KW Institute for Contemporary Art presents its 2023 summer programme, which continues to explore the self and its representation. An example of this is the sculptures of Enrico David, who critically explores the autonomy of the body in its various stages of not being and becoming, and the works of Emily Wardill and Hervé Guibert, who each explore what lies beyond the reach of an image. the three artists will be shown in three separate solo exhibitions at KW Institute for Contemporary Art.
Img. above: Hervé Guibert, Chambre de Mathieu, c. 1989; © Christine Guibert/Courtesy Les Douches la Galerie, Paris.
Enrico David, Destroyed Men Come and Go
Curator: Krist Gruijthuijsen
Assistant curator: Sofie Krogh Christensen
This exhibition is the first institutional solo exhibition of Enrico David (*1966, IT) in Germany and is dedicated exclusively to his sculptural practice. David works with sculpture, painting, textiles and installations, with drawing also playing a central role in his exploration of form. In his work, which is situated between figuration and abstraction, he returns again and again to the body as a point of departure, exploring the human figure as a metaphor for transformation.
Expressing the struggle to adapt the self and the image, Enrico David’s sculptures critically examine the autonomy of the body in its various stages of non-being and becoming. In the main hall of KW and on the ground floor, the sculptures are exhibited in a spatial arrangement without walls that touches on the concept of nothingness and enacts a silent non-space; a time without presence, a space of waiting and tension. The artist’s anthropomorphic sculptures, dropped out of being and caught in a constant mode of performative transformation, are punctual confrontations between themselves and the viewer, caught in a struggle for the appearance of the absolute.
The exhibition is generously supported by the Henry Moore Foundation and KW Freunde. With special thanks to Michael Werner Gallery, New York and London.
Media partner: Flux FM
Emily Wardill, Identical
Kurator: Mason Leaver-Yap
Assistenz-Kurator: Linda Franken
As part of KW’s 2023 production series, artist Emily Wardill (b. 1977, UK) presents Identical, an immersive moving image installation. This new commission deepens the artist’s ongoing engagement with the “imagined image” – what it is, what it has been used for and what traces it leaves behind. Wardill’s practice persistently approaches such questions, from her earliest works that explored stained glass as an early means of communicating with illiterate people, to her most recent works that invert the cinematic technique of “day for night” simulation to reflect on technological visions, performative gender and utopias.
Wardill’s new installation is aesthetically inspired by “Expanded Cinema” – a multimedia form developed by artists in the 1960s and 1970s – and engages with the imaginary of “expansion” in relation to individual consciousness and territorial economic growth and domination. Identical divides the audience’s attention between two video screens whose images merge, divide and fold. Referring to iconic film moments of sexual pleasure and physical violence, Identical reflects on the fabricated nature of these moments of abandonment and focuses on their reconstruction through children and inflatable automatons.
The accompanying soundtrack runs up and down a central channel in the gallery, weaving an eight-person chorus (whose refrain builds in a Fibonacci pattern) with sampled tracks, cover songs and reflections on “splitting” both as duplication and the emergence of life on a cellular level. In its alternation and fusion, Identical asks the audience to consider who has woven pleasure into domination and why, where rhyme becomes reason, and what is the shifting relationship between comedy and tragedy. In the midst of such binaries, Identical begins to articulate another space: a polyphonic experience that refuses to become one or the other.
The KW Production Series is an annual commissioned project that explores moving image works by artists. The project is inspired by KW’s founding principles as a place of production, critical exchange and thoughtful collaboration. Through this ongoing series, KW seeks to identify and support artists who are at a pivotal point in their work and careers – artists who will not only benefit from the financial support and institutional visibility this opportunity provides, but who will also be able to use the KW Production Series to enhance the depth and rigour of their artistic practice. The exhibition is produced in partnership with the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation as part of the PARTENARIATS GULBENKIAN programme to support Portuguese art in European art institutions.
Hervé Guibert, This and More
Curator: Anthony Huberman
Assistant Curator: Sofie Krogh Christensen
KW Institute for Contemporary Art presents Hervé Guibert – This and More, a solo exhibition featuring a selection of photographs by the late French artist, writer and activist Hervé Guibert (b. 1955, FR, d. 1991, FR). Curated by Anthony Huberman, the exhibition explores what lies beyond the reach of photography. Guibert, who is better known for his portraits, also photographed interiors, inanimate objects and empty spaces – an important body of work that is still relatively unknown. Laconic and restrained, these photographs offer an approach to portraiture in which what is missing from the picture matters.
These interiors, charged with love and trauma, invite imaginative readings of the people who belong or once belonged there. His photographs reveal the artist’s most intimate spaces while maintaining the secrecy of private moments, keeping the protagonists safely (or tragically) out of the picture or at a distance. Rather than conveying a sense of objectivity or “truth”, this exhibition points to all that is invisible in a photograph: memories, anecdotes, absences and multi-layered subjectivities.
Guibert’s photographs of objects and domestic spaces are full of the ghostly absence of those who once inhabited and left them. In this sense, this exhibition addresses the “truths” that lie dormant in a photograph, invisible to the eye and yet central to the image. It proposes images about what is not present in images. The exhibition is organised by the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco. Special thanks to Christine Guibert and Françoise Morin of Les Douches la Galerie and Photios Giovanis of Callicoon Fine Arts.
Exhibition dates: Saturday, 10 June until Sunday, 20 August