Curated by Bar Project for the IMPOSSIBLE SHOW at Temporary Gallery.
RMS have asked a group of international curators to propose a project for an impossible show, A “show of impossible shows”, as an archive in progress that starts with Dora García’s work, “100 impossible artworks”, and takes different formats – from press releases to lectures and audio guides.
BAR Project Space presents A hair, a typhoon, two books and some beer, a group exhibition with Antonio Gagliano (AR), Cleo Fariselli (IT), Priscila Fernandes (PT) and Carlos Valverde (ES).
In these days of Antrophocene – the stage of geological time in which human effects on Earth have become irreversible – a change of traditional relationships between nature and human, subject and object, is now given in any kind of production or work related to representation. Along with this, and consequently, it is essential to re-think the relationships of all the agents involved in this scenario, (human and not human), but also the ways in which people relate each other in our society.
Taking this reflection as a departure point, BAR Project Space is located for this occasion in the middle of The Crooked Forest, a grove of oddly shaped pine trees in western Poland. The forest contains about 400 pine trees that grow with a 90-degree bend at the base of their trunks. All of the trees are bent northward and surrounded by a larger forest of straight growing pine trees. The crooked trees were planted around 1930 when the area was inside Germany, and it is thought the trees were formed with a human tool, but the method and motive for creating the grove is not currently known. It appears that the trees were allowed to grow for seven to ten years before being held down and warped by a device.
The exhibition space is located in the middle of this strange spot, surrounded by the pine trees and other vegetation. For this occasion it is totally transparent, creating a direct relationship between interior and exterior. Inside the see-through walls, levitating in the centre of the space is Untitled, by Cleo Fariselli, an accurate bronze casting of a single nose hair in 1:1 scale. The work is a delicate monument to this noble but undervalued part of the body. It reflects, through its delicacy and lightness, on how every little and -apparently- insignificant part of the body has huge implications on the actual scenario.
Around the work of Fariselli, Holden by Antonio Gagliano, a miniature tropical typhoon of about 200 cm tall is moving and flashing relentlessly for the exhibition space. A natural phenomenon which will make you feel the power of nature in a direct relation with your body. The title refers, among other things, to Holden Caulfield, the teenage unbearable of The Catcher in the Rye of J. D. Salinger.
Downstairs, in the library of the space, we find Priscila Fernandes artwork, Temporal Paradox: in the little room with big stone walls there is an old wood table with two large books under the title “History of Art from 1900-1999”. Both book have 2671 pages, are published by the same editor, year and publishing house, and use an equally peculiar approach to the selection of material – all texts have been taken from the same newspaper clips that contained what is considered, in our present time, relevant information about the art world of the past century. As we look through these books, displayed side by side, our understanding is that they are, in fact, the same book; a misconception that the artist will be challenging us with during her performance at the opening night. Born as a result of the overexposure of Fernandes to Holden typhoon, the work alludes to the consequences one provokes in the present if travelling back in time.
Outside the space, Beerscesion by Carlos Valverde rises among the weird pine trees of the forest. A high and estrange construction made by steel which can remember to a surveillance tower is actually a useful spatial device, passable, whose main purpose is to offer free beer to the audience. But the only way to access the free beer is by slaughtering capacity of any individual to decide access to beer and offer it to others. Whoever serves beer will not be physically able to access the offered beer. The works plays with notions as consensus, sacrifice, reward, mysticism, technology or representation, generating a situation to reflect around how we gather together in the world.
While people hang out around Valverde’s device drinking beer in this particular forest, Holden displace itself all around the space, crashing against the transparent walls elegantly and sharply, challenging the viewer to enter and see the little bronze hair floating immobile in the centre. If you do, you can discover the small stairs that from the ground lead you until Fernandes books. A performative, ritualistic and mystic situation which aims to provide a space to enjoy, experience and reflect about our place in the world as a community in coexistence with nature, and dare you to delve into unknown paths.
BAR Project Space is an independent, mobile and portable structure for exhibition and performance projects founded by BAR Project and travelling around the world. You can find it now at 53º 11′ 43.13″N / 14º 29′ 6.82″W.