Ana Navas and Tjalling Quinten Mulder
5-8 November 2015
Hotel Maria Kapel (HMK) participates in The Others Art Fair 2015 with a duo presentation of works by Ana Navas and Tjalling Quinten Mulder. Mulder’s work is also on show in The Others | EXHIBIT at the ex-Borsa Valori of Turin, in Piazza Valdo Fusi.
The work Etui by Ana Navas (1984) is composed of a textile and a copy of the sculpture Bird in Space by Constantin Brancusi, which the artist acquired from an online decoration shop. The textile functions as a carpet, a composition, or a plinth, but it can also be used to transport the reproduction, turning the shapes that form the composition into functional elements. Questioning the autonomy, functionality and decoration value of art further, the composition and relation of the textile versus the sculpture will continually alter for the duration of the fair. In the video, Footnote (Billboard Hits 1984-2014), Navas dances around the Brancusi reproduction while wearing a costume that mimics the famous sculpture. The soundtrack of the work features well known pop songs from every year of the artist’s life. With the work the artist investigates the personal relation she has with these icons of modern art. How can a young, female, South American artist deal with the heritage of modern art so dominated by the western, male figure? The appropriation of the stereotypical modernist sculpture into a comical costume conveys the kind of miscommunication that can occur in artefacts moving between meanings and contexts. For Navas’ main interest does not rely on the original sculpture, but rather on the transformation of an object into an icon. Navas questions the ways in which assimilation processes take place: in what way do particular movements in art influence the language of design, or the consensus as to what is ‘good taste’?
Tjalling Quinten Mulder (1986) uses his body to enter into a dialogue with traditional materials and production processes. In the video Stuck on Plaster Mulder literally struggles with the material which is stuck in blocks around his hands and feet and deprive him of movement. His naked body brings to mind the long fascination with the human form and its central position within the history of visual art. But where in the past nudity was referring to divinity and eminence, here it is no more than part of earthly reality. The body itself has become material. In the series Throwing Myself Into It (Poke, Fuck, Embrace) on show at The Others | EXHIBIT, Mulder again entered into a direct relationship with a material, of which only the end product is visible now. What is left are ceramic sculptures that have no form or reference. If order implies restriction, then perhaps disorder and formlessness can offer a freedom from the framing we impose on ourselves.
HMK’s participation at The Others was made possible by the Mondriaan Fund.