Aeron Bergman and Alejandra Salinas September 8 – November 6, 2011
Opening reception September 8, 6-9PM Opening performance by ikebana master Lily Pu
Layout of the exhibition completed in consultation with New York-based internationally renowned feng-shui master Pun Yin.
In their first solo exhibition in New York, artist duo Aeron Bergman and Alejandra Salinas show a new body of work at DAC that draws attention to its own durability and physicality. Web content is burned onto acid-free paper with a laser engraver for maximum longevity. Information from paper documents is engraved as a series of granite monuments (the same material used for grave markers and high end kitchen counters). Tang dynasty poetry is etched into chinaware. Sculptures in marble, granite and (faux) gold suggest their value as the materials of the beaux arts, while ceramic, brick and tile pieces invoke the domestic.
Artifacts produced in stone will last for a while, but time will eventually dissolve them into dust just the same as printed matter. The craze to digitize books, photos and other paper artifacts seems to be part of the urge for preservation: but since the average server lasts 5 years before it needs an upgrade or a replacement, the original paper, if stored correctly, will last much longer than the digital copy. Digital files must be continually replaced using new equipment. This continual renovation assumes the will and ability to cough up a budget, but economics is fickle: see Detroit.
Hannah Arendt wrote that the art of being happy among “small things,” within the space of our own four walls where we extend a “care and tenderness which, in a world where rapid industrialization constantly kills off the things of yesterday to produce today’s objects, may appear to be the world’s last, purely humane corner.” Le petit bonheur of the private sphere is one of the few instances where irrelevant activity is tolerated. In the res publica, use-value must be clear and immediate. Artistic production rarely satisfies these terms. Contemporary art exists in an unstable position because it occasionally draws blockbuster crowds and high auction prices, but for the most part, it is an irrelevant activity confined to private spaces such as artist studios.
-Text by Bergman/Salinas Detroit 2011
Aeron Bergman and Alejandra Salinas are an artist duo currently living and working in Oslo, Norway. The pair has lived in Toronto, Detroit, New York, London, La Rioja, Barcelona, Gothenburg and Oslo. They have had solo exhibitions at Centre d’Art Santa Monica (Barcelona), Serralves Museum (Porto), Röda Sten Art Center (Gothenburg), Centre d’Art Contemporain (Geneva), IMO (Copenhagen) and participated in group shows at ICC (Tokyo), the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, CCCB (Barcelona), Kunstnernes Hus and Henie Onstad Art Center (Oslo). They have also done electro-acoustic music and performance art works in venues around the world such as Palais de Tokyo (Paris), Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven), the Knitting Factory, (New York), Overgaden Institute for Contemporary Art (Copenhagen) and MUDAM (Luxembourg). Bergman and Salinas have directed Lucky Kitchen editions for electroacoustic music and published 15 solo audio works on various labels. They have been awarded an Honorary Mention and an Award of Distinction by the Prix Ars Electronica (Linz). In 2011 they created INCA: Institute for Neo Connotative Action, an artist, poet and scholar in residency program, exhibition and lecture space in Detroit, USA. The pair also curate the nobelprize.no yearly online exhibition. They have taught and lectured in art schools such as Umeå Art Academy, Malmö Academy of Art, Trondheim Art Academy and the International Academy of Art, Palestine in Ramallah. Bergman is currently professor and chair of intermedia at the Oslo National Academy of Fine Art.
Feng-Shui master Pun Yin has a reputation for “turning the fortunes of her high profile clients around since the early 1990’s”. FORTUNE Magazine in 1996 wrote: “ her work marks a new nexus between this country’s corporate and metaphysical sectors”. In the past two decades, her client list includes Trump International, HSBC, Sloan- Kettering Cancer Center, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, First Republic Bank, New York City Health & Hospitals Corporation as well as collaborations with the last and current mayors of New York. She has also appeared in major media such as CNN, CNBC, BBC, New York Times and Asahai, among many others. Master Pun-Yin advocates an “authentic, true form Feng Shui that is a customized art balancing the inner consciousness of people through the Five Elements theory with the varying earth and solar energy of each site.” www.punyin.com
Lily Pu studied under ikebana master Fumiko Allinder in New York City and is a certified teacher in the sogetsu style. She serves on the board of directors of Ikebana International NY and has exhibited at, among many others, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the Japan Society.
Dumbo Arts Center (DAC) is a 501© (3) non-profit contemporary arts organization located in Dumbo, Brooklyn, New York. DAC’s mission is to catalyze interaction between visual artists, the local community and the wider public, in order to preserve the neighborhood of Dumbo as a springboard for new art.
This exhibition is generously supported by the Royal Norwegian Consulate General and the Office of Contemporary Art Norway.