Opening: Friday 1 December 2017 - 20:00
Fragments, Particles and the Mechanisms of Growth
Nazgol Ansarinia presents the exhibition Fragments, Particles and the Mechanisms of Growth at KIOSK. Through drawings, collages, sculptures, murals and works in textile, Iranian artist Nazgol Ansarinia draws a portrait of everyday life in her native city of Tehran, and of her own position within that context. She grows along with a city that now counts almost 14 million residents and whose face is rapidly changing. As capitalism’s sway over contemporary Iranian society grows ever more pervasive, there is housing shortage, the real estate market booms, houses make way for towering new apartment buildings and shopping malls, which results in a vicious paradoxical cycle of construction and deconstruction.
Each individual is a link in this process of ‘growth’ and is, like the city itself, subject to certain underlying codes and dynamics. It is the tension between her personal experience and public, regulated life in Tehran that always surfaces in Ansarinia’s work: “I have so many layers of memory from each corner of this city. Every part of this city is associated with memories from different stages in my life. I think that’s what makes this fast speed of construction so destructive in a way. It’s taking away our collective memory and individual memory with it. Neighbourhoods are changing so fast that they are unrecognizable. You feel lost when you can’t relate to a space.” (from “The Artist and their City”, The Guardian / Tate, 2016).
The artist turns a social system, an urban development or set of rules inside-out, dissects and interrogates them in order to reveal a collective consciousness or feeling in their reconstruction. In her exhibition at KIOSK, for instance, she films and analyses the demolition of a building in Tehran and incorporates the ‘traces’ of the process as video and sculpture. The video work Fragment 1, Demolishing buildings, buying waste registers how the building was torn down with shovel and pickaxe in 16 days. It is an attempt to capture the moment in between demolition and creation, and it illustrates the notion that for each new building there is an equal amount of material that is being shoved aside.
The rubble that is carried away in the video is symbolically reinstated as a new building brick at KIOSK. The rubble is laid open, sorted and reconstructed into new plaster and ceramic sculptures. Alongside these, the artist also presents a series of collages in which she weaves together articles on politics or economics from different Iranian newspapers into mosaics. The connecting thread that runs through all works in the show can be summed up with Ansarinia’s underlying thought that “I’m a deconstructionist who reconstructs the torn apart elements that show something new about something so banal that has gone unnoticed, so repetitive that it became part of routine life.” This is her way to get a handle on the innumerable mechanisms of growth that currently define this city, and to give them form.
Opening: Friday 22 September 2017 - 20:00
C O CO
Austrian artist Christoph Meier (1980, based in Vienna) conceived his show C O CO as a search for potential forms of interplay between his work, the visitor, and the KIOSK exhibition spaces. Inspired by the particular architecture and history of the location, Meier presents new architectural and social spaces based on a bamboo grid structure, new and existing sculptures and a video piece.
The exhibition is a further step in the collaboration between the artist and three institutions; C O CO was developed from C & O, the show Meier presented at Kunstverein Hamburg last year, and will in turn become the blueprint for another exhibition at Casino Luxembourg next year. For each successive location, the specific space is the basis on which new byroads temporarily cross.
Meier’s practice investigates the exhibition context as a space for social interaction, and the way in which it produces and presents contemporary art. He searches for intermediate forms that accentuate the space but also, simultaneously, question it. This often results in invasive or absurdist interventions that create a tension between the existing institutional space and the architectural and/or sculptural work that the artist confronts it with.
Against the dominant central dome room of KIOSK – a former anatomical auditorium – Meier positions a seemingly light, primitive structure that cannot be surveyed in a single glance and that is every bit as peculiar and theatrical as the surrounding architecture. Bamboo sticks ostentatiously take over the space. Sticking to a rigorously fixed modular structure, they uncompromisingly and repetitively penetrate the architecture – regardless of brick or glass. Interior and exterior become interconnected. The grid imposed upon the existing space restricts the visitor’s movements but it also expands the field of vision. It adds a new frame within which we can project an infinite number of imaginary spaces.
The sculptures surrounding the bamboo piece are made of found or repurposed materials that carry associations mainly of craft, industry and technology. The container-shapes of folded or perforated metal sheets waver between open and closed, unique and serial, distant and immersive, functional and dysfunctional, minimalist and complex. This game of opposites, repetition, performance and deconstruction keeps the objects in constant motion, refusing univocal interpretations. Meier hopes to see his ‘social forms’ uncouple from what they are to go on a search, together with the visitor, for what they might be. This makes them into a stage, a plinth or table; that is, carriers of meaning open to dialogue.
On the occasion of the exhibition, a monograph, a co-production with Kunstverein Hamburg and Casino Luxembourg, is published by Mousse Publishing. This publication will be presented at KIOSK, Thursday, October 12th.
The exhibition is realized in collaboration with Kunstverein Hamburg & Casino Luxembourgh - Forum d’art contemporain. With the support of Bundeskanzleramt Österreich. I
Show Me Your Archive and I Will Tell You Who is in Power
Opening: Friday 28 April 2017 - 20:00
Show Me Your Archive and I Will Tell You Who is in Power combines an exhibition with a public program of lectures, panel discussions, performances and screenings to present stories from the history of feminist struggle. Issues of race, gender and class are covered from a so-called intersectional perspective, an approach that works to bring to the fore the combinations of discriminatory practices and the dynamics they engender. The project’s title refers to the 2009 lecture of the same name by Gloria Wekker, renowned Surinamese-Dutch scholar with an established reputation within the transnational and Black European feminist discourse.
Show Me Your Archive and I Will Tell You Who is in Power wishes to extend its scope beyond Western, white feminism and to trace the beginnings of a transnational and intersectional perspective in Belgian feminism and beyond. The project’s starting point was the Ghent Royal Academy of Fine Arts and its first (and thus far sole) female head Chantal De Smet, who held the position from 1989 to 1996. In the early 1970s, De Smet was a central character in the Ghent Dolle Minas, one of the first initiatives of the second feminist wave in Flanders. She was also one of the driving forces behind the Belgian Angela Davis Committee.
It was the second feminist wave that pushed the United Nations to taking measures to improve the position of women, resulting in the UN declaring the period 1976-1985 the decade of the woman and the organisation of women’s conferences in Mexico City (1975), Copenhagen (1980) and Nairobi (1985). FORUM ’85, the alternative conference of women’s movements and non-governmental organizations taking place alongside the official UN conference in Nairobi was a key moment in the history of transnational feminism. Attended by 14,000 women, activists and feminists from mainly non-Western countries, it was the first occasion of that scale to stage worldwide encounters and exchanges of ideas.
Documents from public archives that provide insight in these historical and local contexts make up the backbone of the exhibition. In addition, visual artists Marwa Arsanios, Saddie Choua, Amandine Gay, Kapwani Kiwanga, Ato Malinda, Eva Olthof and collective Study Group for Solidarity and TransActions were invited to make new work, connecting with these archives and themes and approach them from a postcolonial, transnational or politically emancipatory context. They offer new critical perspectives on history and in turn help to shape the guise of another new wave of feminism.
The public program wishes to think about how feminism can radically rethink notions such as class, gender and race from a postcolonial perspective. The program starts with a screening of Françoise Dasques’ film La conférence des femmes – Naïrobi (1985) about FORUM ’85, followed by a conversation between Paola Bacchetta (professor of Gender and Women’s Studies, University of California, Berkeley) and French political scientist Françoise Vergès.
Show Me Your Archive and I Will Tell You Who is in Power is organized by KIOSK and KASK / School of Arts Ghent in the context of The Uses of Art – The Legacy of 1848 and 1989, a project initiated by the museum confederation L’Internationale with the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union. The project is curated by Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez, Wim Waelput and assistant curator Rachelle Dufour.
In cooperation with Amsab-
ISG, AVG-Carhif and Sophia asbl/vzw.
Opening: Friday 10 February 2017 - 20:00
Indian artist Shilpa Gupta presents the solo exhibition Drawing in the Dark. The title refers to the clandestine movements and practices in borderlands, and to the metaphor of the line or threshold that links several of the works on display here. The show is part of Gupta’s ongoing investigation into interrelations between structures, specifically those of the state and the individual, and their rescaling as encountered at, what is both frontier and periphery. Continuing her six years of ongoing research – specifically in the borderlands of India and Bangladesh – this new series of works is an extension of the My East is Your West project she developed for the 2015 Venice Biennale. In late 2016 Gupta returned to parts around the border fence that India is building, encircling its neighbor Bangladesh, and that is notorious for being the world’s longest separation barrier under construction between two nation states. However, says the artist, “daily life in the borderland belies state intentions and the flows of people and goods continue, prompted by historical and social affinities, geographical continuity and economic imperative.”
Accompanying the central sculpture 24:00:01 (motion flapboard, 2010-2012) is a series of new pieces that can be seen as a collection of clandestine stories. The drawings, photos and sculptures draw a picture of the subversive, illegal and informal stream of goods, people and desires. An object wound with a shredded Dhakai Jamdani saree (traditional clothing), drawings made with marijuana and photo collages with spare motor parts carry narratives of unlisted journeys over a meandering map line.
What Gupta’s work aims to provoke in the visitor, rather than a passive aesthetic experience, are questions. She initiates a dialogue on the perception and construction of identity, and on those notions that exercise an influence over these processes: nationality, technology, religion, borders, conflicts, control or censorship: “I am interested in perception and therefore, with how definitions get stretched or trespassed, be it by gender, beliefs, or the notion of a nation. There exists a chasm between the larger construct which seeks singularity, and its own fragment which may not. Markings and measuring, seemingly logical acts, may not necessarily provide solutions” (Shilpa Gupta in Indian Express, 2016).
In the borderlands Gupta evokes with Drawing in the Dark, our apparently rigorous laws reveal themselves as in constant motion and subject to debate. The fringe area is shown as a stretch of no man’s land where practices and narratives develop ‘in the dark’, or as a parallel circuit of goods that operates ‘invisibly’ before the authorities’ eyes. The ‘law’ of each identity is replaced here by a set of conditional rules, freeing up mental and experimental space in which to question ourselves.
The exhibition is a joint production by KIOSK, Bielefelder Kunstverein and Le centre d’art contemporain – la synagogue de Delme.