E:ventGallery, 96 Teesdale Street, London E2 6PU

  • precursor1l
    Title : precursor1l
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    Title : precursor4l
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    Title : precursor5l
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We must create the mass production spirit’ Beautiful also with all the animation that the artist’s sensibility can add to severe and pure functioning elements.
Le Corbusier

The guidelines of social architecture contain a purposeful formalism of fittings, handrails and splash-backs. One rarely sees a screw - things either stand, slot or hold. This modesty of means is accessible, but also humiliating - the uniform lack of expression anticipates deviation, that our collective social body will distort, leak messes and whither, whilst the bus flooring will be washed clean again the next day. We might aspire to have the same tolerance as those powder coated hinges and textured performance panels.

Ways of saying nothing are dependent on each other
Ian White

It is this contradiction, between the well-presented, honourable surfaces and our despicable mis-use of them - the disjuncture between the image and reality - which defines the unacknowledged symbolism operating at this public interface. Nicolas Deshayes’ effluvient sculptures caught in motion, buckle against their cushioned fixings. Their hygienic gloss barely excuses affects of disgust and shame at the sight of sagging breast tissue, sebaceous excretions and hardened testis. While the plastic is ‘Nude’ and suspended like skin over knuckles, traces of the personal are seemingly returned to a synthetic state. Perhaps for the purposes of classification, taxonomy and display convention for an exceptional event which has taken place in recent history - within hearing distance even.

As the Pacific plate moves westwards underneath Japan, it drags the North American plate downwards and westwards with it. As an earthquake occurs, the upper plate lurches upwards and eastwards, releasing strain built up as the two plates grind against one another.
BBC News

Where space is continually produced by the way we behave in it, it can also expand past preconceived boundaries as subjectivities, both social and geological, adapt and grow or calcify in vacuumous rapture.

Shame effaces itself; shame points and projects; shame turns itself skin side out; shame and pride, shame and dignity, shame and self-display.
Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick

The exhibition frames a conversation with a Precursor - in this case a work that survived the artist who made it. Without effacing shame, it offers up indignity - instances of disease, sleaze and atrophy - as points of exchange towards a wider sociability. By laying bare the supporting technology and media of exhibition practice, and making it available as a future resource, the viral affect and trajectories are thus extended.

Shama Khanna

Le Corbusier, Towards a New Architecture, Dover Publications, 1985.
Ian White, http://www.tate.org.uk/britain/exhibitions/artnow/sixthings/default.shtm, 20 November 2004
Paul Rincon, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12732335, 14 March 2011
Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Touching Feeling: Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity, Duke University Press, 2003.
Robert Venturi (with Denise Scott Brown & Steven Izenour), Learning From Las Vegas, MIT Press, Cambridge MA, 1972.

Poster edition of 100 produced on the occasion of the exhibition PRECURSOR: Nicolas Deshayes at E:vent Gallery between 19 March & 10 April 2011. The exhibition forms part of the Brief Habits programme curated by Shama Khanna.

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