Chance Encounters

May 3–June 21, 2009

On journeys I often find myself in the situation to eat in between places, so it is with joy that I remember sites where I can observe the surroundings and sometimes start a casual conversation with a shopkeeper or other guests around me. When I first entered Bar Jorge Americano, a construction by Tim Braden, I felt immediately taken out of the art context within which it was presented. I felt glued to the bar, tried to identify some of the football players on the paintings, the woman with the feathered hat. I was led to believe to be in a roadside restaurant, with a singer appearing any minute from behind the curtain. But who was Jorge Americano? My eyes were compelled to penetrate deeper into the paintings on the walls. My gaze paused at people around me. Hardly anyone sat down in the makeshift restaurant. Now I wanted to bring it alive again as space for analysis, conversation, to socialize.

For Chance Encounters I selected two films by Manon de Boer and Pablo Pijnappel. Their films to me resemble journeys through the urban and rural and show people in transit, as they go after their daily routines. Filmed from the front of the car or through the side window of a bus I feel like participating in their road trips. Not completely unlike the phantasm of Jorge Americano the films function also as introductions to a couple of idiosyncratic figures. To begin with I empathize with the figure of Suely Rolnik, with her drug experiences, the repression from police forces she experienced, her life in exile, the feeling of losing ones own language, of being a foreigner. The concrete desert cityscape that Manon portrays evokes sensations of familiarity and nostalgia in me, but it also confronts with the shelters we built to withdraw from the public of the megalopolis to the private realm. Subsequently Pablo sketches a portrait of family history, his father’s and grandfather’s. I asked myself what makes it so hard for Walderedo Jr. to maintain a ‘normal’ life with his children and his wife who tries to understand him for the last 13 years? What comes to his mind when he thinks about Walderedo Ismael de Oliveira’s practice in a rural psychoanalytical hospital in the 1940’s? What is his anguish and why doesn’t he speak? I can feel with Walderedo’s melancholy and sadness for the world. With Pablo, I follow him to the beaches, to the steel and glass towers, to meditate in seclusion.

Somehow my situation was akin to watching a performance at the beginning and acting in it towards the end, because conversations with Karin Schneider made me reconsider this press release and rewrite it completely. In a psychoanalytical exercise I try to associate freely between the works on view and unlearn the parameters of writing about art I have exercised for many years. Thus this press release was my task and also became her work. I look forward to discovering with you more about Jorge Americano, Suely, Walderedo, and ourselves. During the events program that accompanies the show and which is organized in association with Union Gaucha Productions we’ll try to also introduce you to the Poison of Tunga, Mira Schendel & Leon Ferrari and the practice of analyst Wilhelm Reich.

Curated by Tobi Maier

Pablo Pijnappel was born in 1979 in Paris and lives in Berlin. He studied at Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, the SFAI in San Francisco and Rijksakademie, Amsterdam. Recent solo exhibitions include Juliètte Jongma, Amsterdam, Kadist Art Foundation, Paris, Carlier I Gebauer, Berlin, (all 2008) Museum de Hallen, Haarlem, NL and Whitechapel Laboratory, London (2007) and Galerie Iris Kadel, Karlsruhe (2004).

Tim Braden was born in 1975 and lives in London. He studied at St Petersburg Academy of Art Recent and Ruskin School of Fine Art, Oxford University. Recent solo exhibitions include Faye Fleming, Geneva (2009), Juliètte Jongma, Amsterdam (2008) and Timothy Taylor Gallery, London (2006).

Manon de Boer was born in 1966 and lives in Brussels. She studied at Akademie van Beeldene Kunsten in Rotterdam and at Rijksakademie, Amsterdam. Recent solo exhibitions include Frankfurter Kunstverein, Witte de With Rotterdam and Jan Mot, Brussels, all 2008. The same year she participated in the 5th Berlin Biennial and, in 2007, Resonating Surfaces (2005) was exhibited as part of the 52nd Venice Biennial.

Karin Schneider was born in 1970 in Rio de Janeiro and lives in New York. She studied at the Circulo de Bellas Artes, Madrid, the Universidade do Rio Grande do Sul and New York University. Together with Nicolas Guagnini, Karin Schneider runs the experimental film company Union Gaucha Productions since 1997 and was a co-founder of the cooperatively organized exhibition and event space Orchard (2005-2008).

Nicolas Guagnini was born in Buenos Aires and lives in New York. Together with Karin Schneider, he has run the experimental film company Union Gaucha Productions since 1997 and was a co-founder of the cooperatively organized exhibition and event space Orchard (2005-2008). Recent solo exhibitions include COMA, Berlin (2009), Andrew Roth gallery, New York (2006 with Gareth James & 2007), Orchard gallery, NY (2006 with Dan Graham) and Printed Matter, NY (2004). His writing has been published in October, Parkett, Cabinet, Texte Zur Kunst, and several exhibition catalogues.

Luis Pérez-Oramas is the Estrellita Brodsky curator of Latin American Art at The Museum of Modern Art.

Jorge Stolkiner is a medical doctor, psychiatrist and orgonomist. He was born in Argentina and lives in New York.

Two events were hosted and programed by Karin Schneider as part of her contribution to the exhibition:

Sunday May 17, 2009, 7pm:
Body Psychotherapy in the era of isolation – an experiential lecture with Jorge Stolkiner

Friday May 29, 2009, 7pm:
Screening: Phantom Limb (1997/8) – by Union Gaucha Productions
followed by a conversation between Nicolas Guagnini and Luis Pérez-Oramas the curator of the exhibition Tangled Alphabets: León Ferrari and Mira Schendel (Museum of Modern Art, New York April 5 – June 15, 2009)