Shapes, Dimensions, Possibilities
'A Day of Colour: The Infinite Attribute’
10 January 2010, 14.00
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Opening: Saturday 28 November 2009, 17.00-20.00
For the project entitled 'Shapes, Dimensions, Possibilities,' artist Mirjam Thomann creates a site-specific installation, referring to and extrapolating from its specific nature, as well as to a significant architecture in the urban environment of its space.
Unlike a “white cube”, still typical of many contemporary art spaces, the Casco space is not emptied, neutralized or separated from the outside. Rather, it is marked by a few outstanding elements such as large front windows, an open office area and a brightly coloured grid structure, which actively preconditions its use. As yet, it is this state that prompts different possibilities of appropriation, negotiations and transformation and, hence, allows the space to be social by itself, in the process of serial (de)constructions. One might say, this mode of spatial existence not only signifies but also shapes Casco’s modus operandi and even its agenda; an open, experimental but critical approach toward research, disciplinarity, mode of working, mode of presentation, and our physical, social, political environment.
Mirjam Thomann’s practices focus on how these kinds of “possibilities” – or impossibilities— are related to the “shapes and dimensions” of a space. As for her mode of inquiry, Thomann appropriates and recomposes existing elements of an architectural or institutional space at stake to construct a specific “dimension/shape”, with moveable surfaces, that is mimetic to the surrounding. This spatial intervention, then, generates an area of new perception and social interaction between the viewers/publics and her/his environment, whereby her inquiries are transferred to and shared with those who experience her installation.
For Casco, Thomann takes up and extends the grid structure of ‘Shack and Fence’, the design of Casco interior space by ifau and Jesko Fezer, so that the structure starts at the back of the space and reaches even the outside. A set of moveable panels is added to the structure as well, whose geometric shapes are after two-dimensional reproductions of the interior of the Rietveld-Schröderhuis; a singular architecture space in Utrecht marked by its openness and flexibility as well as one of the most reproduced buildings in the world. Drawing a certain analogy and conflict between the space of Casco and the representative status of Rietveld-Schröderhuis, Thomann’s installation creates an occasion to revisit the Casco space with questions about its “shapes, dimensions, and possibilities”, including the issues of their reception, representation and mediation, while becoming itself an open model for incidental and unexpected perceptions and dialogue to happen.
Mirjam Thomann (b.1978) is a Berlin-based artist, writer and editor working around issues of post-conceptual, context-specific and institution-critical strategies in contemporary art and cultural theory. Thomann had solo projects at Galerie Christian Nagel, Cologne, Rental Gallery, New York (with Jan Timme), Durstewitz Sapre Galerie, Hamburg, amongst others. She has also contributed to group exhibitions such as ‘Social Diagrams, Planning Reconsidered’ at Künstlerhaus Stuttgart (2008), ‘Gemischtes Doppel’ at Kunstverein Hamburg (2007) and Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn (2007), amongst others. In cooperation with Jochen Smith, Thomann recently developed display architecture at Kunsthalle Mannheim. In 2005, she co-published a book on strategies of repetition in art, music, popular culture, and film with Sabeth Buchmann et al. (“Wenn sonst nichts klappt: Wiederholung wiederholen”). Thomann is a regular contributor to German art magazine “Texte zur Kunst” and a member of the bookstore and meeting place b books in Berlin.
‘Non-Solutions. On the interaction between space and matter’
28 November 2009, 18.00
On the day of the opening, Mirjam Thomann will be in
conversation with Jesko Fezer about their practices in light of the production of space and its sociality.
Jesko Fezer is an architect, collaborator of ifau (the Institute of Applied Urbanism) in Berlin, co-editor of the periodical AnArchitektur and cofounder of the thematic bookshop Pro qm in Berlin. In 2007 Fezer and ifau designed the ‘Shack and Fence’ structure for Casco’s interior space.
‘A Day of Colour: The Infinite Attribute’
10 January 2010, 14.00
On the last day of ‘Shapes, Dimensions, Possibilities’, Casco will organize a discursive gathering on the social and political meanings and functions of colour. The programme will contain presentations from and discussions James Goggin, Krisitna Lee Podesva, Susanne Komossa and Mirjam Thomann. This occasion is also made for methodological purposes in order to find a way of determining a new colour for the ‘Shack and Fence’ structure.
Kristina Lee Podesva is an artist, writer, and curator based in Vancouver, and founder of colourschool, a free school for the speculative and collaborative study of the colours white, black, red, yellow, and brown. James Goggin is a graphic designer and currently based in Arnhem where he teaches and coordinates Werkplaats Typografie. Susanne Komossa is Associate Professor Public Building at Technische Universiteit Delft.
Reservation is strongly recommended; please send an email to Jaring Dürst Britt (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Afterwards we propose a toast to the New Year and to Casco's 20th anniversary, which is on 4 January. Our anniversary will inspire Casco's programme throughout the year by looking both back and forward in our activities and practices.