An exhibition curated by Thom O’ Nions, Luiza Teixeira de Freitas and Oliver Martinez-Kandt with works by Sadane Afif, William Anastasi, Robert Barry, Rosa Barba, Ricardo Cuevas, Edith Dekyndt, Tim Etchells, Matias Faldbakken, Robert Kinmont, Kitty Kraus, Germaine Kruip, Roman Ondak, Fernando Ortega, Bradley Pitts, Joélle Tuerlinckx.
The David Roberts Art Foundation is delighted to announce The Moon is an Arrant Thief, the first exhibition of The Goldsmiths’ Project. Through a process of open call, the Foundation offers to one curator (or curatorial group) from the MFA Curating every year the opportunity to develop and present a project for and with the Foundation. This year winning exhibition is The Moon is an Arrant Thief, by Thom O’Nions, Luiza Teixeira de Freitas and Oliver Martínez-Kandt. The show brings together a selection of contemporary and more historical artists whose works exist on the cusp of visibility, in the space between object and idea. It is an exhibition that elaborates a story; that looks at the relationship between contemporary artistic practice and the legacy of dematerialised art. Rather than engaging directly with the dominant historical practices of conceptualism, the exhibition seeks to find a space of reflection on the peripheries of the debate, to engage with practices that remain provocative in their engagements with ideas of immateriality, space and formal resonance.
The Moon is an Arrant Thief looks at the durability of sets of ideas that reticulate history in a way that opens up the potentials of these relationships rather than closing them down, as would a more traditional process of historicization. The selection of works posits a provocation to understand history as a set of concerns, as a complex web that can be used to generate new meanings and configurations. In this sense the legacy of ideas can be read more productively as a series of orientations and re-interpretations rather than as a linear progression.
Artworks in the show sit in a relationship of discursive fluidity; the exhibition space becomes an invisible network of connections and meanings within which viewers position themselves. The exhibition proposes a plurality of interpretations that weave through, confirm and confound each other. What is provoked is an awareness of the spaces and gaps of intentions between works, the liminal areas in which connections are made and meaning is generated. There are many layers of time, both historically and within the gallery space. Temporality and duration are key concepts in many of the artworks, which produce a sense of motion, a situation in flux that is never experienced conclusively.
Saâdane AFIF (Born 1970, Vendôme, France). Saâdane Afif adopts strategies from the field of music in order to critically explore the concepts of interpretation and repetition in his work. He often commissions artists, writers, designers and musicians to be actively involved in his productions, questioning the notion of artistic authorship in relation to the artwork and its system.
William ANASTASI (Born 1933, Philadelphia, USA). One of pioneers of Conceptual Art, William Anastasi has explored since the 1960s ideas of chance and indeterminacy, site-specificity, self-representation and self-reference, seriality and repetition. Through his installations, sculptures, and images he has challenged the use of ready-made and industrial materials, and of text as visual material.
Rosa BARBA (Born 1972, Agrigento, Italy). In her filmic installations Rosa Barba breaks up and recombines the narrative unity of space and time, text and image, perspective of author and of viewer introducing shifts and empty spaces. History unveils as an incomplete project, full of possibilities and absences.
Robert BARRY (Born 1936, New York, USA). Exploring a number of different avenues towards defining the usually unseen space around objects, Robert Barry’s work has been focusing on escaping the physical limits of the art object in order to express the unknown or unperceived. By putting into focus the relationship between positive and negative, absence and presence of form, the artist questions the way the spectator engages with the artwork.
Ricardo CUEVAS (Born 1978, Mexico City, Mexico). Ricardo Cuevas explores the relationships and failures that co-exist while trying to translate from language to a visual medium and vice versa. He uses text as a conceptual paradox to explore the duality between the visible and invisible, which acts as a stepping-stone in his creative process. Misunderstandings, loses in translation and fragmentized messages posit the possibilities of different approaches to experience and knowledge.
Edith DEKYNDT (Born in 1960, Ieper, Belgium). Edith Dekyndt’s work counterpoises methodical explorations of conceptual and video art traditions with the individual and global roles of people in society. Whatever the form in which her works exist they become observations about existing protocols, as well as subjective elements looking for a fundamental transformation. With simple material tools drawn from everyday life such as paper, neon, texts, flags and music Dekyndt immerses the viewers in atmospheric relationships between art, science and reality.
Tim ETCHELLS (Born 1962, Derby, UK). Tim Etchells’ work navigates in the territory between performance, visual art and fiction. Working across different media and contexts, the artist is fascinated with the rules and systems that inhabit language and culture and the way these systems are both productive and constraining.
Matias FALDBAKKEN (Born 1973, Hobro, Denmark). Matias Faldbakken is an artist and writer whose work covers a wide range of media and languages. Faldbakken’s practice questions the potential of artistic intervention to disrupt and negate the existing system of behaviors and beliefs in order to generate new content and release creative freedom.
Robert KINMONT (Born 1937, Los Angeles, USA). The work of Robert Kinmont has been inspired by the surrounding landscapes and ecosystems. With an amateur and handmade approach to both photography and sculpture, Kinmont investigates with irony and humor human scale and its relationship to the surrounding.
Kitty KRAUS (Born 1976, Heidelberg, Germany). In Kitty Kraus’ work the viewer is confronted with the physical presence of objects that create unusual tensions between visibility and invisibility. In her sculptures and installations, the artist uses materials and physical processes in unexpected ways placing abstract symbols in space, encrypted messages made of glass, metal, cloth or found objects, which cross and circumscribe the field of the human condition.
Germaine KRUIP (Born 1970, Castricum, The Netherlands). Working in a variety of different media including photographs, films, performances, book projects and installations Germaine Kruip elevates everyday gestures and common actions or appearances. By directing, enlarging or altering reality, she produces contextual shifts and proposes a new layer of meaning.
Roman ONDAK (Born 1966, Zilina, Slovakia). Roman Ondák explores in his installations, photographs, drawings, and performances a specific situation, which very often provokes a double-take in the viewers, making them question their perception or awareness of social codes. Fernando ORTEGA (Born 1971, Mexico City, Mexico)
Fernando Ortega uses the processes and histories of conceptual art to examine modes of everyday perception. Ortega often uses music or the idea of notation as a way of looking at memory and the process of translation that it provokes. There is a delicacy of humour and a poetry that pervades the work.
Bradley PITTS (Born 1978, New York, USA). Bradley Pitts employs the infrastructure of technological rationalism (concepts, tools, methods, and apparatus) in order to explore personal, intuitive realities. He explores the intersection between the material with the human, the universal with the personal or the inside and the outside, not leaving behind the moments that they are revolving in the void of space.
Joële TUERLINCKX (Born 1958, Brussels, Belgium). With a distinct interest in conceptual art’s formal structures Tuerlinckx works are occasions to point, to count and to measure the relationships between forms and signification. In her work found objects, books, vitrines, video monitors, and the gallery space itself establish and connect ideas about objects co-existing in the same space.
Download press release here.