June 20, 2007 - ARGOS centre for audiovisual arts - Argos announces two new exhibitions
June 20, 2007

Argos announces two new exhibitions

Clemens von Wedemeyer & Maya Schweizer, Metropolis, Report from China, 2006. Courtesy the artists

Argos announces two new exhibitions:
Clemens von Wedemeyer & Maya Schweizer: Films in Common
Lonnie van Brummelen & Siebren de Haan: Monument of Sugar
Featuring: A Work of Lawrence Weiner, 1969

26 June-8 September 2007

Argos Centre for Art & Media
Werfstraat 13 Rue du Chantier
Brussels 1000 – Belgium
T: 32 2 2290003
E: info [​at​] argosarts.org


Clemens von Wedemeyers films combine an awareness of social issues with an investigation of the multiplication of cinematic perspectives and the processes of filming in front of as well as behind the scenes. At Argos, Wedemeyer will present his film installation Otjesd as well as a joint work with artist Maya Schweizer entitled Metropolis, Report from China. The title of the exhibition Films in Common reflects the cooperative and social working processes which characterise the works on view.

Otjesd, which in Russian means departure, is a meditation both on migration but also the act of film making itself, based on a real scene Wedemeyer witnessed when he was in Moscow: Russians waiting in a queue outside the German embassy. In the unlikely setting of a wooded wasteland Wedemeyer stages a surreal scene which intimates the Kafkaesque struggle with border bureaucracy.

Together with Otjesd, Wedemeyer will also show The Making of Otjesd, which describes the process and research behind the making of the film and a series of photographs from the set.

In 2004 Clemens von Wedemeyer and Maya Schweizer travelled to China in order to research for an adaptation of the legendary 1927 feature film Metropolis by Fritz Lang. The film has not been re-made but the result of the artists investigations in Beijing and Shanghai is a documentary film entitled Metropolis, Report from China (2006). The film features the interviews conducted there, footage of the urban fabric, casting research and discussions with the workers and architects who are responsible for the building of the 21st century Chinese metropolis. It provides insight into growth of the Chinese mega-city, but also questions the implications of modernity, development and progress at all costs. At Argos the film will be shown alongside photographs and archival material the artists collected during their research in China.

For their first solo presentation in Belgium, the Dutch collaborative artist duo Lonnie van Brummelen and Siebren de Haan will present Monument of Sugar, an installation consisting of a 16mm silent film essay and a floor sculpture. As with many of their projects this one also explores the intersection of social and political issues with artistic and aesthetic practices. Following the discovery that a large amount of European sugar ends up outside of Europe, the artists embarked on a research trip to investigate the European subsidized sugar trade which took them from Holland to Poland and finally to Lagos, Nigeria. They decided to reverse the flow of the subsidized commodity by buying European excess sugar cheaply in Nigeria and shipping it back to Europe. To elude the European trade barrier for sugar imports they would transport the sugar as a monument. The material result of their research, two groups of sugar modules, is shown together with a dialectical film essay which charts the artists travels and investigations into the sugar trade. Slowly running titles narrate the obstacles faced by the artists in their quest to find out more about the sugar trade route as well as the difficulties encountered in the production of their monument. These running titles, or Garamond landscapes, as the artists call them, are intersected by documentary footage exploring, in long slow takes, hidden production landscapes of global trade, like crop fields, sugar refineries, flow-bands, harbours, and the different sites where the artists performed their drifting studio practice.
Monument of Sugar is shown together with a work by Lawrence Weiner from 1969. In agreement with the ideas of many conceptual artists who gained international recognition in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Weiners works challenges the myth of artistic authorship and undermines the ‘prestige’ of the artwork. His statements are lettered in a standard typeface, phrased with impersonalised syntax, and the lettering need not be done by the artist himself, as long as the work is executed according to the minimal instructions by the artist. In transferring 1000 euros worth of sugar from one continent to another, Van Brummelen and de Haan’s work seems to poignantly echo Weiners 1969 Statement.

Lonnie van Brummelen & Siebren de Haan: Monument of Sugar has been made possible with the support of the Mondriaan Foundation

Argos general support: The Flemish Authorities, the Flemish Community Commission of the Brussels-Capital Region

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