Charlie Levine goes inside the White Cube for a review of the current exhibition at Mason’s Yard

Art Fetch

For Art Fetch, Charlie Levine goes inside the White Cube for a review of the current exhibition at Mason’s Yard.

Like many curators, I have been hugely influenced by Brian O’Doherty’s wonderful and seminal book, Inside the White Cube, the Ideology of the gallery Space (1976).  The book, which began life as a series of Artforum essays, defined new ways of thinking about exhibitions and the contemporary white walled art gallery. So, when I heard that the latest Mason’s Yard White Cube gallery exhibition, Open Cube, guest curated by Adriano Pedrosa, was inspired directly by O’Doherty’s book, I had to go and see it.

I wasn’t disappointed. Not only is it a fascinating exhibition, but also reflects a great deal of what Artfetch believes in, and is working to achieve. The 17 artists in the exhibition were selected from an open call out for proposals – a brave thing for a gallery with the branded reputation of White Cube – as an open call invites a deluge. The gallery received over 2,900 applications, from which the curator interviewed 38 to select the final group.

This process of deliberately working with artists new to the curator breaks down the idea of curator/artists networks, drawing its concepts from O’Doherty’s ideas about the ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ relationships of a gallery. The idea of opening up the application process and allowing audiences, the gallery and the curator to push themselves in terms of looking for, working with and presenting a new stock of artists is incredible, though only in terms of how top level galleries usually work. By this I mean, it shouldn’t be so unusual, and as I considered this, I began to wonder at how difficult it is for new artists to break into these ‘inside’ relationships.

This relates directly to what we are doing at Artfetch, as we believe it is vital to open the processes of becoming an art world insider, so that talented artists can come to the publics who would otherwise not have a chance to see their work. And although internet–based, face to face meetings are a vital part of our commissioning process. If the relationship and quality of work is there, we invite the artist to work with us.

Open Cube itself is broken down into two parts: on the ground floor the exhibition concerns itself with commerce, value and currency; meanwhile, the lower floor of the Mason’s Yard building looks at different forms of abstraction: including constructivist and geometric, as well as organic, amorphous, and fluid types.

Particular stand out works were by Fay Nicholson’s A is for Albers, a small stack of photocopied postcards, sliced in two by a sheet of Perspex; a series of large photographs of foreign coins by Martin John Callanan; and Jacopo Trabona’s Untitled, which was a simple few cuts on a sheet of paper made by slicing a diamond across it. But my particular favourite was Nicky Teegan’s Void a flat circle of woven VHS tape over a bent steel ring.  It summed up the show for me: defunct material (the VHS tape) re–used to create a typical fine art image – the circle.  It was creating something new and conceptual from the old and familiar.

This exhibition is excellent, from its concept to realisation.  It is a must see show that I hope is the start of a new way of thinking about artist/gallery networks, and about how we produce exhibitions and create new associations. The process itself also questions the role of the physical gallery space, as the open method of calling for, and selecting works, echoes the opportunities offered by the internet – something Pedrosa realises, as he notes his ambition for the show: to break down the “seemingly closed systems that exist in the criteria for staging exhibitions”. About time too.

Open Cube, is at White Cube Mason’s Yard, London, until 21 September 2013

Artists: Matt Ager, Frank Ammerlaan, Adriano Amaral, Helen Barff, Sarah Bernhardt, Martin John Callanan, Nuno Direitinho, Venisha Francis–Hinkson, Rodrigo Garcia Dutra, Rowena Harris, Alan Magee, Fay Nicolson, Daniel de Paula, Nada Prlja, Nicky Teegan, Jacopo Trabona and Caitlin Yardley.

Charlie Levine is Chief UK Artfetcher and Curator.

(Im)material Labour, Art Exchange, Colchester

art exchange colchester

(IM)MATERIAL LABOUR
MONDAY 24 JUNE 2013 – SATURDAY 20 JULY 2013

(Im)material Labour explores our shifting position in an economically functioning society. From the systemisation of post-fordist labour through to the de-materialisation of the service sector, our patterns of working behaviour are constantly being reconfigured.

(Im)material Labour draws together the work of a number of artists who interrogate this phenomenon in light of the current economic climate. Seeking to decode and humanise the financial crisis through analytical ideas and research, the works on display often result in therapeutic and humorous outcomes.

The exhibition includes works by SUPERFLEX, Zachary Formwalt, Ignacio Uriarte, Martin John Callanan, Paul Westcombe and Arnaud Desjardin.

The exhibition will take place both onsite and offsite in a disused office block situated in Colchester Town. Curated by MA Critical Curating students Warren Harper, Matylda Taszycka and alumnus Jonathan Weston.

Curators Tour
Saturday 1 June, 1-2pm
Join the exhibition’s curators for a tour of (Im)material Labour at Art Exchange. To reserve your place, please email immaterial.labour@live.co.uk

Download press release (PDF)

Data as Culture: Open Day 16 March

Data as Culture: Open Day

 

Your chance to get hold of issue #3 of Text Trends newspaper.

The Open Data Institute (ODI) and MzTEK invite you to the Data as Culture Open Day.

The Data as Culture collection is set in the offices of the ODI, and aims to bring tangible interventions into the
mass accretion of data around us. This is an opportunity to see the artworks in the collection and speak to the curators and some of the artists.

Informal presentations from 2.30pm – 4pm, refreshments provided.

Find out more about the artists and the collection visit: theodi.org/culture/collection

Data as Culture: Open Day
16 March 2013, 12pm – 6pm.
Open Data Institute, 3rd Floor, 65 Clifton Street, London, EC2A 4JE

BYO Lunchtime Lectures at ODI: Data as Culture

11 January 2013, 1:00 pm – 1:45 pm
The Open Data Institute, 65 Clifton St, Shoreditch, London Borough of Hackney, EC2A, UK

Introducing Friday Lunchtime Lectures at the Open Data Institute.
You bring your lunch, we provide tea & coffee, an interesting talk,
and enough time to get back to your desk.

For our first lecture…

Curators of the ODI Data as Culture art commission, TED Senior Fellow,
Julie Freeman, and MzTEK co-founder, Sophie McDonald, will provide a
background of the data-driven art movement, why this commission is so
timely, and take you on a tour of the art works installed at the ODI
offices.

20Hz (2011)
Semiconductor

Body 01000010011011110110010001111001 (2012)
Stanza

Metrography (2012)
Benedikt Groß & Bertrand Clerc

Still Lifes and Oscillators 1 (2012)
Ben Garrod

Text Trends (2012)
Martin John Callanan

The Obelisk (2012)
Fabio Lattanzi Antinori

The SKOR Codex (2012)
La Société Anonyme

Three flames ate the sun, and big stars were seen (2012)
Phil Archer

Vending Machine (2009)
Ellie Harrison

To book your place sign up here

Urban Screens Melbourne 08 – Eleven

urban screens 2008

Eleven will be screened at Urban Screens Melbourne, 6-8 October 2008

The event will promote a lateral trans-disciplinary approach to exploring the growing appearance of moving images in urban space and the global transformation of public culture in the context of large new multi media precincts such as Federation Square and various networked forms of urban screens. It will build on the successful events held in Amsterdam in 2005 and Manchester in 2007 and will be the first Urban Screens held in the Asia-Pacific region.

Through an integrated program of keynote lectures, panel sessions, workshops, curated screenings and multimedia projects, it will bring together leading Australian and international artists and curators, architects and urban planners, screen operators and content providers, technology manufacturers, software designers and public intellectuals.

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