Tou Scene Beer Halls, Stavanger
Installations, paintings, videos, performance - group exhibiton by artists that graduated the same year from Goldsmiths College
An exhibition in the beer halls at Tou Scene is always worth visiting. The large brewing halls are impressive, and it is always interesting to see how artists approach the space. Small paintings in frames would just not get attention here. They need to work with the space. Earlier exhibitions have shown how well videos fit in, but sound on the video is a challenge, the reflection and other noise disturbs it. This exhibition has it all, paintings in frames, large installations, small installations, videos and performance.
Dial Zero is a network of artists who graduated from Goldsmiths College in London some years ago. They present fresh work, each artist has one hall each.
Charlie Coffey: Leaning dopily (in a cartoon violence)
Photos and an extract from a conversation. We get no clues to what the photos show or what the conversation is about, or if they are at all connected. This is like looking into strangers' photoalbum or eavesdropping on others conversations. You understand that it is about something interesting, but you will never get to know what it was about. Your curiosity is triggered, but will not be satisfied. What do you do then? Forget it or create your own story?
Anne Haaland Bland: Finding the way - How can these little manikins find their way in this huge hall?
The artist is doing the exact opposite of what would be sensible to do in such a hall. In stead of filling it with a large installation, she use miniatures so small the visitors risk stepping on them without noticing it. A chess board with mirror/black spaces is the backdrop of a crowd of model puppets. Some keep to their spot while others have begun to explore the area around. Some brave enough to go alone, some in pairs. Some are satisfied knowing their place where they can see their own reflection, others always need to explore.
Merve Kaptan: Untitled
In the end of the hall there is just a small bunch of square papers. On each paper a text is written, the same on every paper. This is not the artwork. Neither is the tag showing the artist name, title and material, saying "please take one". The real artwork is the movement of each visitor from the tag to the bunch, the curiosity and anticipation that builds up in every person, and the reaction when the text is read and paper is taken, discovering that the next paper says the same. What the text says? You must walk in there and take a paper yourself.
Opening performance with music and poems by Chenjerai Hove in front of Liz Gaunt: Interior Still 1
A great way of using the hallway between the halls, with a musical/poetic performance. Beatiful music from this exotic instrument originally strictly for the use of men, not women. Unfortunately the acoustics are rather challenging for speech or poetry reading.
Molly Palmer: Prime Number
The beer halls are well fit for videos, and to overcome the reflections headphones are provided for the sound track on this video. This requires that you have the patience to sit down and look at the video and wait for the headphones to be vacant. This time I did not have that patience.
Kristyan Robinson: The Mechanics of Oppression
A large photo is covering the end wall of the hall. Or rather there is a landscape beyond this hall, but a sign prevents you from going there. As signs usually provide easily readable information, this sign gives you no clue about what it is about. Is it an information sign, a prohibition sign or a warning sign? Yellow usually shows a danger, but what danger? A dangerous chess board? Is there a connection to the installation to Anne Haaland Bland? There the chess board was the home or starting point of an adventure, here it is an obstruction.
Emmanuelle de la Lubie: Loop Hole
Two animations fill this hall. One is of a coin-shaped feature rolling down a hill over and over again. Sisyphos used to roll the stone uphill just to let it roll down again, but here Sisyphos is missing, only the downhill part is left.
In the other animation a shape is gradually drawn, piece by piece. It soon becomes obvious that this will turn out to be a quite symmetrical shape, so instead of noticing each piece that is drawn, I get curious on what the final shape will be like. This is like watching someone drawing, just without the hand. Is the process interesting, or is it the final result that is the target? If the latter, then this animation would be pointless, it could just as well have been a drawing on a paper hanging on the wall. But then it would not grab my attention.
Sally Kindberg: On the Right / On the Left
Large installation fill the last hall. Photos of an interiour is printed on A3 sheets and combined to large canvases. Instead of trying to conceal each unit, they are enchanced by showing the grid of white edges. The wholeness shows two images of a setting with furniture and a painting in a red room. The same painting seems to be present at both settings, we are not told if this is the same painting or two different ones. One is called "On the Right" and the other "On the Left", but we are not told which is which. So these installations are combinations of prints of photos of paintings. Is the artist also the artist of the painting, or maybe this is a painting of her?
Sally Kindberg: On the Right / On the Left
As I said before, this is not a venue fit for hanging framed paintings on the wall. Sally Kindberg does exactly that. And she succeeds in that way that they come as surprises. Had it not been written on the tag that the room contains both A3 prints and oil on canvas I would not have discovered the paintings. One is a painting where the canvas has been painted purple, the other is painted in different colours, but a large piece is missing. A painting is a painting as long as the canvas is covered with paint, even if it is even all over the canvas. And a painting is a painting even if most of the canvas is missing. We will never know what was on the missing part.
All in all this is a group exhibition of quite different artist. I have not discovered the connection between the works other than that the artists know each other. I also do not understand the title "Concertina" with "/" between each letter. Just like each letter in the title is separate, each hall and each artist is separate from the other. Each time you enter another hall, you enter the world of another artist. I enjoy most the works that interacts with the room and the visitor, like the puppets of Anne Haaland Bland, the papers by Merve Kaptan, and the installations and paintings by Sally Kindberg.