March 10th, 2013

“Beloufa Binet Bourouissa” at Zero

Artists:  Neil Beloufa, Jonathan Binet, Mohamed Bourouissa

Exhibition Title: Beloufa Binet Bourouissa

Venue: ZERO, Milan

Date: January 24 – February 23, 2013

Click here to view slideshow

Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.


Images courtesy of Galleria ZERO, Milan. Photos by Filippo Armellin.

Press Release:

Dear everyone,

this text is for you who have just passed through the doors of the gallery ZERO…

Even if it takes the form of a press release, it is something different. By that I mean that this is a kind of facsimile of a press release, a game on the speculative nature of this kind of document, a press release aimed at thwarting the press release itself. Indeed, most of the times these texts have to be prepared before the exhibition, in a short time span, with effects that can be retroactively detrimental..

My role consists in trying to imagine what this exhibition will be, a way of justifying the “authorial position”1  of the writer, of someone who writes for and about the artists. The difficulty lies in writing about something that one did not see.

By collecting some information here and there, here are some notes on an exhibition that seems to me to be less about a group show, but rather the creation of a situation of collective creation: will you be able to distinguish between one work and the other? This will be difficult, because if there is a connection between each of the exhibited works it is probably around the idea of equivalence, qualified by some sort of Marxist balance (a general and presumed equivalence between the forms, the practices and the experiences2 ).

To give an example, Jonathan sees paintings with a great ability to project himself. As he explains very clearly there is a difference between the idea that one can have of a novel from its title and the one that comes from reading it. Painting is almost everywhere, on the street, in the landscape, in an image, or even in a failure. Letʼ s speak about Jonathanʼ s painting then, and not about his paintings. It exists in response to a context, in between the first intention and its result, as the outcome of a tension that becomes a work. He merges the categories, the movements, the ideas, he stacks them, confuses them or simply denies them. These are the reasons why he is free enough to paint, or at least detached from everything that existed before he started painting. He often proceeds by using protocols. These give rise to private performances whose traces have the ability to suspend a past action in the present. I guess that for this exhibition Jonathan will try to make his paintings cohabiting with themselves and the works of Neil and Mohamed, as this is the way he conceives them and they could never exist independently from this data so important for him: 1+1=1 and not 2…

Neil addresses similar problematics by stating that nowadays every information – whatever this means and comes from – is at the same level. An image placed next to an electric outlet has the same power and the same “status” of a video, he says. There is no distinction between different media. One has to look at hi works as anti-autonomous bodies with references whose content is amplified through the continuous transition through different supports. For now, I only know that for this exhibition he will present a video filmed in Canada that echoes the earlier Kempinski  (2009), of which I have seen some extracts. The title Peopleʼs Passion, Lifestyle, Beautiful Wine, Gigantic Glass Towers, All Surrounded By Water  (2011) evokes something about an hype, some sort of North American utopia, what could be called the theory of magnitudes. As usual the elements in the film are traces and hints of those bodies of wood, metal and images that Neil struggles to define as sculptures.Those “sculpturovnis” that often appear in science-fiction. As a proof that what is at stake here is not the reality but its forms of representation.

In this group show there is for sure a will to not compartmentalise, a desire to work with others, a way of adding oneself and creating the conditions for a collective creation. There is little or no punctuation. The other here is not the negation of itself, it is separated. Mohamedʼ s work probably finds itself on this side. Through the invention of new types of relations to another or any group.

I think that Mohamed prefers to talk about films rather than videos, about “fideos”. One refers to a condition of commercial rap, the clash, and makes visible the comments on You Tube by aggressive internet  users against the heated exchange between two rappers. The other one shows with a static shot the fall of photographs to talk about soccerʼ s supporters. In these two “fideos” what is evident is the absence of the fundamental elements of these situations. In the first one the same subject of the comments, the confrontation, is subtracted from our eyes, and so in the second one are the bettors. Mohamed unveils two social realities in the form of a testimony, by sparing us some of their constitutive elements. As a desire not to reveal everything. A disembodied way that says a lot about the workʼ s inability to reveal reality in an objective way.

Let me apologise if there are some inaccuracies and if the content does not match with the form, but I did warn you. Anyway, what I am sure of is what the three of them will reply when asked why to make an artwork: because it is instinctive. Finally, sorry, I believe that there is nothing to see. Everything happens beyond what is visible of these works. This is the bet.

Yours faithfully,

Edouard Montassut

Link: Group Show at Zero

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