The organization of global distribution boils down to the never-ending effort of moving things from one place to the next. It is exceedingly important to pay attention to all forms of circulation, and remember that even seemingly frictionless systems of distribution still have high costs of attrition.
Lisa Trogen Devgun has undertaken a deep investigation into the utilitarian beauty of form materialized in modern packaging and shipping crates. Put into contrast with what idealists describe as the immateriality of digital distribution, her engagement with the proverbial materiality of shipping crates puts the toxic beauty of globalization into the limelight of the white cube.
Until we ship crates for their own sake, as objects of beauty, what Devgun does is the closest we will get to experience the overlooked aesthetics of those things that carries all other things.
The elaborate, almost architectural pieces of Devgun examines the properties of packaging on different scales. The delimited space created by any room is alluded to by unfolded crates and sheer utilitarian insulation boards. Empty boxes come to stand in for us, take us in as equals, and smooth over the failures of socialized perception.
In the exhibition at Belenius/Nordenhake we are met by lightweight transformer-like shipping crates interlocked in barriers; deconstructed boxes signaling an uncanny unraveling of space. What’s more, we are also invited and swallowed whole in slick metallic space.
When enveloped in low thermal conductivity—where circulation comes to a stop—one starts thinking soothing things. The inside of an aluminum-coated room clears a racing mind.
This, however, is no exercise in relationality, there are no tensions between spectator and Devgun’s objects of art—In a world of objects, packaging is all.
Also featuring works by:
Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd belonged to a circle in Stockholm, who was early to come in contact with the work of Marcel Duchamp. Already by his late teens, Reuterwärd was critical of the traditional role of the artist, and as a seventeen-year-old, he came to the conclusion that “Style is fraud.” He starts investigating the work of Duchamp, reading Wittgenstein and Kafka, and begins working with language. Various aliases gives him the opportunity to explore different medium.
Charlie Lavendel, Kilroy, Pratt-Müller, Fridolin Vogelsang, Hannelore Schlunke. The work of Reuterswärd is filled with humour and a witty awareness of the shortcomings and possibilities of language. It is conceptual and hits directly at commonly accepted conceptions.
Reuterswärd was a pioneer in the beginning of his career. Presented here with some of his friends and contemporaries: Duchamp, Fahlström, Emmett Williams, Meret Oppenheim.
History is always open to re-interpretation. This exhibition not only brings to light an important side of the art of Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd; it also presents an era of art in Sweden that is not widely known. History is re-written. Or as Reuterswärd himself put it: “Your behavior must either surprise you; or it has to be surprised by yourself.”
The exhibition was made possible through countless interviews by curator Thomas Millroth with the artist, along with help from the Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd Art Foundation and Galerie Bel’ Art. A catalogue designed by Henrik Nygren Design was produced for the show, including a numbered limited edition of 25 containing prints approved by the artist, titled “Signatures CFR.”
With their first website registered in 1995, JODI.org were amongst the first artists with a presence on the internet. Fittingly then that their artistic practice were to be synonymous with investigations into the world wide web, programming and computers. Their websites-as-artworks, modified computer games and apparent coding errors have inspired generations of artists, both conceptually and aesthetically, since their original mistake of omitting a bracket while writing code as artists in residence at the San Jose State University in 1994. The result was an indecipherable mess of letters, symbols and numbers and led to the now instantly recognizable seemingly random visuals with a syntax-error feeling that has marked much of their work.
Belenius/Nordenhake will present some of the original modified software as well as projections of websites, along with a series of new work, where the artists have registered a series of websites with domain names consisting of only one-letter, chosen out of different world alphabets. The websites reflect the working of network protocols and the dynamic syntax of the World Wide Web.
JODI has exhibited around the world, with notable exhibitions and performances including the Centre Pompidou, Paris (2015), the Whitney Museum, NY (2013), the New Museum, NY (2012), Eyebeam NY (2009), Documenta X Kassel (1997).
17.04.2015 – 30.05.2015
An Exhibition by Ilja Karilampi
Curated by Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung und Solvej Helweg Ovesen
Karilampi looks at these city visuals as if they were »crime scenes«, graphic codes to break or cases to solve in the city, styles to be observed, tags that literally tag in your memory, graffiti statements to be translated, institutional signage to be remembered, street signage as well as the myriads of brands everywhere to be carefully studied. Looking for patterns and unusual constellations, Karilampi injects these signifiers implementing a pop-aesthetic in his visual artworks. Socialised with pop-music and crimes series, and drawn just as much to the outskirts and ‘heinseit’ of Berlin as to the centre and its upfront facades, the artist titled the exhibition after the popular Berlin shot crime TV series »Heiter bis Tödlich – Hauptstadtrevier«.
»The detective thing is maybe a romantic lifestyle, but also a break with the expected – I like my friends who push and reject the cliché roles. I’m just obsessed with NYC undercover cop movies and also what roles the detectives have in society – heard about this retired police officer in Sweden who collects art – but he also has a glass window from a bank which some robbers sprayed a machine gun smiley sign into, in his collection.« (Ilja Karilampi, 2014)