Artist-run project Jenifer Nails have organised Multiple Choice, Double Happiness, a joint exhibition running April 26 through May 25 of works by Catherine Biocca and Yuki Kishino at Beijing’s I: project space. The show and the show’s text are based in the thought that some things, once exposed and experienced, stay entrenched in patterns of behaviour —in the noises of song birds, for example —until new things slowly and finally replace them.
As an exhibition, Multiple Choice, Double Happiness it is visually simple, made really of only a few components: one work consists of aluminium bars and white-laced 3D-printed corner joints with some accompanying prints on acrylic glass. These provide suggestions of configurations, and an image, perhaps life-size or a little bigger, of what looks like a cross between a cat’s indoor playground, with material pillars perfect for scratching, and a complex bird’s house with huts perfect for resting, printed on PVC and draped over an easel.
Kishino’s pieces, all referred to in the list of captions as ‘Volume 5‘, or ‘Volume 5,6 & 7′, for example, are “rearranged by Jenifer Nails” (also included as a part of the works’ title and caption). Because the floor in the Beijing space is tiled in groups of diamonds, small and large, it is hard to tell whether the light aluminium lattices are being photographed on different days, having been rearranged, or whether they have been photographed from different angles. This seems integral to the notion set out by the press release, that subtle change exists only in relation to the original experience or learned information from whence it transforms:
“We assume that the office which served as an educational institution for bird zero [the one who first heard the internet dial up sound, for example] has vanished, but until new noises replace its sounds in the songs of those birds, a record remains”.
The word ‘record’ appears central to the show and its aftermath. Biocca’s work ‘Saphir blau’ (2016), existent as it is as an image on PVC —as opposed to standing in the space itself —forms an echo by having the same (or familiar) cat’s playground/bird’s house printed on both sides of the draped material. There is a double emphasis, a harmony and something that tells that what we are looking at is important, or uncanny, or worth our attention, or repeatable. Again, when scrolling through some of the installation photographs that will outlive the show, things in Biocca’s piece overlap and appear like magic as though you are looking at two different versions of the work, or two different works. In one of the bird houses suddenly appears some tiny red marks. Jenifer Nails (a collaboration between Gislind Köhler and Daniel Stempfer) have uploaded an accompanying video to the online documentation of Multiple Choice, Double Happiness, which steadies itself zoomed into the PVC print and reveals what the red marks are —although not how they appear or where they come from…
This is how the show works: all that is in and part of the work is not shown all at once because it cannot be. Any change to the Lyre bird’s song happens like an echo, or a ripple and somehow with this, nothing really gets left behind. The white removable joints in Kishino’s work are bright and memorable (and strong) acting like highlights and almost guards, or guides to both the aluminium arms and legs in their hold and the delicately evolving song of the show as a whole.**
Exhibition photos top right.
Catherine Biocca + Yuki Kishino’s Multiple Choice Double Happiness is on at Beijing’s I: project space, running April 25 to May 25, 2016.
Header image: Catherine Biocca + Yuki Kishino, Multiple Choice, Double Happiness (2016). Exhibition view. Courtesy Jenifer Nails, Frankfurt, + I:Project Space, Beijing.