Deep Down is a new installation featuringThe Ghost & The Host (2014), a video the artist made while in residency at the Villa Romana in Florence. The video is an archaeological dig into the residency’s century old past. Fragments of lost histories found discarded in the Villa’s garden by former residents have been unearthed. This residue of past inhabitants have become the setting that is inhabited by a cast of nocturnal creatures going about their day (their day being the night) – bugs, fishes, worms, lichens. A garden comes to life (a night garden). In night gardens fragrances become the light. Rocks glow from the moon glowing from the sun. Everything is indirect. Houses wake. Sculptures move like ghosts. Vision is uncertain. You don’t know if you have begun dreaming already. Presence is felt by absence. This new installation is made from materials found in parks around Berlin and leaves taken from the greenhouses in Berlin’s Botanischer Garten.
Berlin-based Renata Kaminska examines the language used to describe art in today’s media. In her collages she uses cut up banknotes to cover art-works depicted in found newspaper photographs. With this gesture she points to the excitement of today’s press – a press that focuses on auction prices and exhibition attendance numbers, reducing art to a value system that is solely based on ratings and statistics.
an invisible portrait
Curated by Zanna Gilbert.
January 5, 2013
Zanna Gilbert writes:
A work of dubious provenance is exhibited at Porcino. The installation was recently mistakenly attributed to the artist Daniel Santiago. Born in 1939, Santiago’s output since the 1960s had until recently gone largely unnoticed, apart from his cult status in his hometown, Recife. There are various reasons for the omission of Santiago’s work from Brazilian art history. That he is from Recife, rather than Rio or São Paulo, plays one part. However, a whole generation of artists from the 1960s-1980s period, are only now being fully inscribed in the historical record, having suffered two decades of dictatorial rule in Brazil. Daniel’s own principles and idiosyncrasies compound these geographical and socio- historical effects: his lack of careerism; a consistently ephemeral production; and a generosity in authorship and sharing his ideas. In 2012, I curated, with Cristiana Tejo, a retrospective of Daniel Santiago’s work at the Museum of Modern Art in Recife. The instability and ephemerality of Santiago’s work, along with the artist’s humour, his often throw-away gestures and playfulness meant that works were re-made, re-performed, re-interpreted, and, in some cases, made for the first time. Lines between original and reconstruction were unclear.
It was out of this confluence of factors that a strange misunderstanding arose. Reading a Masters thesis on Daniel Santiago’s work a few weeks ago, I noticed that a humourous gesture made during the exhibition’s installation had been recorded as a one of Santiago’s works. On one of the installation days, Santiago had left his trademark Panama hat, sunglasses and walking stick behind while attending to some business inside the gallery. The supposed work was a hurriedly constructed portrait of the artist by a member of the exhibition team (ME). In the thesis, the work was attributed to Santiago, and visually compared to a painting by René Magritte. This work of dubious provenance is a fake, a phantom or an invention, a work created out of the spirit of Santiago’s work. But it is Santiago himself that makes this mistake possible, and then, the mistake is not really a mistake. The moment of reconstruction of an artist’s work also creates possibilities for galleries to present works of dubious provenance, and for the invention of history by academics.
March 19, 2013
I Am Down Here With the Boogens After All
January 18, 2013
“I Am Down Here With the Boogens After All” – Ed Steck A self-portrait is a reflection. A self-portrait is a reflection: materials constructing images, sensations structuring architectural moments (definitive personal modulations), chronological impertinences, yourself creating your self, a frozen practice of an accumulative entirety until a singular point, the expression before the potential atmospheric capsizing. It is a resolution of the self-encapsulated within the frames of an image; it is how one is seen while seeing.
“I Am Down Here With the Boogens After All” is a day-book-like piece of self-portraiture that follows the perspective intake of an individual (a subject, a viewer) constantly absorbing material references. It is a moment of loss fixated on the repetitious revisiting of the mundane, the familiar, and sensational: misremembered memory to personal insertions into film, entering the fixed present to relive a cultivated past, and human grotesqueness to exaggerated special effects. A self-portrait is a manufacturing of a self-portrait.
Ed Steck is a writer from Southwestern Pennsylvania. He currently lives in Pittsburgh, PA. Publications include A Time Stream in Spaces: The Cultic Parody of Time-Induced Capital published by West as part of the Let Us Keep Our Own Noon group show, Field of Vision – a limited edition chapbook published by Reactor Press, Beach published as part of “Public Access” in collaboration with David Horvitz, Chinese Bondage in Peru in collaboration with Wintergarten LTD, and Mountain as part of “Archive for a Mountain” by Marc Handelman’s solo exhibition “Geological Sketches at Home and Abroad” at Sikkema Jenkins & Co. His work has appeared in the anthology Strange Attractors: Investigations In Non-Humanoid Extraterrestrial Sexualities published by Encyclopedia Destructica, Capricious Magazine, the Brooklyn Rail, LIT (forthcoming),1913: a journal of forms (forthcoming), in the publication for the 2012 Columbus Prize Exhibition at Kunsthalle Ravensburg on the work of painter Natalie Haeusler, and with a contribution in Omer Fast: 5,000 Feet Is Best published by The Power Plant and Sternberg Press. He is one third of American Books. He graduated from Bard College’s Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts.
By Appointment Only