Stroom Den Haag - Agnieszka Kurant 'exformation'


2013.11.16 Nasza Polonia


1 December 2013 - 23 February 2014. Opening: Saturday 30 November, 5 pm
Preceded at 4 pm by a talk between Agnieszka Kurant and Chris Fitzpatrick (directeur Objectif Exhibitions, Antwerp)

Agnieszka Kurant, 'Maps of Phantom Islands'
photo: Eduardo Ortega, courtesy Galeria Fortes Vilaça, São Paulo

A version of The New York Times from the year 2020 assembled by messages from a professional clairvoyant and written by NYT journalists, a collection of books imagined in other books, conceptual artworks that hitherto only existed as suggestions, a soundtrack of silences from famous public speeches, works in ink that disappears and reappears depending on the weather, a film of characters that were edited out of Hollywood movies, a levitating meteorite.


In her first solo show in the Netherlands taking place at Stroom Den Haag Agnieszka Kurant will present existing works as well as two new ambitious works that are connected by her fascination for fleeting or imperceptible elements of reality, phantoms, intangible or invisible forces, the exchange of symbolic values, the editing process as an aesthetic and political act. The title of the exhibition, exformation, refers to this as well: 'exformation' is a term coined at the end of the 90s by the Danish science journalist Tor Nørretranders to denote the process in which information is explicitly left out.


The exhibition features the new film Cutaways , produced in collaboration with the renowned film editor Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now, The Godfather) - a portrait of the invisible universe of characters that have been completely deleted from the final cut of feature films—a no man's land of surplus characters and deleted narratives. Cutaways narrates the encounter of three cut-out characters from different major American films. They play, once again, their original role and ‘re-impersonate' their cut-out characters: Charlotte Rampling as the hitchhiker in Richard C. Sarafian's Vanishing Point (1971), Abe Vigoda as the lawyer and best friend of protagonist Harry Caul in Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation (1974) and Dick Miller as junkyard owner Monster Joe in Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction (1994).


Phantom Estate furthers Kurant's investigation into hybrid authorship. The work is a small plinth-display-case-museum architecture (developed in collaboration with the French architect Didier Faustino), a miniature institution, consisting of several phantom works: pieces based on unfinished, barely mentioned and rumored works of deceased conceptual artists such as Marcel Broodthaers, Guy de Cointet, Alighiero Boetti, Lee Lozano, Edward Krasinski and Gino de Dominicis. The work includes an artificial intelligence unit inspired by the artist's dialogue with the AI scientist Luc Steels, the director of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the Vrije Universiteit in Brussels. Phantom Estate is conceived as an intelligent artwork which has its own agency and agenda.


Agnieszka Kurant is investigating how phantoms, fictions, the things left out, and rumors influence social, economic and political systems of the contemporary world. The artist explores the hybrid and shifting status, value, aura, authorship, production, and ownership of objects. Analyzing the 'unknown unknowns' of knowledge, mutations of memes, immaterial labour, collective intelligence and its unconscious, she seeks to explore gaps in logic that confuse and inform our understanding of reality.


In the words of Diedrich Diederichsen, who wrote a text accompanying the exhibition at Stroom: 'Agnieszka Kurant thematizes the relationship of fiction to the real in a different way. Fiction is not a forgery or falsification of reality, an invented reality, an art that is not identified as such, or an "artless" artificiality, a lie, as suggested by the various ethical and political critiques of fiction. Nor is it a surrogate for or alternative to reality and hence a dead-end road out of it, a drug, escape, or error. Rather, it is a second creator of reality, an illegitimate or repudiated sister of the demiurge, not grounded in reality but capable of influencing or altering it. For Agnieszka Kurant, fiction always has reality effects.'


Agnieszka Kurant was born in 1978, in Poland; she lives and works in New York. She represented Poland at the Venice Biennale in 2010 (in collaboration with the architect Aleksandra Wasilkowska) and has exhibited her work in solo and group exhibitions at Objectif Exhibitions, Antwerp (2012); CoCA, Torun, PL (2012); Witte de With, Rotterdam (2011); Performa Biennial, New York (2009); Athens Biennale (2009); Frieze Projects, London (2008); Moscow Biennale (2007); Tate Modern, London (2006); Mamco, Geneva (2006); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2004), among others. Kurant was an artist in residence at Location One, New York (2011-2012); the Paul Klee Center (Sommerakademie), Bern (2009); ISCP, New York (2005); and Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2004). In 2009 she was shortlisted for the International Henkel Art Award (MUMOK, Vienna). Sternberg Press published Kurant's monograph Unknown Unknown in 2008.


The exhibition at Stroom Den Haag will take place in conjunction with a solo show by Agnieszka Kurant at the Sculpture Center New York (November 10, 2013 - January 27, 2014).


On the occasion of Agnieszka Kurant's show at Stroom Den Haag, Diedrich Diederichsen has written a text on her work. This text, presented as a small booklet designed by Atelier Carvalho Bernau, will be for sale at Stroom Den Haag for € 5,-.


Stroom Den Haag is supported financially by the city of The Hague. The program is also made possible by the Mondriaan Fund, Stichting DOEN and the Creative Industries Fund NL. Partner for the exhibition Agnieszka Kurant exformation Sculpture Center New York with additional support by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Poland.


Location: Hogewal 1-9, The Hague
Open: Wed-Sun, 12 noon-5 pm
(closed December 26 and January 1)


Stroom School: Agnieszka Kurant