Adrian Ghenie and Navid Nuur
On the Road to … Tarascon

Adrian Ghenie and Navid Nuur
On the Road to … Tarascon

Galeria Plan B

Adrian Ghenie & Navid Nuur, voice over (voice), 2013. Oil on canvas, 350 x 200 cm, video, amplifier, studio tables. Courtesy Plan B, Cluj / Berlin.
September 16, 2013

Adrian Ghenie and Navid Nuur
On the Road to … Tarascon

September 20–December 14, 2013

Opening: September 20, 17–22h

Plan B Berlin
Potsdamer Strasse 77-87
10785 Berlin

Galeria Plan B is happy to announce the exhibition On the Road to … Tarascon, the materialization of the conversation between the Romanian painter Adrian Ghenie and the post-conceptual Iranian-born Dutch artist Navid Nuur, unfolding over the last few years.

The two artists met in the context of the gallery’s program and new episodes in their dialogue were occasioned over time by group exhibitions and art fair presentations. This is in tandem with the mission of the gallery, to be a locus of conversation and collaborative research.

A first iteration of this project was exhibited at the first edition of Art Basel in Hong Kong in May 2013 and was awarded the Discoveries Prize. Guggenheim Museum’s curator Alexandra Munroe describes the project: “The installation by Navid Nuur and Adrian Ghenie encompasses performance, sound, painting, and assemblage in a complete environment that has keen art historical and critical relevance. It wrestles with the history of modern painting while showing an exciting and fresh perspective. Working collaboratively, the artists go beyond the constraints of conceptualism and engage with more current languages of art.”

While Navid Nuur is concerned with articulating modules of thought, where the abstract component of collective memory and intimations of a possible future acquire a sensuous presence, Adrian Ghenie’s paintings engage the invisible part of our past, where collective memory is constantly challenged by mysterious, strangely prophetic actions and places, occulted folds in the temporal linearity upheld by conventional histories.

Always poised between figuration and abstraction, the two practices converge in looking at how both thoughts and oblivion materialize. The works in the exhibition question the dematerialization of painting through a dialogue between the figurative and the abstract, between representation and prototype, between embodiment and its traces. It is an occasion for both artists to challenge their positions: Adrian Ghenie steps forward in researching the abstract side of the figurative, and Navid Nuur adapts his conceptual toolbox to an investigation of traditional painting and representation.

The two artistic discourses achieve new potentialities in this encounter, through the direct access they offer one another to work, to the physical and affective correlates of art-making. This ranges from the performative dimension of their collaboration (a video work shows Navid Nuur holding a microphone connected to a Marshall amplifier, voicing out Ghenie’s act of painting as it unfolds in front of him) to the exchange of material (Nuur takes color samples from Ghenie’s painting in order to create another work which refines specific details of Ghenie’s work through enlargement and repetition; in exchange Ghenie provides Nuur with a set of blue colours that he himself prepared). As a next step, Navid Nuur adds an abstract layer of paint (starting from the texture of a Van Gogh painting) on top of Ghenie’s picture, searching for a point of fusion between the two practices. At the end of the collaborative work, Nuur assembles all the detritus of this shared process into monocle-like instruments, viewing devices for their own material opacity. 

An online reader was created for the exhibition, based on a conversation between Adrian Ghenie and Navid Nuur from July 2013, to be found here.

Adrian Ghenie (b. 1977; Baia Mare, Romania) lives and works in Cluj and Berlin. His previous solo exhibitions include the Museum for Contemporary Art, Denver; S.M.A.K. Museum, Gent; the National Museum of Contemporary Art (MNAC), Bucharest. His work has been included in group exhibitions at the Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Francois Pinault Collection at Palazzo Grassi, Venice and the Liverpool Biennial.

Navid Nuur (b. 1976; Teheran, Iran) lives and works in The Hague, The Netherlands. His previous solo exhibitions include Centre Pompidou, Paris; Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art, London; Matadero Contemporary Art Center, Madrid; Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen and Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel. His work has been included in group exhibitions at the 54th Venice Biennale, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Museion Bolzano, Kunsthaus Glarus, and Stroom The Hague.

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Galeria Plan B
September 16, 2013

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