Friday, October 1, 2010

Renata Lucas & Dor Guez Al-Lydd Curated by Susanne Pfeffer at KW Institute for Contemporary Art by craniv boyd

Renata Lucas & Dor Guez Al-Lydd Curated by Susanne Pfeffer at KW Institute for Contemporary Art


Something is amiss. Can you see it? If you are like me the answer is no. It is the larger half of a sculpture by the artist Renata Lucas titled "Cabeça e cauda de cavalo" and it comes as an intervention into the urban fabric of Berlin in the form of a circle incised in the side walk at the entrance of KW on August Straße. How can you miss a circle that has been cut into the street entrance of a contemporary art space? Simple every thing has been preserved on the circle and shifted 7 degrees to the east, as if the street were a turntable, the curb and pavement of the pedestrian walkway is split.

Inside the main gallery on the ground floor this intervention is echoed by a smaller circle cut on the ground of the back end of KW. This circle is a moving disc that visitors can shift at their own risk and at most two people at a time. By placing ones hands to the wall and walking forwards slowly close the edge of the half circle visible on the floor of the exhibition space the polished concrete floor begins to spin revealing a half circle of green grass. Keep walking and the grass half circle disappears again returning to the half with polished concrete.


These two minimal gestures are a stark statement for a one person show at KW, the work strikes me as a kind of participatory Gordon Matta Clark, 1970´s minimalism meets amusement park.


On the upper floors the works of Dor Guez AL-Lydd are to be seen. They are heavy on identity politics and perhaps politics and people period. They show old family and portrait photographs reformatted, enlarged and given the sexy title of "Scanograms". The subjects of the clearly vintage photographs are of a minority population of Christian Arabs living in Israel. All works are presented and framed impeccably and I am positive who ever originally took these photographs would be proud of their impersonal display aesthetic. Yet I wonder if the original photographer would readily grasp the fact that the pictures they took one day early last century have now in 2010 been elevated to the status of fine art, by way of Dor Guez AL-Lydd and their process of "Manipulated Readymades". This process invokes artist Marcel Duchamp inventor of readymades the maverick who placed a urinal on a pedestal back in the day in 1917, singed it "R. Mutt" and gave birth to installation art as we know it today. Duchamp trickster as he was, was highly selective of what he proclaimed a ready made to be over the course of his career, his readymades tended to be the scarce industrially manufactured mass-produced three dimensional objects the like of bicycle wheel, snow shovel, and iron bottle rack. It is unlikely whether he would find a box of photographs a dead relative took long ago reformat the majority of the contents with a computer and pronounce the 13 matted and framed behind glass results all readymades. But that is just another can of worms.


There are several documentary type video works in the exhibition that introduce living members of the Arab Christian minority currently residing in Israel to the viewer. The videos make known issues of prejudice and history that the interviewees face. by craniv boyd ©

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.