IRWIN - NEWS

"Just as Money is the Paper, the Gallery is the Room" at Osage Gallery Shanghai

group exhibition

"Just as money is the paper, the gallery is the room"

The exhibition takes as its point of departure artist organized exhibitions between 1979 and 2006 in Shanghai. Local and international artists have been invited to re-examine and respond to an archive of materials relating to such exhibitions. The archive takes a chronological approach, starting with the 12 Men Painting Exhibition that took place in 1979, and for the first time publicly showed different works by artists who did not belong to any artist association. Rather than institutions, artists were the sole aggregators of knowledge production through exhibition-making in the early 20th century, and later during the early 80s - making these exhibitions an important vehicle, not only for making art public but as the only site of discourse due to the failure of institutions to do so. The artist initiated exhibitions represented in the archive were significant in introducing so called new art or new practices as well as new exhibition formats

However, the role of artists as ‘curators’, in today’s terminology, has since more or less vanished from the scene due to the commercialization of art practices, which in turn changed exhibition-making practices. Just as money is the paper, the gallery is the room thus attempts to re-activate this local knowledge and practice of artist-led exhibition making, hoping to bring together common threads from the larger context of exhibition making practices across the region, as well as globally, to explore exhibitions as an epistemological engine rather than strategized showcase events, and to re-think the rituals within the art system. The exhibition will also touch on issues such as the experience of art through an exhibition format, the ambivalence between individual and collective, possible exchanges beyond a capitalist mode, the normalization reflected in early exhibitions and the notion of solidarity as a connection point, among many others. By featuring both artist research and responses alongside archival materials, Just as money is the paper, the gallery is the room further aims to complicate the story of some seminal art works and our encounters with them as a public.

The structure of the exhibition is dynamic and is developed in conversation with the invited local and international artists over the exhibition period and beyond its temporal existence. Featured works and artists include 3-ply from Australia and their ongoing Re-print series, which reintroduces out-of-print artist publications to a contemporary audience by exploiting the character of the reprints to intervene in public archives. In particular, 3-ply will re-publish the Shanghai First International Fax Art exhibition catalogue from 1996. IRWIN from Slovenia will revisit their unrealized proposal from 1992: the establishment of an NSK Embassy in China, and will test the ground for its opening. Auckland/Frankfurt based Luke Willis Thompson’s Untitled, on the other hand, seeks to find parallels between the conditions that informed conceptual and performance practices in Shanghai during the years of its prefiguration and the inequities of other cities globally. Lastly, the visual experience of the exhibition is conceived in collaboration with architect Ségolène Dubernet.

exhibiting artists:

3-PLY (FAYEN D'EVIE, MATT HINKLEY & NICHOLAS TAMMENS) | CHARDA ADYTAMA YASON BANAL | SÉGOLÈNE DUBERNET | GONG JIANHUA | HU YUN | IRWIN MARYSIA LEWANDOWSKA | LI RAN SHI YONG | LUKE WILLIS THOMPSON | MONA VATAMANU & FLORIN TUDOR YU YOUHAN with contributions from DING YI, FAN JIMAN, FENG LIANGHONG, QIN YIFENG, SHEN FAN and ZHANG JIAN-JUN | ZHANG PEILI | ZHOU ZIXI

DIALOGUE: Untitled Files - With Hu Yun (Shanghai) and Luke Willis Thompson (Auckland/Frankfurt) Wednesday, 19 November 2014, 4pm to 7.30pm

Bella Ciao! – The Institutionalisation of Friendship With IRWIN member Miran Mohar (Ljubljana), Huang Xiaopeng (Guangzhou) and Sang Tian (Beijing) Friday, 28 November 2014, 7pm to 9pm

TALK: The Art Practice by IRWIN and NSK State in Time by IRWIN member Miran Mohar (Ljubljana) with Zhang Peili (Hangzhou) as respondent Friday, 21 November, 2014, 4pm to 5.30pm