AMSTERDAM.- Annet Gelink Gallery
is presenting the group show Blindenzimmer, with work by Yael Bartana, David Claerbout, Roger Hiorns, Meiro Koizumi, Rezi van Lankveld, Erik van Lieshout, Sarah van Sonsbeeck, Wilfredo Prieto, Johannes Schwartz, Dick Verdult and Marijke van Warmerdam.
Blindenzimmer explores the metaphorical circus of our current societal and political state, whose reality highlights both the sublime and the absurd of the human condition. Titled after Johannes Schwartz series of the same name, which documents the interiors of blind peoples homes, the show delves into the inwardness of this surreal moment.
Looking at visitors under a mask of bright makeup, Dick Verdults Very Very Said welcomes them in the gallery space. With subtle irony, Verdult investigates the state of current events through the figure of the clown. Aware of -and exploiting- his power in awakening Pathos within his audience, he stands as the embodiment of the eternal condition of lunacy.
A big, red theatre curtain runs over the main gallery wall, informing the surrounding space. Houses without people, people without houses by Wilfredo Prieto aims to execute the contradictions of our contemporary time. Increasingly absorbed in our virtual and social media lives, an overturn of reality occurs and, as in theatre, our existence appears to be staged.
Yael Bartanas Undertaker collects a display of prints illustrating masked figures the undertakers. Rendered in a large format, the figures hold up their masks and operate as an observing choir, witnessing and silently commenting on the state of events.
The peculiarity of Gold Dripping #2.03 by Sarah van Sonsbeeck resides in its visual as well as material intricacy. By playing with non-straightforward visuals, van Sonsbeeck invites the viewer to reflect on the intimate moments created by chance that due to the buzz of our contemporary reality may pass unnoticed.
In the work by Roger Hiorns, spirit-like figures appear to be floating into a dark background. Here, Hiorns proposes a reflection on the ambiguity and fluidity characterizing our contemporary conception of sexuality. Seeking inner exploration of our perception of the bodily the work paves a path towards a more fluid and free experience.
Whether through the memoires of Japanese film director Yasujiro Ozu or the personification of a kamikaze pilot, Meiro Koizumi renders a portrait of modern Japanese society. Both in the charcoal drawing Fog #5 and Kamikaze Dog # 1, Koizumi translates emotionally charged experiences through strong characterisation and personification. Latent emotions are symbolically and visually concealed by the concept of the mask. By placing his characters in front of confrontational issues, Koizumi explores the discrepancy between what is shown and what is felt.
Rezi van Lankveld harnesses the essential character of paint to create intuitive, complex pictures. Van Lankveld allows paint to flow onto the canvas, making way for unpredicted images. She takes advantage of something sufficiently evocative, a line or a shape, to contribute to the process of building an image; turning that which is perceived into that which is constructed.
The work of Erik van Lieshout reflects on the hectic life and critical conscience of the artist as he over-shares and shreds common codes of privacy, inhaling everything in sight. By typically not adapting to the general behaviour of his surroundings he becomes an active player in the action which causes many humorous situations but also provokes strong reactions from others.
As under a circus tent, all works co-exist in their diversity: the palpable enters a dialogue with the contemplative. With the works paraded out in front of us, a way forward becomes visible. Annet Gelink Gallery invites the viewer into this space, in which perceptions merge to form a strange yet familiar reality.