Riet Wijnen – Conversation One: A Preface 

Riet Wijnen fotogramConversation One: A Preface is the second part of Riet Wijnen’s new cycle of work, entitled Sixteen Conversation on Abstraction. Sixteen fictional conversations, sixteen subsequent pieces, and one sculpture, are the organizing principle of this cycle. The conversations and pieces form a conceptual space, in which the term ‘abstraction’ is examined, formulated, constructed and deconstructed. Each time, a particular subject related to the concept abstraction is examined in conversations with specific people in imaginary settings. The sculpture, which also functions as a diagram, maps the connections between these different conversations.

The central subject in the exhibition Conversation One: A Preface is language. By means of a fictional conversation artists from the 30s, who all were a member of the association Abstraction Création and worked non-figuratively, try to formulate what the latter is. This in turn unravels the difficulties behind and some tactics for addressing the struggle between semantics and the concrete, that is talking about something that doesn’t want to or can’t be captured in words. To this end, one of the strategies that is used is the formulation of antithetical relations; formulating as precisely as possible what ‘it’ is by describing what ‘it’ isn’t.

The exhibition Conversation One: A Preface is based on the five editions of the cahier Abstraction Création: Art non-figuratif which were published between 1932 and 1936 in Paris by the eponymous association, uniting all art movements who worked in and advocated abstraction; the magazine formalized a new tendency for language in visual art. Wijnen initiated the reprint and first full English translation of the cahier, which was published by Kunstverein Publishing in 2014.

The first part of the cycle, Conversation Three: It Looks Like Nothing on Earth, will be shown atStedelijk Museum Amsterdam on Thursday 29 October 8 pm and on Friday 30 October, 10 am – 6 pm.

On Saturday 28 November 5 pm Will Holder will read, or sing, the script of Conversation One: A Preface.

This exhibition is made possible with the support of Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst and Mondriaan Fund.

Riet Wijnen – Conversation One: A Preface
Exhibition:31 October – 19 December 2015
Performance: 28 November 2015 at 5pm
Curator for Dolores: Dorothé Orczyk

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