Artists: Gerry Bibby, Henrik Olesen
Venue: Sismógrafo, Porto
Exhibition Title: Conversation in a Yes/No Landscape Insect Incest
Curated by: Nikola Dietrich
Date: April 22 – May 21, 2016
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Sismógrafo, Porto
The two artists Gerry Bibby and Henrik Olesen (both based in Berlin), accepting an invitation by curator Nikola Dietrich, collaborate for the first time at Sismógrafo. After a process of experiment and dialogue in Berlin, the new project becomes actual on site. Re-purposing some materials made available from another exhibition venue in Porto, the works take their starting point in conversation and exchange, they elaborate on oppositions in taste, competing perceptions, gestures of judgment, and the landscapes that sustain them.
Beginning with the immediate surrounds of the gallery as seen from the window, the square with its subterranean parking garage and the zebra crossing, a metaphorical space unfolds. A variety of situations set the stage for material and linguistic games. The first appears as a graphic image that transposes the street view, shifting its axis into the vertical. The black and white of its motif introduces a series of inversions that stand in for structures of positive & negative, on/off, yes/no, thumbs-up/thumbs-down; for structures fed by expectations and the rupturing of assumptions. A confusion in these systems of perception and recognition is here considered as a productive interference, creating a space for invention. This could constitute, in the words of Paul B. Preciado*, “a type of fiction-politics [where] footprints cannot be followed, but instead have to be invented”.
Gerry Bibby (Australia, 1977) lives and works in Berlin. Recent solo projects include a workshop and presentation “Flexing Muscle” (with the Bureau of Writing) Art Space in Sydney as part of the 20th Biennale of Sydney (2016), as well as a residency in Cyprus with the exhibition “Yes No Future”, at Point Center for Contemporary Art, Nicosia, Cyprus (2015). In 2014, he had solo exhibitions with Gallery Silberkuppe in Berlin, and Gallery Deborah Schamoni in Munich and the exhibition “Combination Boiler” at The Showroom, London. Together with Juliette Blightman he was invited for KUB Arena, Kunsthaus Bregenz, where he began writing his first book “The Drumhead”, published by Sternberg Press, Berlin in 2014. Recent group shows were “Textilities… and Roses too”, at Fondazione Ratti, Como, “Playing Pool with Eggs” at Galerie Bernhard, Zurich, and “Re-XXXcovery VI”, at Autocenter, Berlin, among others. He was part of the extensive group show “Abandon the parents”, at Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen that was curated by Henrik Olesen (2014). In 2013 he developed a work for frieze projects London and participated in the Lyon Biennial. He is a regular contributor to the Berlin based art magazine “Starship”, that is co-published bi-annual since 2014 by Nikola Dietrich, Martin Ebner, Ariane Müller, and Henrik Olesen.
Henrik Olesen (Denmark, 1967) lives and works in Berlin. Recently he had parallel solo exhibitions at Gallery Buchholz and Reena Spaulings in New York. Further solo presentations include: Museum Ludwig/Wolfgang-HahnPrice, Cologne (2012), MoMA – Projects 94, New York (2011), Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel (2011), Malmö Konsthall, Malmö (2010), Portikus, Frankfurt (with Judith Hopf) (2007), Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich (2007). His work is included in the recent group exhibition “L’image volée” at Fondazione Prada, curated by Thomas Demand. He further contributed to “Alfred Jarry Archipelago”, La Ferme Du Buisson, Noisiel (2015), “Slip of the Tongue”, Punta della Dogana, Venice (2015), The Venice Biennale, Venice (2013), The New Museum, New York (2012), Generali Foundation, Vienna (2012), and Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2012), among others. He was curator of the group show “Abandon the parents”, at Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen (2014). His monographic publications encompass “What is authority?” Pork Salad Press; “Some Faggy Gestures”, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst; “How do I make myself a body?” Malmö Konsthall and Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel; et al. Henrik Olesen is coeditor of the Berlin based art magazine “Starship” that is published bi-annual since 2014 together with Nikola Dietrich, Martin Ebner, and Ariane Müller.
Nikola Dietrich (Germany, 1972) is a Berlin based art historian and curator. She graduated from the Humboldt University of Berlin and worked at gallery Klosterfelde in Berlin, before she moved to Amsterdam where she attended the De Appel Curatorial Program in 2001. Afterwards, she was part of the curators’ workshop, founded by René Block in the Kunsthalle Fridericianum, where she co-curated exhibitions with Terry Fox, and the substantial exhibition “In the Gorges of the Balkans”. She was the curator at Portikus in Frankfurt from 2004-2007, where she realized over 20 exhibitions accompanied by publications, among them projects with Francis Alÿs, Akram Zaatari, John Baldessari, Judith Hopf, Paulina Olowska and Bonnie Camplin. Subsequently she became head curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Basel until 2013 where she conceived exhibitions with Hilary Lloyd, Henrik Olesen, Tim Rollins & K.O.S., and the widely recognized exhibition “Tell It to My Heart. Collected by Julie Ault”, among many others. She is coeditor of Starship Magazine since 2014, published in Berlin.