Nasan Tur, Diana Thater, Isa Genzken, Jonathan Horowitz, And Debora Delmar Corp – Exhibition Round-Up

Nasan Tur – Blain/Southern

Blain/Southern presents Nasan Tur’s first-ever UK solo exhibition. The German artist’s work is a reflection of the social environment that the artist is inhabiting, exploring both political ideologies and the subsequent symbols that are created from these power structures. This is Tur’s second show with the gallery, following the artist’s 2013 presentation at Blain/Southern Berlin. The exhibition explores the notion of social and individual failure and fragility, both through reference to the body and via works created with text.

The silence of the white cube space is punctuated by the sudden slow roar of a gunshot as the artist’s work ‘First Shot’ (2014) reaches its crescendo. The large-scale video work, depicts a number of different people in slow motion firing a gun for the first time. The video work is set in an undefined neutral space, the footage of each individual slowed down to highlight every silent movement leading to the pulling of the trigger and the sudden expression of sound, as the bullet erupts from the barrel of the firearm. The lethality of the weapon is juxtaposed with the impermanence of the body holding it; the work is a palpable and shocking signifier of the fragility of the flesh.

Nasan Tur – London Hanover Square – until 23 April 2015

Diana Thater: Life is a Time-Based Medium – Hauser & Wirth

Hauser & Wirth presents a new video work by Diana Thater. The new installation comprises footage from the Hindu pilgrimage site, the Galtaji Temple, near Jaipur in India. The artist projects images of the 18th-century pavilions and pillars onto the walls and floor of the gallery to create an environment depicting the many monkeys that inhabit the temple in their architectural habitat. The installation will be included in Thater’s mid-career retrospective, opening at LACMA, Los Angeles in Autumn 2015.

Thater’s video installation employs the architecture of the gallery space to create a hyper-real video recreation of the temple complete with the odd bird that flits across the wall of the installation. The piece investigates the space between documentation and abstraction, sculpture and architecture. The viewer is present within the piece due to its installational nature, and the positioning of the projection source, ensuring that the viewer’s shadow becomes an intrinsic part of this immersive work.

The artist’s video evokes a tranquil setting; with the image intentionally blurred and slightly defused, causing the work to occupy a position between documentation and sculpture through the projection of the location onto specially built architectural features in the gallery.

Diana Thater: Life is a Time-Based Medium – Hauser & Wirth – until 16 May 2015

Image: Isa Genzken: Geldbilder – Hauser & Wirth 2015, P A Black © Artlyst 2015

Isa Genzken: Geldbilder – Hauser & Wirth

Hauser & Wirth London presents Isa Genzken in the exhibition ‘Geldbilder’. With a new series of paintings the artist employs motifs from the language of capitalism to explore themes of self- and social-examination. The artist employs actual money as a painterly medium in the works; affixing coins and bank notes to to the canvas, hybridising the aesthetics of Minimalism, punk culture and assemblage art.

Genzken re-contextualises the currency encouraging the viewer to perceive the aesthetic quality of money as a material object, social artefact, and for its symbolic connotations. The painting physically ‘hold’ capital signifying art as monitary as well as cultural investment – an explicit reference to the financial value of art – and an actual ‘bank’ for currency with a set value undisturbed by any fluctuating art market.

The artist is an anthropologist of her own environment incorporating elements from her immediate surroundings into the artworks as a contextual reference point. In the manner of Robert Rauschenberg’s Combines, small plastic animals are glued to a painting’s surface, or a feather, fabric pouch, or wooden ruler in the shape of a toy gun are suspended from the bottom of the canvases. Forming a tableaux of contemporary society via the inclusion of appropriated objects re-contextualised along with works of art as a dialectic concerning the nature and language of value.

Isa Genzken: Geldbilder – Hauser & Wirth – until 16 May 2015

Jonathen Horowitz: 304.8cm Paintings – Sadie Coles HQ

Sadie Coles HQ presents Jonathan Horowitz ‘304.8cm Paintings’, featuring a new series of works involving concepts of art and technology. Each canvas measures an identical 304.8 cm (ten feet) in height with what seems, upon an initial reading, as disparate themes of minimalism and Pop Art. But the artist employs the history of differing art movements and language to create a dialectic that addresses the reformation of certain perceptions of art history.

Horowitz has created this series of pieces that at first glance form a dual exhibition of works; there seems little to connect the faux Pop art of Beyoncé ‘Warhol rip-offs’ with the minimalism of Ben-Day dots re-focused and increased in scale – replicated as individual canvases placed together to create one large ‘304.8cm canvas’. Except each panel was painted freehand by a different assistant to the artist, each forming a personal identity with the general scale and formality of the works that creates a key to their reading.

The artist’s work quietly dispenses with the regulatory mechanisms of Pop art reproduction – bringing the identity of the artist back into play – while simultaneously referencing the idea of collectives, and even the renaissance schools of art. Horowitz twists the notion of authorship and process to question the validity of language, and perhaps proving that validity as a democratic entirety is the entire point of the work?

Jonathen Horowitz: 304.8cm Paintings – Sadie Coles HQ until 30 May 2015

Debora Delmar Corp. Upward Mobility – Modern Art Oxford

Modern Art Oxford presents ‘Upward Mobility’ a rather complex site-specific installation by Debora Delmar Corp. which is the adopted name of Mexican artist Débora Delmar, as a reference to society’s capitalist lifestyles, structures and aspirational aesthetics. Working with sculpture, video and installation, the artist explores the way in which our global consumer culture structures our everyday lives and routines. Delmar creates very ‘busy’ assemblages that appropriate familiar branded goods, and works to create a direct relationship to the architectural and social environment in which the artist finds herself.

Delmar attempts to deconstruct the visual language of the consumerist aesthetic – via multiples and a multilayered approach to language; hybridising the language of art with that of advertising media. These are objects as signifiers, which according to the artist find different contexts in different countries, and different environments.

The artist mixes pop culture with gardening; and other aspects of domesticity with aspirational lifestyles; these aspects ‘could’ gel as a theme, but are not ‘assembled’ – the exhibition is a collection of disassociated forms punctuating a rather overwrought construction in terms of language. The artist’s creation is enthusiastic but rather embryonic – populating the gallery with Ugg boots, sculptures of Ugg boots, and sculptures of fake Ugg boots. Who knew that the fatuous nature of celebrity was so utterly convoluted? If the artist decides to ‘self-brand’ then the dialectic concerning appropriation, consumerism, and the capitalist aesthetic comes across as merely an affirmation of the very subject that the artist wishes to question.

Debora Delmar Corp. Upward Mobility – Modern Art Oxford – Until 17 May 2015

Words: Paul Black. Photo and Vine: P A Black © Artlyst 2015 all rights reserved

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