AboutAn Affirmative Attitude
Johanna Billing, Andrea Büttner, Knut Henrik Henriksen and Jimmy Robert
Private view Saturday 6 November 7 9 pm
Exhibition from 7 November till 12 December
An Affirmative Attitude brings together works that share a fragility and transient quality. The works are instructive and/or ephemeral in nature, setting up a co-dependency or co-production.
The title of the show An Affirmative Attitude comes from Andrea Büttner's piece Fallen Lassen , 2009, (Letting Fall) where Büttner asks a number of friends and colleagues to instruct her in how to articulate and materialise an
affirmative attitude to letting something fall. The instructions include:
Put a carrot and two pieces of charcoal on the floor (remnants of a snowman)
Drink a can of beer and step on the can when empty
Write down a dialogue that meant something to you recently
The piece of paper is not allowed to leave the room, but can be altered in any way
Before carrying out any of the other instructions, take your jacket off and hang it somewhere in the space for the duration of the exhibition
Take a bag and fill it with sand and put a hole in it
Let a leaf fall down
Leave something in the space purposefully unaltered
Place a plastic cup full of water on the floor
During the install, sit down on a chair and peel and apple and an orange, let the peel fall down
Pick the spikes of a cactus and leave them on the side of the plant
Take a glass object that is dear to you, wrap it in see-through tape, balance it on your head, it will fall,the cracks will indicate your height, you can let go of the fear of ever letting it fall again
Carry out all the instructions with an attitude of pride
Jimmy Robert's vinyl record is partly an impossible instruction piece and half a poem composed of elements he has written mixed with titles from different sources such as the movies of Valie Export and the pop songs of Iggy Pop and Grace Jones. In dialogue with the Baroque counter-tenor Gert Hohmann, vocal ornaments have been created to give tone to the paragraphs with influences ranging from Bach to Klaus Nomi to respond to issues around gender politics raised in the text. Alongside the sound element, and working in combination with it, is a remnant of a performance, a quotation of Bruce Nauman's Walk in an exaggerated manner in the perimeter of a square. The black gaffa-tape square is inhabited by a jacket, which for Robert contributes a humane sensibility to the rigor of the black square.
Knut Henrik Henriksen's sculpture is made out of domestic woodchip wallpaper pinned from the wall. A wave like shape is formed as the wallpaper hangs, touching the floor. Charcoal dust settles into a landscape pattern determined by the formation of the wood chip pattern.
Johanna Billing's Packing List (2005-2010) consists of an index of somebody's personal belongings. The packing list is derived from the production of the video piece Magic and Loss, 2005. Billing advertised for a person needing help to move flats in Amsterdam. This person let a group of unknown people carefully pack up and move her life from one place to another. The title Magic and Loss is taken from Lou Reed's album released in 1992 that was informed by the illness and loss of two close friends. The packing up of somebody's life hints at personal loss and poses questions around what we learn of a person from looking at their material belongings.