Check. Feminity and Masculinity in the Art of Eastern Europe in the Museum Moderne Kunst in Vienna (2009); Promesse du passé at the Centre Pompidou in Paris (2010); Intense Proximity, La Triennale at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris (2012); 18th Sydney Biennale (2012-13); Bigger Splash Painting after Performance (2012-13) at Tate Modern in London; or Transmissions: Art in Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America, 1960-1980 at the MoMA New York (2015-16).
Slavs and Tatars,
Reverse Joy, 2012
The changing of the color of the water in a fountain – in itself a simple manipulation – is a perfect example of the Slavs and Tatars’ characteristic attempts to combine incompatible ideas, thoughts, or beliefs. Some consider the colour red as symbolizing martyrdom, war and so on, while others, children in particular, see in it something festive and solemn, almost naive.
Slavs and Tatars is an internationally-renowned art collective devoted to an area east of the former Berlin Wall and west of the Great Wall of China known as Eurasia.Their work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, NY; Salt, Istanbul; Vienna Secession, Kunsthalle Zurich and Ujazdowski Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw. The collective’s practice is based on three activities: exhibitions, publications and lecture-performances. In addition to their translation of the legendary Azerbaijani satirical periodical Molla Nasreddin (currently in its 2nd edition with I.B Tauris), Slavs and Tatars have published eight books to date, most recently Wripped Scripped (Hatje Cantz, 2018), on alphabet politics and transliteration.
Tran Tuan & Hoang Ngoc Tu
Day 32, 2016
Introduction: In early April 2016, a disturbing sight appeared on the central Vietnamese coast. In just a few days, hundreds and then tens of thousands of dead and dying fish appeared on the sand. At first, some locals rejoiced, gathering the fish still gasping with life to eat. Many of those residents became sick, and as more dead fish piled-up, Vietnam couldn’t deny the fact: it had a huge environmental disaster on its hands. The theory is that a steel mill dumped toxic waste into the ocean, poisoning the sea. The mill, in Ha Tinh Province where many of the fish have been washing ashore, is run by Formosa Plastics, a Taiwan-based company. The government claims to be investigating the cause, but much too slowly for many. They have taken water samples and ordered Formosa Plastics to remove an illegal pipe draining into the ocean. Even Environment Minister Tran Hong Ha admitted that the government had been slow to react for such a serious environmental disaster. With many of the region’s residents relying on fish for both food and income, hundreds have been poisoned by eating the fish and thousands are out of work. In 2015, Vietnam exported $6.6 billion worth of seafood, it is unclear to what extent this massive die-off will affect this year’s exports. Adding to the outrage, as fear and anger grew, Chou Chun-fan, the external relations manager for Formosa Ha Tinh, shrugged it off. Vietnam, he said, must “choose whether to catch fish and shrimp or to build a state-of-the-art steel mill. … You cannot have both.” Formosa fired him, but not before the public responded to his options. #IChooseFish and the Vietnamese-language version, #toichonca, were born. Born from the callousness of Formosa and the government’s incompetence, #IChooseFish has been the online rallying cry for Vietnamese anger and protests stemming from the mass fish die-off. While the extent of the demonstrations that have followed comes as a surprise, Vietnam remains a country where freedom of press and assembly are strictly controlled. Many are using social media and the #IChooseFish hashtag to share and learn about the news. The tag grants them a relatively new opportunity to counter the Vietnamese party line while running relatively little risk of being arrested or beaten. However, while not nearly as rampant or sophisticated in scope as in neighboring China, censorship online is still common in Vietnam, and it appears Vietnam blocked Facebook in mid-May over the #IChooseFish protests. While the vernacular creativity of the hashtag campaign is undeniable, we, contemporary visual artists don’t wanna stay outside, while censorship has been prevalent in Vietnam for a long time and causes a great deal of self-censorship, we alway find a way to speak out, past over the censorship and linguistic barrriers. “Day 32,” was lunching aims to produced 10.000 masks with a fish image on the front and provide free for protesting people throughout Vietnam, handing them out with a slogan reading, “we can keep silent but that doesn’t mean we don’t care.” The masks turned up at protests, in selfies, and in profile pictures, regularly accompanied by the #IChooseFish and #toichonca hashtags. The project was shutting down by policeman 10 days after launching, in same time with the protesting shutdown from the South to the North, the project was closed in police station. Those masks was used some where and sometime later for protesting as a thing to cover the identity and raise our voice.
Tran Tuan (b. 1981) he lives and works in Hue. He graduated from Hue Fine Art University in 2006. Tran Tuan opened an art space named Then Studio which later became Then Café. His practice is influenced greatly by the untold stories of his family. Tran Tuan started creating artwork from 2010, and participated in a number of exhibitions such as “Nang Bong Nhe Tech” in 2011, exhibition “May bien the” in 2012 and exhibition “Nam Hoang De” in 2013. His series ‘2 forefingers’ was chosen for Singapore Biennale 2013. In 2017, Tuan launched Lang Art Dorm, an art residency program in Hue aim to bridge the exchange between local and international artists.
Hoang Ngoc Tu (b. 1988) graduated with a diploma from Hue College of Art in 2008 and obtained a bachelor degree from the same institution in 2013. He has been making art works since then. In 2015 he lived and worked in Ho Chi Minh City where he had a lot of exhibitions. In early 2016, Tu returned to his hometown, Hue, and joined exhibition with a project called “The thirty- second day”, which left a strong impression domestically and internationally. Recently, Tu has decided to move back to Hue. He is now a co-founder of a bar named Mơ Đơ, which is an exhibition space and a residence space for artists.
Echo, documents a short performance at the submerged stone quarries in Zakrzówek, Kraków. Informed by the Land Art tradition, the work also has a somewhat intimate feel.
Piotr Urbaniec (b.1992) currently lives and works in Amsterdam as part of the De Ateliers residency programme. After completing an art school in Zakopane, he earned a BA in Transmedia at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, followed by an MA in the Spatial Activities Studio at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (supervisor: Mirosław Bałka). Winner of the Grand Prix and a special mention in the Young Wolves competition (2014). Winner of the main prize at the In Out video art festival at the CCA Łaźnia in Gdańsk (2016). Participant in the Residency Unlimited Program in New York as the 1st prize in the Hestia Artistic Journey competition (2016), and in the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (USA, 2018). Recipient of the City of Kraków Art Scholarship. He has participated in numerous group exhibitions and video shows, and is the author of a number of (usually brief) performances. His first solo show was at the Project Room of the CCA Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw in 2016. He has been featured in group exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, WRO Art Center, BWA Katowice, BWA Tarnów, or the Wola Museum in Warsaw. His works have been presented on three continents, most recently in China at the Yixian International Photography Festival, at Tempo Lento as part of the Akrai Residency in Sycily, at the Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, at the Roman Susan in Chicago, and at the Rencontres Internationales in Paris and Berlin.
Delta, an exhibition of principally Latin American artists, arose from conversations between Beatriz Gago and Stephanie Noach conducted via emails that crossed from Amsterdam, La Habana, Medellin and Madrid during 2016, 2017 and 2018. The participating works, instead of being exhibited visually, have been told in words by each artist. The curators wished to enable the viewer to mentally conceive the works freely and actively, and to become complicit in the creative act; in this way, each work would have as many different lives as the individuals who read it.
The works gathered in Delta are based on waterways, material or symbolic, currents that reveal fissures, establish interactions, and stream objects and ideas along with them.
In the majority of cases, these currents touch on existential themes. In fact, water –as river, brushstroke, rain, fountain, sea, ice– becomes the mediator of many appearances and disappearances. From different perspectives the artists show how life –biological, artistic and spiritual– owes as much to water as does death; and how life and death, again and again, flow together, one becoming indistinguishable from the other.
Water is used in Delta to explore mythological, philosophical, political, social and ecological themes. From its flows and currents, the artists trace the development of prophecies, myths and introspections. The meanings range from the sublime to the purely scatological. Above all, through studies and observations of water, the artists confront the most difficult task of all: explaining and understanding themselves and the other, the past and the future, tangible and intangible life.
And all of these confrontations with water are made with the current world crisis as background. Imagining water, today, is to inevitably think of how it is becoming scarcer, how it has been becoming polluted.
Stephanie Noach (b. 1984/ Amsterdam) and Beatriz Gago (b.1958/Havana) both researchers of contemporary art, formed a curatorial team in 2015. Together they developed a series of curatorial experiments outside of the conventional spaces for contemporary art in which they engaged with a variety of audiences. Their projects were presented in Havana (Sin Oficio Ni Beneficio and Handmade Twitting, Havana Bienal 2015, Behave Yourself, Fábrica de Arte Cubano 2016) and Medellin (89 nights and Eros cotidiano, Museo de Antioquia, 2017). They wrote for diverse platforms, such as Art OnCuba and the Fundación Arte Cubano.