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- 6 June 2014 to 16 Aug 2014

Current Exhibition

6 June 2014 to 16 Aug 2014
tuesday to friday 10 am - 6 pm
saturdays 1 - 6 pm
Laurierstraat 187-189
NL-1016 PL
T: 31 20 3302066
F: 31 20 3302065


Artists in this exhibition: ANTONIS PITTAS, MARIA BARNAS


6 June - 16 August 2014

Annet Gelink Gallery is pleased to present Montage, Greek artist Antonis Pittas’ first solo show at the gallery. Bringing together different elements common in Pittas’ work including marble, graphite and text, it follows recent exhibitions at CCS Bard College, the Benaki Museum, the van Abbemuseum and the 2013 Athens Biennial. With each presentation the artist looked for a dialogue in the gap between the artwork and the art space, whilst addressing the relationship between past and present (art-) historical periods. In Montage, a contemporary view of the historical avant-garde is pieced together with the current political and economic circumstances in Europe and abroad.

With national economies in crisis and growing social unrest, Pittas seems to suggest that our outlook for the future has parallels with that of the early twentieth century. In the main gallery space, the artist has realised a design for a cinema conceived by Herbert Bayer in the 1920s. Bayer, an important figure within the Bauhaus movement, known for monumental exhibition structures and “narrative” spatial designs, used a three-colour system that strongly impact on the viewer’s experience. Re-imagining the cinema to be a place that could be both functional and aesthetically potent, he wanted the “black box” to be something aesthetically meaningful beyond what happens on the screen.

In Pittas’ version, the screen is absent and the narrative unfolds in the dramaturgy of the space itself. The cinema becomes the stage for a series of sculptural objects that marry the diagrammatic languages of modernist utopianism with current visualisations of economical data. In doing this Pittas complicates the avant-gardist notion of “functionality”, as he shows its inherent aesthetic values and the entanglement it exhibits between automation and craftsmanship, destruction and hope, control and violence. 

The sculptures, in brass and steel, each represent a line diagram found to illustrate a moment in recent financial history. In the act of monumentalising the diagrams in unbending and human-sized forms Pittas’ presents frozen moments of ever evolving phenomena. His use of marble, for the sculpture at the back of the gallery space, further emphasizes the tension between the mutable and passing. The tyre-like marble sculptures are based on the materials used in violence associated with the protest movement that has swept through (mostly Southern) Europe. Pittas makes physical this violence, hardening it in the durable material of marble. In doing so, he also makes monumental the small occurrences that form public history, by using texts derived from the news reports on these protests. The marble sculptures in a way break up Bayer’s immaculate concept, disrupting it with chaotic, messy violence. Like the social context that has formed the basis to these works, Montage presents its viewers with a seemingly holistic whole that can at any moment fragment into disjointed reality.

bakery, 6 June - 16 August 2014

In the Bakery, Annet Gelink Gallery is proud to present THEN, THEN by Maria Barnas (Hoorn, 1973). Artist, poet and writer Maria Barnas has created an intriguing show that takes as its starting point the dubious act of describing and questions whether it is really possible to describe anything and what we create  when we do so. Working with the concept of representation, THEN, THEN looks at how originals and reproductions are transformed by technology, forming an ever-growing array of realities. Barnas builds narratives and alternative histories around images and what is presented as factual. An image, like a text, is not a closed container. It rarely depicts or describes what it sets out to. Barnas delves into the space between intention and the many possibilities of interpretation.

On view are three works that in different ways deal with the flexibility and fallibility of descriptions and that present viewers with the complexity and the pitfalls in creating and understanding representations. The film from which the show derives it’s title THEN, THEN (2014), examines the way in which we create our own past. To address this issue Barnas uses the re-arrangements and variations of the Goethe Haus in Frankfurt, made by various curators over the years, presented each time as the authentic situation in which Goethe wrote his novels. The film also plays with the way that technology, in the form of photographs and digitalization, has formed a range of descriptions and realities that are all both concrete and virtual. The two other works on display, Appearance (2013) and Versions of Goethe (2014), further explore the tension between fixing a new reality in a description and the actual reality that is being overwritten. Both works look at the interplay between analogue and digital technology in forming the frameworks with which we aim to represent and conceptualize reality. In the reworking of original images, with Appearance a daguerreotype and for Versions of Goethe digitally created images of Goethe, Barnas uses the fraying edges of representation -both visually as in content- and presents us with altered versions of the same image that each seem to demand originality. It is exactly in their difference that they come alive.

Maria Barnas works with text and image. Both in her written work and in her visual work, she uses the act of describing as a starting point, working with the shaping and distorting qualities of description. What can go wrong, trying to grasp what is right under our nose? What do the edges of understanding look like? In THEN, THEN Barnas suggests that it is at these edges that reality begins.

Barnas studied at the Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam and at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam. She, amongst others, wrote two novels and received the C. Buddingh’ prijs and the J.C.  Bloemprijs for her writing. She was a columnist for the NRC Handelsblad and currently writes for amongst others Frieze, De Groene Amsterdammer, Vrij Nederland and De Gids.

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