Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow
22 April – 28 May 2011
Curated by Ardi Poels
Entire strata of the population have been living for a considerable period in an inner somewhere-else. They do not feel bound to what are called the fundamental values of society.
(Peter Sloterdijk, in The Critique of Cynical Reason).
Our understanding of the words spoken by Lilith when Adam expulsed her from Paradise, evokes a remarkable twist: Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow once meant to be an apocalyptic threat, can also be interpreted nowadays as an Arcadian prediction. In this scene from the Old Testament we can already discern the three components of a most dynamic triangle in the history of art to the present: Lilith (the individual), Paradise (nature) and the city (the collective).
Changing attitudes and ideals determine the relationship between nature, the individual and the collective. This triangle is slowly assembled and rearranged by the works in this exhibition, beginning with works by G.B. Piranesi, the exhibition acknowledges the romantic vision of cities and landscapes.
This movement traces a reversal of power between the viewer and the object: the environment is no longer subject to the power of the human gaze. instead we find that the surroundings – be it landscape, city or matter exert a substantial influence over the viewer.
The impact becomes visible when we remember one of the most famous paintings of the Romantic period, Caspar David Friedrich’s Wanderer above a Sea of Fog (1818). In Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow we can observe how the quietly reflective pose of the wanderer starts moving , gently jumps into the landscape below and looks back to us from behind the scene.
…A choir of singing men jumping of a building in the air; the hidden space between two walls is forced open to reveal secretive mental processes; clouds of fog lead us into a realm of intense psychological landscapes; a walk from A to B is transposed into a memento of human contact; a stone, found by chance in the night, connects two people; bricks sprinkled with glitter embody a jumble of earthly and other worldly forces; a medium standing before an ancient house mediates its story to the viewer, eyes stare at us from hiding places in the walls; and our own reflection is dissolved and scattered by mirrors…
Lara Almarcegui (Ellen de Bruijne Projects, Amsterdam), Stanley Brouwn, Thomas Grünfeld (Hidde van Seggelen, London, Private collection, The Hague), Ann Veronica Janssens (Galerie Micheline Szwajcer, Antwerp), Suchan Kinoshita (Ellen de Bruijne Projects, Amsterdam, Nadja Vilenne, Liege), Pieter Laurens Mol (Hidde van Seggelen Gallery, London), Ciprian Muresan (Galeria Plan B, Cluj, Prometeo Gallery, Milano, Wilkinson Gallery, London), Olaf Nicolai (Eigen + Art, Berlin) G.B. Piranesi (Buch – & Kunstantiquariat Hans Marcus, Düsseldorf).
Film programme with works by:
Bas Jan Ader (Courtesy of the Bas Jan Ader Estate and Patrick Painter Editions.), Hans Op De Beeck (Galleria Continua, San Gimignano / Beijing / Le Moulin; Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna; Xavier Hufkens, Brussels; Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York; Galerie Ron Mandos, Amsterdam), Persijn Broersen & Margit Lukács (AKINCI, Amsterdam), Jesper Just (Gallery Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris), Gregor Schneider (Galerie Konrad Fischer, Düsseldorf).
More information can be found here