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06 Mar 2013

Living Art Museum (NÝLÓ): The Judgment is the Mirror

Tiong Ang, A Greek Tragedy, 2012, Video still

Tiong Ang, Clodagh Emoe, Jan Kaila, Japo Knuutila, Roger Palmer and Mick Wilson.
Curator: Henk Slager
Living Art Museum (NÝLÓ)


The Judgment is the Mirror Exhibition: January 20 - March 24, 2013 Public Lecture (March 16) and Workshop Tiong Ang (March 19-21)

Gunndís Ýr Finnbogadóttir
+354 5514350

Living Art Museum (NÝLÓ)
Skúlagata 28
101 Reykjavik

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The Judgment is the Mirror is a group exhibition with Tiong Ang, Clodagh Emoe, Jan Kaila, Japo Knuutila, Roger Palmer and Mick Wilson. The exhibition, curated by Henk Slager, addresses the potentialities of visual languages that critically investigate in what way the other or alterity can be imagined as agonistic judgement while the mirror of identification of the Lacanian symbolic order still hovers in the background.

Central themes in Tiong Ang's artistic thinking are collective memory, exclusion, localization and globalization. His project Pavilion of Distance deals with states of consciousness and the human body as the reluctant container of the manipulativeness of the media world. Tiong Ang shows how media not only denote our concept of reality but also affect our perceptions of places and events. A Greek Tragedy is the first collectively produced film in the context of this project. Enactments of social unrest, rage and despair take place in intimate sessions of retreat. As a visual structure of images and sounds, the film is a compound of different perspectives and levels of engagement.

Extending his project Pavilion of Distance, Tiong Ang will collaborate with MA Fine Art students and faculty members of the Iceland Academy of the Arts (LHÍ). The archived collection space of the Living Art Museum (Nýló) is the site for performative and collective play-acting, cinematically captured by co-artist Alejandro Ramirez.

Clodagh Emoe's research-project Mystical Anarchism tries to mobilize novel formations of artistic thought through affect. Drawing on strategies associated with rituals, the framework of events emerges as a paradigm where normative structures could be symbolically suspended. Specific objects such as platforms and banners are created and function in staging those events. The objects demarcate temporary forms of gathering and attest to the potential of collective imagining.

Historical archives and found objects, with the silent knowledge they contain, are central to the work of conceptual artist Jan Kaila. He does not present these imageries as such, though, but interprets them photographically as moving images or installations. Through his interpretation, Kaila shows in the work The Sleepers a new aesthetic and intellectual vantage to already established facts.

A similar strategy, albeit from another medial perspective, can be found in the work of Mick Wilson. His audio recordings rework familiar religious sources and hymns. There is an apparent attempt in the work Around the Food Thing to rethink and re-use - from an atheistic perspective and from the political possibility of counter-imagination - the languages of and the longings for transcendence inscribed in these sources.

Roger Palmer deploys historical events as source material. In his works, he observes the viewers' relationship to language and images. Palmer uses various materials: photographs, paintings, texts, and sculptural elements. The distance, provided by history, turns Palmer's installation … the ship was jammed between high rocks… into a space for different allegories and unknown stories where all phenomena connected with life are in a process-like movement.

In his research project Situation in Osh, photographer Japo Knuutila studies globalization and our chances to act as humans. In the past decades, Knuutila has worked on different borderlands: ports, closed industrial areas, freighters. The current work speaks in a language characteristic of media imagery. Knuutila's images do not visualize reality, they discuss the possibilities of language and interpretation, as well as the grey area of absence/presence and inclusion/exclusion.

As an exhibition, The Judgment is the Mirror shows a mutually inspiring interaction between different forms of artistic language, historical narratives, and medium specific reflections by criticizing reductive iconographies and archival reason while subsequently offering alternative forms of artistic thinking and counter-imagination.

The Judgment is the Mirror, January 19 – March 24, Tuesday-Sunday: 12-17. Living Art Museum, (NÝLÓ) 
Skúlagata 28, 
101 Reykjavík, 

Public Lecture Tiong Ang, March 16, 3 pm.

The Judgment is the Mirror is also made possible by FRAME (Helsinki), Mondriaan Fund (Amsterdam), Finnish Academy of Fine Arts (Helsinki), GradCAM (Dublin), University of Macau (China) and University of Leeds (Leeds).