Art of Conversation / PSM Galerie
Meaning and Identity
/ Art of Conversation in der PSM Galerie
“The Art of Conversation” was a deconstructive act. Its politics of the author, the fact that you did not really know who the artist in this project was, that it was neither a solo nor a group exhibition, played a significant role and was a disorienting channel from which this both excessive and reductive exhibition was speaking. It relied on a fundamental trialogue, a close cooperation and true exchange between a curator (Andreas Schlaegel), and an artist (Paolo Chiasera), and between the two of them and another artist (Matthew Antezzo). But the inner exchange between the three was expanding to exchanges with a wide range of artists and artworks. The insistent reciprocity and referentiality produced by “The Art of Conversation” ignored the idea of a fixed distinct individuated identity and acted according to the idea of the relational dialogue-based identity. Following Martin Buber and the I-Thou Relationship, the notion of sustainability and identification was articulated in the exhibition through relationships and exchange (rather than separation and objectification) constantly defining and re-defining them. The inter-subjective environment unfolded by the exhibition allows us to even go further and reject the validity of the Cartesian Cogito as the criterion of subjectivity in favor of an inclusive, fluid and interactive mode of perception. (Martin Buber, „Ich und Du“, Gütersloher Verlagshaus, 1999)
Upon entering the gallery’s space one was immediately confronted with Matthew Antezzo’s diagonal fountain stripe, crossing the grey concrete floor between two of the space’s distant corners. The fountain, as the exhibition’s starting point, charged the garage-space of the gallery with characteristics of a grotto, a revelatory geometric cave, sharpening one’s awareness and sensibility regarding the possibility of concealed suspended appearances, a revelation event to come. The circulation of the fountain’s water made the space chilly and humid and exposed it to temporality, to eternal present. It also indicated the circulation of referents, and referents of other referents, addressed by Paolo Chiasera’s painting, installed free-standing on the far side of the fountain that reflected it. Chiasera’s painting depicts numerous of art and architecture works, listed on the approachable backside of the painting: Louise Kahn’s Bangladeshi Parliament Building in the capital of Dhaka as the illusionistic background of the painting; in front of it, an open segment of Albert Einstein’s summer house in Caputh Germany (designed by Konrad Wachsmann), containing a display of artworks by René Magritte, Louise Lawler and Riccardo Previdi (among others.) Despite the mediumal difference between Chiasera’s painting and Lawler’s photography, both artists deconstruct the singularity of the work of art, as a separate unit of meaning, but if Lawler’s project is analytic and critical, the practice of Chisera (together with Schlaegel and Antezzo) is existential, practical as much as imaginary.
The position of the curator was ostensibly inhabited by Schlaegel, but if the artist worked like a curator, then the curator in this constantly changing role-play is also the artist. The curator, the verbal factor of “The Art of Conversation”, the concept articulator who makes a text out of all the external and internal, is in fact the artist; the artists, the creative agencies, are the curators; the conversation between the work of art and its actual surroundings is also the conversation between the work of art imaginative inner components, all these structured indeterminacies promoted an uncommon discussion regarding meaning and identity, both inherent and projected, textual or contextual, essential or performative, generative yet deconstructive.
„The Art of Conversation“ kuratiert von Paolo Chiasera und
Andreas Schlaegel, Ausstellungsdesign Matthew Antezzo
PSM Gallery, Straßburger Straße 6–8, 10405 Berlin
2. 11.–15. 12. 2012
Ausstellungsansicht (© Andreas Schlaegel, Courtesy PSM Gallery)