Kunsthalle Dusseldorf presents Joao Maria Gusmao & Pedro Paiva, Damir Ocko and Kunsthalle Seitenlichtsaal

Kunsthalle Dusseldorf presents Joao Maria Gusmao & Pedro Paiva, Damir Ocko and Kunsthalle Seitenlichtsaal

Kunsthalle Düsseldorf

João Maria Gusmão & Pedro Paiva, “Body of Straw,” 2010.
Colour photograph, 93 x 132 cm.*

August 23, 2011

João Maria Gusmão & Pedro Paiva. Tem gwef tem gwef dr rr rr
Damir Očko. On Ulterior Scale
10 September–9 October 2011

Joint Opening:
Friday, 9 September 2011, 7 pmKunsthalle Düsseldorf
Grabbeplatz 4
D–40213 Düsseldorf
T +49 211 89 96 243
F +49 211 89 29 168
mail [​at​] kunsthalle-duesseldorf.de

Tuesday to Sunday, public holidays 11–18h

João Maria Gusmão & Pedro Paiva. Tem gwef tem gwef dr rr rr

João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva (born 1979 and 1977) describe their work as a poetical philosophical fiction. A central source of inspiration for the Portuguese artist duo are the writings of the little-known French author René Daumal (1908–1944) who bemoaned the loss of myths in modern society and devoted himself to the limits of conventional perception and the magic of things.

As Daumal described in his 1943 short story “The Determining Memory,” Tem gwef tem gwef dr rr rr was a sound himself made during one of his visions of the hereafter. Like Daumal, who negated the boundaries between the mysterious and the rational in his writings, knowledge overlaps with surreal, unexplainable apparitions in Gusmão’s and Paiva’s films, photographs and sculptures in which they artistically visualise the incomprehensible and unimaginable.

In a kind of dreamscape setting developed especially for the exhibition, the artists show a series of works that challenge reason in particular with filmic means, optical illusions and obscure experiments and deal with the problem of reliably illustrating reality.

The exhibition is accompanied by a German/English publication with numerous colour illustrations and texts by Elodie Evers, René Daumal and João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva.

Curated by Elodie Evers

Damir Očko. On Ulterior Scale

In his videos, film music and drawings, the Croatian artist Damir Očko (born 1977) embarks upon the search for places beyond the bounds of the familiar. He frequently makes use of ideas from literature and music, which he then transforms into his own pictorial language. Očko’s most recent film The Moon Shall Never Take My Voice provides the centrepiece of the exhibition. The film follows the classical song format, a composition in three verses which are individually inspired by three episodes: Gustav Mahler’s description of a burial ceremony in New York, John Cage’s perceptions in an anechoic chamber in Harvard, as well as partially fictional excerpts from interviews with Neil Armstrong about his experiences on the moon. All three episodes treat the idea or the possibility of absolute silence as a utopian non-site. The three texts are declaimed on an empty, sparsely lit stage by a performer using sign language; her expressive gestures are accompanied by vividly composed sounds, which create a kind of sculptural effect in the air. The connection between precise composition and mystery, the wealth of allusive nuance and sheer inexplicability is continued in Očko’s series of drawings On Ulterior Scale that link collages and textual fragments—among others taken from lectures by Luigi Nono, musical dynamics in Gustav Mahler’s scores, from texts by the French Surrealist René Daumal—with a delicate, almost immaterial application of paint.

The exhibition is accompanied by a German/English publication with with numerous colour illustrations, an essay by Magdalena Holzhey and an interview with Damir Očko by the American composer Alexander Sigman.

Curated by Magdalena Holzhey

SEITENLICHTSAAL is the new exhibition space on the first floor of the Kunsthalle. The intention is to present salient, but less well-known artistic positions in the Rhineland in parallel to the large exhibitions in the Kunsthalle, yet in quicker rotation.

The name Seitenlichtsaal (“Sidelightspace”) refers to the ceiling-high window frontage through which this particular space obtains direct daylight—sidelight—as the only one in the building to do so. In photography, sidelight affords an optimal illumination of the motif, as well as modulation via light and shade, which in turn lends depth to a given subject or thing. It is also intended that the planned space will delve deeper, show new aspects, and illuminate things in a different manner.

*Image above:
Courtesy Sies + Höke, Düsseldorf.

Kunsthalle Dusseldorf presents Joao Maria Gusmao & Pedro Paiva, Damir Ocko and Kunsthalle Seitenlichtsaal
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August 23, 2011

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