November 7, 2017 - LUMA Foundation - Theft is Vision / Cooper Jacoby: Disgorgers
November 7, 2017

LUMA Foundation

(1) Gargoyle model. Courtesy of the artist. (2) Theft is Vision.

Theft is Vision
Cooper Jacoby: Disgorgers
November 18, 2017–February 4, 2018

Opening: November 17, 6–9pm

LUMA Westbau
Limmatstrasse 270
8005 Zürich
Switzerland

westbau.com
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Theft is Vision
Cooper Jacoby: Disgorgers
November 18, 2017–February 4, 2018

Opening: November 17, 6–9pm

LUMA Westbau
Limmatstrasse 270
8005 Zürich
Switzerland

westbau.com
Facebook

Upcoming exhibitions at LUMA Westbau, Zurich:

Theft is Vision

With Cosima von Bonin, Maurizio Cattelan, Maria Eichhorn, Marie-Louise Ekman, Sylvie Fleury, Isa Genzken, Richard Hamilton, Charline von Heyl, Pierre Joseph, Valentina Liernur, Dan Mitchell, Mathieu Malouf, Malcolm Morley, Albert Oehlen, Betty Tompkins and Gili Tal; Exhibition architecture by Petra Blaisse / Inside Outside

Curated by Fredi Fischli and Niels Olsen.

The notion of theft establishes a site of investigation. This exhibition examines the desire to appropriate—a fundamental theme in the production of art. Throughout art there are typologies that ensue from the appropriation of motifs or of other works of art. As just one form of aggressive theft, the act of citation was already a cultural strategy long before Appropriation Art manifested itself.

At LUMA Westbau the following questions are posed from a contemporary perspective: what are the genres established through appropriation today? What does stealing mean for artistic production? Is it an act of removal and subtraction? Or can it be a productive strategy as suggested by the art history of Appropriation Art? In the context of this exhibition, theft is presented as dialogues and translations between artists. In essence, the exhibition confronts two opposing concepts in appropriation: the desire to appropriate as the idolization of sources or as an attack on and subversion of the established.

The typology of the enfilade—a suite of rooms in grand architecture—is reconfigured in translucent plastic in the exhibition design by Petra Blaisse / Inside Outside and inserted into the White Cube space. It encloses formative typologies of works of art productively used by numerous artists. The investigation leads to a wild variety of iconic and unexpected results: reconfigurations of Marcel Duchamp’s readymades, Kazimir Malevich’s Black Square, Lucio Fontana’s Concetto Spaziale, Jasper John's target, Fra Angelico’s Annunciation, Jacques-Louis David’s Napoleon Crossing the Alps, book illustrations by Bernard Buffet, and Courbet’s L’Origine Du Monde or variations on shopping-bag installations. By gathering these typologies together, the exhibition reveals and contrasts different appropriation strategies in art, and invites to discern and encounter sources, counterparts, and sundry partners in crime.

 

Cooper Jacoby: Disgorgers
Presented by Swiss Institute at LUMA Westbau

The "gargoyle," a grotesque architectural feature, takes its name from the old French gargouille, meaning "throat" or "gullet." The "throat" in question is a drainage spout used to project rainwater away from the sides of buildings, preventing it from eroding their sides. In other words, the gargoyle’s mouth and throat are not meant for swallowing, but for expelling, for disgorging material. Many traditional gargoyle forms are drawn from pagan and mythological symbols, domesticated in Europe by the Christianity around the period of the Black Death as avatars of unexplainable social or biological terror. Now most commonly associated with religious buildings from the European Middle Ages, these depictions of evil, fearsome, repulsive or comedic creatures made their way into the designs of institutional buildings and other seats of power such as universities, banks and libraries during the Gothic revival.

Drawing from the hybridized forms of gargoyles and other grotesques, American artist Cooper Jacoby has created a series of sculptures derived from homesteading and off-the-grid appliances such as a stove, a water heater, a composter and radiators that are affixed with mouths based on gargoyles from these later "civic" buildings. For Disgorgers, these sculptures are tied together in an installation with a systemic logic of crisis, emergency and exhaustion, and emit a range of vapors, temperatures and sounds from their chorus of mouths.

The two gallery spaces oscillate between states of climactic and the suspension of regular activity. In the first area, sculptures play a collection of recorded telephone hold music, while light fixtures are modified to overheat expired fluorescent bulbs, causing the mercury calcified at their ends to glow like candles and flicker in a state of perpetual limbo. This is contrasted with sets of emergency operations in the second room that kick into action when systems fail. A backup generator powers the machinic gargoyle sculptures and highlights a tenuous relationship to infrastructure and totemic fears of its absence.

Expanding upon the success of Swiss Institute’s ONE FOR ALL series, which offered emerging artists a first institutional exhibition in the US, Disgorgers is the first institutional exhibition of Cooper Jacoby’s work in Switzerland.

 

Press contact
Pierre Collet, Imagine: collet [​at​] aec-imagine.fr / T +33(0)6 80 84 87 71

 

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