March 12th, 2013

“Cherry Picking” at Karma International

Artists: Marcel Broodthaers, Alex Dolan, Yuki Kimura, Tabor Robak, Pamela Rosenkranz, Emanuel Rossetti, Rosemarie Trockel

Venue: Karma International, Zurich

Exhibition Title: Cherry Picking

Curated by: Simon Castets

Date: January 31 – March 9, 2013

Click here to view slideshow

Tabor Robak

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


Images courtesy of Karma International, Zurich

Press Release:

“Adjustment of the coincidence of objects or parts of objects; the hierarchy of this kind of adjustment is in direct ratio to the ‘disparate’.”
Marcel Duchamp
in André Breton, Anthologie de l’humour noir (Paris: Editions du Sagittaire, 1940)


A type of logical fallacy resulting from selective attention, cherry picking involves focusing upon elements that tend to confirm an argument while overlooking those that contradict it.

The works in the exhibition echo this particular mental process by requiring the viewer to suspend disbelief as a necessary step toward the acceptance of the specific narrative they each bring forth. Functioning as individual simulacra, the works come together in suggesting the integration of the gallery to its contextual structure, a brutalist neighborhood shopping mall.

The isolation of specific details handpicked to build a story is at the core of Yuki Kimura’s practice, whose new wallpaper piece anchors the exhibition. An enlarged found photograph of a 1980s middle-class home interior, Untitled (Room #3) (2013) covers the main wall of the gallery, creating a trompe-l’oeil exposed by its intentional imperfections. 

Marcel Broodthaers’ Bateau Tableau (1973), a slide projection of close up shots of an amateur 19th Century maritime painting, resonates with Kimura’s process and introduces a particular type of cherry picking. The details isolated by Broodthaers are linked together to construct an imagined narrative that recalls the early 20th Century editing effect named after its inventor, the Russian director Lev Kouleshov, who demonstrated the power of image juxtaposition to create emotional responses. By the gallery entrance hangs a selection of Broodthaers’ Lettres Ouvertes (1972), warning the visitors of the pure coincidentality of possible resemblances with the Department of Eagles. 

Narrative juxtaposition is also played with in the work of Pamela Rosenkranz. In Purity of Vapors (2012), Rosenkranz stocks a commercial refrigerator with bottles of Smart Water, some of which contain skin-tone tinted silicon. Conjuring up ideas of mental and physical health, the work creates a sense of both desire and unease, heightened by Kimura’s Eleven (2012), a pair of child-size wooden chairs facing the cool flourescent glow of the refrigerator’s glass door.

Emanuel Rosseti’s Untitled (2009-2013), a digital rendering of a marble-textured torus shape printed on self-adhesive foil, adheres to the gallery window, mirroring the neighboring supermarket’s advertising imagery in a luxurious vein. The complexity of the mathematical formula embodied by the torus shape is altered by the crass banality of its mundane referent, the doughnut.

Rosemarie Trockel pays direct homage to the influence of Broodthaers in her photograph, Bibliothek Babylon (1997). The large portrait poses an attractive female sitter in a manner common to fashion imagery, but bluntly contrasting the academic context of the bookcase behind her showcasing Broodthaers’ catalogs.

Alex Dolan’s Body Heat (2012) brings forth a more literal take on warmth. A muscle stimulation device is chained against thermal fabric stretched over a frame, collapsing the functions of contemporary instruments of comfort. So does his Thermal Offering (2012), a tabletop installation of two heat sinks – intricate chrome devices used to keep computers cool – on either side of a slate recalling the aesthetic tropes of fusion food.

Tabor Robak’s new work, Cold Storage (2013), is a video panning a high-gloss, digitally rendered display of frozen desserts. Running on two back-to-back flat screens in the middle of the gallery, Cold Storage mimics the pictorial tropes of advertising while heightening their fetishizing potential though insistent close-ups. Like Kimura’s found photograph, Robak’s imagery relies on its misleading vividness and participates in the exhibition’s attempt to gather anecdotal evidence of commercial activity.

The exhibition will be accompanied by the Swiss Issue, a special edition of the trend forecasting report K-HOLE, produced in collaboration with Karma International.

Link: “Cherry Picking” at Karma International

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