7 September – 19 October 2019, Tanya Leighton, Berlin
Preview: 6 September, 7-9 pm
Tanya Leighton is pleased to present ‘Fabula Rasa’ — a group exhibition that investigates the literary form of the fable from six artistic positions. Recognising the blend of animate and inanimate objects that lays at the core of fables, ‘Fabula Rasa’ focuses on the potential of this interplay to critically reflect the human condition.
The exhibition title is a word play on the concept of the clean slate or ‘tabula rasa’. Life begins without knowledge and lived experience grows our understanding of the world. As much as fables relay shared memories and moral values, they also offer a way to recalibrate ourselves. The works in the exhibition propose perspectives from which to do so.
Sam Anderson’s interest in the dramaturgical narratives of everyday life often leads her to the recast characters that traditionally play set roles. In this case, the tragic-comic figure of the clown, a figure who both entertains and critiques society, is her subject. Both an outsider and an integral part of a community, the classic humorist tells fables of everyday life to question the ways we live together. This ‘clown’, however, is a fabulous and somewhat menacing caricature of itself — a replica dolphin scull, masked with a teardrop, a red nose, and a row of teeth so long it is hard to discern a smile or a grimace.
Antonio Ballester Moreno’s pictographic paintings are distillations of the fundamental ways in which humanity defines itself in relation to the larger world — knowledge, morality and the nature of being. Ballester Moreno’s geometric forms and palette of primary colours speak to an archaic image-memory, exploring what it actually means to be humane. Trees, mountains, moons and suns constitute a universal lexicon while echoing the building blocks of the ancient fable.
The hand-painted animation by Matt Copson introduces archetypal figures from European mythologies into a dystopian limbo. Here, a headless fox circles a maniacally self-obsessed woodpecker whose monologue details a compulsion to define the object of its love. As an allegory for the artist at work or sociopathic manoeuvring, Copson’s parable delivers an unsettling moral about how we relate to the world around us.
Notions of physical malady recur in the work of Jesse Darling. A winding crutch and a bent walking stick emerge like charmed snakes from an altar-like pedestal that floats above the ground. Part of Darling’s larger project, ‘The Ballad of Saint Jerome’, this sculpture retools the eponymous fable to examine the contemporary relationship between healer and healed.
Michael Dean’s sculptures begin in the realm of language – as a means of expressing love, anger, or grasping for understanding. In their translation from text to thing, Dean’s objects and icons become stand-ins for larger narratives. Considering what it means to create a physical extension of oneself, Dean’s concrete and rebar sculptures are human-scaled, bear traces of their making, and introduce new anthropomorphous characters into the exhibition space.
Staring into space through hollow eyes, the vacant, thinking and feeling figure by Austrian artist Heinz Frank is a residue of a body in distress. Part tree, part box, part mask and part spine, its anatomy consists of natural and artificial components that deconstruct the impressive mythical figure of the lion to an assemblage of objects — some quotidian, some bizarre.
17 – 20 October 2019
Preview: 16 October
'Christine Roland & Ruby Barber'
Hiroka Yamashita Kurfürstenstraße 156
Bauhaus: Utopia in Crisis, curated by Professor Daniel Sturgis
Camberwell Space, Camberwell College of Arts (forthcoming)
16 September – 9 November 2019
David Diao, 2018
Delmonico books — Prestel
With contributions from Philip Tinari, Michael Corris, Pi Li, Sarah K. Rich, Felicia Chen, Kerry Doran
Recipient of the 2019 Arnaldo Pomodoro Sculpture Prize
Solo exhibition at Galleria d'Arte Moderna, Milan
11 November 2019 – 5 January 2020
Phaidon Contemporary Artist Series
Text by Julia Bryan-Wilson, Jeannine Tang, and Lanka Tattersall
Beethoven – World.Citizen.Music Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn
17 December 2019 – 26 April 2020
...and other such stories
Chicago Architecture Biennial
19 September 2019 – 5 January 2020
Feminist Avant-Garde of the 1970s. Works from the VERBUND COLLECTION, Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, Spain
19 July – 1 December 2019
Maskulinitäten Bonner Kunstverein, Kölnischer Kunstverein und Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf
1 September – 24 November 2019
Tanya Leighton is delighted to announce that the Museum of Modern Art, New York has acquired Marianne Wex's Let's Take Back Our Space: 'Female' and 'Male' Body Language as a Result of Patriarchal Structures, 1977
Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin, established in 2008, is dedicated to developing a cross-disciplinary, trans-generational gallery programme with off-site projects, in collaboration with artists, filmmakers, critics, art historians, and curators. Its international exhibition programme reflects a variety of opinions and practices as well as Leighton’s associations with American and British experimental cinema, artist’s film and video, performance, minimal and conceptual art.
Director: Simon Gowing
Director: Patrick Armstrong
Project Manager: Marie Egger
Gallery Manager: Melanie Isabel García
Registrar: Henry Babbage
Finance Manager: Stefan Schuster
Tanya Leighton GmbH
Kurfürstenstraße 156 & 24/25
Open Tuesday – Saturday
11am – 6pm and by appointment
Celebrity Interviews with Tom Kummer
26 July – 5 August 2014, Tanya Leighton, Berlin
To think alone is to think poorly. Philosophy begins with the dialogue: it was through conversations that Plato (and his millions of readers) came to understand the world. Before long, though, philosophy became a succession of monologues. Still, good philosophy has arisen mostly from conversations: Marx and Engels, Horkheimer and Adorno, Deleuze and Guattari. In Greek, dialogos means 'conversation' and refers to logos - reason, language - that doesn't make itself absolute and instead is the outcome of discussion. The result: thinking and speaking 'live'.
In the best cases, interviews are conversations. The old-fashioned understanding that an interviewer is ignorant and the interviewee full of knowledge has resulted in interviews that are stiff, boring documents of one-way communication. For Tom Kummer, that's never the case. Kummer doesn't do interviews with people - he speaks to them, which is both easier and more difficult. Easier because it breaks up the unnaturalness of the situation - a situation where one person is repeatedly challenged while having to smile back at another. A situation where the journalist can always retreat to the position of asker: elegant, sitting on an armchair, his microphone as weapon, the legitimating power of the media behind him. But harder, too, because when the questioner becomes an equal conversation partner, he also waives his right to those privileges. Such a journalist doesn't hide himself behind his questioning, but rather brings himself completely into the conversation. This is the genesis of dialogues and - more important still - good texts.
To speak with celebrities, for the most part, is to speak with people who have given thousands of interviews. People for whom the transfer of information has become routine and who, just like journalists, have resigned themselves to their roles. These people are surprised when met with a conversation partner and not an interlocutor. They are surprised and threatened at the same time.
A celebrity who speaks with Tom Kummer learns - and as you can see, it's also fun for many of them. From Pamela Anderson to Johnny Lydon, from Sharon Stone to Quentin Tarantino.
Anyone familiar with the meticulous nature of the preparation done by Kummer before each interview knows that these dialogues are hard work. They begin with a scrupulous accumulation of knowledge, rising to the highest concentration during the interview, ending with stylistic honing while transcribing the tapes. These texts are created by means of a double tongue: the converser's as well as Kummer's own. Only those who take seriously the language of the other and try as authentically as possible to capture it can understand what dialogues are: texts with two authors.
© Ulf Poschardt, 1997
Pablo Larios is a writer based in Berlin.