Jan Dibbets, Helen Mirra, Fiona Tan, Richard Wentworth
Jan. 8 until Jan. 30, 2021
Presented by Peter Freeman, Inc. in New York
The exhibition at Peter Freeman Inc. will be on view from January 8 until January 30, 2021. The gallery is located at 140 Grand Street in New York (NY 10013).
For more information about the works please contact the gallery at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1 212-966-5154.
Jan Dibbets photographed beaches, or seaside, off-season or at uncommon hours to avoid human presence.
To photograph Flood-Tide (1969), Dibbets patiently documented the progress of a tide. As water slowly fills up the whole image, it erases any footmark in the sand, any trace of human presence.
That same year, as Dibbets was filming 12 Hours Tide Object with Correction of Perspective, incoming tide threatened not only to cover the beach but also wash him and his minivan away (cf. Rutger Pontzen, Like before, the sea levels everything, Observatoire du Land Art, 4 October 2009).
Helen Mirra records traces of life in her Walking Commas. An avid walker, she documents the terrain, flowers and plants as well as bird calls, without troubling the environs with her presence.
Mirra often intertwines the activity of walking with that of making art, and has in the past few years largely materialized work on foot, out-of-doors. She has no sense of separation with nature and is fully immersed in the scene and the work.
For her two-screen installation, Rise and Fall, Tan filmed in Niagara Falls, Belgium and the Netherlands, constructing a narrative of isolation, loss and dislocation by using water as an evocative metaphor for time and for memories of a woman’s life.
Tan intersperses images of an older and younger woman – depicting a story of two lives while suggesting they may be the same person – with images of moving bodies of water. The viewer is shown glimpse of intimate moments – bathing, caresses of a lover, routine make-up application – that both unite and divide these two iterations of a woman separated by time. Pointing to the ephemeral nature of human existence, Rise and Fall offers a meditation on the reflective gaze and examines how memories influence how we live in the present.
The imposing scale of the installation confronts the viewer with a visceral, bodily experience and captures the tension between the past and the future, between memory and forgetting.
Please note that Fiona Tan kindly agreed to give public access to Rise and Fall from January 11-30, 2021. Outside of this time window, you also may request access to the video by following the Vimeo link.
In 2006 Fiona Tan photographed the West Pier in Brighton, which was constructed during a boom in pleasure pier building in the 1860s, and was designed to attract tourists to Brighton. It has become increasingly derelict since its closure to the public in 1975. Throughout the years, the sea swallowed its walkway and its concert hall.
As of 2020, only a partial metal framework remains. It seems to have no beginning, no end, no meaning.
In 1974, Richard Wentworth began the photographic series “Making Do and Getting By”, an extensive series of photographs, taken while walking through city streets - primarily his own hometown of London but also urban settings far from home – captures the provisional ways in which people modify the world they inhabit.
Wentworth's project is simultaneously that of a wanderer and archivist, walking among, encountering, and recording happenstance, creating unpeopled landscapes full of the evidence of human life in all its oddities, adjustments, shortcuts and elliptical solutions.
For the artist it is not so much the images as the "gaps between that seem to be where energies flow. The 'mortar' proposes some friction, the 'bricks' just 'are'."
Among the hundreds of images, Wentworth accumulated images of human footprints in fresh concrete. To whom these footprints belong doesn't really matter, they are now fossils, history.
Wentworth's interest in history is also apparent in Various Truth, 2017.
The book in the glass pitcher, What Happened in History (published 1942), is an account of human history from the Palaeolithic through to the fall of the Roman Empire by V. Gordon Childe, the founder of marxist archeology.
In the book Childe draws our attention to how both Greek and Roman societies had developed machines such as water pumps that could do the work of many slaves.
Replacing slaves with machinery would, however, undermine the economy therefore labour-saving initiatives were fiercely opposed.