Ruth Buchanan

Ruth Buchanan

Badischer Kunstverein

Ruth Buchanan, Compression, Body, Logic, 2015. Graphic. Courtesy Ruth Buchanan and Hopkinson Mossman, Auckland.

July 7, 2015

Ruth Buchanan
Or, a building

Juliette Blightman / Ellie Epp 
holding one’s own in an unfinished system
10 July–6 September 2015

Opening: Thursday, 9 July, 7pm

Badischer Kunstverein
Waldstraße 3
76133 Karlsruhe

info [​at​]

Ruth Buchanan
Or, a building

Or, a building, Ruth Buchanan’s most comprehensive solo exhibition in Germany to date, is presented in collaboration with the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, and the Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof, Hamburg. The new cycle of work consists of three elements: a performance, a film, and an exhibition—the format of the exhibition is the central figure at the Badischer Kunstverein.

Buchanan constructs complex spaces that probe the status of material as a carrier of information. She investigates various systems that appear repeatedly in cultural production: display formats (such as books or vitrines), storage structures (such as collections or libraries), and working spaces (such as studios or museums). Buchanan invokes the aesthetics of these contexts in her installations, but also subjects them to a recurrent state of transformation.

Her new work revolves around instances of the subject (one or more bodies) coinciding with specific forms of ordering material. Or, a building departs from IBM House (1961) in Berlin and its glass-panelled hall located on a subterranean level. Here, early mainframe computers were installed, operational and visible to the public; the vitrine-like room was referred to as the “electronic brain behind glass.” During student demonstrations in 1970, “the brain” was severely damaged. Buchanan has developed spatial constellations where furniture, fabrics, graphics, audio, and an archival component both foster and counter associations with the building. The building becomes a model for an organizational system or a metaphor of an apparatus that views itself as analogous to the body—with a brain at its centre—before inevitably discovering that this body has the palpable capacity to turn against it.

Curated by Anja Casser

Ruth Buchanan (b. 1980 in New Plymouth, New Zealand) lives and works in Berlin. 

Juliette Blightman / Ellie Epp 
holding one’s own in an unfinished system
“holding one’s own in an unfinished system
it simply stresses the multiples at play”

This exhibition takes its name from a 1987 text by Canadian artist Ellie Epp. The unfinished systems in which Epp and British artist Juliette Blightman hold their own are multiple: from the commitments of the artists’ daily lives, to the context of the societies they occupy, to the art institutions which provide one possible frame for their work. Both Blightman and Epp accumulate text and images amassing personal archives without the need to always establish an audience.

Is to hold one’s own in an unfinished system to withdraw? Both Epp and Blightman develop an enmeshed relationship between the public and the private. Perhaps withdrawal can be acknowledged as a means for the artist to oscillate in and out of sight, a strategy that allows both for an available exit, but also an entrance to return—a porous position both in and out of the system, interior and exterior. 

Currents throughout the practices of both Blightman and Epp carry the residue of recorded moments throughout the Badischer Kunstverein. For Blightman, a photograph can also be the study for one painting, and then another, with all three exhibited alongside each other before being re-photographed. For Epp, images from a childhood landscape become notes in origin. They are bookended in this exhibition by her film and an episodic text assembled from not only Epp’s words but also those of family, friends and predecessors.

Curated by Jacob Korczynski

Juliette Blightman (b. 1980 in London) lives and works in Berlin.  
Ellie Epp (b. 1945 in Northern Alberta, Canada) lives and works in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. 

Talks & events

Saturday, 11 July
Reading by Ruth Buchanan
Compression/Body/Logic etc etc

Lecture by Axel Wieder (Director of Index–The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation, Stockholm)
A tour through material: On editing and design
Followed by a conversation between Juliette Blightman, Ruth Buchanan, Anja Casser, Jacob Korczynski, and Axel Wieder

Sunday, 12 July
Curator’s tour with Jacob Korczynski through the exhibition holding one’s own in an unfinished system by Juliette Blightman and Ellie Epp

Film program and brunch with films by Juliette Blightman and Ellie Epp
even when the time comes
Curated by and with an introduction by Jacob Korczynski

All events in English
Admission free

The exhibition contains new works by Ruth Buchanan co-commissioned by the Institute of Modern Art (IMA) Brisbane and Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe. 

In cooperation with Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof, Hamburg. 

With kind support of

Ruth Buchanan at Badischer Kunstverein
RSVP for Ruth Buchanan
Badischer Kunstverein
July 7, 2015

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Badischer Kunstverein will be in touch.


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