curated by_Simina Neagu: Days of Labour, Nights of Leisure. Art as the disruption of everyday life

curated by 2012_Art or Life. Effects of Aesthetics and Biopolitics

Opening: Thursday Sept 20, 6pm
Exhibition lasts until Nov 3, 2012

  • Berry Patten, Poolside, 2012, diasec print, 42x59,4 cm, ed. 3 + 2ap
  • Berry Patten, Pure Sure, 2012, diasec print, 42x59,4 cm, ed. 3 + 2ap
  • Olga Chernysheva, Waiting for a miracle, 2000, c-print, 100x150 cm
  • Anca Benera and Arnold Estefan, Fictio legis, 2012, contract signed and authenticated by a lawyer

How could we envision a break in the endless succession of work and leisure that constitutes our everyday life? Are we able to identify the ‘lines of flight’ imbedded in the seemingly impenetrable cycle of daily existence? And ultimately, can we truly escape the “atrophy of experience” induced by modernity, as Walter Benjamin suggested?

Perhaps contemporary artistic practice could provide an antidote to our impoverished experience of everydayness, by disrupting the flow of work-leisure and the established regimes of visibility. Simultaneously a space of platitude and profundity, authenticity and inauthenticity, everyday life incorporates potentiality, spontaneity and play, which art can help flesh out from this double dimension of the ordinary. With Michel de Certeau, we can identify the crucial importance of ludic and subversive modes of appropriation which can foster not necessarily a completely new order, but rather new ways of living and using the given.
Playful appropriation is also the tactic adopted by most of the artists in the exhibition, as a means of mirroring and suspending daily experience. Art thus acts as a distorting mirror, de-familiarizing our own bodies and practices, becoming a space of reflection, a terrain where new modes of articulation are tested and verified. Whereas other artists choose to use the platform of art as a zone where the latent conflicts and confusions inherent in everyday life are explored. Ingrained inconsistencies are brought to light in an attempt to resolve them. What emerges is a praxis or more accurately put, a re-articulation of the ordinary, not the common equations of “art=life” or “art+life”, but rather an art of life.

Berry Patten
Pure Sure, 2012, video, duration 3:20
Mirror IMG PS 2012, installation consisting of 2 x diasec mounted A2 digital prints, (possibly) 3 x IKEA BADEN shelves, various small scultpural works and vinyl stickers.

The installation plays on the juxtaposition between digital imagery and physical objects, removed from their everyday context. Appropriating and incorporating familiar items into a multi-faceted notion of reality, it superimposes immateriality and physicality.

Antje Peters
(XII. Desserts), 2012, Epson UltraChrome print, 150x190cm
01/05 (VI. The Breakfast), 2008, Analog C-Print, 29x23.5, passe-partout, framed, behind glass, 40x35cm;
04/05 (VI. The Breakfast), 2008, Analog C-Print, 29x23.5, passe-partout, framed, behind glass, 40x35cm
01/08 (IV. Ads), 2008, torn out page, 29x23.5cm
04/08 (IV. Ads), 2008, torn out page, 29x23.5cm

Drawing from advertising imagery and product photography, the series examines the visual tropes of contemporary culture, by eliminating the brand or placing it in an inappropriate context. The works suspend and displace the brand as the visual decoder of the market.

Anca Benera & Arnold Estefan
Fictio Legis, contract - signed and authenticated by a lawyer, 2012
Muncesc, deci nu exist / I work, therefore I'm not, mixed media installation (5 wooden boards, wall paint, drawing, A4 prints) variable dimensions, 2012

Our 12-year relationship represents exactly 35,29% of our life up to this point. In 2022, at age 44, the percentage will increase to 50%, when we will both have equal rights over each other’s work. This contract of reciprocal agreement states that we share our individual intellectual property of the works according to the life period spent together. Exploring juridical constructs we reflect upon the equation of art and life, questioning property rights. This is a first chapter from a series of works investigating the limits of law.

Muncesc, deci nu exist / I work, therefore I'm not
This work examines the condition of the artist who needs to support his or her practice through a day job. In our case, most of these jobs involve computer work. The drawings represent the traces left by the computer mouse - recorded through a software - while working 5 days per week. At the end of each working day, a print screen drawing is automatically recorded and sent via fax to the gallery. We created a 5-day working week module comprising 5 laser-engraved wood boards. We’re also going to compile a calendar for the entire duration of the exhibition (20 Sept-25 Oct), adding a new drawing each day.

Olga Chernysheva
Waiting for the miracle, 3 X C-print, 100X150 cm, 2000

According to Ernst Unger, "Life consists of a miracle” and this photographic series represents an attempt to free the everyday. Usual, familiar images become mysterious and magnetic. They urge the viewer to see the state, but not the objects themselves. In their loneliness, isolation, dignity and natural self-sufficiency these images are, in fact, directed towards the future.

The exhibition was kindly supported by:
Atelier13 is a custom design studio formed by young architects and mostly intended upon producing custom design objects of different use, artwork, various items and features in the field of design, architecture modeling, fashion design, corporate identity design, advertising, and signage.