The organisers of large group show, System of a Down wanted to fit a different place into the space of Dublin’s Ellis King. They drew a plan based on St Patrick’s Cathedral, and laid it over the plan of space and made new, imaginary rooms. From there, and during the week-long installation process, the press release tells, Francisco Cordero-Oceguera, Emanuele Marcuccio (both of whom also made work for the show), Pierre-Alexandre Mateos, Michele D’Aurizio and Charles Teyssou brought in some screens, scaffolding, monitors and projections. From there, artworks have been clustered together.
The show, which presents 47 works by 27 artists including Morag Keil, Puppies Puppies and Cindie Cheung has formed its meaning as it has physically unfolded. A bit like trying to work out a living space or a large communal house, decisions have been taken based on things contained inside the walls of the gallery, rubbing against one another, and also inside the invisible walls of the conflicting imagined architecture. The press release emphasises that a large part of the exhibition, which runs September 12 to October 17 is about the “inevitable aesthetic sensibilities of each organiser”, something that combined with the bizarre self-restricting and yet non-existent physical framework of the show’s interior calls into question the role and power of the curator. Joining up the dots seems difficult here, importantly.
Many of the works selected for the organisers to shape are maybe like dots themselves –as opposed to dots being micro-themes and curatorial agendas. The most striking and tender piece is ‘Table Work’ (2011 – 14) by Yugi Agematsu. Five cupcake wrappers are laid out open like flowers sat strangely apart from each other on a low table but definitely held together –not least by their colour range which goes from cream (vanilla?) to bright red (strawberry…). Another by Vito Acconci arranges three drawings of the same scenario: a car being born out of a boat, or a boat being born out of a car and flying into the sea, or flying out of the sea. These works are mini assemblages and require within them a formation. Quasar Kahn’s inflatable ceiling light sits on the floor, while Morag Keil and Nicolas Ceccaldi’s piece, ‘Garbage World’ (2010) features “fake birds” perched on the edge of a bin full of fake rubbish. Jason Benson and Erin Jane Nelson‘s vertical and fragile assemblages called ‘Bpuschy1’ and ‘2’ maybe capture System of a Down best via their hanging yet “emphatically woven junk”. **
Exhibition photos, top right.