How it's Made, Carl Kostyál, Stockholm, Organized by Matt Williams, 2017
How It’s Made brings together twenty-three artists in the inaugural exhibition at the new Carl Kostyál gallery premises in Nacka Strand, Stockholm. It takes its title from the ongoing documentary television programme, How It’s Made, which is broadcast on Discovery Channel, revealing various industrial manufacturing process of everyday consumer items.
The exhibition presents a range of artworks in a variety of mediums that reflect upon numerous art movements and current trends in artistic practice to collectively demonstrate the performative potential of materials to actively disrupt and transform fixed cultural perceptions. Exploring artistic attitudes, methods and motivations towards formal, cultural, socio-political and technological approaches within contemporary art production.
It includes Ed Atkins 19hr durational video work How It’s Made (2016), which also takes its name from the TV programme and consists solely of appropriated footage. However, unlike the original, the outcome or the visibility of the end product is consistently withheld by Atkins, intentionally denying the viewer established or prescribed procedures of reception and consumption.
Interspersed throughout the gallery are a series of geometric sculptural interventions by Nina Canell; meticulously cast from gum, the works gradually collapse from their original embodiment and are reshaped by the architecture of the building. Fluidity and the shifting context of objects is further explored by Violet Dennison, whose contribution consists of a reconfigured industrial water cooler wall mounted onto silver plated copper foil. Once ubiquitous within U.S institutions, it’s protective surface is removed to reveal a complex, fragile and arguably obsolete set of working components that are contemplative of its economy at the time of manufacture.
This formally connects to artworks by Jonathan Binet, Ayan Farah and Sergej Jensen, whom consciously reveal the economy of their making by adding and subtracting existing materials, employing a reduced aesthetic language that traces the manipulation of their respective surfaces and original material purpose. It is also evidenced in Matias Faldbakken’s assisted readymade artwork of a crudely tiled car dashboard. A fundamental component found within all vehicles that have evolved from being a protective barrier for horse-drawn carriages to become a sophisticated modem for communication, now purposely undermined and rendered impotent by his application of a ceramic skin. Other featured readymade artworks are less conspicuously altered, such as Yngve Holen’s industrially produced CT Scanner casing that intrinsically links technology with the human desire for well-being. An earlier artwork that engages with questions about the influence of consumer culture and technology upon the individual is Lynn Hershman Leeson’s pioneering video work Lynn Turning into Roberta (1978), which documents her invention and subsequent fabrication of her fictional alter-ego Roberta Breitmore. The exhibition is composed from a range of materials that manifest as painting, sculpture and video, which are connected by the shared interests of artists working today.
The exhibition preview will be preceded on the 2 December 2017 by a new site specific performance entitled The Third Mind. It will feature an installation of artworks by David Ostrowski and Jean-Marie Appriou within an electronic music soundscape by Anthony Linell aka Abdulla Rashim.
Text by Matt Williams