30 October 2009

Photography, Film & Video 

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Thierry Goldberg Projects, New York
Baukunst Galerie, Cologne
Shed and a Half Gallery, London
Foxy Production, New York
carlier | gebauer, Berlin
Thierry Goldberg Projects, New York
Babara Ess at Thierry Goldberg Projects, New York 
Barbara Ess
You Are Not I

october 18 - november 15, 2009

Thierry Goldberg Projects is pleased to present new photographs and videos by Barbara Ess, You Are Not I.

Emphasizing the divide between self and other, the title of the exhibition suggests the human burden of separation. The longing to connect to the world-to know and be known-is countered by uncertainties of perception, fears of being overwhelmed, being exposed. Boundaries are erected. Distances are created.

As in Ess's low resolution pinhole photographs, this group of photographs and videos also use simple lo-fi techniques-mechanically re-photographing or re-contextualizing digital media. The glitches of mediation and inexact copies of copies give these works a furtive quality of being on the hunt, trying to tease out the evasive otherness of the not self.

The strategies Ess uses include shooting video and then photographing still images from that footage on the camera's LCD screen with a point and shoot camera; then again re-photographing those images. In another group of works, fascinated by watching ordinary but remote non-events unfold in real time on an internet surveillance site, she captures video clips, screen grabs single frames and makes still photographs from them. A series of more personally intimate "stalking" photos are re-photographed from videos shot with a wireless security pinhole camera, each photo featuring a light source that the camera/viewer seems drawn to like a moth to a flame.

Ess' work here probes, peers out into the world. It seems to ask, what's it like there where I am not? and provides a glimpse of our yearnings to see through the veil of privacy and the boundaries of certainty.

Barbara Ess lives and works in New York City and Elizaville, NY. She has been making and showing photographs, videos and sound pieces in New York and internationally since the 1980s. She has most recently shown her work at Souterrain, Berlin, Germany; P.S.1/MOMA, Wallspace, NY; and Galerie Frederic Giroux, Paris, France. Her photographs are in numerous museum collections including The Whitney Museum of Art, New York; the Smithsonian Museum, Washington D.C.; the Pompidou Center, Paris; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Ess is an Associate Professor of Photography at Bard College.

Image: Barbara Ess
© the artist, courtesy of Thierry Goldberg Projects, New York

New York, NY 10002
+1 212.967.2260

Baukunst Galerie, Cologne
Hans Op de Beeck, Staging Silence (Set Photo), 2009
Hans Op de Beeck
Staging Silence

30 October to 27 November 2009

On the 29th of October from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. the Baukunst Galerie opens a major solo-exhibition with a monumental video projection of the Belgian artist Hans Op de Beeck. The film "Staging Silence" is presented in the context of the KunstFilmBiennale and will be shown at the gallery until the 27th of November 2009. Furthermore there will be a screening of the film "Extensions" within the international competition of the KunstFilmBiennale at the Black Box of the Cinedom on Friday, the 30st of October at 9 p.m.
The exhibition at the Baukunst Galerie is the German premiere of "Staging Silence". Its score was specially composed for the film by the musician Serge Lacroix, inspired by the images themselves. In addition to the 22 minutes lasting video loop an accompanying artist edition was created. It supplements the installation by a photo of the set of "Staging Silence" in the form of a black-and-white lambda exposure on dibond (102 cm x 73 cm) and thereby delivers an insight into the working process of the artist.

Hans Op de Beeck was born in 1969 in Turnhout, Belgium and lives and works in Brussels. In his œuvre he uses a very wide variety of media - he paints, draws, takes pictures, shoots films, produces sculptures and monumental installations, writes short stories and designs stage settings. It is his quest for the most effective way of presenting the concrete contents of each work that determines his selection of the medium. As a locum of the spectator he searches for situations, which invite to identification. In his parallel worlds he creates fictional places, moments and characters, hoping that the spectator takes them for real for a moment. Therefore he works with effects of trompe-l'œil undermining them by alienating elements as the overreached shifting of proportions. In his play with illusions he questions the complex relation between reality and representation, between what we see and what we want to believe in order to make it easier to deal with our own deficiency. His suggestive, visual proposals produce disquieting, melancholic, ambivalent images in our mind and thereby capture the tragicomic absurdity of our postmodern existence.

After his studies at the Rijksakademie the artist received the Prix Jeune Peinture Belge in 2001. From 2002 to 2003 he succeeded with a residence scholarship at the MoMA and the P.S.1 in New York. Moreover he was awarded the Eugène Baie Award in 2006 and the Catholic University of Leuven Culture Prize in 2009. His works were already exhibited at major international museums as the Reina Sofia (Madrid), the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (Arizona), the ZKM (Karlsruhe), the Kunstverein Hannover, the Whitechapel Art Gallery (London), the S.M.A.K. (Ghent) and the P.S..1 (New York). Beside several monumental installations at the "Art Unlimited" space of the Art Basel from 2004 to 2009 his works were also presented at the Shanghai Biennale 2006 and the Singapore Biennale 2008.

"Staging Silence", 2009
22 min loop, 16:9, black/white, Full HD video, transferred to Blu-Ray Disk, edition of 10 (+2AP)

"'Staging Silence' is based around remembered spaces; not any specific sites, but the abstract, archetypal settings that lingered in my memory as the common denominator of the many similar public places I have visited and experienced. The video images themselves are both ridiculous and serious, just like the eclectic mix of pictures in our minds. The decision to film in black-and-white heightens this ambiguity: the amateurish quality of the video invokes the legacy of slapstick, as well as the insidious suspense and latent derailment of film noir. But perhaps gravity and menace ultimately prevail. The title, "staging silence", refers to the staging of such dormant decors where, in the absence of people, the spectator can project himself as the lone protagonist, unhindered by others.

Memory images are disproportionate mixtures of concrete information and fantasies, and in this film they materialize before the spectator's eyes through anonymous tinkering and improvising hands. Arms, like those of faceless puppeteers, appear and disappear at random, manipulating banal objects, scale representations and artificial lighting into alienating yet recognizable locations. These places are no more or less than animated decors for possible stories, evocative visual propositions to the spectator."

Hans Op de Beeck, Staging Silence (Set Photo), 2009
Lambda-Belichtung auf Dibond / Lambda Print on Dibond
102 x 73 cm, gerahmt / framed.
Auflage / Edition of 10 (+ 2 A.P.)
© the artist, courtesy of Baukunst Galerie

Theodor-Heuss-Ring 7
D - 50668 Cologne
+49-(0)221-771 33 35

Shed and a Half Gallery, London
Caroline Lefley at Shed and a Half Gallery, London
Caroline Lefley

20 Nov - 11 Dec 2009

As part of this year's Photomonth celebration of photography, Carolyn Lefley is exhibiting her project "Within" with a solo show at the rooftop gallery Shed and a Half in Shoreditch, east London.

Set within the make-believe spaces of a doll's house Lefley's series "Within" explores our perception of what is real and what is imagined. The miniature rooms of the child's toy house are transformed by the photographic process into spaces of human scale. Deliberately ambiguous, Carolyn seeks to confuse us by placing domestic objects within each room, giving further encouragement to think the spaces are real. It is only on closer inspection we begin to see the oversized external staircase, the ill-fitting window frames and the shredded carpet that begin to undermine our understanding of what it is we are looking at.

Photographer Carolyn Lefley grew up in the suburbs of North London. After studying Fine Art at Coventry University she returned to London to complete her MA in Photography at Thames Valley University where she achieved a Distinction. In her early work "Semi-detached" Carolyn explores the familiar architecture of the suburban house with its bay windows and tidy front gardens; symbols of a certain class and affluence.

In her later works, "Belonging" and "Within", Carolyn continues to explore the domestic space but transfers her attention to the doll's house, a child's toy, but also an object enjoyed by adults who play out their fantasies and childhood memories. In creating a deliberate ambiguity as to whether the spaces are real or not, Carolyn introduces a tension to her carefully lit rooms into which the viewer can bring their own story.

Solo exhibitions included "Belonging" at House Gallery, London 2008 and Drukarnia, Poland, part of the Photomonth in Krakow 2008. Carolyn has also taken part in Group Shows, most recently this year at the Norwich Arts Centre and View Finder Photography Gallery, London and previously at Dray Walk Gallery, London 2006, Waterman's Art Centre, London 2005 and The Foundry, London 2004.

A video of Lefley discussing her work can be viewed at Troika Editions

The Exhibition runs from 20th November until 11 December and can be viewed by appointment by calling Vita Gottlieb on 07980 856 844 or via email For details about how to receive an invitation to the Private View on the 19th November please contact Troika Editions at or by calling 020 7833 2330.

Caroline Lefley
Courtesy of Troika Editions, London


Shed and a Half Gallery
Studio 4, Back Building
150 Curtain Road
London EC2A 3AR
+44 (0)20 7613 2479
+44 (0)7980 856 844

Foxy Production, New York
Sterling Ruby 

October 16 - November 21, 2009

Foxy Production presents The Masturbators, a multiple channel video installation by Sterling Ruby that provocatively complicates the genre of performance video.. Ruby uses porn stars as performers, positioning his viewers as the voyeurs of his actors' intimate sexual actions, in a charged examination of the role of the artist and the construction of masculinity.

Male porn actors are asked to masturbate to climax, solo, in an empty room standing on color-coded towels. Instructions are given by the artist, a still photograph is taken, and then, as the action begins, the actors are left alone, never being sure if anyone is watching from the other side. Without their usual performance context, each pursues the given task with varying results.

With pornography's formulaic sets and scenarios removed, the actors are left somewhat adrift, giving each performance an experimental air. The work's combination of endurance and improvisation is reminiscent of early performance video, where an artist was often alone in the studio, performing acts of repetition and physical stamina and often addressing the relationship between artist, artwork and audience. Ruby reworks this genre, multiplying and refracting it through the use of professional porn stars who collapse the roles of actor, performer, and artist.

With their tattoos, their armors of muscle, and the moans, groans, and grinds of their excessive libidinous acting out, the veneer of hyper-masculinity becomes sharply visible, and the theatricality, the script, of maleness becomes starkly clear. The work sustains a tension that goes beyond the experience of duration and repetition, beyond the humor, fear, anxiety, or lust of witnessing sexual performances: it is a tension inherent in male desire and the abiding fictions that seek to both define and sublimate it.

STERLING RUBY makes richly glazed biomorphic ceramics, large-scale spray-painted canvases, poured urethane sculptures, nail polish drawings, various forms of collage, and hypnotic videos. His work is a form of assault on both materials and social power structures. He takes his subject matter from a wide range of sources, including marginalized societies, maximum security prisons, modernist architecture, artifacts and antiquities, graffiti, bodybuilders, the mechanisms of warfare, cults and cult members, and urban gangs..

STERLING RUBY (b.1972) lives and works in Los Angeles. He holds a BFA from The Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA from the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena CA. Selected exhibitions include: MoMA, New York; ICA, Philadelphia (both 2009); GAMeC, Bergamo, Italy (solo) (2008-09); Bergen Kunsthall, Norway; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (solo); Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing; The Drawing Center, New York (solo) (all 2008); The Moscow Biennale for Contemporary Art (2007); The California Biennial, Newport Beach (2006); The Renaissance Society, Chicago; The Turin Triennial (both 2005-06); Aspen Art Museum (2005); Netherlands Media Art Institute: Montevideo, Amsterdam (both 2005). A monograph on Sterling Ruby's work was recently published by JRP Ringier.

The Masturbators will be documented in a forthcoming publication in collaboration with PaceWildenstein, New York.

With thanks to Electronic Arts Intermix, New York, and PaceWildenstein, New York, for technical support.

Sterling Ruby, The Masturbators, production still, 2009
© the artist, courtesy of Foxy Production, New York

623 WEST 27 ST
New York, NY 10001
+1 212 239 2758

carlier | gebauer, Berlin
Sebastian Diaz Morales, The Way Between Two Points (Terra Incognita), 2009
SEBASTIAN DIAZ MORALES | Water from the moon
23.10.2009 - 21.11.2009

We are very happy to announce the fourth solo exhibition of the Argentinian born (1975, Comodoro Rivadavia) artist Sebastian Diaz Morales at carlier | gebauer. Diaz Morales, who is living and working in Amsterdam, will present two new, interrelated video works "The way between two points (Terra Incognita)" (2009) and "Water from the moon" (2009), which are presented alongside one another in carlier | gebauer's large exhibition space. Photographs and sculptures will contextualize these two works.

Sebastian Diaz Morales' videos and video installations discuss in multiple ways the possibilities of an expanded form of filmic narration. Often, the people in his videos play the parts of extras of a scenery in which cultivated landscapes and urban spaces are reconverted into seemingly unconscious and renaturalized sites. Where man has reclaimed land, has adjusted nature to his aims, Diaz Morales' videos seem to perform a second nature', one which seems to be closer to its primary forms and which is guided by a logic, that shimmers through but is never fully graspable to mankind. Diaz Morales composes poetic narrations of the life of man's external nature. Being influenced by south-american avant-garde films as much as by north-american documentary photography, Diaz Morales interwines both into a visual world, in which the former symbolism and the latters rigorous layout of the line merge into a new life of forms. He releases the narrations which are inscribed into landscapes and things.

In "The way between two points (Terra Incognita)" a man traverses a stinted territory, whose only landmarks are wrecks, ruins and puddles of oil. With the wandering ways of this man, Diaz Morales maps out a landscape, which has been transformed, throughout the last 100 years, from what Charles Darwin called a "Terra Incognita" to a territory, marked by the devastating effects of its industurialization all through the 20th century. The film starts from this minimal information to than accompanies the route of a man, dressed in worker's boots and jeans. His clothes bring to mind the worker's outfits of those who lived here to extract the oil from the landscape. The man crosses this territory, with its leftovers of civilization, ruins of houses, covered in graffiti, open oil puddles, tarred streets and monuments to a glorified history of decline, which all seem to filter into a collection of evidences of the decay, this territory has been exposed to, and in which time and space seem to become only loosely connected. This indistincability of time, which is present in most of Diaz Morales' works, is also an omnipresent theme in the two new works. The present tense of the film describes a place in which past and future are similarly present.

The film location at which Diaz Morals shot this 2-channel video has also been the site of two previous works of his, Enigmatic Visitor, 2003 and Parallel 46, 1998. The way between two points (Terra Incognita) puts together fragments of a 82minute film yet to be completed, which will be on display in 2010, and montages them into being an entropic portrait of a region, imbruted through cultivation. In his delineation of pre-history, embedded within the industrial civilization of nature, Diaz Morales' video reminds of the works of Robert Smithson, whom, in his texts, sculptures and installations created manifestations of the entropic and overdeveloped state of amercian suburban housing. He, like Diaz Morales' figure of the worker, crossed deserted territories and reformulated them through his works.

This reformulation is at the center of the second installative video work in this exhibition, "Water from the moon", which also gives the exhibition its title.

The narrator, digressed from the viewer, sits in a sparsely furnished, sun flooded abode. Stripped to the waist, the man sits on a bed and after the camera has scanned the environment, the watered trees in the garden, he starts with an improvised monologue, in which he attempts to capture the experiences of an unreal and inhospitable environment, recapitulating its elelements, the predominant skies, the machines, the labour, in rephrasing them in an existential perspective, closing with the words "water from the moon", a metaphor for an impossible existence. It is only at the end of the film that it becomes clear that the worker and the narrator are actually sitting in the same room. The worker looks, without focussing, he sets on to a speech without speaking and he seems to be touched, without becoming more then only the expression of the narrator's monologue. Diaz Morales newest works reports from a language beyond functionalism, which covers in audio and video the object and the environement and change their logics.

Diaz Morales works are shown in 2009 and 2010 in numberous group exhibitions, amongst others in in "The World Is Yours - Contemporary Art", Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark (until 2010), in "Art at the Centre of a responsible transformation of society 2009", Collezione FRAC Piemonte, Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella, Italy, in "Vista / Visual Tactics", Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Sevilla, Spaina and in "Pertenencia", Fondo Nacional de las Artes, Buenos Aires, Argentinia.

"The way between two points (Terra Incognita)", 2009 was produced with the support of the Hubert Bals Fund of the International Film Festival, Rotterdam and with the support of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Sebastian Diaz Morales
The Way Between Two Points (Terra Incognita)
Produced with financial support of the Hubert Bals Fund of the International Film Festival Rotterdam and John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, 2009
2-channel synchronized video, 2-channel sound,HD format
18 min.
Edition of 5+2 a.p.
Exhibition view, carlier | gebauer, 2009
Courtesy of carlier | gebauer, Berlin

carlier | gebauer
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D-10969 Berlin
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November 12-13 Mixed / Multi Media
November 18-19 Photography, Film & Video
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