Midcentury Paradox

Adrian Dan

 

Exhibition opening: 3_3_2017 / 22.00

Exhibition dates: 4_3_2017 – 22_4_2017

 

 

An urge to visualise and scrutinise an imagined future has been tied with humans for centuries, may it be through the witchcraft of the crystal ball or on the contrary, through the somewhat more realistic assumptions of speculative fiction, the roots of which are in this case, grounded within an adequate knowledge of the real world. Looking back into the late nineteenth and the following twentieth century, where the multiplicity of imagined futures developed together with concepts of a speeding modernity, we are faced with an arena where the probable became gradually possible and the gap between the imagined and the lived, shifted from a diminishing distance to a greater proximity.

 

Time passing through images from present to future, is represented here in continuous motion and flux. It is confronted with the body – a familiar, stable and a measurable unit that becomes a filter and the scale for the imagination of an improbable, yet surprisingly possible future. A future where the body commemorates its organic form, on a quest towards a robotic upcoming that has long been rooted in the already lived of the day.

 

With the disruption in the understanding of the body as something strictly organic, the body similarly to the revision of the spatiotemporal becomes fragmented. It is no longer perceived as a singular form, but rather as an operational system, constructed from replaceable components, industrially produced (body) parts. While the idea behind modernity’s industrialisation was progress towards a better life, our future visions take a turn towards a non-life. Still far away from the upcoming midcentury, we are already living visions of our own future paradox.

 

Marketa Stará Condeixa

 

 

 

Adrian Dan (1985) is one of the leading artist of his generation in Romania. Currently based between Bucharest and London his recent exhibitions include Kunstlich Naturlich at Sabot Gallery (Cluj-Napoca), Muscle Breach at Suprainfinit Gallery (Bucharest) and Nicodim Gallery (Los Angeles/Buchares) among other. He has previously shown in Madrid(CA2M), Paris (Palais de Beaux-Arts) and Brussels. In 2015 Adrian has been a researcher in residence in Marfa, Texas, as part of the Fieldwork Marfa program. His exhibition at Syntax is the first presentation of the artists work in Portugal.

 

 

Project partners:

The Monster Dresses in Mirrors

André Romão

 

Exhibition opening: 15_12_2016 / 19.00

Exhibition dates: 16_12_2016 – 4_2_2017

 

 

 

The work of André Romão is deeply rooted in the process of reawakening, reappearance and historical returns. History and the material and immaterial residue it leaves behind, than serves the artist as a point of departure for the construction of a new sequence of narration, which although seemingly abstracted, is through an intricate web of relations and associations interlaced with the politics of the present.

 

The Monster Dresses in Mirrors however presents us with a return that is two-fold. The first is a return of the artist to a language and to the formal origins of his practice. The second return are the themes introduced by the exhibition as such. Here through a controlled process of gathering, reuniting and animating, André Romão awakens the themes of a historical context, while building up on the symbolic value of its subjects. These are than reactivated through a poetic play of metaphor, association and opposition.

 

The animated Western Freeze of the Parthenon in Athens, which governs the exhibition, serve us here as a reference to the process of the above mentioned gathering, awakening and reactivation. The cold and inanimate stone is brought to life along the sound of a rhythmic beat by drummer Quim Albergaria. The initially fragmented and seemingly dead is united in a search for a new common and a new polis. The past, the present and the future are intertwined by a play of materiality and opposition, may it be by the hardness and the coldness of the stone, or by the artificiality and the transparency of the plexiglas sculptures, which enthrone dead bodies of exotic wasps. As if suspended in time on their journey to the north, we might see their gathering as a projection of a possible future or a reflection of a former past. After all the monster does dress in mirrors.

 

Markéta Stará Condeixa

 

 

André Romão (1984) is one of the key representatives of artists of his generation. His work has been presented in a number of institutions such as Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin), Astrup Fearnley Museet (Oslo), MACRO – Museo d’Arte Contemporanea (Rome), 98 Weeks (Beirut), Spike Island Art Center (Bristol) Kunsthalle Lissabon or Serralves in Porto among others. His exhibition at Syntax presents a series of new works developed especially for the exhibition.

 

transplants: contamination as collaboration

COYOTE

 

Performative talk presenting COYOTE ongoing research at Syntax on September 30th at 19:00.

 

 

COYOTE (Grégoire Benzakin, Tristan Bera, Nuno da Luz, Elida Høeg, Clémence Seurat, Ana Vaz) is a collective formed in 2015 as a dérive and aftermath of their experience at French philosopher Bruno Latour’s experimental laboratory in arts and politics at Sciences Po, Paris. COYOTE is a cross-disciplinary group concerned with art, ecology, ethnology and political sciences.

 

 

Dear Coyotes,

 

For “Sud e magia”, Syntax has been painted with lime whitewash and iron oxide – one room in ochre, the other in red – to host circles of plants and lights that talk with each other: the lights do it in a kind of Morse code that is sound activated and devil’s weeds do it by growing, bearing fruit, releasing seeds… and dying. Both are clues taken freely from Carlos Castaneda’s books on his so-called shaman apprenticeship with the Yaqui sorcerer Don Juan. I got to read Castaneda a few years ago as a curiosity on California 60s anthropology studies but as we have tried to read through Roy Wagner’s “Coyote Anthropology”, I realized more and more how Castaneda is such an important storyteller, a trickster (another coyote in the history of trickery). By the way, Ana and I covered some connections between Castaneda and Wagner during our “no longer innocent or guilty” event in New York. It has been printed as a newspaper sheet and plenty of copies are available at Syntax.

 

And so, for our coming together starting on Sept 26th, I propose that the space is used as a common room for working (crafting) for a week. Hence, things might and should move around and new things should be added, brought in, spatially, sonically, invisibly.

 

For now, I just want to leave you with the truest of coincidences: when in Japan (collaborating with Ana on a film project), I got to know that the plants at Syntax were sick and dying. Later that evening at Kita-Senju station, I saw an “ikebana” arrangement combining branches of devil’s weed, bearing fruits with yellow daisies, and, as I was taking a photo, an email notification from Clémence appeared on my phone’s screen, chaining together this huge “South of the heart”.

 

This leads me to ask you to bring things to craft together… in the spirit of “ikebana” arrangements.
— Nuno.

 

 

P.S.: Ana Vaz is coming with some images from her detour to Fukushima, bridging real and potential contaminations via the new Japanese release of “Shin Godzilla”. Speaking of contamination, Tristan Bera has found this poem by a Mohawk poet Peter Blue Cloud alluding to our fetish animal – should we say totem or taboo? – the coyote. Clémence Seurat will be drawing on witchcraft. Elida Høeg will be bringing some North in the form of stones and stories.

 

* taken from Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing’s The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of life in Capitalist Ruins

Project partners:

Sud e magia

Nuno da Luz

 

Exhibition opening: 21_7_2016 / 20.17

Exhibition dates: 22_7 – 1_10_2016

 

 

“All I can tell you is that we are fluid, luminous beings made of fibres.”
Carlos Castaneda

 

 

Inspired by the writings of Carlos Castaneda, Sud e magia (South and Magic) aims to challenge the idea of culture(s) as a universal and a prefabricated consensus, which determines one’s understanding of his/her surrounding and one’s role within a web of pre-determined and previously described relations as fixed. This predominantly Western perception of reality as an absolute, driven by a social contract of a specific cultural context, results in static comprehension of reality and in the inability for change in thought or in behavioural patterns.

 

Through the prism of the present day environmental crisis, a need to shift these behavioural patterns as a means to tackle climate change and further exploitation of nature becomes pertinent. Although fictional, the writing of Castaneda here becomes particularly useful, namely due to the authors interest in shamanism, spiritualism and the tribes of the Southwestern United States and Nortwestern Mexico, whose rejection of an absolute reality and the refusal of Western materialism, introduces a number of productive alternatives of re-establishing relations with the natural. These arise namely through a bi-verse or even a multiverse approach to a series of separate realities of the so-called non-rational.

 

A popular method of achieving such a “state” came hand in hand with Castaneda’s interest in the botanical, and his experimentation with hallucinogenic and psychotropic plants. Originally endemic to Mexico and Southwestern United States, Datura Stramonium (Jimson Weed or Devil’s weed) is considered an invasive species in Europe and an unwanted weed frequently growing on cultivated/farmed lands. It serves us here as an illustration of the fixed relationship determined by a prefabricated consensus and of our inability to stop the world in order to arrive at seeing. (The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge, 1968)

 

Markéta Stará Condeixa

 

Sud e magia presents a series of new works produced and composed for the purpose of the show and is a continuation of the artist’s engagement with the dichotomy between the natural and the cultural. The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of performances and performative discussions of the Coyote collective, which will take place throughout September 2016.

Project partners:

Brother

Johana Pošová & Barbora Fastrová

 

Exhibition opening: 26_5_2016 / 22.00

Exhibition dates: 27_5 – 9_7_2016

 

 

One of the central subjects in the collaborative practice of Prague based artists Johana Pošová and Barbora Fastrová is the field of Nature and its antagonistic relation with the concepts of Western modernity. Nature in Western modernity has been traditionally conceptualised as an obstacle that is to be overcome or utilised by human needs, determining thus the stance of the Modern human as the anthropocentric other, whose wants and interests are given preferential treatment. Nature therefore, became subjugated to the purpose and the operation of scientifically equipped humanity, making Western man the master and the possessor of Nature. The objectification of such understanding transformed Nature into a subject detached from man; Nature became a separate space, a threat and something that is to be overcome and exploited.

 

Drawing from a myth of the Kogi indigenous group – a tale of two brothers, whose distinct approach and treatment of nature in many ways mirrors the Western and the Non-Western approach to the natural, Johana Pošová and Barbora Fastrová present through their exhibition a place where these relations are questioned and renegotiated, and the superiority of the Western man is rendered other. Rather than applying a strict rationalism, which has repeatedly failed and served only as a means to unveil the limits of modernity and the inability to control (the destructive) interactions between society and Nature, the exhibition employs a language of the absurd and the non-rational. Making use of the archetypal nature of selected objects and the obvious artificiality of these objects, the exhibition tries to point to the complexity of the biotic community and to our failure in understanding and trying to manipulate Nature similarly to the younger brother of the Kogi myth.

 

Markéta Stará Condeixa

 

Brother is the first collaborative project of Czech artists Johana Pošová and Barbora Fastrová presented in Portugal and introduces solely new works, developed especially for the purpose of the exhibition at Syntax. The exhibition has been produced with the generous support of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, the Camara Municipal de Lisboa and the general partner of Syntax – Pedro Sousa Arquitectos.

Project partners:

Silent Spring

Nikolai Nekh

 

Exhibition opening: 24_3_2016 / 22.00

Exhibition dates: 25_3 – 14_5_2016

 

 

Although working across a wide range of media, which escape the category of the somewhat classical, when taking a closer look at the work of Nikolai Nekh we might be surprised to disclose a rather traditional artistic genre. Although not necessarily presented as the final outcome, the still life in the work of Nikolai Nekh occupies in many ways a central position, creating a revised micro economy of carefully selected and composed objects, which although taken from a specific context of the everyday, in many ways capitalise on their original function, through the symbolic value they bring into the “frame”. Although mostly inanimate in their nature, compared to the classical understanding of a still life, conventional categories of object use and object functionality are broken here, allowing for Nekh to treat the inherently static medium rather as a form of an intellectual catalyst and a place of a random encounter of objects, which are brought together on the premises of reflecting and tackling the frequently contradictory nature of our present day.

 

Playing around with the analogy of a still life here, does not however only allow us to understand the methodology of how Nekh selects and composes his works, but can be suggestive also and most importantly, of the topics, which his current practice has been addressing. The contradiction hidden in the term still life (still and life) here suggest a clash in our understanding of the animate and the inanimate, pointing thus not only to the fading borders between what we understand today to be within the category of the “living” and of the supposedly “dead”, but also and most importantly, to how does this distinction influence our exploitation of the planet that comes hand in hand with the direct capitalisation of the resources it provides.

 

Silent Spring navigates us into a world of seemingly sensible, yet simultaneously absurd contradictions reminiscent of the flow of energy outside, as well as within the power socket. While faced with a series of small economies, which operate as interdependent clusters, yet bare a clear reference to the frequent absurdity of the systematic whole, the stillness of presented life here echoes the somewhat loud silence of a new season, which has long began (!).

 

Markéta Stará Condeixa

 

Silent Spring brings together a series of new or revised works by Portuguese (Russian born) artist Nikolai Nekh (1985) and is the first larger solo presentation of the artists practice in Lisbon. As part of the exhibition, Nikolai Nekh will introduce his latest film A Taste of Sun (2016), which will be screened in a Brunch With Nikolai Nekh in April 2016.

in residency: Stan Van Steendam

 

1_3 – 30_5_2016

 

The works of Brussels based artist Stan Van Steendam (1985) can be best understood through the prism of a new materialism, characteristic to one of the lines of contemporary art practice today. The physicality of the art object in the work of Van Steendam, may this be through the medium of sculpture, drawing, painting or a book bares a strong tie to nature. Nature for Van Steendam is a not only a conceptual precondition for his practice, but also a source of material, may this material be plaster, jute, pigment, wood, earth or paint. Regardless of the final medium, the same matter is worked, shaped and transformed into layered blocks of colour, shapes, movements and textures, final form of which, suggest a revised, yet somehow present nature of their origin.

 

With the rock as a central subject/object of the artist’s recent works, Van Steendam questions our revised and somehow fleeting relation to the natural, evoking visual memories of what the natural once was and what within the domain of the artificial, it might become.

 

During his three-month residency at Syntax, Stan Van Steendam will develop a new body of work. His practice will be presented to the public through a series of presentations in as well as outside of the artists’ studio.

 

http://www.stanvansteendam.be/

L’Eternelle insatisfaite

Julie Béna

 

Exhibition opening: 21_1_2016/ 22.00

Exhibition dates: 22_1 – 12_3_2016

 

 

The work of French artist Julie Béna is an open stage. It is a place of encounter – a place for the development and engagement of fictional characters, characters who come to life through the animism of objects and the mythologies they embody. The power of language here has been muted to the very minimum. Words have been emptied through the course of time, transforming them into labels that convey manifold, yet somehow standardised meaning, depending on the characters they dress and the ones they engage with.

 

The beauty mark that functions as a leitmotif of the exhibition and that follows us through the show, is suggestive of a female character. It might be the artist, who frequently develops and impersonates multiple personas in her practice, may it be through the performative or through the symbolic value and the power of the object based, as is the case of L’Eternelle insatisfaite, or it may be a mark, which signifies the presence of the absent body.

 

The diversity in the materiality of individual objects advocates multiple impersonations. The common denominator that some of them share: i.e. the use of colour or a repetition in form, point however to a dialectic relationship between these objects. Although seemingly lifeless – as if suspended in time -, the mythologies of these objects question through their materiality, the present notion of the living, which surpasses our standard idea of the human and the humanisation of the supposedly dead, creating a strange ecology of equality, through which objects are brought to life and their voices are heard.

 

Julie Béna (1982) is one of the leading representatives of the youngest generation of French artists. She has exhibited her work in numerous institutions around the world, among other at the ICA in London, Palais de Tokyo in Paris, ISCP, New York or Kunsthalle Bergen. Her exhibition L’Eternelle insatisfaite is the first presentation of the artists’ work in Portugal and introduces solely a series of new works produced especially for the purpose of the exhibition at SYNTAX.

 

Markéta Stará Condeixa

rrrefer

Zsolt Tibor

 

Exhibition opening: 5_11_2015/ 22.00

Exhibition dates: 6_11 – 20_12_2015

 

 

The tangibility of our lived present can be best felt by the multiplicity of its representation. In times when the virtual has been elevated to the equivalent of the physical, a representation of the lived (regardless of how artificial) serves us as the best proof of our existence, active presence and/or participation within the social. Representation can take on multiple forms, may it be through metaphor, resemblance or through various forms of reference. Reference and its layering allows for the construction of a wide web of relations, through which a subject/object can be perceived, by which it generates and conveys meaning, or by which it constructs notions of a desired self or a desired product. With the vast quantity of information that penetrates our minds “no man is an island for himself” and no page is in its essence truly blank. The multiplicity of last weeks’, yesterdays’ and todays’ archetypes reject the idea of a singular self and rather suggests a complex web of references, from the symbolic nature of which, the very moment and its subjects are continuously being re-born.

 

The architecture of a so called new has its base constructed from recycled layers of representation and reference, where one millimetre squared can be perceived as an equivalent to one reference. It is a world of doubles that are multiplied as we speak. rrrefer rejects the idea of an original and with honesty and a pinch of irony questions the depth and nature of references that tickle our ankles as we walk through the cross-referenced surface of the present – a surface where anything has the power to convey everything and where the complex nature of a carefully constructed self is reduced to a series of identifiable and marketable prototypes.

 

rrrefer brings together a series of newly developed works by Hungarian artist Zsolt Tibor. Tibor is one of the key representatives of contemporary Hungarian artists. His exhibition at Syntax is the first solo presentation of the artists’ work in Portugal.

Project partners:

in residency: Zsolt Tibor

 

7_9 – 7_11_2015

 

Zsolt Tibor belongs to the key representatives of contemporary Hungarian artists. The point of departure for a majority of his work is drawing, which usually also functions as the constituting element for his installation based practice. Drawing for Tibor operates as a support for determining and dealing with questions of spatiality, flatness, three-dimensionality and the order of things, laws of which are repeatedly challenged by the somehow confusing and layered, yet somehow familiar nature of the artists’ imaginary sets and spatial assemblages. Here objects, subjects, places and fictional scenarios merge into hybridised clusters of imaginary and humorous realities the truthfulness of which, is as real as (contemporary) reality itself.

 

Currently based in Vienna, Zsolt Tibor has exhibited his work among other in Rotterdam, Helsinki, Paris, Prague, Vienna or Budapest. His works can be found in the Ludwig Museum Budapest Collection, the Carousel Collection in NYC or the Museum of Spanish Contemporary Graphics.

 

The residency of Zsolt Tibor is scheduled between 7.9. – 7.11.2015. During this time Zsolt Tibor will present his work to the local audience through numerous public events. His stay will be concluded by an exhibition planned to open at SYNTAX gallery on November 5th.

 

http://www.tiborzsolt.com/

Project partners:

Nocturnal Measurements and the Invisible State of Shine

 

Exhibition opening: 17_9_2015/ 22.00

Exhibition dates: 18_9 – 24_10_2015

 

Katarína Polia?iková, Nikolai Nekh

Curator: Markéta Stará Condeixa

 

 

“It is not technology itself that is dangerous but the forgetting of “seeing” that realizes it self through it.”

 

At the core of any technological or scientific advancement lies the inherent notion of human desire for proximity and understanding. The greater the distance between the human and its subject, the greater is our longing to capture it. With the break of the Enlightenment, followed by Modernity’s plea for progress, growth and the conquering of the unknown – may these be the “distant lands” on Earth or the Interplanetary -, have become one of the driving forces of mankind. Representation as a solid proof has naturally played a vital role in this process, by reducing the distance between the human eye and its subject, allowing thus visibility to take its lead as the dominant sign and the proof of being.

 

Although living in a highly abstract world determined by the virtual flow of capital and information systems, the idea of abstraction in the original sense of the term of alienating subjects from their source(s), in many ways still generates a feeling of unease, feeding into our desire to further capture and explore reality as a means of lasting proof. To what extent however, does this virtual materialisation bring us closer to the real subject/object and what is as a result of these operational systems lost on the way? Does technology allow us to see more or only better and less? And to what extent do technological advancements allow us to see only static fragments or video loops of distant realities that feed into our need for permanency and understanding, yet simultaneously conceal the so called real with the illusion of greater proximity?

 

Nocturnal Measurements and the Invisible State of Shine brings together newly developed works by Slovakian artist Katarína Polia?iková, currently in residency at SYNTAX and Portuguese artist Nikolai Nekh.

Project partners:

in residency: Katarína Polia?iková

 

2_7 – 1_10_2015

 

Katarína Polia?iková (1982) is one of the leading Slovakian artists of her generation. Her work revolves around the subject of memory, history, temporality, the archival and issues of appropriation, frequently examining the gaps and the grey zones between the past and the present.

 

Her subtle and inconspicuous installations, settings and interventions frequently take as their point of departure found objects, images, places or unveiled personal histories. These serve as a conceptual backdrop or as a reference point for the construction of a new work, a new image, a new object – a new narrative. Polia?iková is not interested in perceiving and narrating the past as something static, but rather points to the inter-changeability of our understanding of history, which is based on specific zones of temporality, from which a past can be perceived or through which it can be appropriated.

 

Katarína Polia?iková has exhibited her work in numerous solo and group exhibitions among other in New York, Berlin, Bratislava, Prague, Warsaw, Budapest or Vienna. In 2009 she won the ESSL AWARD. Katarína Polia?iková will take part in a residency at SYNTAX between July and August 2015, with a solo exhibition of her work at SYNTAX opening in September 2015 and a series of accompanying events during the two summer months.

 

http://www.katarinapol.com/

Project partners:

FOMO

 

Exhibition opening: 7_5_2015/ 22.00

Exhibition dates: 8_5 – 27_6_2015

 

Jan Brož & Richard Nikl, André Sousa, Olga Cerkasova, Iain Ball

Curator: Markéta Stará Condeixa

 

 

The current cultural condition can be best described as the culture of multiples. Multiple identities, multiple carriers, multiple tasks, multiple platforms up on which we simultaneously operate, keeping the relation and hierarchy between the one and the many in constant flux. The self has been hybridised into a complex rhizome of multiple coexistences, sudden deaths and immediate rebirths. The life span of one does not necessarily determine the life span of the other, yet is frequently determined by the total number of multiples that one is able to generate and maintain. We have given up on an information diet and said our fair well to the aesthetics of mental and physical sanity, allowing thus the corporate culture and the FEAR OF MISSING OUT (FOMO) – the cause and the effect -, to determine and run our current state of affairs, may this be within, or outside of the brackets of cultural/artistic production.

 

As any other field of production, contemporary art practice and present culture at large have been shaped by the condition of multiples and the corporatisation (industrialisation) of its systems. Artists and curators have been turned into cultural workers and producers, working under multiple identities at various virtual and physical sites. Creation has been exchanged for production and labour, and quality for the monetarisation of intellectual capital and institutional branding. The romantic perception of the independent artist whose work is based on introspection, solitude, reflection or semi-detached criticality is a dead horse as is the concept of any sort of offline romanticism. Cultural production is more than ever defined by the speed and efficiency of its participants, access to information, quantity of what is produced, and the contexts within which, what is produced, can be consumed or present its virtual or physical multiples, may these be connected to a multiple self or to the multiplicity of its products.

 

The build in heretics’ of art practice are more than ever before challenged by its own operational system, its flow and the channels that it has appropriated, multiples of which have become the subjects of their scrutiny. An outside no longer exists. Criticality can only take place from within the virtual landscape of information capital, where hierarchy is determined by the speed fed by our own FEAR OF MISSING OUT.

Project partners:

Sorry for all the ups and downs

 

Exhibition opening: 7_5_2015/ 22.00

Exhibition dates: 8_5 – 27_6_2015

 

Iza Tarasewicz

Curator: Markéta Stará Condeixa

 

 

The point of departure for the work of Polish artist Iza Tarasewicz is matter. Her frequently complex installations and installation sets can be best described as spatiotemporal events where various forms of matter meet, merge, interact and through the process of dislocation, undergo temporal transformations. Binary relations such as the organic and the inorganic, the natural and the artificial are rendered secondary. All is brought to life through a careful process of revaluation restructuring, misplacement and a sense of organic chaos. All is in, yet at the same time out of place, prompting new energetic and spatial affairs.

 

Sorry for all the ups and downs is a continuation of a series of exhibitions started in 2014 by Strange Attraction and followed by Collaborating Objects Radiating Environments, The Means, The Milieu and By the apparent impossibility of arranging signs. By the appropriation of materials from respective exhibitions and their variation, the current exhibition can be best described as an open structure, pointing to the countless possibilities of relational sets that operate within the construction of material wholes. Taking the material nature of the human body as an essential part of its constellation, the installation aims to challenge the relationship of the human body – in this case the body of the spectator -, to the installation elements, pointing thus to the transformation in bodily relations to aspects of the real and the virtual, and the transition in our understanding of material bodily presence in times, where conventional spatio-temporal relations are being rendered obsolete.

 

Iza Tarasewicz (1981) is one of the key representatives of Polish artists of her generation. She has exhibited her work in numerous institutions such as Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin), Objectif Exhibitions (Antwerp), BWA Warsaw or the Polish Institute in Berlin. She is currently nominated for the Zacheta National Gallery art award. Iza Tarasewicz is the second artist in residency at Syntax where she will present her work in a series of events held between May 2nd and July 1st 2015.

Project partners:

in residency: Iza Tarasewicz

 

2_5 – 1_6_2015

 

The work of Polish artist Iza Tarasewicz (1981) serves as temporary conduit for a meeting of substances, energies, locations, temporalities, intonations, and concepts, which the artist identifies as events in a continuous series of material and symbolic interaction. Her sensitive examination and transformation of materials is a complex interpretive exercise that often manifests in objects, spaces, graphs, drawings, sounds, videos, and performative actions.

 

Her objects and arrangements are base things that resist the binary of natural and artificial, joining together quotidian, ignoble, or emblematic material such as clay, plaster, concrete, gold, steel, glass, tar, animal fat, skin, fur, intestines, plasticine, plant fibres, dung, and ash. Often bordering on hylozoism (the concept that all matter and non-matter has life), each object or arrangement is invested in exploring the affecting nature of its material makeup and challenges the viewer to consider both; the vital energetic relationship in all things, and the inextricable interrelation of chaos and order.

 

The practice of Iza Tarasewicz distils, combines, deconstructs and redirects materials so as to rediscover hidden aspects and relations, while equally signifying a contingency or deficiency in rational, human understanding to access such properties.

 

Iza Tarasewicz is taking part in the SYNTAX residency project from May 2rd to June 1st 2015. She will present her work in a solo exhibition SORRY FOR ALL UPS AND DOWNS and a series of following events.

 

www.izatarasewicz.com

Project partners:

THE HOLE IDEA

 

9_6_2015/ 19.30

A presentation by Post Brothers

 

It’s a cubist bit of dark, an aperture in any surface, and yet a thing, physically promiscuous, malleable and expandable, foldable and rollable, poured, printed, or painted. IT does what it PLEASES. It’s behavior is as elastic as its form.

 

A project applied to different circumstances and constantly pulling information into its murky center, this lecture examines the aesthetic, philosophical and socio-political possibilities of the portable hole. A principle object in cartoon physics, the portable hole can serve as a tool to account for an irrational world through its myriad precarious properties.

 

Originally developed in 2008 as part of Gintaras Didžiapetris’ artist magazine NINETY (#2), the project has since been presented at such venues as ŠMC/Contemporary Art Centre (Vilnius, Lithuania), Gruentaler 9 (Berlin, Germany), The 9th Shanghai Biennale 2012, (Shanghai, China), Paleisje voor Volksvlijt (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), Will Brown (San Francisco, USA), and COCO Kunstverein (Vienna, Austria). Portions have also been published as text in numerous other projects.

Post Brothers is a critical enterprise that includes Matthew Post—an independent curator and writer working from Bialystok. He recently curated “Tongues Alike” by Liudvikas Buklys at ŠMC/Contemporary Art Centre in Vilnius (2015), “By the Apparent Impossibility Of Arranging Signs” by Iza Tarasewicz at Galeria Arsenal in Bialystok (2014), “12 Hours” by Karl Larsson at Galerie Kamm in Berlin (2014), “The Excluded Third, Included” at Galerie Emanuel Layr in Vienna (2014) and “Clinamen” by Iza Tarasewicz at Xawery Dunikowski Museum of Sculpture (Krolikarnia) in Warsaw (2013). His essays and articles have been published in Annual Magazine, the Baltic Notebooks of Anthony Blunt, Cura, Fillip, Kaleidoscope, Mousse, Nero, Art Papers, Pazmaker, Punkt, and Spike Art Quarterly, as well as in numerous artist publications and exhibition catalogues.

in residency: Johana Pošová

 

4_3 – 1_5_2015

 

Prague based artist Johana Pošová belongs to the youngest generation of Czech artists. The point of departure for her work is the medium of photography. Her early works are figurative, staged and frequently intimate compositions that bare a strong emphasis on capturing gesture and detail. In her recent work Johana has took a turn towards the abstract. Making the photogram a central point of her practice, the process of composition now takes place inside of the black room, rather than before the camera.

 

Approaching the object/subject from a different, yet more direct angle – her photographic collages, compositions and spatial objects are comprised of images and objects to which a sense of materiality is essential. Johana introduces a whole new world in her work, a world that is semi-abstract and based on a sense of familiar strangeness, which through the emphasised process of its composition, becomes (almost) possible to touch.

 

Johana Pošová is taking part in the SYNTAX residency project from March 3rd to May 1st 2015. She will present her work in an exhibition with Ana Manso entitled WET WET SUNSET EAR ON A WALL, and a series of following events.

 

www.johanapos.com

 

The SYNTAX residencies 2015 project is realized with the kind support of the International Visegrad Fund.

Project partners:

Paperwork

 

Exhibition opening: 12_3_2015/ 22.00

Exhibition dates: 13_3 – 25_4_2015

 

Lewis & Taggart

 

Paperwork is the first exhibition of the Canadian, Norway-based artist duo Andrew Taggart and Chloe Lewis in Portugal. Central to their practice is the object in its material sense; object as the subject of limitless interpretation and meaning, the capacity of which frequently evades the knowing grasp. Within the practice of Lewis & Taggart, specific emphasis is given to the dual role of objects as both constructs of human desire and autonomous entities with agency of their own, and to the tensions that emerge from such a duality.

 

Paperwork presents a selection of works from recent years alongside a new series of collages entitled Economic Abstractions (2015), developed especially for the Lisbon show. Like with many of their works, the object at the core of these new pieces is drawn from the periphery of a centralised economy, where it operates as by-product, as excess, or as residue of human action. The exhibition title is suggestive of waste, whether that of paper or that of time. The gesture of recycling at play in the artworks can thus be understood as a productive means towards the production of new subjects.

Project partners:

WET WET SUNSET EAR ON A WALL

 

Exhibition opening: 12_3_2015/ 22.00

Exhibition dates: 13_3 – 25_4_2015

 

Johana Pošová, Ana Manso

Curator: Markéta Stará Condeixa

 

The exhibition brings together works by Portuguese artist Ana Manso and Czech artist Johana Pošová, the first resident of SYNTAX. The exhibition title is derived from the merging of recent projects by respective artists; an exhibition by Johana Pošová, segment of which is presented in the current show and a literal description of a work by Ana Manso.

 

Although both artists work in different media, their work shares a common ground; this being the proximity of the body to what and how is represented. The exhibition is composed of a series of photograms and textile objects by Johana Pošová and a series of figurative wall paintings by Ana Manso. Temporal blocks and layers of time blend into one another, making the process of the work and the physical contact with the surface an essential part of the final result. The image operates as an archetype – a symbol or motif, which serves as a sheet for association and the merging of worlds where one can find his own.

 

Although it could be argued that both artists are headed in an opposite direction, one towards the abstract and the other towards the figurative, they meet half way, somewhere between reality and dream, somewhere between fiction and truth, in a place where the proximity to the abstracted image is determined by the texture of the real thing and the sense of familiar strangeness.

Project partners:

Colorless Green Ideas Sleep Furiously

 

Exhibition opening: 15_1_2015/ 22.00

Exhibition dates: 16_1 – 1_3_2015

 

Micha? Budny, Gonçalo Sena, Ji?í Thýn

Curator: Markéta Stará Condeixa

 

Colorless Green Ideas Sleep Furiously questions conventional means of curatorship based on classification, categorisation, division and rationalisation — in other words a key, which has become characteristic for curatorial work and the “reading” of an exhibition.With the gradual shift of artistic practice towards the poetic and the so called mental landscape of the artist a deeper questioning of exhibition production, based on frequently reductive methods of classification is at hand.

 

The exhibition brings together the work of three artists for whose work a poetic, performative and spatial method of practice becomes characteristic. Exchanging a conventional curatorial language, for the poetic, intuitive and spatial, the exhibition aims to question conventional narrative structures, the construction of meaning within the medium of an exhibition and the role of the spectator within such a space of an imaginary play.

Project partners: