carlier | gebauer: PABLO PIJNAPPEL | Fontenay-aux-Roses
CHARLOTTE MOTH | Displacements - 5 Feb 2011 to 12 Mar 2011
PABLO PIJNAPPEL | Fontenay-aux-Roses
05.02. – 12.03.2011
Opening: 04.02. 6-9 pm
„Out of the two hours you spend in a movie theatre, you spend one of them in the dark. It's this nocturnal portion that stays with us, that fixes our memory of a film.“
This quote by French filmmaker Chris Marker precedes Pablo Pijnappel’s text for his exhibition at our gallery. We are happy to share his thoughts and would like to welcome you at the opening on February 4, 2011.
The first time I watched La Jetée (1963) —the quintessential film by Chris Marker, made of solemnly still images — was during a class on experimental film by the British filmmaker Guy Sherwin, while I was an exchange student in the San Francisco Art Institute. It was shown from a beautiful 16mm copy in the original French version with English subtitles. It had a special resonance to me since it takes place in Paris, the city where I was born, but which I left at a very early age. I felt that my own memories of that city, which still remain very strong recollections, fit the idea of a certain type of nostalgia endorsed by the main character of the film — I believe that Marker is dealing in many ways with his trauma of the occupation in WWII (he was part of the resistance, where, some say, he earned his nom de guerre from compulsively keeping notes). From then on, La Jetée became my favorite film of all times, and as I have watched it over and over again I learned to prefer the English version, which I have heard Marker also favors himself. That class was not only crucial to my practice for introducing me to that film, but also because, somewhat paradoxically, I understood there was another way of reading films as we watched the whole history of avant-garde filmmaking (Michael Snow, Bruce Conner, Stan Brakhage, etc) - including Sherwin's own astonishing black and white films that lay somewhere very closely between the realms of photography and cinema. Like most avant-gard filmmakers, he liked to express a certain disdain of narrativity — something I never shared, in fact I'm very drawn to narratives — the only exception being La Jetée. It may have something to do with Sherwin’s self-proclaimed incapability of following a story when watching a film: he said his mind would drift every time a certain image or a moment in the story line stroke a chord in his thoughts, triggering a chain of associations, to the point where often he would find himself in a part of the plot that seemed totally incomprehensible to him as if he had just started watching it.
In Rio, as a child, whenever I would go with my parents to the cinema, it was not uncommon that we would arrive so late that half of the film had already being played. I grew accustomed to have to infer what had preceded in the plot. Back in the 80's, cinemas in Brazil usually screened the same film through the course of a day and evening, and you were allowed to stay and watch it as many times as you would like. That consented me and my parents to never feel too pressed in being on time since we could just wait until the reel was rewound and watch the part of the film that we had missed. It was with great expectation that I watched the end credits roll by, as the other spectators left, then the trailers while the new public took their seats, and finally, confirm my suspicions about the beginning of the story, despite that it seldom lived up to the versions I had rendered in my mind.
In the 90's, when it became fashionable to have films with a plot structure where act 3 would come in the beginning and act 1 in the end, the so called "3, 2, 1" structure, the most well known example being Tarantino's films, it was probably derived from the cable TV culture where while zapping through dozens of channels you could land many times in a random part of a film, most of the times of mediocre quality, that became invigorated by the mystery concerning the nature of its story; like when you overhear a conversation between strangers in a subway which inevitably is interrupted when either of you have to leave the train and you're left with a cliffhanger (to be continued...). The storytelling here is more about conjecturing what the story is, rather than being taken by the hand towards a rollercoaster of dramatic pathos.
Sigmund Freud in his first book, The Interpretation of Dreams, mentions that our recollection of a dream is nothing but a constructed memory of a far more fragmented and irrational unconscious impulse. In fact, Freud says that as we remember the dream we adjust events in a more coherent order and perhaps fill in the remaining gaps of an illogical dream sequence with ready-made thoughts from previous dreams or fantasies (e.g., day-dreams). He names this reflex of consciousness ‘Second Revision’; he claims it to be the same agent of our subconscious that makes optical illusion during our waking time possible, or sonorous illusion, for that matter (like hearing our name being shouted by a complete stranger, only to realize that the word uttered was actually very different).
I like to see the making of my stories, in essence, as investigations about stories where the product is like a forensics analysis: areas get fenced out to be examined, and evidence is removed from where conclusions can be drawn, but it leaves the connecting of the dots entirely to the viewer – who becomes the de facto investigator.
Georges Perec brilliantly makes a parallel between the storyteller and the jigsaw maker in the introduction of his novel "La Vie mode d'emploi" (Life: User's Manual)", which, for its narrative structure, uses the room-by-room description of a residential building in Paris: "We ended up deducing what is without a doubt the ultimate truth of the puzzle: despite appearances it's not a solitary game: each gesture that the player does, the puzzle maker has done before him; each piece which he fetches or fetches for a second time, which he caresses, each combination which he attempts and attempts again, each trial and error, each intuition, each hope, each discouragement, have been decided, calculated and studied by the puzzle maker.
Berlin, January 1, 2011
CHARLOTTE MOTH | Displacements
February 19 - März 12, 2011
Opening: February 18, 6-9 pm
Tuesday to Saturday, 11 am - 6 pm
We are pleased to announce Charlotte Moth‘s solo exhibition at carlier | gebauer. The British artist (born 1978), who lives and works in Paris, has studied at the Slade School of Art, University College London, and the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht. Her changing experiences at different places and her close examination of space and architecture are crucial aspects of her work. Recently she has exhibited at Gasworks, London (2011), the Halle für Kunst, Lüneburg (2010), Schaufenster project space at Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen at Dusseldorf (2009), Stedelijk Museum Bureau in Amsterdam (2008), the Palais de Tokyo in Paris (2008), JET Space in Berlin (2007) as well as at Project Art Centre in Dublin (2007). For the exhibition at carlier | gebauer she has produced a new site-specific installation.
In her photographic series and slide installations Charlotte Moth looks at the phenomenology of architectural spaces. The interior and exterior views of these spaces seem both familiar as well as out-of-time. Mainly they appear as transitory spaces. Her images are far more than documentary shots: they create memories of spaces through photographic impressions that pick up on elements such as contrasts and outlines, geometry, light, rhythm, silence and movement. Furthermore, in her site specific installations Charlotte Moth creates what she calls a “sculptural dialogue“ between the work and the gallery space. The artist was influenced by Gaston Bachelards writing “Poetics of Space“ in which the philosopher highlights the inventive power of images. The partially movable structures of Moth‘s installations, wooden constructions and light installations emphasise this characteristic and question the institutional space.
The slide installations Event made to be photographed (2010), Untitled (2010) (which shows a progressive build up of coloured paper in a space, and could be compared to a colour test kit), Untitled (figtree) (2008) and Betonsalon evening (2008) present images that range from abstract situations to everyday scenes. These works echo in various ways images taken by Moth that are part of a larger photographic collection called the 'Travelogue' begun in 1999. This body of images concentrates on the phenomenological interpretation of architectural spaces. Historical categories and references of architecture are part of this collection; nevertheless, she is more interested in an organic process of thinking, that corresponds with the relation between image and experience. The specific place of the “settings“ remain undetermined. The more these images appear displaced in relation to a specific time frame, the more attention is drawn to the function of the image itself as a documentary medium or potential narration. In Event made to be photographed the artist superimposes two slides, that blend softly into one another. In most of her works the conditions of presentation are reflected, residues of previous lives manifest, lingering in clues, that may be in the title or other works that sit alongside it.
For the exhibition at carlier | gebauer 2011 Charlotte Moth has created a large site specific installation, consisting of a curtain that dissects the main gallery space. This curtain is double-sided; blue and shiny violet. Entering the gallery space the violet coloured fabric becomes visible at first; as soon as the visitor crosses through the threshold of this curtain, the blue side of the curtain comes to sight, but also its relationship to the architecture of the gallery itself. The curtain does not function as an isolated element, but rather interacts with the other works placed within the space. The first curtain installation was realised in 2009 in an exhibition at Dusseldorf. The title of the work quotes the Italian Arte Povera artist Alighiero e Boetti: Behind every surface there is a mystery: a hand that might emerge, an image that might be kindled, or a structure that might reveal its image.
Together with Suspended lighting structure, version 2 416 x 517 cm (2011) ) in the main gallery space, the curtain transforms the exhibition space into an ambiguous stage setting: a wooden construction with three theatre spotlights hangs from the ceiling and immerses the space into different colours. The curtain and the light installation create an imaginary space, that visitors can enter and fill with their own associations and spatial experiences. Whereas the curtain represents the contradictory moments of showing and hiding, the light installation modulates between visibility and invisibility through working with the immaterial and ambient lighting conditions of the exhibition space.