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
On Swabian Hedonism
28 October – 9 December 2017, Tanya Leighton, Berlin
The people of Europe, already the oldest in the world, are getting older. The median age of the EU-28’s population was 42.6 years in 2016. By comparison, in the United States it is 37.9 and in Niger only 15.3.
Between 2001 and 2016, the median age in the EU increased by 4.3 years. Put another way, Europe’s median age increased by more than three and a half months per year of that period. But this disguises significant variation. Germany’s median age, at 45.8 years, is almost ten years more than Ireland’s, which currently stands at 36.4. At 37, an Irishman will have more compatriots younger than him than he does older, while his German cousin will need to wait until he’s 46 for the same sensation.
Europe is ageing in part because people are living longer. A German born in 1980 could expect to live until 73, but one born in 2015 should pass 80. Life expectancy for all Europeans increased by 2.9 years between 2001 and 2016, though there is wide variation in life expectancy between countries. A man born in Sweden can expect to live 11 years longer than one born in Lithuania (80.4 and 69.2 years respectively).
Women live longer than men. The UK has one of the lowest gender gaps in life expectancy at birth in the EU, with females only expected to live for 3.6 years longer than males. In Lithuania females are expected to outlast males by ten and a half years.
Childhood mortality has declined because of the development of vaccines and other medical technologies, improved public health systems, and better nutrition. For example, measles, which in 1915 was the leading cause of death in children, killed only three people in the UK between 2001 and 2013. Life has also become safer in other ways. In rich countries, interstate war has become negligible as a contributor to mortality. Cars have also become less deadly: Between 1955 and 1995, traffic accidents were the leading killer of children in Britain. By 2015 they weren’t in the top ten (replaced by cancer as the most frequent cause of death).
As people are dying less from accidents, violence and epidemics, ‘old age’ diseases are becoming the leading causes of mortality. Alzheimer’s disease and dementia first made it into the top 10 causes of death in the UK in 2015. However, the biggest factor in demographic change has been a decline in birth rates. This has resulted in a ‘demographic bulge’, the clearest example of which is the ‘baby boomer’ generation. There may be many reasons for this, including shifting cultural norms, an increase in living standards, rising education costs, or even a decrease in sperm counts (which have halved in the past forty years in Western countries, though the link between this and lower fertility is not yet clear).
The proportion of the population over 65 is increasing in every EU state, EFTA member and candidate country. By 2080, the share of those over eighty years old is expected to more than double, from 5.4% to 12.7% of the population. At this point over-65s will account for almost a third of the total population (29.1% compared with 19.2% in 2016). In Germany’s 2017 Bundestag elections, 22 million voters were older than 60, which represented more than a third of the electorate. In 2040 this could exceed 40% according to these same forecasts.
Increased longevity has meant a major shift in the proportion of working age people (15 to 64 years old) to dependents, particularly retirees, with significant implications for the provision of public services. At 13.2%, Germany has the lowest number of young people as a proportion of population in the EU (by comparison Ireland, the highest, has 21.9%). Concurrently, it has the third highest proportion of old people (21.1%), behind Italy and Greece. This confluence is a headache for Germany’s policy makers, only improved marginally by a recent uptick in births or the resettlement of refugees from Syria.
The age dependency ratio is a measure of the ratio of the working age population to dependents (younger and older people). While in the EU as a whole there are approximately 4 working age people to every adult over 65, in Germany it is closer to 3. Across Europe this is expected to drop to less than 2 by 2080. At that point, combining the young and old age ratios into a total dependency ratio, Europe is projected to have less than 1.3 working age adults for every dependent person, a decrease from 2 now.
Since 2015, more people have been dying each year in Europe than are being born, in fact last year more children were born in Nigeria than in the EU-28 combined. Overall population growth, therefore, is caused in some part by immigration. While more people are entering the EU-28 than leaving, free movement has meant that some countries are experiencing population decline as people move within the union. For example, Poland is projected to lose 40% of its working age population by 2060. However, across the continent, migration acts as a countervailing trend in the statistics, because migrants tend to be younger than the population as a whole. Indeed, in 2015 approximately 6.8% of the population had been born outside of the European Union, though this is smaller than in the United States (14.5%), Canada (21.8%) and Australia (28.2%).
Growing older will change Europe’s place in the world. In 1960, 13.5% of the world’s population lived in what are now the twenty eight countries of the European Union. By 2015 this had shrunk to 6.9% and will decline further to 5.1% by 2060. By comparison, with a median age of 19.7, Africa’s share of world population will increase from 13% in 2012 to 24% by 2050. Then the median age of the continent will still be around 25 years old (in Germany it is expected to be nearly double that figure).
Some of the effects of an ageing population can be seen in Japan, which is the oldest of any large country. In 2015, more than ten thousand dementia sufferers went missing. Adult diapers now outsell those of infants. There are proposals to raise the retirement age to 75, and under new proposals advanced by a joint committee of the Japan Gerontological Society and the Japan Geriatrics Society, people aged 65-74 would be classified as pre-old age and those over 75 would be in the old age category. People who have passed their 90th birthday would be described as “super-old”.
The sum of human experience is growing as the world gets older and lives longer. By the end of this century the average person will be a little over 42 years old, compared with around 30 now. The world's population will have stabilised at just over 10 billion and those people will have accumulated 430 billion years of human experience between them. Given the challenges the planet may be facing by then, it might be hoped such experience brings them wisdom as well.
Tanya Leighton is very pleased to announce 'On Swabian Hedonism', Oliver Osborne's first solo exhibition at the gallery. He will present a group of new paintings that include elements of figuration, appropriation and abstraction. These new paintings have been made using oil, silkscreen, and embroidery. The imagery in the show has been drawn from a variety of sources, including a history of a 19th century mineral bath in Stuttgart, a comic co-created by the American cartoonists Brant Parker and Johnny Hart, and a selection of motifs that recur in Osborne's work such as bread, pregnancy, apples and a young Angela Merkel.