A SPACE OF TIME
11-09-2008 / 25-10-2008
MARINA ABRAMOVIC / RICHARD BILLINGHAM / CHEN CHIEH-JEN / PAUL GRAHAM / ZHANG HUAN / KIMSOOJA / ANNIKA LARSSON / ANTONI MUNTADASLa Fábrica Galería is to celebrate the first five years of its existence by launching the 2008-2009 season with the exhibition A Space of Time. The show will feature recent photographic and video projects by some of the leading figures on the current contemporary art scene.
La Fábrica Galería, founded in 2003, represents major Spanish and international artists in Spain, choosing contemporary artists who are set apart by their uniquely distinct styles. The gallery’s portfolio includes both established and emerging artists, focusing in particular on new media such as photography and video.
A Space of Time will feature the following artists: Marina Abramovic, Richard Billingham, Chen Chieh-Jen, Paul Graham, Zhang Huan, Kimsooja, Annika Larsson and Antoni Muntadas.
The exhibition will include photographs from her new series 8 Lessons on Emptiness with a Happy End, 2008. Produced in Laos, this latest project by Abramovic is highly personal, as is the usual case with this artist who questions the impact of television images of war and violence, and reflects about the world today and in particular the world inhabited by children.
In the project entitled The Family X, the photographs show children posing with weapons, simulating war or feigning death. Other images show children dressed up as soldiers and kneeling, while the artist’s calm, maternal figure dominates the composition. In The Family XI, Abramovic faces the camera; dressed in a khaki uniform and holding rifles, she embodies a goddess of war, the mother of all violence.
The exhibition will also feature the latest film by Chen Chieh-jen, People Pushing (2008), which represents people excluded by the new mechanisms of contemporary society. The video, which has a running time of five minutes, is part of the project Military Court and Prison (2007-2008), which the artist recently produced for the Productions programme at the Museo Nacional Reina Sofía. In the video, a group of people keep trying to push their residential space (mobile homes built from iron panels and temporary structures). Their pushing is accompanied by the noise of the impacts produced.
The work symbolises the endless task of pushing in silence. It represents contemporary Taiwanese society but, as Chen shows, these people could be from any other part of the world. The prisoner in the political prison represents the past, the control exercised by the government during martial law. The others are prisoners today, restricted by the law because of their status as temporary workers or illegal immigrants. They all share the same ruined space.
A Space of Time will include Kimsooja’s polytypch To Breathe – A Mirror Woman (2008), four light boxes with different views of the site-specific installation produced in 2006 for the Palacio de Cristal in the Retiro Park in Madrid. Kimsooja left the architectural structure of the building totally intact, incorporating it as an integral part of the installation by placing a mirror on the floor, which acted as a multiplier and unifier of the space. Using a bare minimum of elements – translucent diffraction film to cover the vault and entire glazed structure of the palace, the mirror on the floor and the sound of her own breathing – the artist immersed visitors in a transforming experience and invited them to experiment with both the mind and senses by activating their imagination and sensory perceptions.
The Swedish artist will present her recent video 33L33T (2007). Larsson is one of the most important video artists of her generation. She creates an impact by her use of a highly personal and deliberately perverse language. The artist invents her own codes with which she then explores the relationships of power and subordination to which human beings are subjected in their personal and social environments. Larsson uses video to present situations awaiting action. The tension is made apparent by the lack of continuity, the slow rhythm, and the seemingly frozen images that situate what we see beyond reality. Her taste for detail – an almost obsessive fixation – plus the idea of ritual are combined with music that hypnotises not only the protagonists of her work but also the observers.
The exhibition will include Mandrills from Billingham’s Zoo series based on his nostalgic memories of visits to the zoo in the 1970s. The project explores the impact of limited spaces on animals’ behaviour, making a statement about the psychological spaces of zoos. The series captures the complexities of the relationship between captive animals and the onlooking audience.
Produced at zoos in the United Kingdom, Europe and South America, the project explores the impact of limited spaces on animals’ behaviour. Focusing on the psychological space of the zoo enclosure, the series captures the complexities of the viewing relationship between captive animals and their public audience.
Finally, the exhibition will include Paul Graham’s polyptych Las Vegas (Smoking Man), 2007, from the series A Shimmer of Possibility, which provides a short photographic history of US society today. In this new series, Graham returns to his preoccupations with social breakdown in the United States, to the great divide between the excluded and the included, between the haves and the have-nots. A Shimmer of Possibility explores this ignored territory with a series of powerful images that take root in our conscience while simultaneously exceeding the boundaries between art and social document.