opening May 18, 19.00
with a lecture by associate curator Denis Maksimov
on Duchamp, acceleration, radical forms of presentation, experimentation
Artist, curator, dealer, provocateur and polymath Marcel Duchamp is a Pandora of art history for some and John the Baptist of modern and contemporary art for others. Among many disruptions of the order and normality of what was set to be called ‘art’, in 1935 he created Boîte-en-valise, or box in a suitcase, a portable miniature monograph including sixty-nine reproductions of the artist’s own work. In the following years, he created other editions of the boxes, with varying content and luxurious touch, including a special edition for long time friend Peggy Guggenheim. Is it a portfolio of artist’s work or an individual piece of work, or maybe both? As enigmatic as ever, Duchamp was not meaning to provide a definite answer.An inaugural exhibition atShtager Gallery in London unites under the same roof in a compact space not only one, but multiple group and solo ‘exhibitions’. The conceptual gesture of Duchamp is peculiar in the contemporary context of commercialisation, gentrification and scarcity. How many narratives and stories can strategically fit in a small experimental space?Duchamp anticipated and contributed to theinstitutionalisation of many forms of presentation within and beyond artistic fields with his radical and daring innovations. Curriculum Vitae and a personal statement are the standardof self-presentation now. The radical nature of his heritage is timeless and in the currents of crises in contemporaneity, becomes actual and even urgent.
Attention deficit alongside the culture of accelerationlead to us to necessity to be more effective in literally all aspects of modern life. The functions of the museum, gallery, artist-run and independent project spaces are merging with each other in search of new meaning as the social and political conditions of artistic production are evolving towards new, seemingly tougher, but possible just different frontiers. Revisiting in this context the most influential ideas of the age of manifestos is more than necessary.A portable exhibition is presented here in the form of an intellectual vortex: it drags the viewer into its own laws of matter, gravity and light. Just like it is in the space of contemporary media, where the increasing number of simultaneous voices create more autonomous images of subjective real.By placing the artists in an experimental, multiversal and hardly comprehensible conversation, a strategic cacophony, there is an emergence of the question about what we observe in the constantly accelerating societies: is too much the new not enough?
text by Denis Maximov
Studio 24, 87 Crampton Street, London, SE17 3AZ
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