Ella Littwitz, and a third of the waters became wormwood, exhibition view, 2018

And a third of the waters became wormwood

April 18 – June 30, 2018

Ella Littwitz

 

Ella Littwitz’s first solo exhibition with Harlan Levey Projects continues a line of investigation into cultural, political and natural geographies established throughout her past work.

The work presented in the exhibition is driven by the artist’s research into the Mediterranean Sea Basin’s past, present and future: In the 1970s, a deep-sea drilling expedition proved that, over five million years ago, the Mediterranean sea was once dry, connecting the African and European continents by land. Today, the sea continues to act as a major crossroads but also an obstacle between the different mediterranean cultures which surround it. In the 1920s through 1950s, an alternative but unrealized future for the Mediterranean sea and surrounding area was proposed by Herman Sörgel, according to which, several dams would be installed in order to generate hydroelectric power and would lower the Mediterranean’s sea level, exposing new land for settlement and connecting Europe and Africa in a utopian vision of peace and unity between Europe and Africa. The project was not supported by the Nazi party for these reasons and was never completed.

In this body of work, Littwitz addresses human migration and nationalism in the Mediterranean space, investigating the dual nature of this geographic feature to the extent that it connects and separates, acting as both a junction as well as a barrier between the Global North and South.


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Running A Circle Against The Wind, Counterclockwise, 2018, Video, 3min 03sec, Exhibition View

Counterclockwise

March 15 – April 7, 2018

Jeroen Jongeleen

 

In his second exhibition with the gallery, Jeroen Jongeleen presents three works from ongoing projects. Since the 90s, Jongeleen’s practice has consisted of ephemeral interventions in urban space meant to question the inherently ideological nature of municipal development and the underlying political and private interests at stake. Through challenging structures in advertising, architecture and other signifiers of regulated public behavior, these gestures re-negotiate the relationship between an environment and its inhabitants. For Jongeleen, they also ask questions concerning the place of art in the public landscape and the role of the artist’s contribution towards it.

In the front room of the gallery is the site-specific intervention “Dirty Line as Landscape (Brussels 2018)”. It sets a tongue in cheek mood in evoking the history of Dutch landscape painting. Proud of the economic success of their cities, Dutch cityscape painters of the 17th century inverted the gaze of landscape painting by painting the city as viewed from the countryside. In Jongeleen’s homage to this genre, he adds an inversion of his own. Car grease, soot and other residue collected from the gallery’s surroundings, form a smoggy, blurred, panoramic representation of a landscape across the gallery wall. Composed of the pollutants that the city and its inhabitants deposit upon one another, Jongeleen’s epilogue to the Dutch cityscape exchanges the utopian view of the developing city for a more toxic perspective.

A pathway comprising fragments of stone, asphalt and rubble which Jongeleen has collected from demolition sites, degrading sidewalks, vacant lots as well as already renewed, pristine parts of the city where detritus of past structures can still be found, connects the dirty line to an endless circle in the back space. In the absence of the structures they originally constituted, these non-functional by-products of constant urban renewal serve as persisting evidence of the cycles of construction, stagnation and demolition within the city, pointing to the underlying economic and political forces, along with specific events, which have fueled that renewal. In their re-constitution within the gallery, they become functional again, forming a 4 new structure while reminding us of their throwaway present and loaded past. It is a work reminiscent of earlier transgressive pieces such as “City Jewels” and “2, 1, 3” in which collections of urban debris were transformed shining similar light on historical constants and variables. Bringing these heavy objects from Rotterdam to Brussels may be like bringing water to the ocean, but is also a move that mirrors Jongeleen’s contribution to the 2015 remake of the seminal counter culture exhibition “Backjumps” 2005. Instead of transporting a work to the exhibition, the artist revisited his piece “Pointless One Liner,” this time running from Rotterdam directly to the exhibition.“ I’d decided to not focus on the end-work that normally fills the walls of an art space, but to represent the actual effort it takes to produce a work itself.” During the exhibition, a 6 hour film of this art work is on view in the gallery office.

In the back room, the video “Running a Circle Against the Wind,” builds on Jongeleen’s “Running Shapes and Traces” series, which he began developing in 2012 and includes the aforementioned endurance performance “Running an imaginary line from my studio in Rotterdam to its exhibition in Berlin,” (2015). In March 2018, over the course of 8 hours, Jongeleen continuously ran a circle in a frozen crop field. As the emphasis on the action of running in the work’s title insists, the drawing is the end result of Jongeleen’s sustained bodily effort. As in all of Jongeleen’s earth-drawings, the slow process of creating the drawing through repetition acts as a physical manifestation of the difficulty in realizing an artwork. Here this effort is mirrored by the shadow of an untiring wind mill. While sometimes the wind is behind your back, in other moments you have to run achingly against it. The looming shadow of the modern-day windmill evokes the emblematic Dutch Golden Age paintings, which, like cityscape paintings of the same era, portray an image of economic strength and stability thanks to industrial and technological advances. Jongeleen is not simply running against the wind, but against the windmill with the all the progress and historical circles it represents.


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Amélie Bouvier, The Sun Conspiracy, instillation view, 2018

The Sun Conspiracy

January 11 - March 3

Amélie Bouvier

 

Models, predictions, errors and the unknown, informed by astronomy, aerial imaging techniques and the history of science, Amélie Bouvier works between material and metaphysical modes of perception. Through pictures, astronomers try to give form to what is visible only through calculation and deduction. Bouvier deconstructs and distorts this visual narrative by adopting strategies that mimic mechanical repetitions and mutate grids to magnify moments in science where error is unavoidable and often invisible. With the cosmos in consideration, works in this exhibition deal with problems of knowledge and how to know what is not known, cannot be known or has been forgotten. Drawings in “The Sun Conspiracy” build on previous series of work such as “Small Accidents” and “Place it High for More Impact,” commemorating historical information, events and ways of looking while transforming them. These are complimented by two sculptures and a single work with research documentation.


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Jordan Seiler, Civilian, installation view, 2017

Civillian

November 16 – December 16, 2017

Jordan Seiler

 

A RISD graduate, Jordan Seiler is a New York-based artist and activist working with issues of advertising and collective agency in public space. Since the early 2000s, Seiler has coopted billboards and advertising spaces to display his own work, and has notoriously orchestrated large-scale ‘takeovers’ to draw attention to the overwhelming amount of advertising in public space as well as bring into question the ownership of that space. His work has been an inspiration for global activist projects like Art in Ad Places, Brandalism, No Ad Day, and included in exhibitions around the world such as the U.S. pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale, Austin Museum of Digital Art and International Poster Biennale in Warsaw.


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Marcin Dudek, Steps and Marches, installation view, 2017

Steps and Marches

September 7 – October 28, 2017

Marcin Dudek

 

During the 10th edition of the Brussels Gallery Weekend, Harlan Levey Projects is pleased to present our 3rd solo exhibition with Marcin Dudek, “Steps & Marches.” This is a collaborative exhibition with Chapter I taking place in Brussels and Chapter II in London at Edel Assanti Gallery. Each exhibition begins with the artist retracing his steps as a teenage member of the Cracovia football fan club. A framed thumbnail-sized photograph from Dudek’s personal archive is part of a sequence of events in the lead-up to a violent stadium riot. At Harlan Levey Projects, this small image is juxtaposed with a scaled up scene from the field that pulls visitors into a stadium like installation where the terraces act as pedestals for a series of sculptures. Research and works in the exhibition, go beyond personal narrative to explore the materials, messages and political contexts of the stadium in an ongoing investigation of group behavior, crowd control, violence and spectacle.


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Zach Bruder, Hardscrabbled, Installation view, 2017

Hardscrabbled / From One Moment to Another

Hardscrabbled

08 June - 15 July, 2017

Zach Bruder

 

“Get your facts first. Then you can distort them as you please.” – Mark Twain

“Hardscrabbled” is the first exhibition in Belgium of Cleveland-born, New York-based painter Zach Bruder. Through a direct and graphic style, Bruder depicts intertwining religious, social, and often tragic narratives that are cribbed from an extensive archive of historic imagery and cultural myth. Trauma and anxiety run through the works, with various personal and civic fears enacted in delusional pasts and failed futures. The source material is that of circular occurrences, but the works deny a singular reading of either the source material or of the artist’s intentions.

Throughout the works of the exhibition, Bruder imbues his motifs and references with a wry humor, turning assumptions and resonances back on themselves. In one series of paintings, Bruder depicts tightly-cropped solitary figures, each surrounded by a murky haze. The men assume a range of positions and roles: a backwards-looking figure sporting a red tuque, a silhouette in a trench coat bent forwards, a reclined demon with horns and pointed tail. The lone, wandering figure appears over and over again, its ambivalent references shooting back and forth: from Mark Twain, to Job, to the laborers of the contemporary workforce. In one work, Crouching Figure, an ape-like figure sits pensively, its inclusion simultaneously invited and challenged by its alien countenance.

A number of Bruder’s recurring motifs are present within the exhibition, with many of them pointing towards relentless expansion. In Filling In, the outline of a simple house is reimposed upon itself, spreading outwards on the surface of the canvas. In another, Western Pleasure, a desert landscape is rendered in a verdant green, suggesting mankind’s aspirations to colonize and terraform distant planets. Previous Universal Moment shows stars and orbs springing forth from a mountain range, pulling from an ancient, contested flat earth. These conquests are not without cost, though. In Bad News Itself, industrial structures appear in flames, and in Departure, two riders circle a blood-red lake. Remove Doubt and Only Handle It Once both show Casper-like ghosts carrying packages to be delivered, straddling the line between cute and horrifying.

Steeped within an endless stream of coded images, Bruder’s paintings struggle with the worry that Groundhog Day is here again (and again) (and again) (and).

Zach Bruder (b. 1984) received his BFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2006. Recent exhibitions include “The Present Tense” at Ratio 3, “Monument Around” at Galerie l’inlassable, “Record Lines this Summer” at Magenta Plains, “Plant in Repair” at Gregory Lind Gallery, and “Unwelcome Guest” at LaMaMa Galleria, New York, NY. Bruder lives and works in New York, NY. This is the artist’s first exhibition at Harlan Levey Projects.

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→ Download Zach Bruder's CV

From One Moment to Another

08 June - 15 July, 2017

Anouk Ines

 

The images in the series “From One Moment To Another,” offer a complex weave of colors and rhythm, a dialogue between chaos and calm set to a fleeting, fickle and momentarily fierce breeze. These are original images with no after the fact manipulation, overprinting or layering; only raw energy cooled off on fragile soft mat paper. They literally illustrate a split second in the hazy stroll of time as life sprints by.

From Monet to the so-called Post Internet movement, photography has informed painting and painting has likewise influenced photography. If it could be possible to reverse the relationship between the two, where is the camera’s position to the brush? In her seminal work “On Photography,” Susan Sontag offered her observation that “The painter constructs,” while “the photographer discloses.” If a photographer treats her camera like a brush, can she do both? Can photography paint with light and without long exposure? These are questions that come up in the striking series by Anouk Ines. Having spent decades refining her trade as a photographer, Ines takes a painterly approach to framing the anxiety of loss and connection familiar to so many of us. Meaning builds from emotional experience that challenges physical reality. There is also action and the realization of image through gesture. Hand movements, not digital post-production, call attention to the process of creating. It was a process of isolation, silence and introspection. Before building her images, the artist stayed for alone in the woods for several days, returning to primal impulses to approach an uncluttered state of mind. Not a heroic journey, but a healthy one that provides a momentarily clear perspective.

When photographers paint with light, this tends to mean using long exposure. Ines takes a more immediate approach, treating the camera as if it were a brush lingering on the overlap before jumping from one moment to another. This perpetual movement appears as a metaphor for the gap between the perspective of a phenomenon and the phenomenon itself. “A photograph never comes out as you expect or intend. It’s always just slightly different due to technology, technique, environment, the unforeseen, etc. Outside of the studio, surroundings are something you can’t control. You can only control yourself.”

Anouk Ines is an art academy graduate and mother of two children. After graduating from school, she
has continued to make, but not exhibit art. Decades later, this is her first public exhibition.

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Petr Davydtchenko, Ascension, 6 source video Installation, 2016

Ascension

21 April - 27 May, 2017

Petr Davytdchenko

 

 

 

Petr Davydtchenko presents his third solo show at the gallery with two works.

Romantic of Terror
Fire, Electric Cables, Battery parts, 412cm x 232cm, 2017

8 make-shift canvases total one large painting that repeats the phrase Romantic of Terror. Created through the technique and material of burning rubber, the physical act of protest references the revolutionary notion whereby terror becomes the desired tool used to maintain a new socio-political reality. The electricity is intentionally cut. Technological, political and personal anxieties drive the work through flames. The painting is accompanied by a mixed-media archival piece that confronts the viewer with evidence of events that occurred in the process of making “Romantic of Terror.” It unveils the raw and unpleasant matter that embodies the realness of protesting as opposed to its various simulacrum. The skin of the artist, which was removed from his hands after a painful accident, stands for the actual flesh that is neglected in the neoliberal outlook on resistance as weekend fair activity (hello “Pepsi” ads and impotent acts of opposition that tend to only further enforce the structures they criticize). It is presented as a conscious choice to be unpleasant rather than spare an audience from the actuality of things. The work consists of photographs, video, used bandages, human skin and an accompanying text that embodies the artist’s struggle to accept practical guidance through sentiments of impossibility and the identification of the hypocrisy bound to systemic criticism.

Ascension
6 source video Installation, 2016

“Ascension” is a comprehensive 6-screen installation that amplifies focus on the ephemeral moment of desired escape from the depths of a darkening socio-political totality. It was presented at V Moscow Biennale for Young Art in 2016 and received overall critical acclaim as one of the best works in the exhibition. The main character’s past, future and present intentions are unclear as time after time he pulls himself out of the boiling sewage in a ubiquitous ascension.


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Foundland Collective, Scenarios for Failed Futures, 2015, Still frame

A basement in the attic

March 9 - April 8, 2017

Foundland Collective

Sol LeWitt

Shahar Marcus

 

The exhibition presents a thin red line from conceptual art to performance art to research based art, unraveling knots of success, failure, romance and tragedy; treasures lost in a basement, the bottom of top aspirations and boundaries between success and failure. Featuring works from the Foundland Collective, Sol Lewitt and Shahar Marcus. The exhibition opens March 9 th and runs until April 8 th . It will include an artist talk and screening of additional works by visiting artist Shahar Marcus.


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Emmanuel Van der Auwera, Videosculpture XII, 2017

Everything Now is Measured by After

January 12 – March 4, 2017

Emmanuel Van der Auwera

"Everything Now Is Measured By After” is Emmanuel Van der Auwera’s first solo exhibition at Harlan Levey Projects. Works to be shown include those presented at the Biennale d’Image Possible and build from his work “A Certain Amount of Clarity” (first presented at the Young Belgian Art Prize) and innovative “Video Sculptures,” which were developed during his residency at the HISK.


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→  Download the full Catalogue FR

Roopa Vasudevan, Bellwether, 2016, Installation view

Star Spangled

November 10 - December 17, 2016

Brad Feuerhelm

Jeroen Jongeleen

Doug Rickard

Roopa Vasudevan

 

In the aftermath of the US elections, this group exhibition deals with repetition, gaze, technology and public perception of political discourse.

In the front room of the gallery, three works will be displayed including videos from Doug Rickard’s acclaimed project “National Anthem” and Jeroen Jongeleen’s ephemeral land artwork “Running Shapes.” Images from Brad Feuerhelm’s new book “Goodbye America” will also be shown parallel to its release at Paris Photo.

In the back room of the gallery is #bellwether by Roopa Vasudevan, which was originally commissioned by SPACES (cleveland, OH), as part of the SWAP (SPACES world artists program) residency (May 20-July 29, 2016).

#bellwether is a data collection project designed to dig deeper into the true political desires of the voting population of Ohio, a state that is regarded as vital to the endgame of both parties.

Outcomes manifest as campaign merchandise that co-opts the design language of the presidential campaigns, but instead of reflecting the candidates’ curated messages, the artifacts created will represent how Ohio residents perceive them. They will be exhibited in a monthly timeline, displaying how perceptions of each presidential candidate shift and change over the course of primary season—just like the content, positions, and tones presented by the campaigns themselves.