Lab’Bel was created in the spring of 2010 with the aim of supporting contemporary creation. The activities of this think-tank or laboratory, which favours innovation and a certain sense of mischievousness, are divided between the creation of a collection, and the production of exhibitions and artistic events both in France and Europe. Lab’Bel is also behind a number of publications and multiples such as The Laughing Cow® Collector’s Edition Boxes.
To date, eight artists have accepted the challenge of transforming a box of 24 portions of soft cheese into a work of art. Launched in 2014 and held every autumn, the Collector’s Edition Box project invites a renowned artist to use the box to create a work of art with a pre-defined format, the aim of which is to make art accessible to a wider public, via the distribution channels of large supermarket chains, thereby challenging received notions about contemporary art and encouraging new collectors. This year, to coincide with the one hundredth anniversary of The Laughing Cow®, the exhibition Elle rit (She’s laughing!) offers the ideal opportunity to bring together the work of these artists within the same exhibition, and to analyse, via the insights brought by their other creations, the conceptual dimensions of their different propositions.
Before being asked to participate in this project, several of these artists already had close ties with The Laughing Cow® and some had even used it in their previous artworks. Naturally, a selection of these older pieces will be on display in the exhibition. Others have deployed their creative process in an individual fashion or in the form of a commission specially conceived for the event, and will also be presented.
However, beyond the link maintained with a brand and the image of a red, laughing cow that has become iconic over time, it is the ambivalence of our positioning regarding an artwork that is really being explored here. Elle rit does not simply question our gaze in terms of the multiple or an artwork produced as part of an industrial process but highlights, often in a humorous fashion, how prisms like the presence or absence of an artist’s signature, the dimensions of the artwork, market value and presentation context are susceptible of changing aesthetic judgement.
The exhibition also showcases the change in approach likely to bring about the intervention of an industrial brand and the degree of suspicion that such an involvement can foster in public consciousness. In various ways, this show raises questions concerning the relationship that can emerge between art and business, as well as the different alternatives that this interaction can bring for artists in a context where the intervention and support of the private sector in the international arts scene is done in an increasingly sensitive and woke manner.
Each of the eight participating artists demonstrate this same desire to change perceptions when it comes to contemporary art, whether this is by making a dent in its icons; by associating an artistic gesture with the proliferation of bovine images; by endowing it with an experimental dimension, or more simply by inviting it to play a role in our daily life in a surprising way. All of these processes and ideas are at work behind the propositions for the Collector’s Edition Boxes and will undoubtedly continue in future editions.
Laurent Fiévet, Lab’Bel Director
On view till 26/12/2021
Opening late November 2021, The Bass presents Perimeters, an exhibition of new and site-specific work by Israeli born, New York-based artistNaama Tsabar. Offering the potential for activation and performance throughout, the exhibition centers on Tsabar’s most recent series, Inversions, presenting new iterations of four bodies of work that Tsabar has explored from 2006 to the present.
Naama Tsabar works at the intersection of architecture and music, showing viewers how sound moves both through and beyond walls and buildings. She often makes large-scale collaborative performances, sculptures and installations that can be played by musicians and visitors alike. For Perimeters, Tsabar will fuse elements from sculpture, music, performance and architecture and transforms the museum itself into a playable instrument
Tsabar’s interactive works expose hidden spaces and systems, reconceive normative gendered narratives and shift the viewing experience from passive observation to one of active participation. Using sound holes, instrument parts and microphones, Tsabar draws attention to the muted and unseen, propagating sound through space and sculptural form. Exploring the relationships between sculpture and instrument, as well as form and sound, Tsabar’s work lingers on the intimate, sensual and corporeal potentials within these transitional states. By collaborating with local communities of female-identifying and gender non-conforming performers, Tsabar contributes to feminist and queer discourses through movement, sound and space.
The exhibition begins with artwork created through destruction. Citing iconic moments in rock performance history, as well as Auto-Destructive art, Tsabar’s Melody of Certain Damage works are made by smashing guitars in her studio, documenting where the pieces fall and meticulously creating new string configurations for the fragmented instruments. Transforming the destroyed object into a newly playable instrument, Tsabar co-opts an action that embodies the male-dominated legacy of rock and roll: the breaking of a guitar first popularized by The Who’s lead guitarist Pete Townshend. However, by dislocating the violence of the destructive act and only showing viewers the scattered fragments, Tsabar presents the remains in a reimagined form that emphasizes reconstruction and repair after trauma.
A new work by Tsabar similarly gives sculptural form to acts and movement performed by the artist. The work, October 13 2019 – July 5 2021 (2021), is comprised of a pair of shoes fused with a working metronome. The shoes were worn by the artist during the fixed period of time encompassed in the title. Together, the metronome’s steady tempo and the shoes’ visible wear embody what the artist describes as, “a diary of time and body movement.” The even beat of the metronome recalls a clock, memorializing a record of the artist’s movements during a specific time as a type of portrait.
Another installation is Twilight (Gaffer Wall), a wall specific installation first exhibited by Tsabar in 2006, and then again in 2017. The work is a curved wall covered in strips of gaffer tape, the same tape used to mask and stabilize cables on stages and productions around the world. The utilitarian material, often associated with unseen backstage labor, moves from its functionally hidden location on the floor to a wall, where it becomes the focus as a sort of nocturnal night veil and transitional space.
Tsabar’s Inversions series uses the intermediate spaces within and between walls and architecture to reference sound holes and the craftsmanship of instrument building. Acoustic studies have proven that the sonic power of an instrument resonates strongest at the perimeters of its opening, known as a sound hole. This sonic phenomenon led to the design evolution of musical instruments, like the violin and guitar, while also leading to the exhibition’s title and Tsabar’s continued experimentation with sound-making structures. Embedded into walls, each work opens a space behind the wall that can be activated by both museum-goers and performers.
Depending on the work, activation comes through strumming hidden string elements, singing or the penetration and movement behind the walls to produce a sonic outcome. Tsabar’s most recent Inversions’ installations are activated by motion, rather than touch. The sonic vocabulary emanating from these structures are derived from female vocalists, asserting the power and beauty of the female voice within the exhibition space.
The exhibition uses the pervasiveness of sound and the acoustic effect of perimeters to suggest strength at the periphery rather than at the center, a politically-charged and timely concept. Perimeters encompasses works that embody polarities: destruction/creation; absence/void, presence/occupation and singularity/collectivity. Tsabar’s sensuous works require a certain intimacy, where visitors and performers must reach into the wall or crouch on the floor to interact with the sculptural and sonic forms, at once creating a personal experience, while also becoming part of a collective and symphonic experience as additional viewers activate the other works in the installation.
Tsabar’s works probe the power structures inherent to museums, symbolically breaking through institutional barriers for participation by both artists and visitors by inviting women and gender non-conforming performers and visitors to permeate and penetrate the museum’s architectural structures. Together, these gestures subvert and breakdown historical efforts to control behaviors and prioritize certain populations while excluding others, all of which have been tenets of museums since their inception.
The Musical Brain is a group exhibition that reflects on the power music has to bring us together. The exhibition is named after a short story by the Argentine contemporary writer César Aira, and explores the ways that artists use music as a tool to inhabit and understand the world. The featured artists approach music through different lenses—historical, political, performative, and playful—to create new installations and soundscapes installed throughout the park.
Read more about it : https://www.thehighline.org/art/projects/the-musical-brain/Until March 20211
Image : Naama Tsabar, Equal Measure, 2021. Granite, aluminum, motor, 116 x 75 x 75 inches. Image courtesy of the artist and Kasmin, New York.
Dvir Gallery is happy to share the recently published article of Rob Goyanes by Art Basel about Naama Tsabar and her new solo show in The Bass, Miami Beach. To read A glitch in the patriarchy: how Naama Tsabar is hacking the history of rock music, please click here.
Dvir Gallery is happy to announce the publication of the catalogue of Thomas Hirschhorn’s solo show, The Purple Linein MAXXI, Rome. The 245-page, bilingual volume contains essays by the curators and international critics, an anthology of Thomas Hirschhorn’s writings and an unpublished text and a section is dedicated to research materials and the sources used by the artist to create his works. Published by Nero Editions.
Dvir Gallery is delighted to announce that the Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement 2021in Geneva is now open with the participation of Simon Fujiwara. BIM’21 is co-curated by the collaborative DIS and Centre’s director, Andrea Bellini. As one of the most interesting curatorial collectives active in the art world today, DIS has already produced exhibitions that have marked our era.
Dvir Gallery is happy to announce Dor Guez’s participation in the international curatorial workshop Curating on Shaky Grounds: Curating in Times of Crisis and Conflictat the KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin. The workshop is organized by Artis, OnCurating, CAS/MAS in Curating, Zurich University of the Arts & Ph.D., in Practice in Curating, University of Reading/Zurich University of the Arts.
Guez’s lecture-performance, Mapping Archival Traces, will take place on November 6th at 13:30. In an intimate setting, I will narrate and animate archival materials from the Middle East and North Africa. Participants will be welcome to share personal experiences and exchange knowledge. For participating on Zoom, please find the registration here.