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05 Dec 2013

The Parergon and The Gutter at David Risley Gallery

The Parergon and The Gutter
David Risley Gallery


The Parergon and The Gutter:
Opening Friday, December 6th, 5-8pm

David Risley Gallery
+45 32203810

David Risley Gallery
Bredgade 65
1260 Copenhagen

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The Parergon and The Gutter

Alex Da Corte (US) , Martin Creed (UK), Jose Dávila (MEX), Sam Francis (US), Helen Frik (UK/NL), Ryan Gander (UK), Poul Gernes (DK), Paul Housley (UK), Merlin James (UK), J. F. Willumsen (DK)

This show originally came out of thinking about an essay by Jacques Derrida that I read 20 years ago and didn't understand and a conversation about comic strips which I did.

The Derrida essay (The Parergon, published in the 1987 volume 'The Truth in Painting') argued against Kant's idea of the intrinsic nature of the work of art, a universal value of beauty. In those essays the words Ergon (the work) and Parergon (that which is supplementary to the work, i.e. the frame) are frequently used.

The Gutter is the gap between two frames in a comic strip. It is in this gap that time and meaning happen. In one frame we see a man walking towards a banana skin. In the next frame we see a man in a hospital bed. It is in the gap between the frames that we understand he slipped, hit his head, got picked up by an ambulance.

This show contains no examples of parergon. The frame is central to these works. It is inherent to their physicality and meaning, not an afterthought added to protect and display them. The frame in this context can be the revealed structure of a painting, the exhibition architecture and the society around it, or the journey that a sculpture makes through space. The frame can be physical, institutional, or metaphorical. The gallery is the gutter.