The Registry of Promise: The Promise of Moving Things

The Registry of Promise: The Promise of Moving Things

Centre d’art contemporain d’Ivry – le Crédac

Mandla Reuter, The Agreement (Vienna), 2011. Wardrobe, 198 x 129 x 85 cm. Installation view, Galerie Mezzanin, 2011. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Mezzanin. Photo: Karl Kühn. © Mandla Reuter / ADAGP, Paris 2014.

September 4, 2014

The Registry of Promise: The Promise of Moving Things
September 12–December 21, 2014

Opening: Thursday, September 11, 5–9pm

Centre d’art contemporain d’Ivry – le Crédac
La Manufacture des Œillets
25-29 rue Raspail
94200 Ivry-sur-Seine
Hours: Tuesday–Friday 2–6 pm, 
Saturday–Sunday 2–7pm
Free admission

T +33 01 49 60 25 06
contact [​at​]

Nina Canell, Alexander Gutke, Antoine Nessi, Mandla Reuter, Hans Schabus and Michael E. Smith

Curated by Chris Sharp

The third part of The Registry of Promise, The Promise of Moving Things deals with the so-called life of objects in our current pre-post-apocalyptic paradigm. Influenced in equal measure by animism, the much-discussed philosophical movement Object Oriented Ontology, the surrealism of Alberto Giacometti’s early masterpiece The Palace at 4 am (1932) and even the theoretical reflections of the Nouveau Roman novelist, theorist and editor Alain Robbe-Grillet (an OOOer, so to speak, well avant la lettre), The Promise of Moving Things seeks to address just that—the very idea that there exists some promise within objects in a world in which humans no longer roam the earth. Neither a critical rejection nor an endorsement of these ideas, the exhibition embraces the ambiguity at the very heart of the word promise. It questions to what extent this negative faith in the cultural and animistic legacy of objects is a genuine rupture with the anthropocentric tradition of humanism and to what extent it is merely a perpetuation of it. 

Thus does the exhibition consist of works that features objects or processes which seem to possess some form of human subjectivity. For instance, the Austrian, Vienna-based artist Hans Schabus’s sprawling sculptural installation Konstruktion des Himmels (1994) could merely be a random collection of variously seized wax balls and an elaborate light fixture or the most human forms of celestial organization: a constellation (which it is: a recreation of Apparatus Sculptoris [Sculptor's Studio], identified and named in the 18th century by Louis de Lacaille). Almost, but not entirely by association, German, Berlin-based Mandla Reuter’s sculpture installation The Agreement (Vienna) 2011, which has been paired with Schabus’s work and is comprised of an armoire hanging from the ceiling, assumes a quasi-, supernatural and animistic quality. The transference of so-called human subjectivity is unmistakable in Swedish, Malmö-based Alexander Gutke’s work Autoscope (2012). This 16mm film installation portrays the trajectory of a piece of film passing through the interior of a projector, exiting into a snowy, tree-dotted landscape, ascending upward into the sky before plunging back down to earth and looping back into the projector, and repeating the process, all as if in an allegory of reincarnation. The American, New Hampshire-based artist Michael E. Smith’s slight sculptural interventions, which often consist of recycled textiles, materials from the automotive industry, animal parts, and a variety of toxic plastics, are known to possess qualities hauntingly evocative of the human body, as if the spirit of one had entered the other. Drawing his formal vocabulary from machines and tools, French, Dijon-based artist Antoine Nessi creates sculpture, which can perhaps be best described as post-industrial, in which the inanimate seems to take on an organic quality, assuming a life of their own. Finally, the practice of the Swedish, Berlin-based artist Nina Canell is no stranger to the kinetic and to a certain, if specious, sense of animism. Something of a case in point, Treetops, Hillsides & Ditches (2011) is a multi-part sculpture comprised of four shafts of wood over the top of which a clump of Iranian pistachio gum has been spread and which slowly crawls down the sides of the wood, enveloping it, like living a skin. 

Thus is the reception of each work complicated and vexed through issues of subjectivity, projection, necessity, and desire. Now to what extent the works are complicit in that reception both varies and is debatable. Whatever the case may be, it is virtually impossible to say, but this does not necessarily mean that it is impossible to conceive of a world without humanism, as argued by Robbe-Grillet, at its center.  

–Chris Sharp

Taking place over the course of approximately one year, The Registry of Promise consists of four autonomous, inter-related exhibitions, which can be read as individual chapters in a book. It was inaugurated by The Promise of Melancholy and Ecology at the Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, then followed by The Promise of Multiple Temporalities at Parc Saint Léger, centre d’art contemporain, Pougues-Les-Eaux, then The Promise of Moving Things at Centre d’art contemporain d’Ivry – le Crédac, Ivry-sur-Seine, and will conclude with The Promise of Literature, Soothsaying and Speaking in Tongues at SBKM / De Vleeshal, Middelburg.

The Registry of Promise is a co-production of Fondazione GiulianiParc Saint Léger, Centre d’art contemporain, Centre d’art contemporain d’Ivry – le Crédac, and SBKM/De Vleeshal. The project is part of PIANO, Prepared Platform for Contemporary Art, France–Italy 2014–2015, initiated by d.c.a/French association for the development of centres d’art, in partnership with the Institut Français Italia, the French Embassy in Italy and the Institut Français, with the support of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the French Ministry of Culture and Communication and the Nuovi Mecenati Foundation.

Round table
The Registry of Promise: one exhibition, four places
Thursday 11 September, 3:30pm
As a prelude to the opening at Crédac, this round table will bring together some of the main participants to the project The Registry of Promise. In the presence of the curator Chris Sharp, Lorenzo Benedetti, director of De Appel, Amsterdam (for The Promise of Soothsaying and Speaking in Tongues at SBKM/De Vleeshal), Sandra Patron, director of Parc Saint-Léger, Pougues-les-Eaux (The Promise of Multiple Temporalities), and Claire Le Restif, director of Centre d’art contemporain d’Ivry – le Crédac, Ivry-sur-Seine (The Promise of Moving Things). 

Press contact:
Axelle Blanc, head of communications
T +33 (0) 1 49 60 25 04 / ablanc.credac [​at​]

Member of Tram and DCA networks, Crédac enjoys the generous support of the City of Ivry-sur-Seine, the Regional Direction of Cultural Affairs of Île-de- France (the Ministry of Culture and Communications), the General Council of Val-de-Marne and the Regional Council of Île-de-France.


The Registry of Promise: The Promise of Moving Things at Centre d'art contemporain d'Ivry
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September 4, 2014

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