September 5, 2017 - KW Institute for Contemporary Art - Fall program 2017
September 5, 2017

KW Institute for Contemporary Art

Lucy Skaer, Rachel, Peter, Caitlin, John (still), 2010. 16mm film. Courtesy Peter Freeman inc.

Fall program 2017

KW Institute for Contemporary Art
Auguststraße 69
10117 Berlin
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Willem de Rooij

September 14–December 17, 2017

Lucy Skaer
October 13, 2017–January 7, 2018

KW Institute for Contemporary Art continues its examination of the political potential of communication by shifting the focus on notions of (cultural) representation, appropriation, and translation through the lens of the work of artists Willem de Rooij and Lucy Skaer as part of the fall season. Cultural authority, questions of authorship, and collaboration as a cross-cultural and cross-temporal strategy with all its moral and ethical consequences are guiding themes that unite the exhibitions and its accompanying program.

Willem de Rooij investigates the production, contextualization and interpretation of images. His multifaceted practice includes photography, films, videos, sculpture, sound-recordings, and writing. Appropriated materials, such as found images, objects borrowed from art historical or ethnographic collections, or works by other artists play an important role.

This fall, KW presents Whiteout—a selection of de Rooij’s production from the last 20 years. The exhibition connects recent work with seminal pieces made together with Jeroen de Rijke, with whom de Rooij collaborated from 1994 to 2006 under the name de Rijke/de Rooij. Central to the selection of works that de Rooij installed at KW is the remote town llulissat in western Greenland. In 1997, Jeroen de Rijke and Willem de Rooij travelled to Greenland to produce the 16mm film I’m Coming Home in Forty Days, which depicts the circumnavigation of an iceberg in the bay of Ilulissat. The films of Jeroen de Rijke and Willem de Rooij center on the notion of “time.” Images are often shot from a fixed perspective and are pared down in number. In 2014, Willem de Rooij returned to Ilulissat to record the howling of the thousands of sled dogs that inhabit the town. In a collective dialogue, these daily “briefings” connect different communities of dogs over distance and time. By presenting these two works together for the first time, de Rooij deliberately focuses on time, or more specifically on the presence of absence.

Compound is a series of new productions by artists that have been invited by Willem de Rooij. These commissions will result into different forms of presentation spanning the time period of three months, varying from performances, and screenings to short-term exhibitions. With works by Eric Bell & Kristoffer Frick, Richard Frater, Armin Lorenz Gerold, Keto Logua, Josef Tarrak Petrusson, and Mavis Tetteh-Ocloo

For her exhibition at KW, British artist Lucy Skaer presents an ambitious new body of work embedded in a selection of existing works from the last ten years. The exhibition presents the most substantial survey of Skaer’s work to date in Germany. Skaer draws on pre-existing imagery, narrative and forms shaped by biography, usage and industry standards shaped by mass production and global trade to make intuitive amalgamations of sculpture, film and print. Form, meaning, and value are traced in her work through various states of formal and allegorical existence.

For her new commission for KW, Lucy Skaer continues her scrutiny of the conventional classification of objects and production methods in critical exchange with art historical motives and references. Skaer aims to unite these leitmotifs that have long accompanied her work into one large-scale sculptural tableau. Here, she draws from her own oeuvre, reworking her existing sculptures to become representations of animals in a medieval hunting scenery referencing the famous Livre de chasse, a medieval transcript with miniature illuminations on Renaissance hunting techniques from 1331–91. Doing so, Skaer explores the mutable meaning of these works and playfully critiques their language of desire, their status as definitive works of art and their potential for self-reproduction. In line with her prevailing attitude she rejects the understanding of materials or works as finite things, recognizing every manifestation as only one latent version amongst many others.

Furthermore, the project REALTY focuses on the role of contemporary art in recent histories of gentrification. These days, it seems one artist, one venue, one model after another is being unmasked as being part of the problem. But we will not be discussing art’s shortcomings yet again. Instead, REALTY asks how art’s international playing field can be put to better use. It insists on moving beyond critique, and towards an attempt at productive models, however vague or naive. The project is conceived by Tirdad Zolghadr, KW’s Associate Curator, and commissioned by KW and Sommerakademie Paul Klee Bern.

The project Willem de Rooij and Lucy Skaer is funded by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe, Berlin. The exhibition Whiteout by Willem de Rooij is kindly supported by the Mondriaan Fund and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Berlin. The exhibition by Lucy Skaer is kindly supported by the Henry Moore Foundation, and will travel to the Salzburger Kunstverein in February 2018.

KW Institute for Contemporary Art is institutionally supported by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe.

KW Institute for Contemporary Art
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