Weather Trust / Between Stars: Offer Balancing Scenarios
On view in the Project Space:
Bonnie Camplin: Selected Drawings
February 23 – March 18, 2017
Opening Performance & Reception: Thursday, February 23, 6-8:30 pm
Out there – to harness the ephemeral we reclaim a treatise of truth for all things taut + flexible
ake to stand free
skip a beat over silver strings
make mobile support to center body
fasten limbs to coordinate active periphery
with persons a place and particle things
grammar for a tree and hair mirroring wall
lift to let lay, sit to breathe to look up and out for all who sway and settle above.
Thomas Erben Gallery is pleased to present Weather Trust / Between Stars: Offer Balancing Scenarios, the gallery’s first solo exhibition with interdisciplinary artist Ali Van. At the center of the show is an installation in which visitors are invited to hammer a nail into the walls of the gallery, adding a star into a collaboratively built constellation. In the relational structures that Van produces – in objects and situations – she questions how the experience of artwork can reflect our shared vulnerability, and how together we can find balance with each other.
In the main project, a network of stars grows while the show continues, as more individuals add golden nails into the gallery’s architecture. People who visit the gallery are integral in producing an expansive visual constellation, a representation of the personal connections that bind the artist and the social space of the gallery. These links are inscribed upon the wall, as participants record their names with a brush made from the artist’s own hair. Visitors are invited to reach for the stars and come together to produce a collective mark: making real time between hammer and nail, space between nail coordinates, and between walls to, as the artist describes, connect discrete beings for a weathered becoming.
Installed within the space are a number of other works in which Van playfully moves in and out of uncertainty. On one scroll marked on both sides, Van writes about what it would be like to become a mother in desertion, narrating the friction between biology and will. In a suspended mobile, Van invites the audience to attach items onto its precarious levitation of light weights, addressing the desire to find ourselves in relation to one another. Through image-objects, the artist plumbs the process of vision itself, incorporating blurs and washed color that evaluate periphery, suggesting the act of seeing as an open frame for time.
The show is generated through being present together, as this relational and social process is what invocates Van’s cumulative structures. Deeply inhabiting lightness, the artist and her audience move closer and farther within to create a space infinite in motion.
Ali Van (b. 1986) currently lives between New York and Hong Kong. A touchstone of Van's practice is her ongoing project, lungs milk stars, a physical record of her releases since 2012, meditations on breathing as language and sound, the first 1000 *s made visible as collaborative ink-type drawings with a selection pressed in waveform. Most recently her work on love of book of work of body intuits public and intimate souls, felt and displaced spirits, type set to read open at 20 feet to 20 meters, dimensions linked to immerse of machine in nature. She currently works in and out of Seawitch, a studio by the sea in semi-abandon off southern shores where birds feed on salt rice shells, fish sun sprung.
Bonnie Camplin (b. 1970, London) lives and works in London. Her practice has included ten years as a para – theatrical producer, director, dancer and performer of experimental club nights in Soho, London as well as work across the disciplines of drawing, film and video, performance, music and writing. She has exhibited internationally, and her work has included collaborations with artists Enrico David, Mark Leckey, Lucy McKenzie and Paulina Olowska. Solo shows include Tate Britain, Cabinet, and Camden Arts Center, all London, Michael Benevento, Los Angeles, and Galerie Cinzia Friedlaender, Berlin. Most recently Camplin was a 2015 Turner Prize nominee, nominated for her 2014 solo presentation, The Military Industrial Complex, at South London Gallery. She is currently a Senior Lecturer in Fine Art Goldsmiths College, London and was Guest Professor of the Film-Class at Städelschule, Frankfurt from 2008 to 2010.