The Wilding Cran Gallery exhibition IT’S A SAD AND BEAUTIFUL WORLD…—featuring new figurative work by Vanessa Beecroft, Michelle Blade, Karon Davis, Katja Farin, FebruaryJames, and Bari Ziperstein—is on view by appointment.
Paintings are everywhere on Instagram. They circulate freely outside the control of the market, though they endure the censorship of social networks. Instagram is the universal exhibition of today – the Painting Salon of the 2020s. This is where I see more new paintings than I see in the galleries. This is where I discover more new artists and insensibly follow them, without even thinking, and then get off so easily.
Now, the idea is to restore and translate something of my digital experience on Instagram in an art gallery format. It’s a different kind of exhibition experience. But I ask myself, is the gallery transference interesting? Will a group show of such works hold up? Can we exhibit artists without knowing who they are? Or without first seeing their work in the flesh? What can I even say about this recent mutation of taste in narrative, pictorial, eclecticism…a sense of taste that, for me, includes sexual, fetishistic and maybe neo-surrealistic tendencies?
A theoretical question also arises: What’s painting even doing on Instagram?
First, let me say that a painting on Instagram is just an image. It’s a simulacrum, an image of an image, even a non-image or anti-image. A painting does not reproduce reality, nor does it duplicate it, and the image of a painting does not reproduce or duplicate a painting’s physical reality. A painting is a world apart. A world of shadows and lights. A mystery of surface and depth. An enigmatic mixture of colored matter and sensation. A painting stands in opposition to the digital experience of images that can be consumed en masse. Yet the image of a painting on a phone screen slows down my typically speedy, one-after-another consumption of images. The image of a painting often intrigues and even surprises me. Some linger in my memory, and a few more works by the same artist can deepen what began as a fragile and vague emotion. Unlike endlessly scrolled images, the digital image of a painting makes me think. It can even block the flow of thousands of images even as it too is carried off in the digital current. It stays because another kind of desire is played through it.
The images that cross in front of us, that absorb and consume us, embody a new form of global forgetfulness and contemporary amnesia. In the end, it’s a sadomasochistic suffering that we inflict on ourselves in war with images. Love may reside in the social network on the side of paintings. A single painting, in the midst of the seemingly intimate torment, is like a new beginning: to paint is to love again.
My desire to make an exhibition of Instagram paintings begins with what Instagram does to paintings. Instagramreturns to a painting what belongs to it. This is neither its decorative value, market value nor spiritual value, but rather its symbolic exchange of value. Isn’t that basically what Instagram tries to actualize or make us dream about: reinventing symbolic exchange? In the social and digital arena, where images of the world can defeat the world, paintings actualize a real connection to and between us. — Olivier Zahm
Join Zahm this weekend for the opening party of TO PAINT IS TO LOVE AGAIN, the show he’s curated for Nino Mier.
Parkett presents PHOTO, “the first survey exhibition of all photographic works made by artists for the journal over the last three decades. On view at Parkett’s Zurich space, the show includes some ninety works spanning a rarely seen, vast, and diverse range of photographic positions and ideas.”*
“The exhibition follows the evolution of photographic methods in the past three decades, with many of the earlier photographs making use of analog techniques, while digital editing informs the more recent works. Common threads including people and portraiture, landscapes both urban and natural, everyday objects, and abstraction, connect an otherwise expansive range of visual topics.”*
“Many of the works on view combine photographic elements with other media, such as gouache, collage, textiles, installation, or printmaking. Also on view are works, which while similar in terms of media and format, are unique and contain distinct differences within each project. Further exhibition displays include five video works, as well as a selection of artists’ inserts—the specially commissioned 10–12 book page projects published in each issue of Parkett.”*
“You can grab an issue from thirty years ago and see the context. You can grab that context and time. The internet has no historical orientation. You click on an article and you don’t know what context [it was published in]. I think this loss of memory is deplorable.” — JacquelineBurckhardt, Parkett co-founding editor**
THE FIRST SURVEY OF ALL PHOTOGRAPHIC WORKS MADE BY ARTISTS FOR PARKETT SINCE 1984*
Through September 28.
Parkett Space Zürich
Limmatstrasse 268, Zürich.
**See “Time, Context, Object—The Parkett Story,”PARIS LA 16 (2018).
PHOTO artists include: Tomma Abts, Franz Ackermann, Doug Aitken, Allora/Calzadilla, Francis Alys, Ed Atkins, John Baldessari, Yto Barrada, Vanessa Beecroft, Alighiero e Boetti, Christian Boltanski, Glenn Brown, Angela Bulloch, Maurizio Cattelan, Chuck Close, Tacita Dean, Jeremy Deller, Thomas Demand, Trisha Donnelly, Tracey Emin, Omer Fast, Robert Frank, Katharina Fritsch, Cyprien Gaillard, Ellen Gallagher, Adrian Ghenie, Gilbert & George, Robert Gober, Nan Goldin, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Dan Graham, Andreas Gursky, David Hammons, Rachel Harrison, Christian Jankowski, Annette Kelm, Martin Kippenberger, Jeff Koons, Jannis Kounellis, Lee Kit, Zoe Leonard, Liu Xiaodong, Paul McCarthy, Marilyn Minter, TraceyMoffatt, Jean-Luc Mylayne, Bruce Nauman, Gabriel Orozco, Richard Phillips, Sigmar Polke, Richard Prince, RH Quaytman, Charles Ray, Jason Rhoades, Pipilotti Rist, Ugo Rondinone, Mika Rottenberg, Thomas Ruff, Anri Sala, Wilhelm Sasnal, Gregor Schneider, Shirana Shahbazi, Cindy Sherman, Roman Signer, Dayanita Singh, Hito Steyerl, Beat Streuli, Thomas Struth, Sturtevant, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Sam Taylor-Wood, Diana Thater, Rosemarie Trockel, Wolfgang Tillmans, Danh Vo, Charline von Heyl, Jeff Wall, Andy Warhol, Lawrence Weiner, Christopher Wool, and Yang Fudong.
The collection of Sylvio Perlstein comprises twentieth-century art movements—from Dada and Surrealism to Abstraction, Land Art, Conceptual Art, Minimal Art, Pop Art, Op Art, Arte Povera, Nouveau Réalisme, Conceptualism, and Contemporary Art—as well as a “collection within the collection” of photography.
The catalogue A LUTA CONTINUA—THE PERLSTEIN COLLECTION is out now, and includes essays by Luc Sante, MatthieuHumery, and curator David Rosenberg.