The specially commissioned artworks featured in No Reflections, Martin Boyces elegiac exhibition for the 53rd International Art Biennale, Venice, will be presented in a new exhibition at Dundee Contemporary Arts
(DCA) as part of its 10th anniversary celebrations. The exhibition opens on 12 December 2009 and runs until 14 February 2010.
No Reflections, commissioned by the Scotland + Venice partners and curated by Judith Winter and Graham Domke of DCA, was conceived for two very contrasting spaces. In Venice the exhibition took over seven interconnected rooms in a 15th century Venetian Palazzo - the space imagined as an abandoned garden, the pieces playing against the fading grandeur of the palace. For its UK showing the artist now works with the modern, purpose-built galleries of Richard Murphys award-winning DCA building with the artworks presented in a newly curated exhibition. Whereas the interconnecting rooms of the palazzo allowed a linear sense of discovery, the spaces at DCA will reveal new and different relationships between work and context.
Speaking of the challenges of making work for two contrasting venues, Boyce said: "the palazzo itself and my research in the work of Carlo Scarpa all fed into the show that was seen in Venice. The process of installing the show, seeing the work in the space and understanding how it functions has now fed into show for DCA. It is an accumulative process.
During the research for the Venice showing of No Reflections Boyce discovered that Richard Murphy had written a book on Scarpa, the 20th century Venetian architect who managed to put his own subtle modernist imprint on the historic city.
The influence of Scarpa on Richard Murphy seems so clear now, adds Boyce and I think it goes far deeper than stylistic concerns. Because Scarpa built so much in Venice a lot of what he was involved in was the insertion of the new into the old. This is also reflected in Richard Murphy's development of the old brick garage into a contemporary art centre - making something completely new that had to function in a completely different and complex way than its previous incarnation.
The concept for No Reflections makes reference to a starting point in Boyces work - a photograph of four concrete trees created by Joël and Jan Martel for the 1925 Exposition des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. These trees, Boyce says, represent a perfect collapse of architecture and nature, visualising oppositional elements of urban existence: the natural versus the constructed, the populated versus the uninhabited, old versus new.
Architect Richard Murphy will give a talk From Adige to Tay on 15 December 2009 which, like the exhibition, links Italy and Dundee. Meanwhile, Martin Boyce will give an artists lecture on 3 February 2010. A programme of gallery tours and screenings of films selected by Martin Boyce complements the showing of No Reflections. For full details see Notes for Editors.