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
Hiroka Yamashita Kurfürstenstraße 156
Christine Roland & Ruby Barber
Gerasimos Floratos Kurfürstenstraße 24/25 Preview: Friday 25 October 2019, 7-9pm
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
12 March – 13 April 2019, Tanya Leighton, Berlin
‘These Days’ seems like a natural follow-up to ‘The Early Years’, Cesarco’s last solo exhibition at the gallery. This show centres around Cesarco’s two latest videos, Learning the Language (Present Continuous I & II).
As is indicated in the title, the two works document a way of learning, which is perhaps also a mode of appropriation. Learning, more often than not, occurs through mirroring and repetition. These works, not unlike an act of citation, show the artist reading and pillaging through other people’s words. In bringing them into the fold of his own artistic production, Cesarco ventriloquizes, asking his sources to speak back to him. Mirroring is also made explicit by referencing Dan Graham’s Present Continuous Past(s), 1974, a seminal work that correlates perception, time and subject formation. ‘These Days’ includes the following works:
Learning the Language (Present Continuous I), 2018
16mm film transferred to video, colour, sound, 18:25 min
Part of a series of video portraits in which Cesarco borrows the vocabulary of the person portrayed to address some of his own recurrent concerns
(memory, repetition, regrets, etc.). In this case, the film portrays Margarita Fernández, an Argentinean pianist, performer, and music scholar. The portrait is constructed through myriad voices: Cesarco’s, Fernández’s, and also Morton Feldman’s. In addition, it includes piano interpretations of a brief section of Franz Schubert’s Andantino from the Piano Sonata No. 20 in A Major, as well as a fragmented rendition of Manuel de Falla’s Pour le tombeau de Paul Dukas.
Learning the Language (Present Continuous II), 2018
16mm film transferred to video, colour, sound, continuous loop (15:25 min
Learning the Language (Present Continuous II) recreates a scene from Jean-Luc Godard’s film La Chinoise, 1967, in which a professor, traveling on a
train, engages in conversation with one of his students. The same scene was recreated by Claire Denis in her short film Vers Nancy, 2002. In Cesarco’s work the professor’s role is played by Brazilian psychoanalyst, critic and curator, Suely Rolnik and the conversation centres around the role and uses of repetition within psychoanalytical practice.
Untitled (Double), 2018
Archival inkjet print, 34 × 42 cm
A photograph depicting a corner of the artist’s desk. An insistence on locating the artist’s practice as a practice of reading. Another stab at the trope of the studio: as institution, as critique, as perhaps outdated site of production. On the one hand, the title refers to the stacking of books and clippings that are organised in pairs, and speak of the artist’s methodology of resignifying through rearranging, reframing and citation. On the other hand, Untitled (Double) is also the visual echo, the shadow or double, of an earlier work by Cesarco, Untitled (Remembered), 2014.
Margarita’s Music Book (Spes Vitae), 2018
Archival inkjet print, 95 × 119 cm
A photograph of Margarita Fernández’s sheet music for Manuel de Falla’s Pour le tombeau de Paul Dukas. Fernández chose to perform this work for Learning the Language (Present Continuous I). She had never performed the piece publicly, and due to her deteriorating eye-sight, had to exhume it from memory. She describes the work as if the chords are metal curtains that are falling or closing. The theme of finality and death are obviously central to the music; Fernández’s selection of it models the cross-generational acknowledging that occurs (between her and Cesarco) in the video.
Black matte vinyl wall text, 22 x 28 cm
A line from T.S. Eliot’s poem, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, acts as a stage or script direction for an unidentified actor. Written when Eliot was in his twenties but speaking from the place of a middle-aged man, the poem thematises an extreme hesitancy and indecision: a paralysis produced by overwhelming anxiety about the possibility of getting things wrong.