Speaking Power to Post Truth

Speaking Power to (post) truth
curated by sara raza

Ergin Çavuşoǧlu, James Clar, Mounir Fatmi, Nadia Kaabi-Linke, and Shahpour Pouyan January 17 - February 16, 2019

Opening reception Thursday January 17th, 6-8PM

Jane Lombard Gallery is pleased to present a group exhibition Speaking Power to (Post) Truth, curated by Sara Raza, recently the Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator for the Middle East and North Africa. The exhibition brings together a constellation of five contemporary international artists Ergin Çavuşoğlu, James Clar, Mounir Fatmi, Nadia Kaabi-Linke and Shahpour Pouyan. Their work reveals a complex pattern of inquiry that seeks to explore deep associations with human consciousness and (post) truth, referencing important historical, literary, social, and political issues.

Spanning across a range of media including drawing, installation, sculpture and video, the featured artists unite to create a site-responsive display. The transference of power to (post) truth travels through different temporalities, casting alternative webs of realities. In particular, two main site-responsive installations by Nadia Kaabi-Linke and Ergin Çavuşoğlu seek to complicate normative ideas of looking and deciphering both conscious and unconscious bias. Kaabi-Linke’s Mistake-Out (2018) is a site specific wall based mosaic installation created from over 400 fragmented pieces made from newspaper sheets that have been painted on with white correction fluid. The pieces are traces from a wall that was previously riddled with bullet holes from the publishing district in Berlin and alludes to the censorship and whitewashing of the press, the work highlights the dubious editorial process of how news is transmitted and received.

Çavuşoğlu remaps the gallery’s architecture to produce a scaled anamorphic floor drawing entitled Silent Systems (2011) that employs optical illusion. The drawing is composed of a 3D rendering of a ship and references Noah’s Arc one of the first migratory vessels. Audiences are invited to interact with the drawing by walking across its entire surface and this act is recorded via a security camera, which relays this interaction onto a monitor displaying what appears to be surreal images of audience members walking inside a sculpture. The work is inspired by a dream sequence featured in a corresponding video And I Awoke (2012) which takes its inspiration from Russian writer Leo Tolstoy’s A Confession and its famous dream sequence, of a man entangled in rope on a bed.

By contrast, Shahpour Pouyan’s series Memory Drawings (2015-16) explore the symbolic relationship between the preservation of architecture and the articulation of images as relayed by his own memory. Encompassing a series of 39 drawings Pouyan memorializes the tomb of the 11th century Muqarnas dome of a mausoleum near Mosul, Iraq that was destroyed by ISIS as part of a systematic attack on architecture and heritage. Furthermore, the theme of deconstruction and erasure is also taken up by Mounir Fatmi within his recent experimental video The Human Factor (2018), which poetically reflects upon the formation of Art Deco and its relationship to exoticism from a post-colonial lens.

Completing the selection of works is James Clar’s Wake Up (2012), a fully functioning alarm clock placed within a soundproof vacuum chamber, which probes the visual language of the readymade to signal the precarity of reality. This piece is juxtaposed by a new LED light work that Clar made specially for the exhibition entitled New Dawn (2019), depicting the sun rising and clearing the fog as an allegory for paradoxical social, cultural and political conditions.

The distinctive artworks that are presented within Speaking Power to (Post) Truth purposely resist fixed narratives and seek to create new visual maps of the real as articulated by five individual studio practices. Functioning as important interlocutors between multiple ‘truths’ the exhibition presents a dynamic conversation between symbolism and abstraction to reveal both overt and covert truths to arrive at a post truth moment.

Accompanying the exhibition is a series of in conversations that will take place at the gallery:

January 19th, 11:30AM-12:30PM, Justine Ludwig, executive director of Creative Time, with artist Nadia Kaabi-Linke

January 26th, 3:30-4:30PM, Artist Ergin Çavuşoğlu with curator Sara Raza

February 9th, 3:30-4:30PM, Pepe Karmel, Professor of Art History, New York University with artist Shahpour Pouyan

Curator: Sara Raza (b. 1979 London, lives and works in New York)

Sara Raza is a writer and curator specializing in contemporary global art practices and was the winner of the ArtTable New Leadership Award for Women in the Arts (2016). She was most recently the Guggenheim UBS MAP curator for the Middle East and North Africa and curated But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, (2016), which travelled to the Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Milan (2018). Raza has curated exhibitions and projects for several international biennials, festivals and museums including Mathaf Modern Arab Art Museum, Doha, Qatar, MacKenzie Art Gallery, Saskatchewan, Canada, Tashkent Biennial, Uzbekistan, Rhizoma: Saudi Pavilion, Venice Biennale (2013); and Baku Public Art Festival, Azerbaijan (2015). She has also organized a number of exhibitions for Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah, where she served as associate curator from 2011-2014. Formerly, Raza was the head of education at YARAT, Baku, Azerbaijan, founding curator at Alaan Art Space, Riyadh and curator of public programs at Tate Modern, London. Raza writes for numerous publications and artist books and is the longstanding West and Central Asia editor for ArtAsiaPacific for West and Central Asia. She lives and works in New York, where she runs the independent curatorial studio Punk Orientalism.

Ergin Çavuşoğlu (b. 1968 Targovishte, Bulgaria and lives and works in London and Istanbul)

Ergin Çavuşoğlu studied at the National School of Fine Arts Iliya Petrov in Sofia in the early 1980s. He received a BA from the University of Marmara, Istanbul, an MA from Goldsmiths College, University of London, and a Ph.D. from the University of Portsmouth. Çavuşoğlu co-represented Turkey at the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003. He was shortlisted for the Beck’s Futures Prize in 2004, and in 2010 for Artes Mundi 4 – the UK's largest art prize. Recent solo exhibitions include, Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerp (2016); Liquid Breeding, YARAT Contemporary Art Space, Baku (2015); Dust Breeding, The Pavilion, Dubai (2011). Group exhibitions include Una Tempesta dal Paradiso, Galleria d’Arte Moderna Milano (GAM) (2018); On Anam? Where are we going?, Es Baluard Museu d’Art Modern i Contemporani de Palma (2018); Your Story! Geschichten von Flucht und Migration, Kunsthalle Emden (2017); and But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise: Contemporary Art of the Middle East and North Africa, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2016), among others.

James Clar (b. 1979 Wisconsin, USA,  lives and works in New York)

James Clar studied Film and Animation at New York University and received his Masters at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. His work explores the conceptual and narrative potential of light and technology. As an extension of the visual systems of film and television, he gravitates towards lights, LEDs, and technology systems, but often applied in a critical discourse these technologies have on our perception and reality. Clar was an artist in residence at Eyebeam Atelier in New York, Fabrica in Italy, and the FedEx Institute of Technology/Lantana Projects in Memphis. His artwork has been included in the Chanel Mobile Art exhibition (Tokyo), The New Museum (New York), 21c Museum Hotel (Oklahoma City), Bouroson Contemporary (Istanbul), Para Museum (Istanbul), MACBA (Barcelona), The Somerset House (UK), and Museum on Seam (Jerusalem).

Mounir Fatmi (b. 1970 Tangiers, Morocco, lives and works in Paris)

Mounir Fatmi studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome, the Casablanca art school in Morocco, and the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. Since 2000, Mounir Fatmi’s installations have been selected for several biennials, the 52nd and 57th Venice Biennales, the 8th Sharjah Biennale, the 5th and 7th Dakar Biennales, the 2nd Seville Biennale, the 5th Gwangju Biennale, the 10th Lyon Biennale, the 5th Auckland Triennial, the 10th and 11th Bamako Biennales, the 7th Shenzhen Architecture Biennale, the Setouchi Triennial and the Echigo-Tsumari Triennial in Japan. His work has been presented in numerous solo exhibitions, at the Migros Museum, Zurich. MAMCO, Geneva. Picasso Museum La Guerre et la Paix, Vallauris. AK Bank Foundation, Istanbul. Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf and at the Gothenburg Konsthall. He also participated in several collective exhibits at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. Brooklyn Museum, New York. Palais de Tokyo, Paris. MAXXI, Rome. Mori Art Museum, Tokyo. MMOMA, Moscow. Mathaf, Doha, Hayward Gallery and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven and at Nasher Museum of Art, Durham. He has received several prizes, including the Uriöt prize, Amsterdam, the Grand Prix Léopold Sédar Senghor at the 7th Dakar Biennale in 2006, as well as the Cairo Biennale Prize in 2010.

Nadia Kaabi-Linke (b. 1978 Tunis, lives and works in Berlin and Kiev)

Nadia Kaabi-Linke studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Tunis, and later at the Sorbonne University in Paris. Her art is connected to places and their histories and is both time and site-specific. She has participated in several museum exhibitions and biennales internationally.  Recent exhibitions include: VersiegelteZeit [Sealed Time], Kunstmuseum, Bonn, Germany, 2017-2018; Walk the Line, Dallas Contemporary, Dallas, TX, USA, 2015; The Future Rewound and The Cabinet of Souls, The Mosaic Rooms, London, UK, 2014;  Lahore Biennale, Pakistan, 2018; Inhabiting Territories, MOVIMENTA Biennale, Nice, Paris, France, 2017; Social Calligraphies: East  ̶  West, Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland, 2016; and But a Storm is Blowing from Paradise: Contemporary Art of the Middle East and North Africa, Curated by Sara Raza, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 2016; Her works are part of notable collections including the Centre Pompidou, Solomon R. Guggenheim, The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Dallas Museum of Art, M+ Museum; Sharjah Art Foundation, Burger Collection, and Barjeel Art Foundation, among others.   She has received a number of awards; New Discoveries Prize at Art Basel Hong Kong (2014), the Abraaj Capital Art Prize, Dubai, (2011), First prize in UmbauStadt art and Urban Architecture Competition, Berlin, (2010), and the Jury Prize at the Alexandria Biennale (2009).

Shahpour Pouyan (b. 1979 Isfahan, Iran, lives and works in New York)

Shahpour Pouyan holds a MFA in Integrated Practices and New Forms from Pratt Institute, New York, and earned a MFA in Painting from the Tehran University of Art. He previously studied Neoplatonic Philosophy at the Iranian Institute of Philosophy and received a diploma in Math and Physics from Elmieh School, Tehran. Pouyan’s work is a commentary about power, domination and possession through the force of culture. Recent museum exhibitions include: Punk Orientalism, Curated by Sara Raza, MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, Canada, 2018;  Only the Morning Bird Treasures the Flower Garden, REDCAT, Los Angeles, California, USA, 2018; In the Fields of Empty Days, Los Angeles County Museum (LACMA), California, USA, 2018, Rebel, Jester, Mystic, Poet: Contemporary Persians, Museum of Fine Art, Houston, USA, 2017. His work is part of many prominent private and public collections including: The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, The Abby Weed Grey Collection of Modern Asian and Middle Eastern Art, New York; The British Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, among others. In 2016, Pouyan was shortlisted for the Jameel Prize 4 by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK and has been awarded the Civitella Ranieri Fellowship for Visual Arts in Umbria, Italy.