NEW YORK.- The Swiss Institute of Contemporary Art presents OK: Christian Andersson, Olivier Blanckart, Valentin Carron, Gabriele Di Matteo, Bob Gramsma, Leopold Kessler, Adam McEwen, Werner Reiterer, and Ben Woodeson. While the Grey Art Gallery at New York University presents OKAY: Christian Andersson, Valentin Carron, Gabriele Di Matteo, Lara Favaretto, Laurent Grasso, Graham Gussin, Leopold Kessler, Werner Reiterer, Nedko Solakov, Jean-Luc Verna, and Ben Woodeson.
The etymology of the word 'okay' is one of the most disputed. Entire books have been written, linguists debate and no definite agreement seems to be found on the subject. Strange for a word used often to state that everything is under control. With a change of tone the meaning of 'okay' can move from utterly positive to downright dismal. The double exhibition OK / OKAY aims to focus on this kind of blurring and movement between meanings, where information that might seem obvious reveals itself as much more ambiguous and subtle. Through the work of 15 European artists, OK / OKAY will bring to light the slippage of meaning and translation that shakes up our interpretative system.
OK / OKAY will be presented at two sites, at the Grey Art Gallery of New York University in Greenwich Village and at the S in SoHo, and will focus on some of Europe's most promising and innovative artists, many of whom have never shown in New York. The dual location of the exhibition will provide a literal manifestation of the idea of moving between meanings in both art and language, and many of the artists will present different projects at each venue. Each location's show will function independently but when viewed in combination, the two exhibitions will accentuate the ambiguity of interpretation and flexibility of meaning through rifts in space and communication.
Like the other group exhibitions Marc-Olivier Wahler has curated (Under Pressure and Mayday in 2001, Extra and Liquid Sky in 2003, and Five Billion Years in 2004), OK / OKAY does not intend to develop a discourse, nor to deliver a specific message. Art is no longer defined by position or place. It glides over the visible and exposes the limitless number of strata that make up its structure. It contributes to the densification of the real, it adds to its complexity. What matters is the dynamic triggered by the slippage of interpretations and the constant oscillations between languages (as between different objects). This dynamic defines the force of a work of art, it is in this always unstable electric field that a work of art finds its meaning. In this way, contemporary art is not seen as a cultural domain in search of possible aesthetic definitions, but as a true dynamic.