Mark Kent, Cork 1972, was exploiting in huge wall-paintings during the period at the Rijksacademie and his first exhibition at Ellen de Bruijne Projects in 2002, an extreme disintegration of the image. By smashing and cutting his initial image time after time and pasting these pieces again, the spectator could only feel that at first there was a recognisable image involved. But Mark Kents work characterises itself best as a hallucinating cacophony of bits and pieces. For his solo-painting show Kent literally pushed himself back on the canvas. He is still working with the disintegration of the image, but he does not overpower his public so much by confronting them with a whole endless- wall. Now, with his small sharp-edged-canvases and works on paper, he escorts his audience to a place where the familiar order of nature does not count anymore. Watching the work of Mark Kent evokes simultaneous feelings like confusing and seduction in one.
With some adapted quotes from the article of Jan Verwoert on Modernism, Mark Kent tries to describes his underlying motives:
By reconnecting the experimental and transgressive dimension of formalist art with the spirit of sex, drugs and progressive music the work projects an individualized version of a trippy modernism.
A key principle of early modernism was its claim for universal validity of its visions for art and society.
I try to objectify this historical dogmatism by placing modernism within the realm of personal experience.
Is it possible to separate utopianism from ideology and to rediscover programmatic propositions as a way of both making art and as a tool for progressive thinking.
Adaptation of quotes by the artist from: World in Motion, Jan Verwoert on new Modernisms, Frieze 2004
Keren Cytter, The Friends Series
“Now all my friends are gone there is no one to witness my life anymore!” – An old poet
There is no doubt – friends are a blessing and you are, dear reader, young enough to be surrounded by at least one digit number of friends (If the description doesn’t fit your life – please stop reading this text). On the surface your friendship is nothing but a bunch of shaky wooden boards, lining on each other, ready to be set on fire and burn into ashes. And a stranger who never knew a supporting shoulder in his life, will even say that friendship is no more than a bitter door slamming, barren confessions and shameless weeping to an empty glass of beer. What a terrible mistake! Although your friends are calling in the most unfitted moments in your life, somehow in these moments you need them the most.. Please do not get confused dear reader; their shoulder is not concerning any financial support or even rare world wisdom, not at all! These friends are your quiet victims. Sacrificing themselves on the phone line, in your living room, at the local cafe. They are listening to your troubles, their worried eyes following your neurotic moves, touching gently your shoulder while you’re spilling your heart, as if they were saying “don’t embarrass us, people are watching”.
The power of friendship is not measured by its hard times but in its light moments, and even the sensitive of man will find it hard to notice these times. As if it is a joyful butterfly waving its wings in front of your eyes, exhilarating your day but refusing to get caught. And if it got caught, it would turn into warm yellow sand dripping between your fingers. And if it was kept in your hand it would turn into a fading phone number, written hastily on the back of your hand, wondering if it will lead to the longed for phone call or maybe vanish forever under the cold shower-water.
Do not be mistaken, dear reader, this text was not written for nothing. It isn’t a barren praise for friendship. This text is lining – as the shaky wooden boards of the unlit bonfire – on four videos that are called “The Friends Series”. These videos are describing seemingly fragile relationships, stable from necessity of time and place.
They were filmed in Tel-Aviv, each of them in a completely different style – one as a stormy drama and the other as a dry and gloomy film noir.
Dear reader, do not tire yourself by reading the description of these works, not because it isn’t worthy but because you certainly will watch them in one of these days.
Now turn your eyes from this paper and look around you and if your eyes come across a friendly face, smile with love and care and invite him or her – if you hold the right amount of money – to a cup of coffee or a glass of beer.
Remember: next time that face could be yours! And with a little smile and the right amount of affection they can change you too – from an anonymous reader to the dearest friend.
Keren Cytter (Tel Aviv 1977) lives and works in Amsterdam
Free Exchange with Keren Cytter and Wafae Ahalouch: Thursday 16 September at 8pm. Screening of “Documenta Y” (2003 ), a documentary about Documenta XI with John Bock, Thomas Hirschhorn, Joseph Beuys and others.
Saskia Janssen, Scene Shifters
Graag nodigt Artimo u uit voor de boekpresentatie van Saskia Janssens “Scene Shifters” , op 4 september bij Artimo A-Z, Elandsgracht 8 van 17.00 – 19.00 uur.
Om 18.00 uur optreden van Illa’s Crew met python, n.a.v. Janssens project Casting Fortune voor Museum De Paviljoens Almere.
De publicatie is op 4 september te koop voor de speciale prijs van 20 euro + gratis poster.
Saskia Janssen Scene Shifters
teksten: Hans Aarsman, Sophie Berrebi, Owen Oppenheimer en Saskia Janssen, 192 pagina’s, ISBN 90-75380-83-6, ontwerp: Mevis & van Deursen, uitgave Artimo, verkoopprijs: euro 30,-
Artimo A-Z, Elandsgracht 8, NL-1016 TV Amsterdam, (t) 020 6253344 / (f) 020 3204630 / (e) firstname.lastname@example.org