"The Means, the Milieu", by Iza Tarasewicz

Objectif Exhibitions (Antwerp)
08/11/14 - 20/12/14
© Iza Tarasewicz © Iza Tarasewicz

Visual artist Iza TARASEWICZ is showcasing one of her big pieces of work as part of the Objectif Exhibitions in Antwerp. With this installation, Tarasewicz hopes to create a link between,on the one hand,molecules and the cell structure, and, on the other hand, the cellular structure and the material as perceived by us. Her main goal is make us see how separate elements can form a complex system analogical to biological structures.

>>> Objectif Exhibitions (Kleine Markt 7–9/26, 2000 Antwerp) - see map
>>> Saturday 8 November 2014 > Saturday 20 December 2014
>>> Opening: 8 novembre 2014 - 18:00 > 21:00.
>>> Free entrance

The work to be seen at Objectif Exhibitions
In August 2013, Berlin-based Polish artist Iza Tarasewicz came to Antwerp to visit Objectif Exhibitions and explore our premises. She was particularly drawn to our basement space, and we decided to produce a solo exhibition of new work, which will open in November 2014. For Iza, our basement is laden with hidden potential for material—the tangible reminder of its past life as a cheese-wrapping factory (this is, in fact, where Willem Elschott set his classic Dutch language novel “Kaas”). Iza notes that a casual first impression would suggest that the days when it served such a purpose are long gone, but nothing could be further from the truth. Iza does not intend to reanimate or illustrate its previous use as a factory, but to instead point out and accentuate the multiple layers of information and tension still hovering in the basement—historical, biological, and molecular. In 2010, Iza created an exhibition related to the idea of “union,” which in Polish might be understood as “connection.” For Iza, she was thinking in terms of adhesion at the molecular level. She was interested in how fungi flourish in what are considered extremely bad conditions, and how these conditions trigger their bizarre capacity for reproduction without the use of gametes and, of course, without external maintenance. Yet, as with the previous use of our basement, the workings of fungi simply provide another starting point for Iza. She is interested in processes that defy reason and widespread standard requirements: the relationship between models and the things they describe; between industry, scientific laboratories, ecosystems and biological entities; in minerals, salt, crystal mining, and other complex systems in which human labor acts as a parasite on, uses, takes advantage of, or responds to, the evolution and structures of materials. So it’s not fungi in particular, but the interconnected rhizomic structure and appearance of mushrooms that interest Iza—a small section rising from the surface, while most of its labor, energy, matter, and identity in fact exists and operates below, underground. Our basement is also underground. And it is an underground movement. Iza’s approach to the subject, space, context, and circumstance provided by our basement is a means by which we may focus on labor, new forms of production, and how a space’s particularities can lead, morph and lend tone this process and its material and temporal results. Her use of architecture will be a response to the perceived residual dynamics and physical structures of the site. She will respond implicitly to the history of the former factory simply by correlating the labor of workers she will hire, to inhabit the space during the entire duration of the exhibition, with the unseen machinations and labor of microorganisms/bacteria. In other words, Iza will be building a machine—turning a space, its history, the physical structures she will build and suspend from the low ceiling in the basement, and the organic molecular processes she will set in motion into a form of industrial production. What visitors will see will be a series of forms being activated, but also a spatio-temporal assemblage of different forces and substances, as they grow, change, and disintegrate over time. Located underground in the most literal sense of the word, her exhibition will also become a site of “underground knowledge,” wherein natural structures will provide an encrypted code—showing what seem to be base, decaying, rotting, or gestating materials as possessing hidden intelligence. Human workers, people, will tend to this knowledge as they occupy the exhibition and the basement throughout the exhibition. And this knowledge will be gleaned and translated into legible forms.

Objectif Exhibitions
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