Helen Marten

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Invisible Adversaries
edited by Lauren Cornell

‘Invisible Adversaries’ was a major exhibition curated by Lauren Cornell and Tom Eccles inspired by the 1976 feature film by the radical Austrian artist Valie Export. The film presents a woman’s struggle to retain her sense of self against hostile alien forces that appear increasingly ubiquitous, colonizing the minds of all those around her. Motifs from the film – among them, architecture’s influence on identity; feminist critique; and the power of political fantasy – operate as filters through which to consider significant pieces from the Marieluise Hessel Collection.

With works by over 50 artists including Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Chantal Akerman, Kai Althoff, Janine Antoni, Ida Applebroog, Phyllida Barlow, Lynda Benglis, Barbara Bloom, Paul Chan, Patty Chang, Anne Collier, Rineke Dijkstra, Trisha Donnelly, VALIE EXPORT, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Isa Genzken, Liam Gillick, K8 Hardy, Rachel Harrison, Mona Hatoum, Roni Horn, Emily Jacir, Annette Kelm, Leigh Ledare, Nikki S. Lee, Sarah Lucas, Tala Madani, Christian Marclay, Helen Marten, Ulrike Müller, Bruce Nauman, Tony Oursler, Philippe Parreno, William Pope.L, Seth Price, Magali Reus, Rachel Rose, Thomas Ruff, Ilene Segalove, Cindy Sherman, Stephen Shore, Diane Simpson, Lorna Simpson, Jo Spence, Hito Steyerl, Tunga, Gillian Wearing, Martha Wilson, and Krzysztof Wodiczko, amongst others.

This 300-page publication designed by Zak Group with original essays by nine influential writers, scholars and artists: Zach Blas, Johanna Fateman, Nav Haq, Vít Havránek, J. Hoberman, Alex Kitnick, Tavia Nyong’O, Lauren O’Neill-Butler, and Julian Rose. The catalogue also includes original interviews with VALIE EXPORT, Trevor Paglen, and Hito Steyerl.

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Helen Marten
Drunk Brown House

This catalogue is released on the occasion of Helen Marten’s exhibition, Drunk Brown House at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery (29 September – 20 November 2016).

Marten combines disparate imagery and materials to create eclectic, large scale works. These works often serve as repositories for elaborate sculptural tableaux whose assembled detritus (wood, clay, steel, fabric) create a string of hieroglyphs or a kind of archaeological anagram. Her output includes sculpture, videos, text, and screen-printed paintings.

The volume will focus on key artworks produced in recent years, and conceived as an artist book, it will offer detailed perspectives on Marten’s meticulous installations. It will include an essay by Brian Dillon that investigates Marten’s practice, as well as fictional texts by Travis Jeppesen and Eileen Myles that takes inspiration from the artist’s works.

Helen Marten is shortlisted for both the Turner Prize, and the Hepworth Prize for Sculpture in 2016.

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Helen Marten
Parrot Problems

In 2016 Helen Marten is shortlisted for both the Turner Prize and The Hepworth Sculpture Prize.

Parrot Problems was Turner Prize nominated British artist Helen Martenʼs first institutional solo exhibition in Germany. Close to an artist book, 40 pages within the catalogue are designed by Helen Marten herself, featuring unique collages.

In insightful and precise essays Diedrich Diederichsen and Johanna Burton focus on the ‘artist of the hour’, who through processes of manipulation, abstraction and shifting resembles recognisable elements anew; piercing the patina of familiarity covering the density and complexity of our everyday material lives.

Frozen at full speed in vibration between two and three dimensions, the objects and images by Marten proliferate with models and motifs, which define physical and linguistic limits of everyday life.

In acts of jigsaw and camouflage, the recognizable is often shifted into a sense of immediate fuzziness. Both delicate and programmatic, the relationship between image and concept is therefore dependent on a sense of unfolding logic.

Through this emulation and repetition of ubiquitous gestures, expressions and objects the resultant differences between mimicry and metaphor are made productive: as Parrot Problems. Whether composed of leaves, glazed ceramic, cast aluminium, coins or timber, Marten’s assemblages distill the customary order of things to arrange it afresh.

Published retrospectively after the exhibition Helen Marten: Parrot Problemsat Fridericianum, Kassel, 6 September – 2 November 2014.

Texts by Diedrich Diederichsen and Johanna Burton.

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Life Itself
Edited by Daniel Birnbaum, Stefanie Hessler, Carsten Höller & Jo Widoff

Anyone undertaking a study of the concept of “life” in our culture will observe that it never gets defined as such, writes Giorgio Agamben. Instead, he claims, this indeterminate thing – life itself – gets articulated and divided time and again through a series of oppositions that give it a function in the sciences without ever being defined as such. These theoretical and literary articulations are what this book is about, and what the 173 texts by authors, scientists and philosophers from all times and all disciplines will try to answer.
Ernst Haeckel, speculative biologist and naturalist, coined key concepts as phylum and ecology. In the years 1899-1904 he published Kunstformen der Natur (Art Forms of Nature), one hundred prints depicting organisms many of which were first described by Haeckel himself, who with this project took an unusual step from science to art. His sketches thus create a bridge between this book and the exhibition at Moderna Museet, appearing in the margins of both. Otherwise there is no art in this publication and the division of labor strict: the exhibition is art?s chance to answer the topic spelled out in the subtitle to Life Itself: “On the question of what it essentially is; its materialities, its characteristics, considering that attempts to answer this question by occidental sciences and philosophies have proven unsatisfactory.”

Exhibition featured the work of Giovanni Anselmo, Olga Balema, Hicham Berrada, Joseph Beuys, Karl Blossfeldt, Constantin Brancusi, Victor Brauner, Nina Canell, Lygia Clark, Trisha Donnelly, Monica Englund, Valia Fetisov, Dirk Fleischmann, Katharina Fritsch, Ernst Haeckel, Barbara Hauser, Tamara Henderson, Eva Hesse, Damien Hirst, Tehching Hsieh, Pierre Huyghe, Carsten Höller/Rosemarie Trockel, On Kawara, Josh Kline, Hilma af Klint, Edward Krasinski, Mark Leckey, Helen Marten, Henri Michaux, Barnett Newman, Otobong Nkanga, Katja Novitskova, Philippe Parreno, Giuseppe Penone, Leo Reis, Ulf Rollof, Rachel Rose, Anri Sala, Sebastian Stöhrer, Sturtevant, Paul Thek, Rosemarie Trockel, Rosemarie Trockel/Günter Weseler, Christine Ödlund.

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