Geoffrey Farmer / Joelle Tuerlinckx's Power Plant show

Posted by Miklos Legrady | Mon Nov 14th 2005 1:54 a.m.

At the Geoffrey Farmer / Joelle Tuerlinckx's
Power Plant shows, I had an impending feeling of
"jamais vu". Similar to "deja vu", jamais vu is
the strong feeling you're about "not-to-see"
something no one else has seen either, or ever
will. Tuerlinckx's room covered in white sheets
of paper; um... did that in graduate school 20
years ago. Farmer's room full of used wooden
furnitureS And oh yes... every day, pieces are
burned in the fireplace, using political text as
kindlingS The sheer genius! How does he stay
awake?

--

Miklos Legrady
310 Bathurst st.
Toronto ON.
M5T 2S3
416-203-1846
647-292-1846
http://www.mikidot.com
  • miklos legrady | Fri Nov 18th 2005 2:54 p.m.
    The Geoffrey Farmer / Joelle Tuerlinckx's Power Plant show.
    Toronto, 2005

    I had an impending feeling of "jamais vu".
    Similar to "deja vu", jamais vu is the strong
    feeling you're about "not-to-see" something no
    one else has seen either, or ever will.
    Tuerlinckx's room covered in white sheets of
    paper; um... we did that in graduate school 20
    years ago. Farmer's room full of used wooden
    furnitureS And oh yes... every day, pieces are
    burned in the fireplace, using political text as
    kindlingS The sheer genius! How does he manage to
    stay awake while thinking these thoughts?

    It struck me there was a parallel between this
    show and the majority of writing on art; the
    wrong issues are addressed with intelligence and
    clarity resulting in a shell of words, a ghostly
    stage, the fanthom of experience.

    I will never know the ecstacy of a 250lbs
    linebacker flying through the air towards the
    touchdown zone. It won't enter my narrative from
    lack of contact, lack of involvement; as it
    doesn't touch my life I lack the reference,
    knowledge or even interest to go there. And so
    with those whose primary experience of life is
    through text, shaped in a written evironment.
    There's a disconnection, a rupture between human
    experience and intellectual discourse.

    The exhibition notes make reference to a poem
    whose "foreword, commentary and extensive indexS
    has little to do with the work itself, telling
    another story entirely". We're told that the
    installation "S focuses on the formal properties
    of gallery space, the role of public art
    galleries, and the relationship between visual
    art institutions and the viewing public."

    The curatorial notes, writing about the work
    itself, is informed, descriptive, sensible and
    engaging, and I agree the installation before me
    fullfills the description given.
    And fails to go further.

    When I look at this show I see a curatorial
    narrative, a discourse based on text, fullfilled
    in illustrating text, where the work's primary
    function is illustration to theory,and the work
    illustrates the exhibition proposal, framed in an
    intelligent language.

    Yet as an illustration to text, practice loses
    its mandate, has lost that spark which awakens
    the imagination, speaking neither to feelings nor
    emotions nor to that sense of intellectual wonder
    which awakens on confrontation with the new.

    This critique can best be expressed within the
    Levi-Straussian concept of "the raw and the
    cooked". Cooked is production shaped by
    experience and vision in a result which speaks to
    depths of human response, for example Rebecca
    Horn's Pendulum and Emu Egg installation.

    Opposed to this are works which show raw
    material, with minimum alteration, in which the
    idea is predominantS yet in the majority of cases
    the idea is not exceptional, nor the result.
    When in the dim memory of prehistoric time a
    distant ancestor of ours took a stick, drawing a
    line in the sand for the first time in history,
    all were struck with awe and wonder at the
    ability of that line to serve as a symbolS
    perhaps the first time of a dawning intuition of
    the possibility of the concept of representation,
    letters, numbers, writing and mathematics.

    That line in the sand had acquired meaning which
    over millenia has been elaborated up to our
    present time therefore a line drawn in the sand
    is no longer exciting. Been there, done that,
    it's boring.

    It seemed as though the purpose of the work,
    telling another story altogether, is to confirm,
    validate, and perpetuate a curatorial and
    academic discourse that might be unconsciously
    playing a cruel game on the public, like the
    piper in Hans Andersen, leading them away from
    passion and excitement to a dull world of the
    repetitive and commonplace, where the banal is
    enshrined as enriching and fullfilling whereas
    really it is not.

    It may be a paranoid view to see a possible
    hidden, unknown and unconscious agenda, that the
    real story is of an intellectual perversion of
    power that corrupts, (even while one is unaware
    of this process like a fish barely knowing water,
    having known nothing else thus lacking
    perspective), for the structure of art is such
    there are no checks or balances to curatorial
    positions, and so the madness resulting from
    unchecked power is an expression of that power
    itself, to command large budgets and an
    impressive intellectual arsenal that includes
    international reputation, purely by fullfilling
    the form of an idea, while in reality
    substituting chaff for wheat, and the true game
    being that subtle expression of perverted power
    which is able to persuade the world that chaff is
    wheat, with a Cheshire Cat smile in the
    background.

    --

    Miklos Legrady
    310 Bathurst st.
    Toronto ON.
    M5T 2S3
    416-203-1846
    647-292-1846
    http://www.mikidot.com
  • Miklos Legrady | Sat Nov 19th 2005 1 a.m.
    The Geoffrey Farmer / Joelle Tuerlinckx's Power Plant show.
    Toronto, 2005

    I had an impending feeling of "jamais vu".
    Similar to "deja vu", jamais vu is the strong
    feeling you're about "not-to-see" something no
    one else has seen either, or ever will.
    Tuerlinckx's room covered in white sheets of
    paper; um... we did that in graduate school 20
    years ago. Farmer's room full of used wooden
    furnitureS And oh yes... every day, pieces are
    burned in the fireplace, using political text as
    kindlingS The sheer genius! How does he manage to
    stay awake while thinking these thoughts?

    It struck me there was a parallel between this
    show and the majority of writing on art; the
    wrong issues are addressed with intelligence and
    clarity resulting in a shell of words, a ghostly
    stage, the fanthom of experience.

    I will never know the ecstacy of a 250lbs
    linebacker flying through the air towards the
    touchdown zone. It won't enter my narrative from
    lack of contact, lack of involvement; as it
    doesn't touch my life I lack the reference,
    knowledge or even interest to go there. And so
    with those whose primary experience of life is
    through text, shaped in a written evironment.
    There's a disconnection, a rupture between human
    experience and intellectual discourse.

    The exhibition notes make reference to a poem
    whose "foreword, commentary and extensive indexS
    has little to do with the work itself, telling
    another story entirely". We're told that the
    installation "S focuses on the formal properties
    of gallery space, the role of public art
    galleries, and the relationship between visual
    art institutions and the viewing public."

    The curatorial notes, writing about the work
    itself, is informed, descriptive, sensible and
    engaging, and I agree the installation before me
    fullfills the description given.
    And fails to go further.

    When I look at this show I see a curatorial
    narrative, a discourse based on text, fullfilled
    in illustrating text, where the work's primary
    function is illustration to theory,and the work
    illustrates the exhibition proposal, framed in an
    intelligent language.

    Yet as an illustration to text, practice loses
    its mandate, has lost that spark which awakens
    the imagination, speaking neither to feelings nor
    emotions nor to that sense of intellectual wonder
    which awakens on confrontation with the new.

    This critique can best be expressed within the
    Levi-Straussian concept of "the raw and the
    cooked". Cooked is production shaped by
    experience and vision in a result which speaks to
    depths of human response, for example Rebecca
    Horn's Pendulum and Emu Egg installation.

    Opposed to this are works which show raw
    material, with minimum alteration, in which the
    idea is predominantS yet in the majority of cases
    the idea is not exceptional, nor the result.
    When in the dim memory of prehistoric time a
    distant ancestor of ours took a stick, drawing a
    line in the sand for the first time in history,
    all were struck with awe and wonder at the
    ability of that line to serve as a symbolS
    perhaps the first time of a dawning intuition of
    the possibility of the concept of representation,
    letters, numbers, writing and mathematics.

    That line in the sand had acquired meaning which
    over millenia has been elaborated up to our
    present time therefore a line drawn in the sand
    is no longer exciting. Been there, done that,
    it's boring.

    It seemed as though the purpose of the work,
    telling another story altogether, is to confirm,
    validate, and perpetuate a curatorial and
    academic discourse that might be unconsciously
    playing a cruel game on the public, like the
    piper in Hans Andersen, leading them away from
    passion and excitement to a dull world of the
    repetitive and commonplace, where the banal is
    enshrined as enriching and fullfilling whereas
    really it is not.

    It may be a paranoid view to see a possible
    hidden, unknown and unconscious agenda, that the
    real story is of an intellectual perversion of
    power that corrupts, (even while one is unaware
    of this process like a fish barely knowing water,
    having known nothing else thus lacking
    perspective), for the structure of art is such
    there are no checks or balances to curatorial
    positions, and so the madness resulting from
    unchecked power is an expression of that power
    itself, to command large budgets and an
    impressive intellectual arsenal that includes
    international reputation, purely by fullfilling
    the form of an idea, while in reality
    substituting chaff for wheat, and the true game
    being that subtle expression of perverted power
    which is able to persuade the world that chaff is
    wheat, with a Cheshire Cat smile in the
    background.

    --

    Miklos Legrady
    310 Bathurst st.
    Toronto ON.
    M5T 2S3
    416-203-1846
    647-292-1846
    http://www.mikidot.com
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