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carlier | gebauer: AMY SILLMAN | zum Gegenstand
ROSA BARBA | Western Round Table 2027
- 1 May 2009 to 27 June 2009

Current Exhibition

1 May 2009 to 27 June 2009
Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
carlier | gebauer
Markgrafenstraße 67
p: +49 (0)30 2400 863 0
f: +49 (0)30 2400 863 33

Image © the artist, courtesy carlier | gebauer, Berlin
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Bojan Sarcevic

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Artists in this exhibition: AMY SILLMAN, ROSA BARBA

01.05. - 03.05.2009
01.05. | 4-9 pm
02.05. | 10am - 7pm
03.05. | 10am - 7pm

Amy Sillman | zum Gegenstand

May 2nd - June 13th, 2009
Opening May 1st 2009, 4-9 pm

We are happy to open the second solo exhibition of New York based painter Amy Sillman at carlier | gebauer on the 1st of May 2009, on the occasion of the Berlin Gallery-Weekend. In her show „zum Gegenstand“, Sillman will present a range of new paintings, a series of ink portraits, as well as new color drawings. In ‚zum Gegenstand’ Sillman presents an artistic production that is comprised of a sequence of distinct but intrinsically interwoven forms, from large oil paintings to small diagrammatic drawings. With „zum Gegenstand“ Sillman will also produce a fanzine, a small format Xerox publication, which will be on offer at carlier | gebauer. This zine expands the strategy of an interwoven introduction and does not only contain an essay by Sillman, but also exemplary snippets of material and notations, of visual, textual and diagrammatic references of her productions.

carlier | gebauer’s first solo show with Amy Sillman in 2007 concentrated fully on her painting, now, in 2009, this painterly praxis forms the starting point for a more broad view onto her art. In her paintings, Sillman expands colors and lines into forms, which propose a diagrammatic territory of symbols and figures in a psychologically modeled existence. In „zum Gegenstand“ Sillman shows with her paintings drawings of different modes. While some seem to mimic her painterly thoughts in miniature test runs, others are more graphic, sketching figures in tones of grey or even comic, in laying out the seating chart of an imagined art dinner. Sillman’s work is an introduction into a world of part objects, puns and lapses, which make for beautiful and almost clownish canvasses and ambiguous and yet formal drawings, which seem to detect wit in subjects and their formations. Sillman herself describes her approach as „realistic to the world even if it is abstract“. In all of her figurations, Sillman produces drawings and paintings, which deal with negotiations between corporeality and thought. This amounts to an art that is psychologically as well as formally intense, taking up from the memory of Abstract Expressionism but from a female, anxious, anti-heroic and reflexive position.

Painting and drawing in Sillman’s work are media of production for configuring diagrammatic relations. This „diagrammatic (...) does not function to represent, even something real, but rather constructs a real that is yet to come, a new type of reality.“ (Gilles Deleuze) The discrete symbolic order, which Deleuze here encounters in the work of Francis Bacon, also signifies in Amy Sillman’s work. Here again, art no longer figures as a medium of representation, but as a discrete layer of reality, in which figuration, color and form are knitted into logical and yet absurd complexes. In them, the Abstract Expressionism of the 1950s takes on a specific agency, as do others, like „Vesc/Gegenstand“ the magazine that Ilya Ehrenburg and El Lissitzky published together in 1922 or the seating chart of an official dinner at this April’s G20 meeting in London. Sillman’s works present themselves as an ongoing series of working hypothesis of her painting, in which formalism returns humorously.

Amy Sillman lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She teaches at Bard College and Columbia University and had her first solo show at the Kanoria Centre for Art, Ahmedabad, India, in 1988. In 2008 Amy Sillman’s works have been shown, amongst other places, in a solo exhibition at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC, at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, and at the New Orleans Biennale.

Rosa Barba | Western Round Table 2027

May 2nd - June 13th, 2009
Opening May 1st 2009, 4-9 pm

Rosa Barba’s films construct utopias, possible worlds, which evolve from a craving to take action, which is produced by the voids and displacements of our everyday reality. Those displacements are what Barba’s films often start from; their characteristics lead her to filmic interweavings of realities and potentialities. In her use of film formats, celluloid and projectors, Barba is assembling an installative set up for an artistic production in which film is employed to register asynchronicities and breachings in past and present. Barba’s films follow those traces, but not to dissolve into nostalgia, but rather to destille images of an inhomogeneous reality, in which utopia is always already subsisting. In her reconstructions of reality, fictionalty turns into the lever of a politicizing gaze.

From the 1st of May 2009 carlier | gebauer will present Barba’s film installation “Western Round Table 2027” (2007) in the project space. The installation is part of a trilogy of film works, the two others of which, „They Shine“ and „Waiting Grounds“, were both shown at the Torino Triennale and at the Kunsthalle Basel. All three share a geographical starting point, the Mojave desert in California, which is where Barba recorded the sceneries of “They Shine” and “Waiting Grounds”. Both films show images of abanonned or only mechanically inhabited places, which are crossfaded with audio material, adding a suggestive second layer to the filmed material. “Western Round Table 2027” relates to those places in memorizing a conversation on the situation of modern art, which the California School of Fine Arts had initiated there in 1949, and in which, amongst others, Marcel Duchamp and Frank Lloyd Wright took part. There are group photos of this meeting but its exact location remains unknown. Rosa Barba imagined to have found it and translated this anticipation into a montage of situated memories. “Western Round Table 2027” is the most abstract and yet the most sculptural of the three works. In a darkened space two 16mm projectors are directed towards one another projecting each other’s shadows on the walls. Mechanically rattling they seem like monuments of an industrial past. Their shadows are tracing the mechanical movements, while the sound of their motors is complemented with another element of vague memory, fragments of a soundtrack which Enrico Morricone once composed for Federico Fellini, rearranged by Rosa Barba together with Jan St. Werner.

Barba’s “Western Round Table 2027” presents a sculpture of fragmentary knowledge, which is constantly rearranged but never completed. Named after a conversation, which, just after the break down of modernist utopianism searched for the future of modern art, the work itself is a conversation between different layers of time. Like the abandoned military architecture in „Waiting Ground“ and the seemingly endless lines of reflectors in „Waiting Grounds“, „Western Round Table“ evokes the idea of a displaced monument of modernism after its end. This monumental character, the asynchonicity, which Barba forges with her use of the filmic devices, is guiding the gaze onto the always brittle images and machines, which stand in for a reconstructed praxis, also approximated in the second work shown at carlier | gebauer. The large format silscreen print „Time Machine“ (2007) meticulously phrases the script of a feature length movie that was never filmed. Rosa Barba wrote its script in reference to H.G. Wells novel „Time Machine“ (1895). The scenes, the dialogues and narrations are displayed in endless rows of black letters on whitened canvas. The silkscreen print here replaces the projection of images, the work itself becomes a ‚still’. In Barba’s works traces of the past are breaking into the present, demonstrating its permeability. The „Time Machine“ seems to be Barba’s continuous mode of artistic production, in which she follows up modernities in themes, places and machines, opening up the utopian perspective of another reality.

This year, works of Rosa Barba will be shown at the Venice Biennale as well as at the Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm. At the End of 2009 the exhibition „Italics“ curated by Francesco Bonami for the Palazzo Grassi in Venice, will tour to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and in May Barba will be showing in a show curated by Cecilia Alemani for Gió Marconi in Milan. In Autumn 2009 works of Barba will be presented in a large group show at carlier | gebauer and in Spring 2010 a solo exhibition will follow.

For further information, please contact us at or through +49 30 2400 863 0.

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