by Travis Jeppesen on November 19, 2016
A live reading/performance from 16 Sculptures as part of “On Reading,” an all-day event at the Bergen Kunsthall.
Saturday 10 December
A one-day event focusing on the practice of reading in contemporary art.
With lectures, readings, performances, film and music by Hannah Gregory, Aveek Sen, Moyra Davey, Travis Jeppesen, Karolin Meunier, Sidsel Meineche Hansen, Studio for Propositional Cinema and Steven Warwick/Heatsick. Presented by Bergen Kunsthall in collaboration with NOVEL.
Free entrance. Coffee and food will be served. Stay all day!
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Taking Moyra Davey’s exhibition in Bergen Kunsthall as its inspiration, “On Reading” brings together a group of artists, writers and performers to explore reading as a distinct and singular practice within contemporary art.
“Hemlock Forest” is the first exhibition in Scandinavia by the New York based, Canadian artist, Moyra Davey. Much of Davey’s work centers on the everyday of her own life — as a photographer and filmmaker, and as an avid reader and writer. Initially working in photography, in recent years she has developed a series of essay films that layer personal narratives onto highly engaged explorations of particular authors, artists and texts.
Within Davey’s work – in both its visual and inscribed forms – the act of reading, and a self reflexive writing practice, hold a prominent role.
Despite her use of quotation and citation, Davey’s work is as much a meditation on her own artistic processes as it is on those of others; an exploration of the irrepressible drive to create and make; and that strange symbiotic dichotomy between a life lived and a life written down or recorded. In Davey’s work, reading so often seems to be the central locus through which this reflection takes place.
The public program “On Reading” will bring together artists, writers and scholars who share with Davey, not only an interest in literature and writing, but also an acute awareness for reading as a ‘practice’ within both literature and contemporary visual art, and for reading as a core artistic mode.
ABOUT THE PARTICIPANTS
As well as the productive aspects of reading in itself, reading is a way of passing time, forgetting time; something done while waiting, a precursor to doing. Hannah Gregory will consider Lauren Berlant’s notion of ‘impasse’ – “a state of animated suspension”, “a poetic of immanent [and imminent] world making”, in relation to reading, and to Moyra Davey’s work – in particular within the feminised realm of the home. Taking texts as “temporary shelters”, I will think about how reading as a fortifying mode of thought occupies the time before both creative work and real-world actions.
Hannah Gregory is a writer and editor living in Berlin. Her writing on contemporary culture has appeared in Art Monthly, The New Inquiry, frieze and The Wire, among other publications. She is a co-editor of the art writing journal Aorist and keeps a TinyLetter ‘Thresholds’.
Aveek Sen and Moyra Davey
Aveek Sen and Moyra Davey will engage in a conversation about Reading, which will take place via Skype. Davey will be speaking from her apartment in New York with Sen at his home in Calcutta. When working on his essay for the forthcoming publication on Moyra davey’s exhibition at the Kunsthall, Sen and Davey had several such skype conversations across the continents. For this conversation we are able to ‘wire-tap’ into their correspondence from Bergen, and listen in on their exchanges.
In his essay “Low-hanging Fruit” Sen reflects both on Moyra Davey’s act of reading within her films, as well as his own attempt of ‘reading’ Davey’s work through his own writing: “What if, caught within my repeated viewing of the films, I end up rehearsing their words and action, copying into my notes what the film-maker reads out incessantly? She reads, she makes notes, she writes, she films what she reads and writes, makes films in which she reads out what she writes; I write in my notes what she reads out about what she has read, I read up what she has read. What if I am trapped in this cycle, this infinite regress, of reading, writing, filming and making notes?”
A curator and writer on art, literature, music and society, Aveek Sen is also a Senior Assistant Editor, The Telegraph, Kolkata. Sen’s curatorial practice has a focus on photography. He has lectured in English at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, and is the recipient of a number of awards including the Infinity Award for Writing on Photography (2009); The Reuters Fellowship, Green College, Oxford (2005); and the Rhodes Scholarship, Rhodes
In addition to his work as a novelist, art critic and poet, Travis Jeppesen has developed what he terms “object-oriented writing”—writing that seeks to use language as a site for a subjective, embodied encounter with and response to art objects. Jeppesen’s writing treats objects themselves as inhabitable, in an attempt to write from within the object; this approach intends to counter distanced forms of critical analysis to which art is usually subjected. As he has written: “Objects have no feelings… but could they?”
In his installation 16 Sculptures, visitors—sitting while blindfolded—listen to recordings of Jeppesen reading his object-oriented re-creations of sculptures. Depriving us of our usual faculties for experiencing works of art—sight and visual-spatial reasoning—Jeppesen’s texts instead stage an encounter with objects through language that nonetheless retains the texture of embodied, physical experience, an imaginative realm in which he attempts to summon the autonomous essences and interior lives of objects themselves.
For the event in Bergen, Jeppesen will introduce and present excerpts from 16 Sculptures as a reading/performance.
In Texte zur Kunst’s recent themed issue “Poetry”, Karolin Meunier contributes with the essay “Hearing Voices – On the Reading and Performance of Poetry”. Reading in relation to writing, and the state of “being read” is a perspective that highlights the significance that various modes of sharing might have on the act of authorship itself. In her analysis of this phenomenon, Karolin Meunier takes Berlin-based writer Haytham El-Wardany’s book “How to Disappear” as a key example. In its consideration of reading silently versus reading aloud, she argues, it destabilizes both the boundaries of the self and the idea of possession itself – including, not least, the subject’s possession of his or her own voice.
Karolin Meunier is an artist and writer based in Berlin. She teaches at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich.
Sidsel Meineche Hansen
The CGI animation Seroquel® considers the concept of self-destruction and increasing prescriptions of anti-depressants, as an industrial complex “that allows capitalism to enter into our relationship to ourselves.” The film features the avatar Eva 3.0 (the main protagonist in Sidsel Meineche Hansen’s recent work and the object of her research into virtual/post-human sex) dubbed by a ‘metalogue’ performed by empowerment speaker and post punk legend Lydia Lunch.
Sidsel Meineche Hansen is an artist based in London. Her work takes the form of woodcut prints, sculptures, CGI and VR animations which typically foreground the body’s industrial complex in the pharmaceutical, porn and tech-industries. Her work also manifest as publications, and as an ongoing series of seminars. In 2015 she co-edited Politics of Study (London and Odense: Open Editions and Funen Art Academy). Currently she is a visiting scholar at CalArts and works as an associate professor at the Funen Art Academy, Denmark.
Studio for Propositional Cinema
Studio for Propositional Cinema was founded in 2013 with a public call to action. Through language, actions, sounds and images, through production, publication, exhibition and fictions, they seek to reconfigure culture from a network of ideological formations into a dialogue of hypothetical gestures.
Cut With Some Pieces of Cinematography: A Sonata for Two Women (2016) is a play by Studio for Propositional Cinema which incorporates many of their prior texts and performances into a narrative dialogue between two actors and the audience. The two actors shift between collectivized stand-ins and subjectivized humans, recalling characters from sources as varied at Ingmar Berman, Elena Ferrante, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Smog.
The Berlin based visual artist and producer will play a kaleidoscopic DJ set of stripped down club edits and frenetic hi energy to pulse the dance floor. Steven Warwick’s multidisciplinary work invites the interaction of objects and media within an immersive environment. In his dance music project Heatsick, he sends a solitary Casio through a myriad of effects, looping up coarse, crisp, and twinkling out-house music into wonderfully queasy eternity. He teases out melodic and rhythmic mantras to an off-kilter, Burroughsian effect that wins on the floor and never forgets to be lo-fi fun(k).
NOVEL is an editorial and curatorial project, publishing artists writing and texts that oscillate between modes of fiction and poetry. NOVEL acts in-between the potential performance of a script, and the indeterminate transcript of the event. The journal hosts a cacophony of voices that coalesce around writing as a core material for a number of artists exploring language and the speculative force of fiction.
For the Upstairs residency, NOVEL (Alun Rowlands and Matt Williams) will host events, readings, screenings and the dispersion of a new publication. Curated with artworks that become the locus for reading and the fictioning of a scenario, NOVEL asks us to think of writing as something distinct from information, as at least one realm of cultural production that is exempt from the encompassing obligation to communicate.
ON READING is presented by Bergen Kunsthall’s lecture series Platform, in collaboration with NOVEL (Alun Rowlands and Matt Willams). It has been organised on the occasion of the solo exhibition ‘Henlock Forest’ by Moyra Davey, at Bergen Kunsthall.
Supported by Fritt Ord
by Travis Jeppesen on November 11, 2016
House of Egorn is pleased to present a duo exhibition of new works by Travis Jeppesen and Vivien Zhang. “South of Meaning” shows two practices that break down systemic structures and create new meanings from shards and fragments. In Zhang’s new canvases, objects are arranged and rearranged in layers that repeat over the composition. Themes of repetition, originality, and abstraction emerge from these paintings made from the traces of objects dislocated in time and space.
Jeppesen’s works appear as the progression of a long career that started in writing. Object-Oriented-Writing is a process developed by Jeppesen as a result of the gestural and bodily interaction involved in handwriting. He describes the new works on paper as an exploded notebook, an intimate collection of thoughts, experiments, and the bold calligraphic style that emits the powerful gesturality of writing. Both practices lead towards an idea of writing that exists outside of language or words.
Language is a system that is broken apart and recombined to create new meanings, unable to be expressed through language alone. Vivien Zhang’s “Interrobang” crosses into the field of writing and gives an anchor to the exhibition. The word was coined in the 1960’s by Martin Speckter for use in advertising. It is a name for the visual combination of exclamation and question mark. It can be written “!?” or “?!” to give a multiple emphasis. The idea of punctuation ties the exhibition together as rules from grammar transcribe into the physical space to create the hang. The pieces communicate spatially, forming their own systems and webs of meaning.
Whether abstracting objects or sentences, there remains a feeling of fragility. If a system can be broken down, allowing for flexibility and playfulness, it also reveals its seams and vulnerabilities.
VIVIEN ZHANG (b. 1990, Beijing) lives and works in London, UK. Zhang is currently a fellow at the British School at Rome until July 2017. She received her MA in painting from the Royal College of Art in 2014 after studying art at the Slade School of Fine Art.
Recent exhibitions include: Cavity Drift (solo), Galerie Huit, Hong Kong, 2016; Cue Collision, House of Egorn, London, 2016; Beyond Borders, Blain Southern, London, 2016; Surf the Anodyne (solo), Chadwell Award, London, 2015; Visions for a New Generation (in collaboration with Swarovski), Lane Crawford, Shanghai, 2015; Deeper Bite, Lychee One Gallery, London, 2015; East London Painting Prize, Rum Factory, 2015.
TRAVIS JEPPESEN (b. 1979, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) lives and works in Berlin. Jeppesen was recently awarded his Ph.D. in Critical Writing from the Royal College of Art in London. His acclaimed art writing is regularly published in art magazines such as Artforum and Frieze. His first novel Victims was published in 2003 followed by Wolf at the Door (2007), The Suiciders (2013), and All Fall: Two Novelas (2014).
Recent exhibitions include: Word (solo), Rupert, Vilnius, 2016; New Writing (solo), Exile, Berlin, 2016; 16 Sculptures (solo), Wilkinson, London, 2014; Down Where Changed Cubitt, London, 2014-15; Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2014.
by Travis Jeppesen on August 21, 2016
“It’s a testament to the idea that a lot can be said using very little.”
A review of “Myth and Nature” at the National Archeological Museum of Napes, at Artforum.
by Travis Jeppesen on August 20, 2016
“The landscape, like all objects big or small, contains an inner life that we come to appreciate only through knowing it. Yet acquiring this knowledge is an impossible task, made all the more vital because of its inherent impossibility. The only way we might come close to it is by going there, treading upon it and across it, diffusing ourselves in its spread. (We understand that we can never completely go inside it, become one with the soil and the fields and the horizon, at least not without severing ourselves permanently from the agency that animates us as living, perceiving beings.)”
My essay on James Benning has now been published online, at Randian.
by Travis Jeppesen on June 2, 2016
Travis Jeppesen: New Writing
183 pages, black and white
Signed, limited edition of 50 copies
Published by EXILE in 2016 on the occasion of the exhibition Travis Jeppesen: New Writing, June 2016.
50 EUR plus shipping
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to order.
by Travis Jeppesen on May 17, 2016
by Travis Jeppesen on May 15, 2016
Robust rot of quietude, fuel my doubt so that my wisdom might have a baby all over yr face.
Today I wear nothing except what the dark lord expects me to – I am a virus.
I haven’t even arrived in Japan yet.
My stomach has a curious name – I evolve a method, try and stick to it.
Suddenly, the world.
by Travis Jeppesen on April 28, 2016
The floppy-titted multitude of holding on
- When pictures stood still and the mind
had to make its own motions ——– orgy
of dissatisfaction shows me yr ruler, the whistling baby –
until time denounces itself – shadow of a planet’s despair.
by Travis Jeppesen on April 24, 2016
by Travis Jeppesen on April 23, 2016
The purpose of ALL writing should be to create an entirely new language every time one sits down with pen in hand.
Unafraid of “asignification” (meaninglessness.) Because, like writer’s block, it doesn’t actually exist. (New language = new meanings.)
To work in something like a trance state, letting the body guide (glide.) Because the body has its own language. Not completely severed from mind, of course – that’s impossible. But to allow the body to take precedence over mind, in the total machinery – the body-mind machine.
Not just any machine. What I’m most interested in is motion, movement. That’s always been the most important thing. From a to b, hence: line. I have this body here, and it’s really good for nothing other than pure motion – forming ways across the scape. The scape, in this case, being paper. Hence: vehicle. Body-mind vehicle. Trance poetics of vehicularity.
Vehicularity being an automaticism. Because 1.) all writing is, and 2.) I’m a machine.
New writing necessitates other ways of reading: stroke, rhythm, movement, gesturality, systematicity, resistance. Poetics of indeterminacy (M. Perloff.)
Nature also has many forms of writing. The waves (as V. Woolf recognized, translated.) The clouds in the sky.
My writing is not contemporary. Because it is produced outside of time, a state of trance mindlessness, it comes from the past and the future, is detached from the now. Resist belonging: I don’t belong to this time, neither does the work.
To go outside language, into nothingness – approaching a state of perfection.