center for contemporary non-objective art

My Eyes Keep Me In Trouble @ The Physics Room Christchurch (NZ) August 2008

After 2step, minimalpop, Painted Objects, Double Exposure, and A Bit O’ White, MY EYES KEEP ME IN TROUBLE is the sixth touring group exhibition produced by TEAM CCNOA, CCNOA Brussels, Belgium (www.ccnoa.org). The exhibition premiered in April 2007 at Nieuwe Vide, Haarlem (NL) and will travel this June to the Sydney College of the Arts Gallery, Sydney (AUS) and in August 2008 to The Physics Room, Christchurch, New Zealand (www.physicsroom.org.nz). The exhibition is curated by the German artist & curator Tilman and will feature the work of 30 Belgian and international artists. The Sydney presentation will coincide with the Sydney Biennial and the public art works part of the exhibition in Christchurch will coincide with SCAPE, the 2008 Biennial of Art in Public Space.

MY EYES KEEP ME IN TROUBLE is the title of a song with lyrics and music by blues legend R.L. Burnside. The seemingly innocent yet conscious title of this blues song triggered the idea to form or formulate a dialogue between the different positions and concerns of a number of artists whose practice revolves around the idea of non-representational, reductive or concrete art as the essential approach towards art-making.

The thoughts of Josef Albers on the ’reductive’ – ’to open the eyes’ or ’the eye is thinking’ – immediately came to mind. These ideas, deeply grounded in the history of non-representational art or more precisely of reductive art, and their ongoing influence on artists today, the crossovers with other art movements and even the resurgence of the idea of the ’concrete’ are the givens for this exhibition project.

MY EYES KEEP ME IN TROUBLE can be seen as the bass line of the visual artist’s very own song. The artist today may no longer be caught by the inner mysteries of life or the metaphysical subjects or theories and –isms, which developed in their wake as an almost logical response.

The artist today lives in a totally visual world and reacts to it, is drawn into it, without this undermining his/her intimate outlook on the world, and often creates a close relationship with the objects/subjects of daily life.

The resulting works of art would seem to convey the idea of being environmental property in which the distinction between the personal universe and mass culture starts to blur but the discrete and the intimate remain.

This exhibition can be perceived as a compilation, a gathering of information, thought, content and context relating to today’s artistic practice in the realm of reductive art. The key underlying message may be no more than the message of possibility and a reinstatement of phenomenology, the act of self-seeing. It is the personal eye, which is fascinated by what it discovers. Anything which catches the artist’s eye can be appropriated and used to create a personal language, filtered into the intimate language of art-making spurned by the received ideas and philosophical tenets surrounding the subject of the ’reductive’. At the same time the forgotten language of visual environmental sensation resurfaces and the value of individual properties is reinstated. With the application of different means and media the artist has a great variety of options for expressing his/her involvement with the personalized subjects that are now part of the aesthetic of art making. The end result is a personal journey in which everyone can participate.

This curatorial project is not just intended as yet another interpretation by yet another curator. No one artist is being promoted; no one artists’ group is being presented. The artworks themselves are not to be seen as props underlining a curatorial idea or as commodities launching a new fashion. They speak for themselves as individual œuvres or as staging posts in the visual journey on offer, triggering and encouraging the actual act of seeing. There will be no explanation or theoretical discourse on the content of the exhibition. The viewer entering the space will be given the opportunity to ’see’, to explore the different artworks, their poetry and language, their social space and specificity.

In honor of the respective guest country and its exhibition venues, MY EYES KEEP ME IN TROUBLE will be revised for each venue and will include - along with international artist - a wider selection of native artists. This not only provides an insight into the artists’ diverse artistic approaches and practices and contextualizes their positions on an international level, but it also enriches the supranational dialogue and discourse about contemporary art today and strengthens cultural exchange between the respective cultural communities.

(Tilman 2007)

Organized by CCNOA, Brussels (B); curated by Tilman (D/B)

JUSTIN ANDREWS (AUS), JOHN BEECH (UK/USA), KJELL BJORGEENGEN (N), HELEN CALDER (NZ), JULIAN DASHPER (NZ), MATTHEW DELEGET (USA), ALEXANDRA DEMENTIEVA (RUS/B) & AERNOUDT JACOBS (B), WARD DENYS (B), BILLY GRUNER (AUS), ANDRE HEMER (NZ), CLEMENS HOLLERER (A), ANDREW HUSTON (UK/USA), SIMON INGRAM (NZ), KYLE JENKINS (AUS), KLAAS KLOOSTERBOER (NL), PIPPA MAKGILL (NZ), ROSSANA MARTINEZ (USA), SIMON MORRIS (NZ), ROSE NOLAN (AUS), MIRANDA PARKES (NZ), LÉOPOLDINE ROUX (F), ESTHER STOCKER (I), TILMAN (D/B), EMMANUELLE VILLARD (F), DAN WALSH (USA), TAMARA ZAHAYKEVICH (USA), BEAT ZODERER (CH)

AUGUST 20, 2008 – SEPTEMBER 13, 2008

Opening Preview August 19, 2008 @ 5.30 pm

THE PHYSICS ROOM

Second Floor, Old Post Office Building, 209 Tuam Street, Christchurch 8142, New Zealand, T +64 3 379 5583, F +64 3 379 6063

www.physicsroom.org.nz

HOURS

Tuesday - Friday 10 AM - 5 PM & Saturday 11 AM – 4 PM

(closed Sunday, Monday & Public Holidays)