Fernando García-Dory, Toril Johannessen, Fiona Shaw
18 October to 16 November
Private view Thursday 17 October from 7–9 pm
Michelangelo Antonioni, Il Deserto Rosso (Red Desert), 1962
Chantal Akerman, Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, 1975
Béla Tarr, Családi tűzfészek (The Family Nest), 1977
Wim Wenders, Der Stand der Dinge (The State of Things), 1982
Past performance is the best indicator of future results features new work by Fernando García-Dory, Toril Johannessen and Fiona Shaw commissioned in the context of four films–made between 1962 and 1982–by Michelangelo Antonioni, Chantal Akerman, Béla Tarr and Wim Wenders.
These films significantly contributed to the way we understand ‘modern’ living, highlighting unquantifiable absences in the lives of their respective protagonists. Each are suspended stories taking place in stagnant environments, allowing for what is important and unimportant to easily swap places. Not being able to escape the shadows of an overwhelming urban or industrial architectural environment, their characters develop significant neuroses.
Still, the ruins of modernism are a common but depleted quarry for validations of new contemporary art production. High modernism is the dominant component of our living history, dictating our current ways of seeing and behaving. Yet it is fruitless to hope that its formal legacy can offer real solutions; economy’s only law is that eras of prosperity assuredly lead to a fall. Although we inherited our life strategies, the aftermaths of postmodernism–socioeconomic stagnation, a deficit of overarching themes, our artificial lifestyle–also give us an opportunity to reconfigure the structural stipulations of our existence, limitations accepted for generations as natural law.
Are we conditioned to demand progress and resolution? When somebody begins to talk about a subject, we expect both a story and an outcome. It’s evident that neither life nor art work in this manner. The twentieth century’s most lasting impact was not economic or formal, it was the psychological imperative that we may individually confront what is missing in our way of life.
Fernando García-Dory was born in 1978 in Spain. He is currently preparing his PhD in Agroecology after studying Fine Arts and Rural Sociology in Madrid and Amsterdam. Recent projects include a commission for the Haein natural park and Buddhist heritage monastery in South Korea (2013); Navigating Ecological Times, Whitechapel Gallery, London (2013); A Dairy Museum (part of ARTES MUNDI 5), Mostyn Art Center, Llandudno, Wales (2013); Inland Station, a commission for Matadero and ARCO, Madrid ES (2013); Hungry Cities, Kunstraum Kreuzberg, Berlin DE (2013); Practices for Everyday Life, IASPIS, Stockholm SE (2013); Department of Islands, a presentation at the Athens Biennale (2013); Now I Gotta Reason, Jerwood Space, London (2012); A Shepherd Assembly, an event at dOCUMENTA 13, Kassel DE (2012); Confronting Inequity, Creative Time Summit, New York US (2012) and a residency with Grizedale Arts, Cumbria (2011).
Toril Johannessen was born in 1978 in Norway and lives in Bergen. Recent projects include the 13th Istanbul Biennial (2013); Nouvelles Vagues, Palais de Tokyo, Paris FR (2013); Curiosity: Art & the Pleasures of Knowing, Hayward Touring/Norwich Castle Museum and Gallery, Norwich UK (2013); Momentous Times, CCA Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland (2013); dOCUMENTA 13, Kassel DE (2012); The End of Money, Witte de With, Rotterdam NL (2011); and Space. About a Dream, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna AT (2011). Johannessen’s solo exhibitions include Nonlocality, Volker Bradtke, Düsseldorf DE and LAUTOM Contemporary, Oslo NO (both 2011) as well as Bergen Kunsthall NO.5 (2010).
Fiona Shaw was born in 1983 and works in London. In 2011 she graduated from the Royal College of Art’s MA Sculpture programme and received a BA (Hons) Fine Art from Cumbria Institute of the Arts in 2006. Recent exhibitions include Already The Imbalance Was Too Significant, InSitu Project Space, London (2013); Tourist Information Centre, Supercollider, Blackpool (2013); Interrogative Determination Protocol, Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool (2013); The Thing In-Between, Changing Spaces, Cambridge (2012); Fish With Broken Dreams, Galerie Heike Strelow, Frankfurt DE (2011); SHOW RCA, Royal College of Art, London (2011) and Best Of, Galerie ADLER, Frankfurt DE (2011).