Project Native Informant

Philippe Thomas + Bernadette Corporation etc. @ PNI, May 31 – Jul 9

30 May 2016

London’s Project Native Informant is presenting an exhibition of work by French artist Philippe Thomas with interventions from Bernadette Corporation, Emily Segal and DIS, opening May 31 and running July 9.

The press release is a short essay written by Claire Fontaine in 2011 that discusses the void left by an artist whose life and practice is and was to focus on the act of withdrawal. It describes the life of Thomas who died in 1995 and who throughout his life “was part of a sort of community in which he permanently dissolved himself.”

“One might think that he multiplied pseudonyms, created an advertising agency to relinquish rights of authorship, and built a mirror of the digestive system of institutional memory, all in order to protect his oeuvre and to control its reception”. Thomas instead made blurry boundaries between artist and collector, making statements like “readymades belong to everyone” and showed, “without cynicism, with a cold anger, the effects of capitalism on our ideas and our bodies” elegantly and quietly.

Bernadette Corporation, Emily Segal of trend forecasting group, K-hole and New York’s DIS collective, who presented Image Life at PNI back in February, share common agencies in their work which looks at culture within the production and visualisation of culture itself. The narrative of art is their art.

Although there is no additional information on what will occur amongst Thomas’ works, surely the gesture of the interventions will address how to approach a practice and a hole like this one.

See the PNI exhibition page for more details.**

GCC @ Project Native Informant, Apr 13 – May 21

13 April 2016

GCC is presenting exhibition L’air du temps at London’s Project Native Informant, opening April 13 and running to May 21.

The artist collective, featuring Fatima Al Qadiri, Abdullah Al Mutairi, Monira Al Qadiri, Amal Khalaf and others, is named after the political delegation Gulf Cooperation Council. It debuted at the same gallery during Frieze London 2013, since doing the rounds in Berlin, Brussels and Kuwait, as well as Achievements in Retrospective at New York’s MoMA PS1.

L’air du temps (French for ‘the current trend’) is an immersive video installation that consists a “roving shot across a recently purchased and renovated hotel particulier in Paris”, probing the tenuous relationships and potential symbiosis of “comingling colonial forces” in a series of digital interventions and interactions that are “mutualistic or antagonistic in nature”.

See the Project Native Informant website for details.**

GCC L'Air du Temps (2016) @ Project Native Informant, London.

DIS @ Project Native Informant, Feb 22 – April 2

22 February 2016

New York collective DIS will present Image Life, opening at London’s Project Native Informant, opening February 22 and running to April 2.

There is very little information provided to accompany the show other than an image posted of a girl lying on a sofa in an apartment with the city behind windows, behind her. It looks like she’s day-dreaming and there is an object similar to a router floating above her head.

Under the image of the girl in the apartment Project Native Informant have posted Pantone’s 2016 colour of the year (rose quartz and serenity) YouTube video.

See the Project Native Informant webpage for (limited) details**

DIS, Image Life 2016, Event Invite Image. Courtesy DIS and Project Native Informant.
DIS, Image Life (2016) Event Invite Image. Courtesy DIS and Project Native Informant.

 

Condo 2016 reviewed

3 February 2016

Out of a conversation at LISTE Art Fair in Basel, a group of galleries decided to join forces and start Condo: an initiative led by Carlos/Ishikawa’s director Vanessa Carlos, through which 32 international galleries come together on London ground. The aforementioned art space along with Supplement, The Sunday Painter, Arcadia Missa, Chewday’s, Rodeo, Southard Reid and Project Native Informant –all based in the British capital –host works represented by 24 other galleries from around the world throughout a month, mimicking an annual project by dutch dealer Jeanine Hofland called A Petite Fair.

Rather than replacing something, Condo is a proposal in order to support the (art) community, promoting younger galleries through the networked London art scene. Its participants, which count with the support of some big institutional names, aim to highlight the fact that it is necessary to support one another in order to survive and succeed in the contemporary art ecosystem.

Like at any art fair, similarities between artists and works are mere coincidences, and while there is no thematic or aesthetic pattern to follow by the participant galleries, some analogies can be drawn.

Antenna Space, Shanghai + Societé, Berlin @ Condo (2016). Courtesy Project Native Informant, London.
Antenna Space, Shanghai + Societé, Berlin @ Condo (2016). Courtesy Project Native Informant, London.

In an era where humans are more aware than ever of their interdependence with other non-human entities, the relationship with animals seems to have become a focus of attention. Artists Lea Cetera, Phoebe Collings-James and Jala Wahid, or the trio composed of Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian work around these topics, like the projection of humanity onto animals or the metaphors drawn out of their features.

Some of Ceteras works were left after her solo show at Southard Reid and seamlessly brought together with the works of artists Bruno Zhu and Tessa Lynch for Condo. The artist’s practice turns around the anthropomorphisation of pets and the circulation of domestic animal imagery through the internet. In her installation ‘Mirrored Gourd Triptych’ (2015), a glazed porcelain pumpkin-like vegetable ‘watches’ a three screen TV, while sitting on a fake fur carpet. The edible is a gourd: a sort of calabash often used in asian cuisine that Cetera recurrently includes in her work. The TVs show a series of Youtube videos about people’s pets getting miscellaneous care treatments, as if they were people.

In her installation Just Enough Violence’ (2016) at Arcadia Missa, Collings-James develops an almost mythological imagery out of water-colors depicting cats and horses. They coalesce with A.L. Steiner’s Greatest Hits exhibition: a collection juxtaposed photographs and videos of pop culture figures, such as Madonna or Boychild. Here, animal and human bodies merge and colonise the gallery walls and windows.

AtThe Sunday Painter, Jala Wahid’s ‘Soft Weaponry III’ (2016) looks like two plaster bird talons coming out of the wall, near ‘Coco’: a sculpture shaped like two livers on top of a rosewater glycerin pedestal. The artist’s works are surrounded by an arte povera-looking landscape consisting of pieces by Rob Chavasse, Ana Mazzei and Debora Bolsoni.

A.L. Steiner, Greatest Hits, Phoebe Collings-James, 'Tar Baby #7 + 8' (2015), 'Safe Passage:Get Home Safe' (2016). Courtesy Arcadia Missa, London.
A.L. Steiner, Greatest Hits, Phoebe Collings-James, ‘Tar Baby #7 + 8’ (2015), ‘Safe Passage:Get Home Safe’ (2016). Photo by Lucie McLaughlin. Courtesy Arcadia Missa, London.

At Rodeo, Iranian born artists Ramin and Rokni Haerizadeh, along with Rahmanian, present But a storm is blowing from paradise (2014-15), a series watercolours and collages, where identity is erased and eventually transformed into rabbits and other animals. It’s these crafty and DIY practices that seem to have taken over more sovereign formats and immaculate presentations. Small-scale works on fragile paper nailed on walls, or pieces of ceramics spread out over the place repeatedly emerge, whether it’s in Laura Aldridge’s coloured brick wall at The Sunday Painter, Cetera’s take away coffee pot tops at Southard Reid or in Ulrike Müller’s square painted tiles hung on the Rodeo wall. Multiple layers of watery pigment and more experimental materials such as dye, enamel or DIY jewellery take over the surface of Tom Humphreys ‘untitled’ (2015), Jeanette Mundt‘s painting series ‘Me as Patricia Arquette As the Femme Fatale’ (2015), Josh Kolbo‘s constructed photographs and Nicholas Cheveldave’s multilayered works, covered by friendship bracelet webs.

Meanwhile, Carlos/Ishikawa literally cut the space in three parts, in order to host its representative galleries: Essex Street, Matthew and Freymond Gruth. They reserve the hall for a sort of pop-up store where they sell “artists clothes”. Among other great commissions, including Puppies Puppies, Darja Bajagic and Stewart Middleton –Ed Fornieles’ virtual alter ego of a humanised cartoon fox wrapped by contemporary anxiety is brought to the physical world in the form of a disguise.

According to an interview with Vanessa Carlos, the art world is “a microcosm of the world at large”. That’s why she hopes the Condo initiative will be taken as a model by other cities and countries in promoting collaborative work that is beneficial to the art community and the people working within it. **

Exhibition photos, top right.

Condo is a collaborative exhibition running across London venues, January 16 to February 13, 2016.

Header image: Artists’ Clothes @ Condo (2016). Installation view. Courtesy the artist + Carlos/Ishikawa. London.

ÅYR’s Newcomers @ PNI, Oct 7 – Nov 7

7 October 2015

ÅYR, the collective formerly known as AIRBNB Pavilion, opens their new exhibition Newcomers at London’s Project Native Informant on October 7 and runs until November 7.

Founded by Fabrizio Ballabio, Alessandro Bava, Luis Ortega Govela and Octave Perrault, the collective got its former name during the XIV Architecture Biennale in Venice, when it exhibited in apartments rented through AirBnB. The name change comes under legal pressure from the apartment rental company and in 2015, the collective opted for a new name and, with it, a new show.

Newcomers is a push back of sorts, using what Philipp Ekardt calls “architecturally informed digital rendering and imaging techniques” to create “a new sort of depth”.

See the PNI website for details. **

AirBnB Pavilion, 'Community Development Meeting' (2014). Courtesy the artists.
AirBnB Pavilion, ‘Community Development Meeting’ (2014). Courtesy the artists.

Sean Steadman @ Project Native Informant, Sep 2 – Oct 3

1 September 2015

Project Native Informant is hosting a new exhibition by artist Sean Steadman, opening at the London space on September 2 with a preview and running until October 3.

The exhibition, titled The Earth is the Earth Because it is Nothing Other Than the Earth, comes as Steadman’s first solo show, after doing a series of successful group exhibitions at London’s Royal Academy of Art, including the Royal Academy Degree Show and the LOPF Print Prize.

The Chelmsford-born and London-based artist also participated in the At Home Salon show at Marcelle Joseph Projects and the Art After the Internet at Andor Gallery in 2014.

See the exhibition page for details. **

Nicolas Ceccaldi @ Project Native Informant, May 21 – Jun 28

21 May 2015

Project Native Informant is bringing in artist Nicolas Ceccaldi for a new exhibition titled Permanently Tiedup Version of You and running at the London space from May 20 to June 28.

It’s the first solo show in years for the Montreal-born, Berlin-based artist—and he hasn’t done a group one in even longer. It’ll be interesting to see what Ceccaldi brings out after his hiatus, especially since past shows included exhibitions like his demon-invoking Summoning solo show at Johan Berggren Gallery.

Other past exhibitions include a solo show called Wearables at Brooklyn’s Real Fine Arts in which flattened human-sized wings lay across a hardwood floor, a two-person exhibition with Morag Keil called Garbage World in Berlin, and the group show Based in Berlin at the KW.

See the exhibition page for (minimal) details. **

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