Copyright 2007-2015
Built with Indexhibit

empty places/ with suspicion
Jarrod Van Der Ryken
25 March- 10 April 2015
Metro Arts Gallery

temporary spaces/ with suspicion

when you walk into a gallery space there's a hierarchy of how to behave, sometimes it feels like that turns into a trajectory of how we are supposed to experience art, you have to see it a certain way or you don't get it, sometimes this imposes a logical structure on works that are more intuitive, it's better if the experience is as flexible as possible, you can succumb to a specific kind of confusion, it's not real is it, To be called a copy, to be called unreal, is thus one way in which one can be oppressed1, what is considered authentic in one situation and false in another, what is considered real, how does that change in the gallery context, can the work's unreality to make an otherwise impossible or illegible claim (so that) something other than a simple assimilation into prevailing norms can and does take place2.

what happens only when something is a copy or false, often the false has a greater "reality" than the true. Therefore, it seems that all information, and that includes anything that is visible, has its entropic side. Falseness, as an ultimate, is inextricably a part of entropy, and this falseness is devoid of moral implications3, what can occur here that can't happen elsewhere, even for just a moment, especially just for a moment, a 'temporary autonomous zone'4 in which the rules of gallery experience are suspended, replaced by a provisional improvisation, and where an essentially intuitive response to the uncertainties of space and time is unavoidable5, something else might happen here, in a utopian "rest" of this kind, towards some ultimate "no-place" of a collectivity untormented by sex or history, by cultural superfluities or an object-world irrelevant to human life6, it's not possible is it, it has to be absurd, otherwise it's dangerous7.

how does this impact the viewer, what does it feel like entering a space that belongs to someone else, trespassing, intruding, curiosity overcame my fear and I did not close my eyes8, it's kind of exciting, everyone's going to do it, there's a bit of an adrenalin rush, no-one will ever know, your whole body is experiencing everything tenfold, but you might get caught, the viewer, choosing, accepts the responsibility of choice9, what do you choose to be responsible for, how do you work that out, what's going on here, what are you up to, we'll just have to work it out for ourselves, sometimes in these moments, when intuition is the source of information rather than language and conscious perception, memories of past experiences mix with and inform the present, it's hard to distinguish between the real and the imaginary of the present and the past, of the actual and the virtual10, the notion of time has crashed into this immediacy, the now. We act in the fold of the present, an exponential present11.

yet time seems to slow down temporarily, it lingers, it's delayed, stops even, it is in stillness that one may be said to find true speed12, the slowness starts revealing secrets to you, in this small corner of the atmosphere there reigns complete and utter silence; that here in the darkness immutable tranquility holds sway13, subtle details emerge, the glow of grime14, which is really the polish that comes of being touched over and over again15, the layers of dust, dismal sheets of dust constantly invade earthly habitations and uniformly defile them16, it will eventually fall apart, disintegrate, merge, descend into the all-encompassing sameness, what lives, wants to die again. Originating in dust, it wants to be dust again. Not only the life-drive is in them, but the death-drive as well17.

from the confusion, the "no-place", the possibilities for the work expand, the artist obliges the audience to build separate parts into a whole, and to think on further than has been stated,...that puts the audience on par with the artist... going beyond the limitations of coherent logic, and conveying the deep complexity and truth of the impalpable connections and hidden phenomena of life18, the work develops with us, but we are always [taking] up only such problems as we can solve19.

1 Butler, Judith. 2004. Undoing Gender. New York: Routledge, 30.
2 Butler, Judith. 1990. Gender Trouble. New York: Routledge, 27.
3 Smithson, Robert. 1966. “Entropy and the New Monuments”. Artforum in Flan, Jack (Ed.). 1996. Robert Smithson: The Collected Writings. Berkeley: University of California Press, 17-18.
4 Bey, Hakim. 1991. T.A.Z.: The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism. New York: Autonomedia.
5 Cameron, Dan in Latty, Gemma, Richard Riley and Emma Williams (Eds). 2011. Mike Nelson: British Pavilion- 54th Venice Biennale. Manchester: The British Council Visual Arts Publications, 36.
6 Jameson, Fredric. 1974. “World Reduction in Le Guin: The Emergence of Utopian Narrative”. in Jameson, Fredric. 2005. Archaeologies of the Future: The Desire Called Utopia and Other Science Fictions. London: Verso, 271.
7 Original quote: “Homosexuals that were not absurd, were dangerous” taken from David McDiarmid artwork in David McDiarmid: When This You See Remember Me. 2014. Melbourne: National Gallery of Victoria.
8 Borges Jorge Luis. 1975 ‘There are more things: To the memory of H.P. Lovecraft’ in The Book of Sand. Madrid: Alianza Editorial S.A. 42.
9 Le Guin, Ursula K. 1974. “The Day Before the Revolution”. Galaxy Aug: 17-30.
10 Deleuze, Gilles. 2005 Cinema II: The Time Image. London: Continuum Impacts:121
11 Huyghe, Pierre in Aitken, Doug. 2006. Broken Screen: 26 conversations wit Doug Aitken: expanding the image, breaking the narrative. New York: Distributed Art Publishers, 174.
12 Minh-ha, Trinh T. quoted in Beckman, Karen and Ma, Jean (Eds). 2008. Still Moving: Between Cinema and Photography. Durham: Duke Press, 10.
13 Tanizaki, Jun’ichiro. 2006. In Praise of Shadows. London: Vintage Books, 19-20.
14 Ibid.
15 Ibid.
16 Bataille, George quoted in Bois, Y-A and Rosalind A. Krauss. 1997. Formless: A User’s Guide. New York: Zone Books, 224.
17 Wittels, Fritz quoted in Jaffe, Ira. 2014. Slow Movies: Countering the Cinema of Action. New York: Wallflower Press, 127.
18 Tarkovsky, Andrey. 1986. Sculpting in Time: Reflections on the Cinema. London: The Bodley Head, 21.
19 Marx, Karl. 1977. A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy. Moscow: Progress Publishers.