After 2step, minimalpop, Painted Objects, Double Exposure, and A Bit O’ White, MY EYES KEEP ME IN TROUBLE is the sixth touring group exhibition organized by CCNOA Brussels, Belgium (www.ccnoa.org) and curated by Brussels-based German artist & curator Tilman.
The exhibition premiered in April 2007 at Nieuwe Vide, Haarlem (NL), was on view at the Sydney College of the Arts Gallery from June - August 2008, coinciding with the opening weeks of the Biennial of Sydney, and the art works extending their concerns outside of the gallery space at The Physics Room will usher in some of the concerns SCAPE 2008 Biennial of Art in Public Space will inevitably raise.
Curated by Tilman, MY EYES KEEP ME IN TROUBLE will feature the work of 30 New Zealand and international artists.
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 prospective guest country and its respective exhibition venue(s), MY EYES KEEP ME IN TROUBLE is revised for each venue and includes—along with international artists—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 (non-objective) art today and strengthens cultural exchange between the respective cultural communities.
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/B), Esther Stocker (I), Tilman (D/B), Emmanuelle Villard (F/B), Dan Walsh (USA), Tamara Zahaykevich (USA), Beat Zoderer (CH)
Organized by CCNOA, Brussels
Curated by Tilman