The number of available pages is the only indication given to a curator, who is asked to autonomously present a project conceived and designed in collaboration with an artist

By Anna Ostoya and Martha Kirszenbaum

In her conceptual practice, which incorporates collage, photomontage, painting, sculpture and writing, Anna Ostoya has developed a singular and critical body of work, organized with precise attention to avant-garde aesthetics. Ostoya’s approach reflects her interest in the representation of feminism, the tension between image and media, and the legacy of art movements such as constructivism, dada, art informel, expressionism and minimalism. Interested in recycling pre-existing images, materials and histories, Ostoya challenges notions of deconstruction, authenticity and meta-art. Her compositions form a continuity out of fragments as a process of creating new meanings and as a vehicle for political change. For the upcoming exhibition at la Kunsthalle Mulhouse (05.06 - 25.08. 2014), curated by Martha Kirszenbaum, Anna Ostoya conceives a new series of ten compositions on canvas. The series develops according to a moving square that transports fragments of one composition into the next one inspiring each new canvas. 
Materials used include predominantly acrylic paint but also paper, metallic leaf and found objects. These are the materials that Ostoya has saved from previous series; in the new series she recycles the leftover and she employs the surplus. The making of the pieces is regulated by a self-imposed schedule of production deadlines and working hours. The time separating the start of the production of the works and the moment of their delivery for the exhibition is divided into ten periods, one for the development of each composition. Simultaneously, the time of their making is regulated by the “five-day work week” and the “eight-hours principle,” an organization of the day divided into eight hours of work, eight hours of leisure and eight hours of sleep. These constraints represent the rules of the game for Ostoya’s artistic process. In the series Ostoya juxtaposes the notion of art as an emotional, spontaneous and disinterested expression with the notion of art as a rational, controlled and purposeful endeavor. While the compositions are made according to a work-plan, every single piece is a subjective expression in the time of its making. By testing the possibilities of an artistic production framed by the schedule of a factory worker Ostoya searches for a new definition of an artist in society, one that would oppose the stereotypes of an artist as a free spirit or as an entrepreneur. On the occasion of the exhibition, a book featuring essays by Ben Lerner and Tom Qilliams will be published by Dancing Foxes Press. 


Anna Ostoya(1978) is a New York based artist whose work has been recently included in the New Photography 2013 exhibition at MoMA. 

Martha Kirszenbaum(1983) serves as the Director and Curator of Fahrenheit in Los Angeles, and is the 2014 Guest Curator at La Kunsthalle Mulhouse.