Nina Canell

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Nina Canell
Satin Ions


Texts by Hu Fang, Jenny Jaskey, Hyo Gyoung Jeon, Fionn Meade, Hyunjin Kim, Sung Hwan Kim, Kari Rittenbach, Anja Isabel Schneider, Monika Szewczyk, Jason Wirth, concept by Nina Canell and Robin Watkins, edited by Hyunjin Kim, Hyo Gyoung Jeon

For Canell there is no mediation that is lossless—an output is never the pure transmission of a source—but always as much the distance it has travelled, the things it has come in contact with or bounced with or off. She is interested in the consistency of distances that can be traced through an arbitrary sense of material precision: utilising water, viscosity, synthetic carpets, electricity, surface tension, stray socks and chewing gum. This consistency, at times imperceptible and at times palpable, is what the artist describes as “an extra-linguistic or non-verbal modulation of content—articulating the impurities of a medium or assemblage.”

For her first solo exhibition in Asia, Canell made research into the production and distribution of fiber optic sheaths in the outskirts of Seoul, where cable mounds are sorted according to colour and eventually remoulded into the synthetic circumferences of future relations. Literally caught in between melting and being repurposed, several hundred meters of gutted sheaths are compressed into dense lumps of immaterial distance. The accompanying book consists of ten short new texts around which fragments of communication with the authors have been punctuated by observational photographs and sculptural documentation. Contextualized by both recent and earlier works, the exhibition and book considers sculpture as a medium of storage, transmission and reception.

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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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Art In The Age Of…


Art In The Age Of…
 was published on the occasion of the eponymous yearlong cycle presented at Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (23 January 2015 – 3 January 2016). This series articulated itself through three exhibitions; Art In The Age Of…Energy And Raw Material, Art In The Age Of…Planetary Computation, and Art In The Age Of…Asymmetrical Warfare, alongside a related discursive program and film screenings.

Art In The Age Of… was staged to investigate future vectors of art production in the 21st century, highlighting the circulation of art and its underlying economies rather than its territorial location, its spread and infectious expanse rather than its arrest within narrowly defined genealogies and media.

With a focus on topical areas of urgency within art’s creation and its dispersal, spanning energy and raw materials, planetary computation, and asymmetric warfare, the Art In The Age Of… publication both records and expands research feeding this year-long program through interviews and essays by key contributors, alongside specially commissioned artist interventions.

Edited by Defne Ayas (director, Witte de With), Natasha Hoare (associate curator, Witte de With), and Adam Kleinman (chief editor, WdW Review), the book features interviews with artists involved in the various exhibitions of Art In The Age Of…, including Rossella Biscotti, James Bridle, Céline Condorelli, John Gerrard, Femke Herrengraven, David Jablonowski, Navine G. Kahn-Dossos, John Menick, Trevor Paglen, Susan Schuppli, Tom Tlalim; commissioned essays by theorists, curators and cultural historians involved in its discursive program, including contributions by Alexandra Bradford, Natasha Ginwala, Mike Jay, and Mohammad Salemy; interventions by artists Nina Canell and David Jablonowski; as well as visual documentation of the three exhibitions.

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The Registry of Promise
Chris Sharp (Ed.)


Over the course of a year, The Registry of Promise consisted of four interrelated exhibitions, which are represented as chapters in this book. In these chapters, Chris Sharp reflects on our increasingly fraught relationship with what the future may or may not hold, and the work engages with and plays upon the various readings and mutability of promise, along with the inevitability of what may come, whether positive or negative. Such polyvalence is particularly topical, as we have shifted from the anthropocentric promise of modernity to a negative faith in the post-human. Richly illustrated with works and installation views, and an archive of previously published articles by Chris Sharp.
With: Becky Beasley, Patrick Bernatchez, Juliette Blightman, Peter Buggenhout, Nina Canell, Michael Dean, Alexander Gutke, Jochen Lempert, Jean-Luc Moulène, Marlie Mul, Matt Mullican, Rosalind Nashashibi, Antoine Nessi, Jean-Marie Perdrix, Reto Pulfer, Mandla Reuter, Hans Schabus, Lucy Skaer, Michael E. Smith, Carlo Gabriele Tribbioli, Francisco Tropa, Andy Warhol and Anicka Yi.

Texts in English and French.

Design: Roger Willems

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