January 20–May 14, 2017
Opening: January 19, 7pm
January 20–April 9, 2017
Opening: January 19, 7pm
February 24–May 14, 2017
Opening: February 23, 7pm
March 18–May 14, 2017
Opening: March 17, 7pm
Pause: Anthony McCall
April 27–30, 2017
Prospectus: A Year with Will Holder
January 20–December 23, 2017
After the first period of renovation, KW Institute for Contemporary Art is thrilled to announce the inauguration of its new artistic program under the directorship of Krist Gruijthuijsen and the celebration of its 25th anniversary. KW reopens with a series of exhibitions reflecting on the work of South African artist Ian Wilson. Through three corresponding solo presentations by Hanne Lippard, Paul Elliman, and Adam Pendleton, Ian Wilson’s influential practice is revisited as a framework for exploring the roles of language and communication and the broader significance of interpersonal interaction.
Dialogue lies at the core of Ian Wilson’s practice. Focusing on spoken language as an art form, he initially described his work as “oral communication” and later as “discussion”. Language replaces traditional representation as the quintessential vehicle for communication and knowledge. Wilson’s interest in the concentrated moment in which ideas emerge and are formulated in language is a guiding framework for the season. KW views the artist’s oeuvre as a reflection of its own mission: to explore relationships between the viewer and the viewed—or discussed—and the topical urgency of this interaction.
Norwegian artist Hanne Lippard kicks off the new program with a visually pared-down yet spectacular new work entitled Flesh that takes its inspiration from Wilson’s Statements and Circle Works. The immersive installation takes up the entire hall on the ground floor of the KW building and confronts the visitor with a singular element—a spiral staircase leading to a platform. From here the artist’s voice resounds, completely encompassing the audience and opening up a world in which our experience of language as pure voice is explored, shaped, and broadened.
American artist Adam Pendleton’s exhibition titled shot him in the face occupies the entire floor of KW with one large-scale gesture—a wall that diagonally cuts across the exhibition space. The shape of the wall resembles that of a billboard. The first sentence from the poem Albany by poet Ron Silliman functions as the exhibition’s point of departure. Pendleton appropriates the opening words of the text—“If the function of writing is to ‘express the world’“—and reduces the phrase simply to the words “If the function of writing,” which are used as a monumental wall work spanning the entire constructed wall. Layers upon layers of Pendleton’s works are also “pasted” onto the wall. These various arrangements, including posters, framed collages, and sculptural objects based on Pendleton's extensive archival material, incorporate images from various sources—all kept within a consistently black-and-white aesthetic. As a counterpoint to Pendleton’s work, the exhibition includes one of Ian Wilson’s monochromatic paintings, which were created with the conceptual aim of producing distilled, non-referential objects without metaphoric content.
British artist Paul Elliman has consistently engaged with the production and performance of language as a material component of the socially constructed environment. In a world where objects and people are equally subject to the force fields of mass production, Elliman explores the range of human expression as kind of typography. His exhibition As you said includes various works, both existing and new, that test the boundaries of our communication through letter-like objects, language-like vocal sounds, actions, and movements of the body. As you said is structured around a set of vitrines devised by Ian Wilson, which Elliman considers as sculptures, objects of display, and sites for discourse. Alongside these vitrines Elliman presents two new bodies of work, one produced in collaboration with the dancer Elena Giannotti.
Punctuating the program will be the series Pause, envisioned as a platform for bridging relationships between the past, present, and future. Individual artworks will be presented for a short period of time, up to three times a year. Anthony McCall’s iconic light work Line Describing A Cone (1971) is the first in the series, which is presented in immediate dialogue with Wilson’s circle and disc works from the late 1960s.
In the spirit of Wilson’s practice, an ambitious program of commissioned performances, concerts, lectures, and screenings titled The Weekends will take place in and around KW and throughout the city, with contributions by Nils Bech, CAConrad, Guy de Cointet, Paul Elliman, Coco Fusco, Will Holder, Germaine Kruip, Hanne Lippard, Adam Pendleton, Michael Portnoy, Trisha Brown Dance Company, and Miet Warlop.
In 2017, KW Institute for Contemporary Art is initiating the new series A Year with offering time for detailed investigations into design and publishing practices in the arts, over the course of a year. Prospectus: A Year with Will Holder takes place in 2017. When invited to reside and produce a year’s public program, Holder proposed that the public nature of this program be deferred in the form of publications. The production-budget was passed on to pay invited guests to reside and work with him (Paul Abbott, Jeremiah Day, Linda van Deursen, Emmie McLuskey, Karolin Meunier, Christian Oldham, Bert Paulich, Falke Pisano, Cara Tolmie, Scott Rogers, and Lucy Skaer).
KW Institute for Contemporary Art
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The exhibition series Hanne Lippard, Adam Pendleton, and Paul Elliman and the event series The Weekends is funded by the Capital Cultural Fund, Berlin. KW is part of Corpus (co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union).
KW Institute for Contemporary Art is institutionally supported by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe.