THE DIE IS CAST
a new series of works by Lawrence Weiner
opening reception: Thursday, April 12, 22 pm
exhibition: April 13 - may 12
Tuesdays - Fridays: 11 am - 8 pm
Saturdays: 12pm - 8pm
Cristina Guerra Contemporary Art is pleased to announce a solo exhibition by American artist, Lawrence Weiner, the artist's third with the gallery.
Born in the Bronx, New York, in 1942, Lawrence Weiner is considered to be one of the most significant artists of our time.
Since the late sixties, he has worked exclusively with language, placing it at the service of his conception of art as the objective relationship between human beings and objects and the connections between objects and other objects. In his sculptural practice, he has consistently held to the premises articulated in his 'Statement of Intent':
1.THE ARTIST MAY CONSTRUCT THE PIECE
2.THE PIECE MAY BE FABRICATED
3.THE PIECE NEED NOT BE BUILT
(EACH BEING EQUAL & CONSISTENT WITH THE INTENT OF THE ARTIST, THE DECISION AS TO CONDITION RESTS WITH THE RECEIVER UPON THE OCCASION OF RECEIVERSHIP).
As Weiner himself has emphasized on multiple occasions, his work is designed to be translated, either into the physical form or other languages. For this show in Lisbon, Weiner will be debuting a suite of statements formulated in English and then translated to the Portuguese. In this particular instance, these statements will be carried in the form of vinyl pieces, which physically articulate with the gallery.
In Lawrence Weiner's work, the word 'statement', initially borrowed from American Express type of bills sent out to clients by mail detailing expenses accrued over a month, essentially refers to the record of an activity. Remotely interested in exploring the word's association with bookkeeping, the idea of drawing up an account, it is rather the idea of the statement as a necessary and sufficient condition, an empirical reality which is neither an expression of intent nor a description or prescription that is of consequence to the artist's work. An analysis of his statements, like the one undertaken by Birgit Pelzer in the October journal, is indicative of how they are structured to be non-evaluative and non-prescriptive. As Pelzer points out, although they include verbs, no single verb fixes the propositional content by linking the subject to the predicate. "A state of things is recorded, but without being fixed in a definition, a judgement, a causal deduction, an imperative. We are in the presence not of sentences but of distinct units of meaning. The absence of punctuation further reinforces the short, incomplete, suspended character of this form of writing".
For the exhibition at the gallery, entitled THE DIE HAS BEEN CAST, Weiner has designed an bilingual installation where the written word not only appears spread on the wall, but settles like dust on the ground. The statements appear to be an examination of materials, processes or states of preservation and the passage of time.
Although Weiner himself emphasizes that language is not the issue in his work, the act of translation brings about a number of compelling realizations of which this exhibition is an instance. Translation, for Weiner, brings about the reduction of the universality of things, or as he once affirmed in an interview, "the lack of specific idioms for translation from one language to another requires the utilization of grey in a subject that is often thought to be black and white (art)". Translation also brings the issue of the double meaning of material words to the fore. "When you translate from one language to another, the work changes, generally. But it doesn't really - it changes specifically, but you get a general ambiguous feeling about the work. That's the kind of feeling about the work that I'm dealing with".
The exhibition at Cristina Guerra Contemporary Art runs from April 13 to May 12, 2007. The artist will be present for the opening on Thursday evening.