Annet Gelink Gallery is delighted to present the special Amsterdam Art Weekend edition of Theatre Dreams of a Beautiful Afternoon – Part 2 at Manifesta Office featuring a great variety of works by Yael Bartana, Roger Hiorns, Meiro Koizumi, Erik van Lieshout, David Maljkovic, Antonis Pittas, Sarah van Sonsbeeck and Barbara Visser.
In this exhibition newly added works fill the historical building of Manifesta’s office on the Herengracht in Amsterdam. Each piece inhabits and relates to this space in its own way; the works spread throughout the building and garden engage with the environment in their form and meaning. Some refer to contemporary political and social issues, such as the turbulent time in Europe, the disunity and uncertainty of the future of this continent.
Others pose questions on belonging, identity and value.
For Amsterdam Art Weekend Erik van Lieshout has transformed the director’s, Hedwig Fijen’s, office into a Kattenkabinet: he displays his drawings related to his work filmed in the basement of St. Petersburg's Hermitage Museum. This piece asks whether art can change the system and make life better. Furthermore, during Amsterdam Art Weekend the new book of Erik van Lieshout, which relates to his current exhibition at WIELS in Brussels, will be available at Manifesta Office. Antonis Pittas has created a special installation that consists of a tire-like marble sculpture based on the materials used in violence associated with the protest movement that has swept through (mostly Southern) Europe; and graphite texts on the marble floor and doorframe in the hallway of Manifesta. His use of marble and graphite emphasizes the tension between the mutable and passing element. Pittas makes this violence physical, hardening it in the durable material of marble. In doing so, he also monumentalizes the small occurrences that form public history, by using texts derived from the news reports on the current situation in Syria.
During Amsterdam Art Weekend, David Maljkovic presents New Reproductions a collage that involves photos in which various creative stages of his works are laid on top of one another, similar to the way, the ambivalent title linking past and present can be read in both directions of time.
Sarah van Sonsbeeck attempts to reactivate two of her works on this occasion, by making use of the Manifesta 11 motto What People do for Money as a contextual starting point. Her recent work One bar of gold, dripped #7 is a translation of the standard gold bar. On this occasion the Manifesta 11 catalogue entitled What People do for Money is tailored to serve as a pedestal for the work and placed right outside the director’s room. Along the staircase hangs One and one third bar of gold, tapestry, a new version of an existing work with the exact volume of a gold bar. The piece is shaped as a square, as that is a symbol of constructed stability (as opposed to the circle representing stability such as is found in nature), thus constituting 1.3 gold bars.
In the back room, on the ground floor hangs Yael Bartana’s photographic triptych Herzel. Bartana, more and more, places herself in front of the camera, dressed in different familiar costumes – SS officer with an IDF woman soldier’s beret holding a camera, a combat soldier or Jewish settler – transforming into other identities while playing on clichés and archetypes and creating a sort of mutation, a poetic juxtaposition of diverse cultures, of past and present. In her new photographic self-portraits Bartana takes up the role of author of imaginary utopias, journalist, politician, and jurist, Theodor Herzl (1860-1904) who has been seen as the embodiment of the New Jew, whose political vision created the Zionist movement ex nihilo, thereby giving birth to the future State of Israel.
By Roger Hiorns there is one of the so-called ‘foam pieces’ standing on the first floor corridor producing foam endlessly, slowly rising from the ceramic object. Alongside this object two large “paintings” are displayed in the first floor office. These are filled with homoeroticism, depicting life-size courting male figures in acrylic and latex paint on polycarbonate panels. This choice of material lends a skin-like texture to the figures through which an intense and provoking atmosphere is established that should create awareness around the topic that up until today remains a taboo within politics and society in the United Kingdom as well as in a global context. Meiro Koizumi will be present during the opening of the exhibition on November 26 and will hold a performance on this occasion.