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Novel

Novel at Sculpture Center, New York

Alun Rowlands

NOVEL draws together artists writing, texts and poetry that oscillates between modes of fiction and criticism. The printed pages coalesce as an apparatus for knowledge capture, informed by theory, film, politics and storytelling; writing as parallel practice; writing as political fiction; writing as another adventure, renegotiating unfulfilled beginnings or incomplete projects – that might offer an alternative script. Each iteration of NOVEL is distributed through the fictioning of a scenario that includes the staging of exhibitions, readings and screenings. Here, that scenario takes the form of NOVEL revisiting past collaborations with Ed Atkins, Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Sergej Jensen, Sam Lewitt, R.H. Quaytman, Josef Strau and Paul Thek.


Novel with: Ed Atkins, Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Steven Claydon, Sergej Jensen, Sam Lewitt, R.H. Quaytman, Josef Strau, and Paul Thek

New York – SculptureCenter is pleased to present Time Again, an exhibition that explores the language of repetition, bringing together works that destabilize conventional ways of seeing and considering what is past and what is present. Engaging gesture, image sequence, material affect, and displaced narrative, the works on view create disjunctions with the way the time of the present is experienced, challenging our understanding of what it means to be contemporaries. Curated by Fionn Meade, featuring work by: Richard Aldrich, Troy Brauntuch, Manon de Boer, Matthew Buckingham, Moyra Davey, Thea Djordjadze, Aurélien Froment, Rachel Harrison, Charline von Heyl, Ull Hohn, William E. Jones, Elad Lassry, Rosalind Nashashibi, Blinky Palermo, Laure Prouvost, Steve Roden, Emily Roysdon, and Rosemarie Trockel

Within the exhibition, archival and historical settings are re-animated only to be undone, including William E. Jones’s video Berlin Flash Frames, 2010, which parcels out footage from an unedited film produced by the U.S. Information Agency found in the National Archives of the United States labeled with the provisional title Berlin, 1961. Jones’s re-edit features distanced shots of the Berlin Wall under construction alongside propagandistic scenarios featuring actors on stage sets. Similarly, Emily Roysdon’s Untitled (David Wojnarowicz Project), 2001-2007, responds to and redirects Wojnarowicz’s earlier work Arthur Rimbaud in New York, 1978-79, while an excerpt from Marc Camille Chaimowicz’s Shoe Waste?, 1971-2005, returns to documentation of a clandestine action performed above and beneath the River Thames in London.

Additional works to be exhibited include a new sculpture by Rachel Harrison, Avatar, 2010; Ull Hohn’s series of plaster relief paintings, Untitled, 1988; Thea Djordjadze’s Deaf and dumb universe (Gerüst), 2008; and Troy Brauntuch’s Stamps, 1975-2007, which gathers together the artist’s collection of figurative rubber stamps that have been used in his collages over the past thirty years. Also on view will be sculpture, collage, and video works from Rosemarie Trockel, including Goodbye Mrs. Mönipaer, 2003, a cinematic pantomime that explores the psychologically fraught role-playing that can emerge between artists and gallerists, studio and market concerns, and private and public selves.

The performing body and political subject present themselves throughout the exhibition via acts of estrangement, reversal, ritualized behavior, and fragmentation. Manon de Boer’s film Attica, 2008, for example, captures a refracted consideration of the 1971 prison uprising in the form of a musical performance, while Rosalind Nashashibi’s This Quality, 2010, offers an indirect view of Cairo through tightly framed observations of likeness and variation. Matthew Buckingham’s Image of Absalon to be Projected Until It Vanishes, 2001, addresses a public that may no longer exist in a fragmented portrait of the Danish warrior-bishop and quasi-mythic founder of the city of Copenhagen. Similarly, the place of abstraction reasserts a longstanding dialog with the place of iconography through modes of projection, superimposition, doubling, and associative image sequences in works by Richard Aldrich, Moyra Davey, Charline von Heyl, Elad Lassry, and Blinky Palermo.

Also included within Time Again is a presentation of works organized in collaboration with Novel, a project founded by London-based editors and curators Matt Williams and Alun Rowlands. A publication project that takes up experimental writing as a parallel practice to visual art making, Novel draws on politics, poetry, theory, and storytelling to promote explorations of language and the possibility of a new critical fiction.

Extending across artistic mediums into sculpture, film and video, photography and painting, Time Again provokes a consideration of how ‘the now?’ of our time is perceived.

A series of talks and performances will take place at SculptureCenter, and a related screening series will be presented in collaboration with Anthology Film Archives. The exhibition catalog will feature texts by contributing artists—including Ed Atkins, Josef Strau, and Richard Aldrich—and essays by Fionn Meade, Jacob King, and Isla Leaver-Yap.