January 26, 2016 - Bergen Assembly - PRAXES at Bergen Assembly 2016: Lynda Benglis and Marvin Gaye Chetwynd
January 26, 2016

Bergen Assembly

(1) Lynda Benglis, Study for pours, Fort Worth, Texas, 1970. (2) Lynda Benglis, Primary Structures (Paula's Props), Modern Art I+II, Wing, 1975. © Lynda Benglis / BONO 2016. Courtesy Cheim & Read.

PRAXES at Bergen Assembly 2016: Lynda Benglis and Marvin Gaye Chetwynd
February 6–December 18, 2016

Opening: February 6, 5pm KODE and 7pm Landmark

Bergen Assembly
PO Box 875 Sentrum
5807 Bergen


Lynda Benglis

Primary Structures (Paula’s Props)

February 6–28, KODE

Glacier Burger
April 9–May 1, Bergen School of Architecture

Slithering Green
April 30, Bergen School of Architecture

Double Albatross
April 30–May 15, Kunstgarasjen

June 17–September 4, Entrée

Adhesive Products
September 2–October 9, Bergen Kunsthall

October 28–November 13, KODE

Is It Now?
December 6–9, Private homes

Marvin Gaye Chetwynd

Iron Age Pasta Necklace Workshop
February 6, Landmark

... Are u Bats? 1
February 25–December 9, TBA

The Elixia App (Episode One)
April 29–May 22, USF Verftet

... Are u Bats? 2
July 25–30, TBA

The Cell Group (Episode Two)
September 2–4, Kommunal Garasje

Cocaine and Caviar
September 2–25, Kunstgarasjen

Jabba, I'm Back! Come Back Tour, book now!
October 28–December 18, Bergen Kunsthall

it's not a bald spot it's a solar panel for a sex machine (Episode Three)
November 18–20, TBA

Bergen Assembly is a perennial model for artistic production and research taking place every third year. The 2016 edition presents a program following three distinct curatorial propositions: Tarek Atoui, freethought, and PRAXES, working in different temporal registers with a convergence of activities in September.

Departing from the unwieldy artist list and the one-off event economy of many biennials, PRAXES will focus on just two unassociated artistic practices, those of Lynda Benglis and Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, in a yearlong cycle of events, publications, and exhibitions. In step-by-step collaboration with numerous Bergen venues and communities, each on-site experience throughout 2016 will be matched by online extensions of discussions and findings. The program of PRAXES opens on February 6 with presentations by both Benglis and Chetwynd.

Lynda Benglis
A pioneer of temporal, vernacular materials, audacious colors, and unapologetic sensory pleasure, Lynda Benglis (b. 1941, USA) has brushed wax, poured latex and phosphorescent foam, layered video, air sprayed metals, stretched paper, and cut up ceramic. Her unexpected tactile pursuits continuously sidestep mainstream movements in contemporary art.

Diving straight into the humorous rebuke of her minimalist contemporaries and their heyday exhibition at New York’s Jewish Museum in 1966, Lynda Benglis’s opening installation in Bergen, Primary Structures (Paula’s Props), 1975, inaugurates the long-term inquiry into her practice. An odd collection of campy ready-made objects—velvet cloth, broken columns, a toy car, a ficus tree—this work is a stand-alone gesture in an artistic oeuvre that has continuously valued drastic departures, foreign materials, and collaborative experiments.

Throughout 2016, Benglis’s unruly cross-approaches will inspire a series of meticulous reinstallations, displays of recent work, devil-may-care detours, and attempts at tracing material histories. Starting from Primary Structures and closing with Is It Now?—a series of intimate screenings of Benglis’s entire video production from 1972 to 1976—this unspooling of her practice in Bergen is more artworks-in-residence than retrospective, more catalyst than compendium.

Marvin Gaye Chetwynd
Marvin Gaye Chetwynd (b. 1973, UK) works with exuberant collective performances and films merging irreverence and joie de vivre. Celebrating popular culture, she has adopted elements from, for example, Michael
 Jackson’s Thriller, Miyazaki’s Catbus, and Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.

Taking a cue from the accelerated fixation on the young and the new, Chetwynd gradually carves out a new work for Bergen Assembly, invented and reconfigured in episodes presented throughout the year, carrying the overall title Padding Up Stream. A choreography influenced by improvisation, business magazines, and pseudo-anthropology of Norwegian norms of collectivity, Chetwynd summons a motley troupe of participants with an epicenter of elderly cool cats, envisioning a futurology of channeled geriatric knowledge.

Parallel to the new commission, events and exhibitions take on Chetwynd’s long-term involvement with social mores, humor, and performance traditions, including her ongoing series of over 300 “Bat Opera Paintings. The yearlong sequence begins with one of Chetwynd’s earliest participatory works: Iron Age Pasta Necklace Workshop, first introduced in 2004. Originally heralding the artist’s mother as the central “Discerning Eye,” this cruel craft party invites audiences to participate in a joyous Iron Age X Factor glue gun showdown.

Co-founded by Rhea Dall and Kristine Siegel, PRAXES Center for Contemporary Art presented four half-year cycles of exhibitions, publications, and events, each revolving around two unassociated artistic practices, in Berlin between 2013 and 2015. Bergen Assembly 2016 is the second chapter of this investigation.

Bergen Assembly
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