Longitudes

David Jablonowski's "Hype Cycle" at Fons Welters, Amsterdam


In his sculptural work, David Jablonowski skillfully juxtaposes a broad spectrum of man-made and mass-produced materials in order to reflect on timely topics such as the status of objects and the flow of data through the lens of technology. We had seen his work in group shows (see this blog post), but having the chance to see his solo presentation 'Hype Cycle' at Fons Welters was a very welcome addition to our Amsterdam Art Weekend visit.

Jablonowski's interest in the complexity of today's networks of information and its technologies is manifested in a series of sculptures clustered as glass totems ('Prediction Tower, Hype Cycle 1' 2 and 3, all from 2014) or simple low shelves à la mode of still lives ('No Market Left Waiting To Merge (Taipei)', 2014). He favors working with contrasting materials in texture and warmth (e.g. reflecting glass vs. wicker baskets) constantly moving between the analogue and the digital (e.g. offset printing plates vs. LED screens). His sculptural arrangements belie their minimal appearance by incorporating organic materials such as dry orange slices, spices, leaves or rice crackers, often tricking the eye as to what is real and what is a prop. He plays, for example with the veracity of immaterial financial data against the seeming-artificiality of actually-present indexed produce – such as ears of grain. 

'Hype Cycle' incorporates some of the elements from his recent Art Cologne presentation 'Hello Prediction! / Data Mining' (2014). One of the most intriguing pieces is 'Industrial3d Display', a 4 metre-long work arranged on the floor composed of materials such as aluminum, dried rye, peppers, plexiglass, Samsung LED screens, plaster, dried leaves and acrylic. This piece, one that best sublimates his conceptual and sculptural efforts, elegantly alloys all his concerns around the evolution of media and obsolescence, layering found video footage on two flat screens, used offset printing sheets folded in their corners and reed baskets containing ears of wheat. Jablonowski's choice of wheat is significant as the cultivation of this cereal was one of the main factors in the emergence of city societies. It was easily grown and could be stored over long periods of time as well as serving as a construction material. 



Another imposing piece is 'New Trade Routes, Trade Alert' (2014), featuring one of the stars of the show: an 18th Century wooden wagon. 'New Trade Routes...' appears to lance any uneasy nostalgia for mankind as a tool-maker. Although similar wagons are doubtless still used in many communities today, the proximity to modern and contemporary items such as consumer objects and the trapping of newer technology (LED panels, aluminum printing plates, reproduction Chinese dim sum, etc.) turns the wagon into a sort of time-traveled artifact. It is as if it has become hardly recognizable as technology for the many of us more familiar to interacting with a touch screen than a horse harness.

The show is underscored by many of the social, technological and economic changes we are witnessing today. A pointed example of this is the graphic printed on a transparent sheet (typically used for overhead projectors in pre-PowerPoint corporate and educational presentations) and included in one of Jablonowski's totems. The Hype Cycle is "a branded graphical tool developed and used by IT research and advisory firm Gartner, Inc. for representing the maturity, adoption and social application of specific technologies." The curve shows, for example, that Predictive Analytics reached the "Plateau of Productivity" phase as of July 2013.

It is interesting to put Jablonowski's work in the light of the nearby exhibition at SMBA with film work by Zachary Formwalt, which focuses on the progressive abstraction and remoteness of financial trade, taking as a point of departure the 1903 H.P. Berlage's Amsterdam Stock and commodities Exchange in contrast to the 2013 OMA-designed Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

Both Jablonowski and Formwalt's approach resonates with our current research on artistic practice broadly inquiring on the circulation of raw materials, economic trade, information flows and technological obsolescence. 

For better photo documentation of the show, check Fons Welters' website or Artsy



David Jablonowski (1982) lives in Amsterdam and works with Fons Welters (Amsterdam), Lüttgenmeijer (Berlin), Max Wigram (London). 


Related Content: 

Report from Madrid: Apertura 2014 gallery and museums programme in tweets, 11–13 September (15 September 2014) 

Report from London's Frieze week 2014 now on Storify (27 October 2014) 

Report from the Amsterdam Art Weekend, 27–30 November 2014 now on Storify (2 December 2014)  

"Esta puerta pide clavo" at Galerie Tatjana Pieters (22 June 2012) 

Maaike Lauwaert write up of the exhibition on Artforum's Critics' Picks



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Latitudes | www.lttds.org (except when noted otherwise in the photo caption)
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Two 'Portscapes' films presented in 'Scenographies', an exhibition at SMBA in Amsterdam

Still from Marjolijn Dijkman's "Surviving New Land" (2009). 
Courtesy of the artist and SKOR | Foundation for Art in Public Space.
 
Two of the films produced for 'Portscapes', the year-long programme of public art projects in the Port of Rotterdam curated by Latitudes back in 2009, are currently screened as part of the exhibion 'Scenographies'. The show, curated by Clare Butcher for SMBA Amsterdam, is "a dynamic exhibition programme based around the archive of SKOR | Foundation for Art in Public Space." On view until 16 November 2013, artists and artists' collectives will approach the legacy of SKOR, the former institution that realized more than a thousand projects in public space in the Netherlands over the past three decades.

The selected films are those by Dutch artists Jan Dibbets ("6 Hours Tide Object with Correction of Perspective", watch the making of part 1 and part 2), and Marjolijn Dijkman's "Surviving New Land" (watch a low res view here), and are screened between 3-16 October as part of the larger film programme "Constructed Sceneries" curated by High&Low Bureau (Yael Messer and Gilad Reich).

On Saturday 3 October at 8pm, High&Low Bureau will talk about their practice in relation to the subjects in the film programme. They will be joint by 'Scenographies' curator, Clare Butcher.

+ info:
Photos of Jan Dibbets' film here
Photos of Marjolijn Dijkman film here.
Info on the exhibition 'Scenographies', here (as a pdf)
Portscapes website.

 Production of '6 Hours of Tide Object with Correction of Perspective' (2009) by Jan Dibbets. Photo: Paloma Polo / SKOR.

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Moderation(s) meeting in Rotterdam and a few shows in Amsterdam

Last week we were in Witte de With, Rotterdam, for a two-day meeting in preparation for the 2013 project Moderation(s). Moderation(s) is a year-long programme of residencies, performances, exhibitions, workshops and research initiated by Witte de With’s director Defne Ayas and Spring Workshop founder Mimi Brown. At the core of the project stands ‘The Moderator’, incarnated by Singaporean visual artist and writer Heman Chong. More news soon, in the meantime you can read more in this interview with the artist. 
 Artist and writer Heman Chong (left) introduces the Moderation(s) programme to participants and collaborators.

At the end of the first day of the workshop, Witte de With director Defne Ayas, gave a tour of their current show 'The Humans', a year-long project by visual artist and writer Alexander Singh (image above and three photos below), which "includes a variety of formats, from presentations and rehearsals to discursive events that are informed by the props produced on site. Leading up to the final presentation of his play in the Spring of 2013, Singh transforms Witte de With’s second floor into an artist’s studio." (text from Witte de With's website).





The exhibition included spatial design by architect Markus Miessen, including "a multi-purpose yellow monolith. This giant modular cube consisting of sixty-four separate blocks constantly mutates in accordance to a series of events taking place in 2012, including Singh’s Causeries."
(from the website).


The previous evening to the workshop TENT and Witte de With hosted an evening of events which began with a lecture by Vivien Sky Rehberg's "Deschooling/Deskilling" lecture.


(Above) Rotterdam ladies on stage. Left to right: Mariette Dölle (Programme director, TENT), Vivian Sky Rehberg (Director of the Master of Fine Art at the Piet Zwart Institute) and Defne Ayas (Director, Witte de With) introducing the evening.

Downstairs TENT had the exhibition "Between the map and the territory" which included the below installation by curator Maaike Gouwenberg and artist Joris Lindhout, on their ongoing research into the "gothic as a cultural strategy". 

Bik van der Pol's piece "Accumulate, Collect, Show" (below) at TENT (originally produced as part of Frieze Projects 2011). View video of the piece changing the modular text elements to spell out a number of abstract idioms, quotes and maxims here.


(Above) view of 'Untitled (Assimilated being), version 2"( 2011) by Swiss artist Karin Hueber: "Hueber’s work consists of installations of architectural elements that are apparently waiting to be used, as pieces of scenery for a stage production, as attributes for a performance. Elements are bent, folded, doubled, reversed or enlarged." (from the website).

On Sunday 21st we visited Amsterdam, quickly visiting the new spaces of de Appel and W139. de Appel presented the group show "Stem Terug! / Vote back!" which included a new presentation of the 2010 work "Local regulation" by Amikejo artists Iratxe Jaio and Klaas van Gorkum (image below).


(Above) General view of the first room of the exhibition with works by Artur Zmijewski ("Them (Oni)", 2007), Iratxe Jaio and Klaas van Gorkum ("Plaatselijke Verordening" (Local Regulation), 2010) and Otto Berchem ("Blue Monday", 2011).


(Above) General view of the first room of the exhibition with works by Sam Durant ("Tell it like it is", 2005), Yuri Veerman ("Red White Blue", 2012)  and Otto Berchem ("Blue Monday", 2011).

 (Above) Otto Berchem's "Blue Monday", 2011. Courtesy Gallery La Central.
(above and below) The Yes Men spoof edition of the "New York Times Special Edition", 2008.

The nearby W139 hosted the group exhibition "The Research and Destroy Department of Black Mountain College" (below) with the participation of 30+ artists whose work share the idea of 'collecting'.


At 4pm we joined the tour of the exhibition "Time, Trade and Travel" by Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam curator Jelle Bouwhuis (photographed below). The event coincided with the closing day of the exhibition.
 
View of the exhibition "Time, Trade & Travel" at Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam. More images here.
 

Following Bouwhuis' tour, there was an in conversation between American artist Zachary Formwalt and Dutch critic and historian Sven Lütticken in which they discussed Formwalt's film 'A Projected Geometry' (2012) (presented in the "Time, Trade and Travel") in relation to his previous film work such as "unsupported transit" (2011), amongst others.

Witte de With, TENT, Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam (SMBA), de Appel and W139 were all part of Latitudes' curated programme 'The Dutch Assembly': 30 hourly talks, readings, artists presentations, performances, book launches, in conversations and screenings presented last February over the course of the five days of ARCOmadrid.

All photos: Latitudes | www.lttds.org (except when noted otherwise in the photo caption)

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Founded in 2005 by Max Andrews and Mariana Cánepa Luna, Latitudes is a curatorial office based in Barcelona, Spain, that works internationally across contemporary art practices.

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