Other Stories and Stories of Others
September 7-October 14, 2006
Tanya Bonakdar Gallery is very pleased to announce, Other Stories and Stories of Others, the gallery’s first exhibition with Rivane Neuenschwander and the artist's first solo gallery exhibition in New York. The show is comprised of installation-based work, video, and works on paper, each exploring Neuenschwander's interest in chance, control and collaboration. Often, the artist makes works that set certain simple elements into motion, believing that external forces, whether they be other people, or natural processes, combine to produce a dynamic result that transcends the capacity or intent of any individual's control. At times these works are interactive, and at others the works are the result of a more empirical process. Themes of language and narrative are featured throughout Rivane's work. Informed by the Neoconcrete movement of the 1970s in Brazil, Neuenschwander transforms the idea of narrative from an abstraction into concrete manifestations, creating discrete objects to be observed, considered, analyzed and understood, for significance beyond the verbal.
In the central installation, "Secondary Stories" the artist creates a constantly changing composition of color over the heads of the visitors, as circles of tissue paper are blown around by fans set above a transparent ceiling structure, occasionally falling through the perforations in the ceiling and scattering across the floor, mirroring the color above. The fallen colored dots are then further moved upon the floor as per the incidental movements of the visitors to the gallery. In a separate room in the rear of the main gallery space, the artist has installed a remarkable selection of drawings made by visitors to the last Venice Biennale. Biennale participants created the drawings with a typewriter, modified by Rivane to produce only dots of color and shape, but no letters. The drawings are displayed here along with a single modified typewriter - open for the public to use and interact with. In the adjoining room, "Quarta-Feira de Cinzas/Epilogue" a video installation, made in collaboration with Cao Guimarães, presents armies of black ants carrying small pieces of colored confetti, creating their own narrative of creation, composition and production.
"One Thousand and One Possible Nights", installed on the gallery's entry wall is comprised of 38 collages, corresponding to the 38 days and nights that the show will be open. In each collage a constellation of confetti cut from the pages of Arabian Nights is scattered over a black background. Referencing the stories that Scheherazade told each night in order to distract her captor and survive until morning, these collages imply the necessity of narrative without actually depicting any words; there is no articulated language just the suggested meaning in the printed letters on the confetti, diffusely scattered over the black page. Neuenschwander’s reference to Scheherazade also connects storytelling to the passage of time, noting each as cyclical.
Born in Brazil where she continues to live and work, Neuenschwander's recent exhibitions include: Tropicalia, Barbican Gallery, London; Centro Cultural de Belem, Lisbon; Bronx Museum, New York, group (2006); Here Comes the Sun, Magasin 3, Stockholm Konsthall, Stockholm, group (2005); Always a Little Further, 51st Biennale di Venezia (2005); Currents 04, St. Louis Art Museum, Gallery 337, St. Louis, solo (2004); Superficial Resemblance, Palais de Tokyo, Paris France solo (2003); To/From: Rivane Neuenschwander, Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota (catalogue), solo
(2002); Museu de Arte da Pampulha, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, solo (2002); Spell, Portikus, Frankfurt, Germany (catalogue), solo (2001); among others.