THE MEDIUM OF INTENSITY
Alfred Boman//Jana Euler//John Henderson//David Ostrowski//Lucie Stahl
Curated by Peter J. Amdam
Isbryateren, Igeldammsgatan 22A, 112 49 STOCKHOLM
December 12th 2013 – January 19th 2014
Opening December 12th 6pm-8pm
After party 8pm-Late
Intensity is in fact not what I am looking for. When I paint I am emotionless. Maybe I’ll create something intense, but it’s not by doing something intense or being intense.
This statement by Albert Oehlen, given in a recent interview, seems at face value to counter the title of this exhibition. But, what is crucial here is the notion that the act of painting now has become a site “without emotion.” If something intense occurs it is rather something that is now intrinsic to painting itself—and not the supposed human agency behind it—and the mediatic environment from which it comes into being. Intensity comes from elsewhere.
All the artists—Boman, Euler, Henderson, Ostrowski, and Stahl—can be said to engage with painting in a contemporary fashion that, albeit in markedly different ways and via different routes—incorporates and engages with a contemporary state of non content-based media, and new technologized areas of sensory and non-sensory environments. The velocity of visual information—or rather, visual pulsation(as the flurry of information moves too fast to be factually apprehended)—by far exceeds traditional phenomenological models of perception. As Oehlen says: “When I paint I am emotionless.” It circumvents conscious operations. Its affects lie elsewhere.
These artists are often said to belong to the so-called post-internet generation. The handling of the new plethora of visual information available calls for a way to conceptualize new formations of subjectification. And, to open a question when it comes to painting: about the emergence of a more or less non-human agency in regards to our visual metabolisms of today.
The vocabularies of Boman, Henderson—and to a certain degree, yet differently modulated, Stahl—are gathered, captured, accessed, and generated through non-conscious forms of communication between humans, images, codes, and algorithms. Likewise Euler’s work intensifies the way certain power structures concretize in a world that is visually over-saturated.
This emergence is furthermore all the more urgent in Euler’s work as it breaches the living-non-living divide and involves the atmospheric and cognitive-architectural environment her art unfolds in..
Similarly, the sheer rapidity with which the different images and witticisms that occurs in Stahl’s visual output swipes away their grounding and brings forth a dromological sensation of imaginative all-over-ness and super-jected viscerality.
When it comes to the paintings of David Ostrowski, the familiar tropes of abstraction and irony dramatically change character and rather unmoor them and put them into circulation in a disjunctive, processual series of deep sensory potentialities.
In our case, painting and its putative informational indexes, exist, transmit, emit, and communicate through channels not necessarily brokered by traditional human consciousness or temporal selection, but rather though non-communicative affects, perhaps through what one could venture to call the medium of intensity.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Alfred Boman (born 1981 in Luleå. Sweden) and received his education at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden (art history), the Valand School of Fine arts, University of Gothenburg, and finally at Staedelschule, Franfurkt am Main. Recent solo exhibitions include Johan Berggren, Malmö, Sweden, Shadow of The Colossus, Fluxia, Milan, Italy, 100% Fuel, Flipp Project Space, Naples, Italy. Recent group exhibitions include Nature of Speed, Ibid Projects/Gallery Exit, Hong Kong, and Rope Burn, Rod Barton, London.
John Henderson (American, born 1984) lives and works in Chicago. Solo exhibitions include Carl Kostyál, London; Peep-Hole, Milan; Galerie Perrotin, Hong Kong; T293, Naples; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Recent group exhibitions include Anamericana at the American Academy in Rome; The Prague Biennial 6, Czech Republic; Phantom Limb at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Cara Domani at the Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna.
David Ostrowski was born in 1981 in Cologne, Germany and studied from 2004-2009 at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. In 2012 he received a studio grant from the Kölnischer Kunstverein. Recent solo exhibitions include ‘I’m OK’. Moments later, he was shot, at Peres Projects, Berlin, F at Artothek, Cologne and Yes or let’s say no at Simon Lee Gallery, London.
Lucie Stahl (b. 1977, Berlin) lives and works in Berlin and received her education from Hochschule der Künste,Berlin, Glasgow School of Art , and Staedelschule, Frankfurt am Main. Solo exhibitions include Gió Marconi, Milan, dependence, Brussels, Lost Property, Amsterdam, Galerie Meyer Kainer, Wien, OPEN SPACE, Art Cologne, and Kunstverein Nürnberg, Albrecht Dürer Gesellschaft. Recent group exhibitions include one after one, Vilma Gold, London Will Benedict, Tom Humphreys, Lucie Stahl, Tomorrow, Toronto Vertical Club, Bortolami, New York Tom Humphreys / Flaca, Portikus, Frankfurt.
Jana Euler (Born 1982 in Friedberg, Germany) lives and works in Brussels, Belgium. She studied 2002-2008 at Stadelschule, Frankfurt am Main, and 2006 at the Glasgow School of Art. Recent solo exhibitions include When Expectations Meet Needs, Cabinet, London, Galerie Neu, Berlin, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, (with Stewart Uoo, curated by Jay Sanders), Under Abstraction, Cubitt, London, Real Fine Arts, New York. Recent group exhibitions include Door Between Either And Or, Kunstverein München, Munich ReSiDuE, Wiels, Brussels, Restlessness in the Barn, Nassauischer Kunstverein, Wiesbaden, Germany, I knOw yoU, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin.
Peter J. Amdam is a curator, writer, and critic currently based in Oslo and London. Recent exhibitions include Awaiting Immanence (with Gardar Eide Einarsson, Matias Faldbakken, Hanna Lidén, Klara Lidén, Adam McEwen, Fredrik Værselv) Isbrytaren, Stockholm, Concatenation. Signature, Seriality, Painting(with Matias Faldbakken, Josh Smith, Reena Spaulings, Fredrik Værslev), Blain|Southern, London, The Science of Friendship, Carl Kostyal, London. In 2011 he had a residency at ISCP, New York City, where he also organized an exhibition with American artist Banks Violette. Amdam’s writings has appeared in numerous international magazines, journals, catalogues, and books.