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This project took the form of two distinct exhibitions, one at RANDOM INSTITUTE, Zurich (June 2015) and another at Abrons Art Center NY (November 2015 _ Upcoming). The relationship between Objects “proper” and artworks (or objects considered as artwork, as in the case of unassisted readymades) is something of a recurring thread in my work (see: https://rdotmdot.wordpress.com/) this time, things got further complicated as the exhibition included artifacts and ideas that stretch the notion of what an “object (or “art object”…) could or should be.

Random Institute / Reunion
http://randominstitute.org/
Zurich, CH. Mullerstrasse 57
June 2015

Abrons Art Center New York
November 2015
Nov.4 to Dec.13 2015

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Random Institute Pics (Courtesy: Sandino Scheidegger / RI)

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Abrons Art Center Pics (Courtesy AAC)

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This exhibition features works appropriating, documenting and elaborating on objects created under different circumstances and bearing a variety of meanings. Is a digital file an object? Do we really owe something once it has been shared? How do objects reflect personal and collective histories, identity and trauma? How can they exemplify the labor relationship that contributed to their own creation or dissemination? Does a material artifact exist after it has been destroyed? Under what conditions does an “Object” become an “Art Object”? Throughout ___Families of Objects, these and other questions prompt a reflection on our own notions (and/or preconceptions) of art, objects and objecthood alike. Thanks to Random Institute and to all the artists involved for making this exhibition possible, and in such a short time. ___Families of Objects will travel to Abrons Art Center, New York in November 2015.

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___Families of Objects
curated by Marco Antonini
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Ben Thorp Brown___Untitled (Tombstone Color Tests) A tombstone (in the financial industry) is another word for “deal toys” or commemorative trophies, as they originated from a practice of archiving a “tombstone advertisement” in lucite. As deal toys develop from minimally designed text blocks to elaborately designed kitsch, they reflect a culture that moves away from simple, deliberate records of capital to a form that provides increasingly immediate gratification. Brown looks at how the abstractions of capitalism have been recorded here–diminutive and playful despite the stark economic facts they illustrate–and links them with contemporary art production. (Courtesy: Bischoff Projects)
Lamia Joreige___Objects of War (shown: #5 and #6) is a series of testimonials on the Lebanese war. Each person chooses an object, ordinary or unusual, which serves as a starting point for his / her story. These testimonials while helping to create a collective memory, also show the impossibility of telling a single History of this war. Only fragments of this History are recounted here, held as truth by those expressing them. (Courtesy: Taymour Grahne)
Jana Kapelová___Free Working Time looks for gaps and positive models that disturb the passive performance of professional obligations. This collection of objects, artworks and artifacts communicates an effort to liberate oneself from working fixations; mandatory working hours and workplaces. Here, employees are capable/allowed of taking a little time for themselves, as a personal gain, especially if working time does not offer anything like that.
Marco Andrea Magni___Una Scultura Parlata collects a series of narrations and descriptions of an artwork destroyed almost immediately after its creation; an object that exists now only in the form of storytelling. Magni invited five witnesses of different cultures, nationalities and languages to describe the work, whose title was: The only possible evidence of the existence of water, and the more intimately real, is thirst. To further complicate things it is not the witnesses themselves, but a hired actor impersonating them, that actually retells their experience of Magni’s vanished “sculpture.”
Eva and Franco Mattes___The Others
<< London, (Associated Press) / April 12, 2012 12:52 PM / By Raphael Satter / Title: Recognize that picture? / Two Italian-born artists are showing off more than 10,000 private photographs they claim to have stolen from random people’s hard drives, (…) The loot from the art-minded crime spree is intended to raise questions about what’s private, what’s public, and what makes art “art,” said curator Barbara Rodriguez Munoz, (…) She was philosophical when asked whether such exhibition also raises legal or moral questions.”We wanted to create a space where there’s room for risk and a room for discussion,” she said. “Sometimes if you don’t shake those boundaries, you don’t create conversation.” >> [Note: the artwork is installed in the back of the exhibition space, in a working sauna]
Richard___rdotmdot.wordpress.com is a multi-authored, online catalog of readymade objects, images, documents and ideas. A partial list of contributors to the project includes: Loney Abrams, Shinsuke Aso, Joe Brittain, Mikkel Carl, Blue Curry, Paul D’Agostino, Bill Dolson, Amy Franceschini, Charles Goldman, Richard Jochum, Florence Jung, Anthony Haden-Guest, Ryan Kitson, Ellie Krakow, Susan Kooi, Sophie Lapalu, Patrick Meagher, Michael Merck, Marcel Meury, Svetlana Mircheva, Anetta Mona Chisa & Lucia Tkacova, Thomas Moor, Joseph Moore, Shana Moulton, Anne Percoco, Roland Roos, Megan Snowe, Andrea Spreafico, Magnus Thierfelder, Unknown Contributor, Sebastien Verdon, Virginia Ines Vergara, B. Wurtz, and Virginie Yassef. Featured entries: ___RM035 Untitled, CHF50 / RM036 Shovel with a Snow Ball / RM037 Stairs in La Gioconda (when DaVinci met Filliou who made fun of Duchamp who, maybe, read Benjamin) / RM039 hex00bb2e / RM040 Another One Bites the Dust / RM041 Bagger / RM042 Untitled (Mugshot)
Jirí Skála ___Two Families of Objects is inspired by and named after an essay written by Umberto Eco after visiting the Milan Trade Fair in 1970, 45 years ago from the current EXPO. A series of color photographs are taken by former employees of the bankrupt Škoda Klatovy factory in Southern Bohemia. The authors of these photographs all purchased a piece of equipment (sold by the company in a effort to reduce debt, before it finally closed down in 2005) for their personal use. Skála’s mother, for example, received the turning lathe on which she had worked for close to 30 years, as a present for her 50th birthday from her husband in 2001.

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