Indepth Arts News: |
"Creeping Revolution 2: Bas Jan Ader (NL), Sture Johannesson (S), Silke Otto-Knapp (D), Mathilde Rosier (F), Wilhelm Sasnal (PL), Lily van der Stokker (NL), Frances Stark (US)"
2003-01-18 until 2003-03-16
Rooseum Center for Contemporary Art
Creeping Revolution 2 continues a series of experimental exhibition and project models that Rooseum has tested over the past 2 years. Creeping Revolution 2 is a group exhibition of artists whose work is primarily visual and seeks to affect the world through personal illuminationand individual experience, often reflecting on immediate friends and familyrather than society as a whole. In some ways it can be seen as an opportunity to consider the flipside of the socially engaged documentary work that has been shown in Rooseum over the past six months.
However, any idea that this is a return to a reactionary position must be dismissed. It is a case of maintaining both social and personal change (even revolution) as equally significant aims for contemporary art. To define the work in the exhibition as revolutionary is to suggest that the way art makes change possible is at least as much in the head as it effects actions on the street. To modify it with the term creeping is to provide a measure of the speed and accuracy of its effect, as well as introducing the slowly changing methodology of the exhibition itself.
Creeping Revolution 2 takes its lead from an exhibition organised by Foksal Gallery, Warsaw in 2000. In that exhibition a number of artists worked on the walls and floor of the small white cube space, being invited over a period of one month to add to works already in the gallery. Creeping Revolution 2 takes a similar approach, inviting artists for the opening and then adding or changing work over the period of the show. The idea is to encourage viewers to return and compare from one stage to the next, allowing them to see different stages as the exhibition is built up. Also we hope to encourage the artists to see their work in connection with each other and possibly respond to elements in anotherís work. Finally, this way of making a show will push the usual boundaries of the institution with its desire for stasis and preservation and continue the institutional experiment of the new Rooseum.
If the current vogue for documentary and analytical art is to thrive it needs intelligent, interesting critique from other angles. If, at some point in the future, we are to avoid a simplistic swing back towards dumb expressionism, we should think about how to balance analysis with imagination, the political with the personal, change in society with expanding revolutionary consciousness. Creeping Revolution 2 by starting a discussion about work that is aesthetically rather than overtly politically engaged, seeks to raise that debate and contribute to an understanding that beauty, friendship and the personal can be revolutionary too.