Marcel Duchamp and the contemporary readymade

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Visual Arts

Marcel Duchamp and the contemporary readymade

  • 11 Apr 2013 — 18 May 2013
Sislej Xhafa, Rocket Ship, 2011, wheelbarrow, blue light strings 60 x 150 x 65 cm
Sislej Xhafa, Rocket Ship, 2011, wheelbarrow, blue light strings 60 x 150 x 65 cm

Blain/Southern

4 Hanover SquareLondon W1S 1BP

UK

http://www.blainsouthern.com

Participating artists include Austrian Valentin Ruhry as well as David Batchelor, Jota Castro, Marcel Duchamp, Jimmie Durham, Piero Golia, Martin Kersels, Robert Kusmirowski, Olaf Nicolai, Nasan Tur and Sislej Xhafa

Curated by Mario Codognato

The exhibition examines the ways in which artists today continue to respond to the activation of memory and the phenomenon of ‘haunting’ so present in the unique and progressive art of Duchamp during the early twentieth century.

Taken from an age-old French proverb, ‘Tell me whom you haunt and I will tell you who you are’, the show’s title refers to the idea that found or ‘readymade’ objects relinquish their previous signification and assume a shifting identity whenever recontextualised; they cease to be one thing in order to become another. In this sense, David Batchelor, Jota Castro, Jimmie Durham, Piero Golia, Martin Kersels, Robert Kusmirowski, Olaf Nicolai, Valentin Ruhry, Nasan Tur and Sislej Xhafa could all be seen, much like Duchamp, to be creating contexts for the ‘haunting’ of objects through their practice. Furthermore, their artworks take on the role of post-structuralist memory-objects, where meaning can extend beyond the personal significance of these objects for the artists, into a realm where the viewer’s own recollections or associations are triggered, positing the potential for a rich web of personal readings.

Mario Codognato, Head Curator and Director of Exhibitions at Blain|Southern states:“Objects often have a multiplicity of meanings, dependent upon each individual’s experience of them. This exhibition seeks to explore the alternative meaning(s) bestowed upon objects through their placement in the gallery space, within which seemingly ordinary objects can be redefined as art.”

Valentin Ruhry will be presenting a site-specific installation that responds to this concept of the readymade and memory, as an old stepladder is wall-mounted and united with a single light bulb to continue the artist’s ongoing interest in the chandelier form. Piero Golia will also reference past works, in particular his sculpture Bus (untitled) (2008),where he crushed an entire bus and presented the mangled form at ART LA. Here, the artist will present the axle from this bus, which is in fact not crushable, cutting it into four pieces of varying length and signing these, thus reappropriating this piece of functional machinery and referencing the memory of a performative act.

Ultimately, every artist in the exhibition engages with the phenomena of ‘haunting’ and the manifestation of memory, or the renewed construction of narratives and their shifting significations. Each object is permeated with a personal and historical significance for each artist, and also, perhaps, for the viewer, demonstrating the interconnectedness of identity and remembrance, and the fluid or malleable nature of meaning.