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Liam Gillick, The State Itself Becomes A Super Whatnot

Casey Kaplan Gallery
525 West 21st Street, 212-645-7335
May 8 - June 14, 2008
Reception: Thursday, May 8, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Casey Kaplan is pleased to announce ‘The state itself becomes a super whatnot’, the fifth solo exhibition at the gallery of artist, Liam Gillick. In a practice that employs specific materials and multiple modes of production, Gillick examines how the built world carries traces of social, economic, and political systems.

Since 2004, Gillick has been presenting lectures, writings and artworks that relate to a body of work titled “Construcción de Uno (Construction of One)” – most notably as a central figure in the unitednationplaza and nightschool projects in Berlin, Mexico City and the New Museum in New York. Taking the form of a constantly reworked potential text, it comprises a series of theoretical and fictional narratives that evolve from Gillick’s research of past and present evaluations of the aesthetics of social systems by focusing on modes of production rather than consumption. The framework for the project derives from Brazilian research into Scandinavian car production. In his notes, a group of workers return to their abandoned workplace in order to rethink eco-political exchange and to experiment with alternative production methods.

‘The state itself becomes a super whatnot’, is descriptive of the next twist in the narrative and designates the gallery space as a site for the testing of rhetoric and potential exchange simultaneously. In the exhibition, dual wall progressions, screens, and corrals relate to the architectural structure of their surroundings and are potentially regarded as a result of the communal, alternative production models devised in the scenarios. Each work reflected in another, the Plexiglas and painted aluminum structures produce competing color schemes: monochromatic red, evoking many political and cultural symbolisms, versus their multi-colored opponents. Twin wall texts that announce the title and its reverse – ‘the whatnot itself becomes a super state’ – mark the site of the exhibition as an extension of the complex processes of democratic deferral and infinite sub-contracting that underscore our current processes of exchange.

Gillick’s work engages with emergent consensus cultures, objects as context, and time as material. It is within this theoretical framework that Gillick’s exhibition produces a designated place for critical interaction.

Liam Gillick is nominated for the 2008 Vincent Award at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, and will create a major new body of work for the forthcoming Guggenheim exhibition ‘theanyspacewhatever’ in October 2008. In January of 2008, the artist’s retrospective, ‘Three perspectives and a Short Scenario’, opened at the Witte de With, Rotterdam and the Kunsthalle Zürich, Zürich; it will continue to the Kunstverein München, München in September 2008; and is scheduled to open at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago in October 2009.
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