GENIUS LOCI 6 – Focus Los Angeles. PRESENT PROGRESSIVE
Opening: Wednesday, 4 July 2018, 7 pm
Königsallee 27 – 31
SETAREH GALLERY’s annual exhibition Genius Loci focuses on the spirit of a place by gathering emerging contemporary positions of a given locality. This year sees the 6th edition of the exhibition make a geographical shift from celebrating the spirit of Düsseldorf to that of Los Angeles. Curated by Marcus Herse, Genius Loci 6 brings together nine contemporary L.A.-based artists, featuring works by Michael Dopp, Mark Flores, Pearl C. Hsiung, Pamela Jorden, Raffi Kalenderian, Michael John Kelly, Rachel LaBine, Emily Marchand and John Mills.
Entitling the exhibition “Present Progressive”, Marcus Herse – himself German-born – departs from a grammatical dimension of the English language in order to reflect on what might constitute the spirit of Los Angeles. The Present Progressive, also known as Present Continuous, allows speakers of English to express what they are currently doing – a distinction that is absent from the German language. This, Herse argues, is useful in understanding what defines the Angeleno standpoint: focusing on the spur of the moment, describing the action in itself as is unfolds, as opposed to the German holistic, more goal-orientated description of a situation.Thus, this grammatical specificity evokes a concept that can be seen as a framework for thinking about the exhibited works. Because, in the image of the proceeding present, there is a tendency to single out, to release the moment by seeing it outside its purposefulness. The curator invites us to use this filter to perceive the exhibited works, which find themselves in a dialogue with the materials used. In a sense, they defy our modern-day efficiency frenzy: the urge felt by society at large – irrespective of its linguistic particularities – to have an application for everything; to want apps.
Rather than re-arranging pre-fabricated components, the works of this exhibition recognise material and object as independent aspects with their own force. In their movements, the artists seek a discourse with the material, in which expression and form mutually create and accept one another, and in which the relationship of the artists to the work is constantly re-discovered. On the basis of predominantly non-representational approaches to painting, the exhibition raises the question of the relationship between ideas and their alleged translations into material, against the omnipresent background of a digitally portioned lifeworld, determined by hierarchies and efficiency thinking.
Marcus Herse is an artist, curator and educator currently based in Los Angeles. His Video-works and installations, photos and objects investigate point of view, the moving gaze and recorded movement in space.
Born in 1975 in Dinslaken, Germany, he studied painting at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, where he received the Meisterschüler-Title in 2001 and the Akademiebrief in 2004. He was awarded a DAAD postgraduate grant and studied at the University of California, Los Angeles, in 2002 and 2003. He is a recipient of the dHCS Studio Stipend hosted by the Kunstverein Düsseldorf (2007 - 2009), and a fellowship artist of the Contemporary Collectors Group of Orange County, California (2014).
Solo shows include Was man nicht im Kopf hat… - Use your head to save your heels (2017) and Agent (2014), at Ginerva Gambino, Cologne, Germany; Cruise.Control. (2015), and Galleria (2013) at Greene Exhibitions, Los Angeles and Almost ther at Commonwealth & Council, Los Angeles (2014). His works have been included in group exhibitions at Villa Romana, Florence, Italy, MUHKA, Antwerp, Belgium, Schmela Haus, Kunstsammlung NRW, Germany, 356 Mission Los Angeles CA, Kunstverein Düsseldorf, Germany, Laden Lothringer 13 Städtische Kunsthalle München, Germany. He is represented by Ginerva Gambino in Cologne.
Herse has organized exhibitions since 2007 in Germany and Southern California and was co-founder of the artist run space JB JURVE in Los Angeles from 2010-2012. He has been working as curator and teacher at Chapman University in Orange, CA since 2012.