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Hearts and Minds – The Manhattan Art Review

The Manhattan Art Review

Hearts and Minds

Chantal Akerman, Harold Ancart, Jef Geys, Dan Graham, Bodys Isek Kingelez, Robert Lebeck, An-My Lê, Otobong Nkanga, Marina Pinsky, Claudia Peña Salinas, Adam Simon, Momoyo Torimitsu, Hil Yeh – Hearts and Minds – Carriage Trade – ****.5
Speaking of art doing something, this show is a great example in that it’s one of the exceedingly rare examples of a good political art show. This is materialist/documentary/archival as opposed to ideological/dogmatic, oriented towards showing the world as it is in a way that leads one to identify injustice and formulate an ideological perspective instead of presenting a predetermined value judgment on a silver platter. Control, propaganda, plants, sex, media, administration, rebellion, architecture, these are simply facts of our existence that must be made sense of in some way to make life navigable. The fact of the matter, though, is that life is simply unnavigable for many due to these forces conspiring to deceive and maintain their opacity to the general public. 

[…]

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Hearts and Minds – THEGUIDE.ART

Extract of THEGUIDE.ART. Image credit: Harold Ancart, Untitled, 2019. Courtesy of the artist and C L E A R I N G Gallery.
Extract of THEGUIDE.ART. Image credit: Harold Ancart, Untitled, 2019. Courtesy of the artist and C L E A R I N G Gallery.

THEGUIDE.ART

Hearts and Minds

It was George Orwell who coined “doublethink,” the dangerous capacity of the citizenry to hold contradictory or morally wrong beliefs as a result of political indoctrination—but its terrifying instantiation comes from history, not fiction. “Hearts and Minds,” at carriage trade, a joint project with the Brussels-based gallery Rectangle, draws its name from a Lyndon B. Johnson quote: a war, he suggests, is won not by artillery but by psychology, a so-called hearts-and-mind warfare. Johnson could not win his war, even on its home front: the conflict in Vietnam would come to be seen as a wholly failed endeavor.

[…]

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Shows Current

Hearts and Minds

An-My Lê, Untitled, Ho Chi Minh City, 1995, Courtesy of Janice Guy
An-My Lê, Untitled, Ho Chi Minh City, 1995
Courtesy of Janice Guy

Group Show

Hearts and Minds

Opening Thursday 15 April 2021, 4–8pm
L.E.S. Gallery Evening

15 April – 13 June, 2021
at carriage trade, New York

Chantal Akerman
Harold Ancart
Jef Geys
Dan Graham
Bodys Isek Kingelez
Robert Lebeck
An-My Lê
Otobong Nkanga
Marina Pinsky
Claudia Peña Salinas
Adam Simon
Momoyo Torimitsu
Hil Ye

Rectangle is thrilled to present Hearts and Minds,
a joint project of carriage trade / Rectangle, Brussels.

Civilization and barbarism are never far apart. As the spoils from subjugating distant countries fill closets, living rooms, and dinner tables, citizens of the empire are encouraged to witness the “improvements” offered by their way of life bestowed upon the many invisible hands responsible for producing it. Employing the tools of public relations to invert standard meanings into their opposites (slavery = freedom, war = peace) the minds of those at home are massaged while villages abroad undergo “pacification”. 

"So we must be ready to fight in Vietnam, but the ultimate victory will depend upon the hearts and the minds of the people who actually live out there."
—Lyndon B. Johnson Remarks at a Dinner Meeting of the Texas Electric Cooperatives, Inc., May 4, 1965

Momoyo Torimitsu, Nanka Igokochi Waruinda (Somehow I don’t feel Comfortable), 2000, Polyurethane coated fabric and electric pumps, dimensions variable, Courtesy of the artist.
Momoyo Torimitsu, Nanka Igokochi Waruinda (Somehow I don’t feel Comfortable), 2000, Polyurethane coated fabric and electric pumps, dimensions variable
Courtesy of the artist.

In the later stages of empire, as exploration paves the way for tourism, far away cultures are promoted as exotic and unpredictable, introducing “otherness” as an affirmation of the ever-expanding necessity to civilize and control. As empires engage in hot and cold wars to extract and defend resources for domestic populations, patriotism and consumerism unite in common pursuits. While new technologies offer increasingly convincing dream worlds that divert the public’s consciousness, the brutal origins of their creation remain mostly behind the scenes.

The dreams of men, the seed of commonwealth, the germs of empires.
—Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, 1899

Bodys Isek Kingelez, Sans Titre, 2001, Plastic Cardboard and Paper, 17.32 × 4.72 × 4.72” (44 × 12 × 12 cm), Courtesy of Ronald Guttman
Bodys Isek Kingelez, Sans Titre, 2001, Plastic Cardboard and Paper, 44 × 12 × 12 cm
Courtesy of Ronald Guttman. Photo Nicholas Knight

With consumerism suffering a pandemic-era blow and a diminishing faith in establishment politics haunting industrialized nations, the pursuit of hearts and minds, so critical to the narrative of empire, struggles to contain blowback from centuries of repressive measures. Filtered through social media feedback loops, governmental and corporate messaging engineered to sway popular opinion now feature distortions and fragmentation that sow confusion while veiling their source, fomenting widespread social unease and sporadic violence.

Living within a kind of informational breakdown, many are now questioning how we got here. Linking past to present through artwork and archival material that collectively address links between the diversions of consumerism and techniques of propaganda in the service of empire, Hearts and Minds, a joint project of carriage trade and Rectangle, Brussels, reflects on the inseparable rapport between public relations and social control both abroad and at home.

—Peter Scott

We’d like to thank all the artists and the following lenders for their loans of artwork for the exhibition:

Icarus Films (Chantal Akerman), Clearing Gallery, Brooklyn (Harold Ancart), Essex Street/Maxwell Graham (Jef Geys), Greene Naftali Gallery (Dan Graham), Ronald Guttman / Christine Martin, Frédéric de Goldschmidt / André Magnin (Bodys Isek Kingelez), Janice Guy (An-My Lê), Cordula Lebeck, Archiv Robert Lebeck (Robert Lebeck), Lumen Travo Gallery, Amsterdam (Otobong Nkanga), C L E A R I N G, Brussels (Marina Pinsky), and AfricaMuseum (Royal Museum for Central Africa).

A special thanks to Lawrence B. Benenson, LMCC, New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), Mr. Jacques Louise Vidal, WBI (Wallonie-Bruxelles International) and FWB (Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles) for their generous support. Thanks also to gallery assistants Jervey Inglesby, Laura Li, Molly Miller, Hannah Park, Kristal Uribe, as well as Daylon Orr, for all their efforts on the exhibition.

With the gracious support of

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Mark Dion

Mark Dion

Arbeid Adelt

Saturday 21 November 2020
at Waldburger Wouters, Brussels

Open Saturday 13 February, 2–6pm
and by appointment

Rectangle is pleased to present Arbeid Adelt, a collaboration with Mark Dion at Waldburger Wouters Gallery, in which the artist returns to the topic of extinction and endangered species.

In 1989, for his European debut, Mark Dion showed the head of a rhinoceros in a group exhibition at Xavier Hufkens. His European institutional breakthrough followed in 1993 when he was the first artist to exhibit in the newly renovated rotonde of M KHA in Antwerp, showing, The Library for the Birds of Antwerp. The remnants of this work can still be seen at the aviary of the Antwerp Zoo.

Arbeid Adelt includes a series of prints and drawings, and an unlimited edition produced by Rectangle.

This collaboration happens in the frame work of the group exhibition Arbeid Adelt :
exhibition with Anastasia Bay, Claudio Coltorti, Mark Dion, Jot Fau,
Gerard Herman, Constant Permeke and Yann Nirvana Yoy.

On view until feb 13, 2021

My relationship with Brussels and rhinoceroses goes back more then three decades. My work, Extinction Series: Black Rhino with Head was produced for a group exhibition at Xavier Hufkens Gallery in 1989. The work was part of a larger series dealing with animals under extreme extinction pressure; animals which probably would not still exist in the wild by the end of my lifetime. This work featured a series of wooden shipping crates, the sides of which became surfaces which displayed information about the natural and cultural history of the black rhino focusing on the historical, economic and ecological reasons animal had become the most critically endangered large mammal species. Each side of the crate employed different types of information: graphic charts, maps, text, photographs. The largest of the crate contained a large black rhino head on a bed of shipping excelsior. It was a quite shocking object to come into contact with.

Interestingly, the Black Rhino is still with us and it was the Northern White Rhinoceros that when extinct in 2018, when the last male died and the two surviving females were too old to breed. Still the Black Rhino remains critically endangered. 


This billboard returns my focus to the topic of extinction. Over the period of COVID lockdown I have produced a group of larger drawings which take as their inspiration graphic charts from the early 20th century. Many of these are the largest drawings I have attempted and in some way represent the resilience of artists under restriction and duress. Normally I work on location, in response to context. The lockdown has shown me that I don’t need site visits, large budgets and institutional support to make new work. All I need is some ink and paper. While drawing has always been central to my practice, the drawings have mostly been preparatory for sculptural works. These are the first group of drawings intended as purely drawing.

– Mark Dion

Mark Dion, Arbeid Adelt, Rectangle, 2020

"The lockdown has shown me that I don’t need site visits, large budgets and institutional support to make new work. All I need is some ink and paper."

– Mark Dion​

Mark Dion, Albeid Adelt, T-shirt, 2020 / 29 Euro
Mark Dion, Albeid Adelt, T-shirt, 2020 / 29 Euro
Mark Dion, Dinosaures Rule The Earth, T-shirt, 2020 / 29 euro
Mark Dion, Dinosaures Rule The Earth, T-shirt, 2020 / 29 euro
Mark Dion, Dinosaures Rule The Earth, 2020, red and blue pencil on paper, 52 x 39 cm, Edition of 30
Mark Dion, Dinosaures Rule The Earth, 2020, red and blue pencil on paper, 52 x 39 cm, Edition of 30
Mark Dion, Arbeid Adelt, 2020, ink on paper, 62 x 48 cm, Unique
Mark Dion, Arbeid Adelt, 2020, ink on paper, 62 x 48 cm, Unique

Documentations

First Look at Baby White Rhino
Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
1 November 2020.

more info

Extinction Series: Black Rhino with Head
1989
Wooden crates, stencilled lettering, colour photographs,
rhino head, wood chips, map of Africa
Dimensions variable

Group exhibition at Xavier Hufkens Gallery, 1989

Biography

Mark Dion
Mark Dion. Photo Jorge Colombo

Mark Dion
Born in 1961, United States.
Lives and works in Copake, New York.

Dion’s work examines the ways in which dominant ideologies and public institutions shape our understanding of history, knowledge, and the natural world. The job of the artist, he says, is to go against the grain of dominant culture, to challenge perception and convention. Appropriating archaeological and other scientific methods of collecting, ordering, and exhibiting objects, Dion creates works that question the distinctions between ‘objective’ (‘rational’) scientific methods and ‘subjective’ (‘irrational’) influences. The artist’s spectacular and often fantastical curiosity cabinets, modeled on Wunderkammen of the 16th Century, exalt atypical orderings of objects and specimens. By locating the roots of environmental politics and public policy in the construction of knowledge about nature, Mark Dion questions the authoritative role of the scientific voice in contemporary society.

Biography (pdf)

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NADA Member

NADA

new membership!

We are pleased to announce that Rectangle has been welcomed as a new member of the NADA!

The New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) is the definitive non-profit arts organization dedicated to the cultivation, support, and advancement of new voices in contemporary art. more info.

List of new members:

1969 Gallery – New York
Nir Altman – Munich
CARVALHO PARK – New York
Fragment Gallery – Moscow
Ginsberg – Lima
Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects – New York
High Gallery – Warsaw
The Hole – New York
Hunter Shaw Fine Art – Los Angeles
in lieu – Los Angeles
Kapp Kapp – Philadelphia / New York
LETO – Warsaw
Mixer – Istanbul
Mother Gallery – Beacon, NY
NIAD Art Center – Richmond, CA
Project Pangée – Montreal
PROXYCO – New York
Rectangle – Brussels, Belgium
Stoneleaf Retreat – Kingston, NY
Ulterior Gallery – New York
Y2K group – New York

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Shows Past

John M Armleder

John M Armleder

Iso-cèle

28 September – 31 October 2020
at Hôtel Manos Premier, Brussels

Rectangle is pleased to announce a collaboration with the artist and co-founder of Ecart Group, John M Armleder. The show Iso-cèle is an initiative of Rectangle imagined in addition to the long awaited exhibition It Never Ends by John M Armleder at KANAL – Centre Pompidou (curated by Bernard Blistène and Yann Chateigné). 

Charivari
2015
Installation, Clear glasses
Variable dimensions

Iso-cèle
2020
pvc, 22 carats golden leaf
244 × 366 cm
(detail)

00
2020
Installation
Shovel, gold paint
125 × 25 × 15 cm

Les Volières, 2020, Installation, Mixed media, Variable dimensions

John M Armleder
Born in 1948, Switzerland.
Lives and works in New York and Geneva.

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Past Shows

Julien Saudubray & Nicolas Bourthoumieux

Nicolas Bourthoumieux, Fatalitas, 2020
Nicolas Bourthoumieux, Fatalitas, 2020

Julien Saudubray & Nicolas Bourthoumieux

Objectives

Wednesday 3 June – 15 June 2020
at Waldburger Wouters, Brussels

We are all literalists most or all of our lives. Presentness is grace.
Michael Fried, Art and Objecthood (1967)

Objectives is a title born from a pleasurable confusion of tongues that is so typical of Europe’s capital, but also doubles as an excuse for two artists (Julien Saudubray and Nicolas Bourthoumieux) to engage in an exhibitionary pas de deux. So perhaps – if we stay on track – there is no two but only one, or not one without the other, as in a dialogue or a dance. In fact, I believe their conversation has been going on for much longer and you just opened it up, dear visitor. So, do you see any common ground, except for the gallery floor you find yourself standing on? Well, let’s at least give it a shot.

Julien Saudubray approaches painting as a verb without a subject, a ceaseless activity, a mechanical process. His works are created through a delicate method of constant effacement – a writerly kind of painting sous rature or under erasure. Consistently combining layers of paint with turpentine, Saudubray constructs his images in an assiduous and laborious way. And since all good things take time, the resulting images are absolutely radiant. You will notice both large-scale oil paintings and smaller pastel drawings on view here, a va-et-vient between different mediums.

And then there’s Nicolas Bourthoumieux, whose minimal sculptures thoughtfully probe and occupy the space. His works seem to revisit the “other” of modernist painting, namely objecthood. What exactly are you looking at? Literal objects or a combination thereof, a gracious presence similar to what you see on the surrounding walls. And don’t be mistaken; Bourthoumieux’s materials (steel, wood, marble, glass, mirror, a meteorite,…) are not frozen in time but rather breathing at their own pace, as poetic fragments of history.

What you see here is what happens when the haphazard flow of things suddenly starts making sense. This is what we need artists for, to let us find pleasure in confusion and let us delight in getting lost. In other words, to let chance succeed. Or, with Samuel Beckett: Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

Pieter Vermeulen

Let us find pleasure in confusion and
let us delight in getting lost

Portrait Julien Saudubray Nicolas Bourthoumieux

Julien Saudubray
Born in 1985, France.
Lives and works in Brussels.

Nicolas Bourthoumieux
Born in 1985, France.
Lives and works in Brussels.

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L’art même n°81

Edited by Jean-Baptiste Carobolante

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