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
6 September – 9 November 2013, Tanya Leighton, Berlin
Sharon Hayes will install Public Appearances — her second solo exhibition at Tanya Leighton — featuring a selection of new and recent works. Among the existing works to be shown is the film installation Gay Power (1971/2007/2012) and the audio installation Sarah H. Gordon's Strike Journal, May 1970 (2012), both of which are being shown in Berlin for the first time. These two collaborative works expand on the methods in which Hayes engages the present moment, as one that reaches both backwards and forwards. Both works continue Hayes' earlier engagements with the period of political activity in the 1960s and 70s, but in these instances Hayes collaborates with individuals – feminist author, artist, and leading women’s rights activist Kate Millett and historian Sarah H. Gordon – who lived through that moment, asking them to revisit and reinterpret material they generated in the early 1970s.
Gay Power, at the core of the exhibition, is a collaboration between Hayes, Millett, and the Women's Liberation Cinema (WLC). The film installation utilizes footage that Millett and the WLC shot of New York’s Second Annual Christopher Street Day Parade in 1971, which celebrates the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community, and campaigns for liberation. Hayes and Millett have created a voiceover soundtrack to accompany — or speak with — the footage. As two voices from different generations, Hayes and Millett address the footage and the “movement” from two distinct historical positions. Neither voice commands authority over the moving image, demonstrating both the coherence and incoherence of historical documentation.
Throughout her work in performance, video, photography, sound, and installation, Hayes explores the connections between love, politics, and history, through various forms of address. The recent works in the exhibition include: I Saved Her a Bullet (2012) — an over-head projection of Anita Bryant, the notoriously homophobic singer and beauty pageant queen, being hit in the face with a pie while crusading against gay rights; and a sound installation comprised of two vinyl records titled Sarah H. Gordon's Strike Journal, May 1970, specially designed and pressed by Hayes, records Sarah Gordon reading from a journal she wrote as a student. The journal entries document the 1970 student strike at Smith College, Massachusetts, one of a series of student strikes protesting the Vietnam War, racism and the National Guard killings at Kent State on May 4, 1970. Gordon’s perspective articulates aspects of that significant student movement that are not often celebrated, such as the mundane details of the organizational apparatus of the strike and the confusion about committing oneself to a collective position. Gordon’s voice registering the decades of difference between her written self and the one reading, complicates the transmission of this “authentic” witness to history. Hayes’ interest in Gordon’s re-speaking of her own text, elaborates the artist’s investment in voice as an embodied medium of speech. Sarah H. Gordon’s Strike Journal, May 1970 is situated within a larger collaborative work, Space-Set/Set-Space (2012), a variable collection of bare plywood platforms, walls and seating units, produced by Andrea Geyer and Hayes as stagings for their individual and collective work.
In the video loop Her Voice (2012), Hayes cycles through descriptions of female voices taken from newspapers dating from the 19th century to the present. Ranging from ostensibly objective accounts to critical judgments, these citations reveal ways in which voices are evaluated and, as a result, what borders are imposed around an individual. Implicit in these citations are assumptions of gender, an important factor in the complex relationship between speech and its reception and interpretation. By substituting first-hand reports for actual speech, Her Voice explores the tension among the written, verbal, and embodied voices.
For a large window installation titled Join Us (2012/2013), reconfigured specifically for this exhibition, Hayes organizes approximately 200 flyers inviting participation in various political actions from the 1960s to the present. Collaborating with individuals and organizations across the United States, Join Us, is a collection positing the flyer as a speech act, one that proposes itself to a receiver. May 1st (2012) continues Hayes’ interest in the intersections between private and public, personal and political, life. The five letterpress prints compose an address to an unnamed lover — about and around the potent pleasure and despair of political desire.