Reversibility A theatre of De – Creation

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April 11 – May 19 2012

Peep – Hole -  via Panfilo Castaldi 33, Milan

Reversibility: A Theatre of De-Creation explores, in exhibition form, the “promotion and display” of artworks by proposing their “de-creation” or temporarily conversion into an alternative cognitive model, in order to allow the public to examine the work of a group of artists. The aim is also to show the reversibility of two movements of creation and de-creation that are at work in all circumstances: in the moment when the creative process comes to be qualified as an artwork, on the one hand, and, on the other, in the moment when an artwork is disqualified in the form of a commodity or cultural fetish.

The prologue to Reversibility took place in 2008 at the stall of the Fair Gallery (gb agency, Paris; Hollybush Gardens, London; Jan Mot, Brussels; Raster Gallery, Warsaw) during the Frieze Art Fair in London. It was further developed in a public institution in 2008 at the CAC Brétigny (The Center for Contemporary Art in Brétigny, France) and concluded in 2012 at Peep-Hole, in Milan, within the context of an independent non-profit structure financed by donations from artists.

The actantial structure of Reversibility: A Theatre of De-Creation in three parts takes the form of classical drama: exposition, climax and denouement. For each chapter and among each group of works, a particular piece is specifically related to each setting (in turn, commercial, institutional and private) in a principle of functional and symbolic equivalence: Dos Espacios Modificados (1967/2008) by David Lamelas during the Frieze Art Fair in London; Floating Wall by Robert Breer at the Centre d?art contemporain in Brétigny, France; No Necesita Título (1990/2012) by Isidoro Valcárcel Medina for Peep-Hole, a non-profit art space in Milan.A Theatre of De-Creation is more a theatre of operations, in the military sense, than a stage for the expression of imagination. Its epilogue is a composition of speeds and affects on a plane of consistency (the exhibition), a program that applies just as well to the inanimate and the animate, the artificial and the natural; a diagram that allocates the determined roles of the artist, curator and viewer in order to challenge their status; an exhibition that, in short, encourages heterogeneous combinations in which the terms are only distinguishable by way of speed and delay, actions and passions; like the postcard image of glowing embers of the sun plunging into water, carried along by the spiraling lines on a packet of Cleopatra cigarettes, in Marcello Maloberti?s Cleopatra (2012); or the animals that drink like humans in a world without people in Andrea Büttner?s drawing, Trinkende Tiere (Drinking Animals) by Friedbert Büttner (2007).

The epilogue of Reversibility: A Theatre of De-Creation opens with a performance by Esther Ferrer, Intimate and Personal (1967). Offered here and now, Intimate and Personal also returns us to the era in which it was conceived: the political context of Franco?s Spain. The score for this work, dictated by the totalitarian regime?s standards of beauty at the time, requires taking the measurements, unrelated to the physiognomic functions of the organs, of a living body (whether male or female) standing naked before an assistant. The measurements taken from this bodily study are marked on a wall in the exhibition space, on which the outline of an anatomic entity has been drawn, before being converted into mathematical calculations that are subsequently announced to the public.

The exhibition punctuated by the works described above ends with Martha Rosler?s video, Semiology in the Kitchen, from 1975, presented here in the gallery?s storage space surrounded by the tools used for mounting exhibitions. In this film made in her own kitchen, Rosler is seen standing in front of her kitchen table, reciting out loud an alphabetical list based on the common names of kitchen utensils. The artist demonstrates the action of each utensil, often handling it several times in order to reveal its erotic and omnivorous energy. Nothing separates these two performative experiences (in opposition to the criteria of artistic disciplines) even if one is presented in real time before an audience, while the other is played back in delayed time from a domestic environment. Only movement and rest, slowness and speed distinguish them in their program, which breaks with filiation and genre in favor of an alliance between intimacy and collectivity.

Image above:Teresa Margolles Plato de Fruta 2004

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Ester Ferrer

Intime et personnel 1970

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Ester Ferrer

Intime et personnel 1970

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Ester Ferrer

Intime et personnel 1970

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Ester Ferrer

Intime et personnel 1970

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Felix Gonzalez-Torres

Untitled (A Corner of Baci) 1990

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Istallation view

Marcello Malomberti

Cleopatra – 2012

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Istallation view

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Istallation view

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Istallation view

Martha Rosler

Semiotics of the Kitchen-1975

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Istallation view

Isidoro Valcarcel Medina

No Necesita Titulo 1990-2012

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Istallation view

Isidoro Valcarcel Medina

No Necesita Titulo 1990-2012

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Istallation view

Andrea Büttner

D. Roth and M. Kippenberger Are Meeting at the Bridge of Sighs 2006

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Istallation view

Ben Kinmont

Congratulations 1995

Ph. Alessandro Zambianchi 2012