Dan Graham – Contemplation curated by Daniela Haberz, M.A.
at the Kitchen Gallery, Graz, Austria
Opening: Thursday, 21st of February 3.00 p.m. – 9.00 p.m.
Finissage: Saturday, 30st of March 2019 11.00 a.m. – 3.00 p.m.
Researching on the artist Dan Graham in October Files 11 and reflecting upon my visit of the exhibition at Lisson Gallery in London in October last year, as well as the limited edition art print I bought, I’ve come up with a list of thoughts on the term ’Contemplation’ and what it means to myself as well as what the action or rather time passing of contemplating results in.
Pondering, considering, lost in thoughts, concretising, defining, developing, back and forth, focusing on here and now, cutting ties with dreams, realistic behaviour versus dreamworld, giving it up entirely? Just some sort of loopiness allowed? All certainty? All lost? Living here and now – forget the past, cut ties with former life, start anew, we’re going back to the start, wondering which start it was, our start, my former starts?
Window to the future, portal to the past – which one to choose?
Pondering – Time loop
Two way mirror – Me versus We
Entry Exit Back – Scattered
Put together (By someone else)
Lifted up – Dropping down – Lifting up – Dropping down
– Spirraled –
Today’s society and working methods let us appear to be in a constant loop of the same old routines producing constant déjà-vus, being captured in a time loop seeming to never end.
Real life versus pondering, constantly interchanged in our life. Where would the world be without research of numerous scientists or like in former times, philosophers walking in circles thinking up the innovations of today. Time is of the essence for realisation of the things that surround us.
Like in the British parliament, currently discussed day-in and day-out in the Brexit proposals for a future relationship with the European Union, voices need to be heard not simply suppressed to realise a joint agreement, remembering that with the final contract, both sides will face the same obstacles.
Sitting in front of Dan Graham’s art work at Lisson Gallery allowed me to see myself mirrored in his work, however only like a mere shadow reflected in the plexi glass structure. Previously I have taken a similar photograph at the Art Basel Unlimited section reflecting myself in a Pavilion structure by Dan Graham presented by Lisson Gallery.
The focus lies on the art work, but the public, in this case myself, is still reflected in the realisation of his work, but not in the foreground but rather as a mere shadow in the distance only documented in photographs. I conscientiously choose the term realisation of his work, as further developed by his performances the visitor is vital to Graham’s working method. Even though his creative output resulted in an art work, we engage with it and therewith develop it further. Like Foucault says the visitor further develops the work carrying it out into real life, by further definition by ones own words.
In his performances Graham engages with the audience, the public is asked to define himself, he defines the audience. It’s a ’Me’ versus ’We’ resulting in creating a better understanding of Graham’s personality by himself, mirrored in the eyes of the audience.
The experience created by these performances make us aware of, or allow us to take time to encounter events and in a grander realm, life to the full extent, which is expressed in Graham’s Collected Memories resulting from his engagement with the audience.
A succession of Time – Thoughts – Experience – Memory, were my associations reading about his work and by looking at his works, which led to my creation of the title for the exhibition ’Contemplation’ in this realm ’Results’ are no priority, as schedules are not inherent to contemplation. Where does the performance end and what does the public take away for themselves? The question, we pose to ourselves is, do we encompass the art on show into our own lives to learn more about ourselves. Would Graham be where he is today without the public involved is another angle to view. Dan Graham’s ultimate result is discovering himself by means of being described by the audience.
Like in the single art work being on show at the Kitchen Gallery in Graz poignantly reduced by his simple inscription: ’Dan Graham with Dan Graham’ signed Dan Graham
The Me versus Us results into a ‘Me’, one could say enhanced by the ‘We’, quoted in the beginning in my word collection and spiralled, until the next encounter with the public takes place.
The exhibition can be viewed and engaged with upon personal request only, to leave time and space to contemplate.
Curated by Daniela Haberz, M.A. for AØH Art Consultancy Haberz E.u.