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.

I Wanted to See All the News From Today in NETescopio #4

NETescopio

This exhibition opens the second phase NETescopio. It is centered on a recurring practice in artistic productions in the network such as the appropriation and reuse of symbolic materials. Unlike other technological means, the possible digital rather than reproduction, manipulation. More invariance, the perpetual mutation. Rather than copying the remix . This has introduced a series of questions, not only about the notion of original or copy-meaningless notion in the digital-but also about the author, that of owner or collector.

The works in this selection agree this practice of appropriation and reuse, but the deal with different strategies. Find jobs that remix and recombine materials to achieve new compositions, and other respects in which the original composition to recreate a free version. There will be others, however, that address network material or websites and parody, sabotage or manipulate with the intention of distorting his message. Also find artists who operate as collectors, making the cache of your computer in an involuntary wunderkammer , and other proposals that raises the recirculation of information and interaction as a necessary mechanism for the production of meaning. The artist’s role in the network and not the creator but to redirect the information.

Gustavo Romano

NETescopio

Martin John Callanan
I Wanted to See All of the News From Today
http://allnews.greyisgood.eu
Proyecto on-line. 2007

En este proyecto, Callanan nos presenta la miniatura de la tapa de más de 600 diarios de todo el mundo en una sola página web. Induce al navegante a sumergirse en esta colección imposible, en esta masa visual que nos dice mucho acerca de la superficie de las noticias y muy poco o nada de algo más allá.
De alguna forma nos sugiere que es quizás el mismo esfuerzo inútil el que realiza a diario, cada uno de los periódicos y cada uno de los lectores. El de atrapar, el de dar cuenta hoy, de lo que ha ocurrido el día de ayer.

Top