THE INCLINATION OF THE ANGLE
April 18th - May 16th, 2015
Josep Maynou, J.E. Oldendorf, Marco Montiel-Soto, Raphaël Constant

 

Installation view
The inclination of the angle, 2015
Junefirst Gallery

 

Installation view
The inclination of the angle, 2015
Junefirst Gallery

 

Josep Maynou
Guitar # 1, 2015
Wool and cotton yarn, 70x100 cm.

 

Josep Maynou
Guitar # 1, 2015
Wool and cotton yarn, 70x100 cm.

 

Marco Montiel-Soto
Seasick direction tristes tropiques / Mal de mar hacia un triste trópico, 2015
Installation. Table, clay pintaderas, bamboo, plants, b/w photocopies on paper, pages of books, lava stones, palm seeds, dry palms, plastic palm tree, globe, wooden platano, map of Venezuela, postcards, speaker, cable, amplifier, lamp, candles, sound composition (12min).

 

Marco Montiel-Soto
Seasick direction tristes tropiques / Mal de mar hacia un triste trópico, 2015
Installation. (Detail)

 

Marco Montiel-Soto
Seasick direction tristes tropiques / Mal de mar hacia un triste trópico, 2015
Installation. (Detail)

 

Marco Montiel-Soto
Seasick direction tristes tropiques / Mal de mar hacia un triste trópico, 2015
Installation. (Detail)

 

Marco Montiel-Soto
Seasick direction tristes tropiques / Mal de mar hacia un triste trópico, 2015
Installation. (Detail)

 

Marco Montiel-Soto
Seasick direction tristes tropiques / Mal de mar hacia un triste trópico, 2015
Installation. (Detail)

 

Josep Maynou
Tip of the tongue #2, 2015
150x210 cm.

 

Josep Maynou
Tip of the tongue #2, 2015 (Detail)
150x210 cm.

 

Raphaël Constant
La tendresse des perspectives
Film, 2011, 26min.

 

Raphaël Constant
La tendresse des perspectives
Film, 2011, 26min.

 

Raphaël Constant
La tendresse des perspectives
Film, 2011, 26min.

 

Raphaël Constant
La tendresse des perspectives
Film, 2011, 26min.

 

Je Oldendorf
Beachlife (Elephant Beach), 2014
Archival pigment print on canvas, wooden frame, 164 x 134 cm.

 

Je Oldendorf
Beachlife (Elephant Beach), 2014
Archival pigment print on canvas, wooden frame, 164 x 134 cm.

 

Je Oldendorf
Beachlife (Elephant Beach), 2014 (Detail)
Archival pigment print on canvas, wooden frame, 164 x 134 cm.

 

 

 

 

THE INCLINATION OF THE ANGLE
April 18th - May 16th, 2015
Josep Maynou, J.E. Oldendorf, Marco Montiel-Soto, Raphaël Constant


What lies on the other side of things is only a question of perspective; the position where one stands determines direction, distance and difference.
Inherited tendencies of the observer predispose what is seen and the way it is depicted. The result is always a reconstruction, conditioned by patterns of narration: an image of unexplored landscapes, remote traditions, foreign practices and unfamiliar artifacts.
The unknown becomes exotic and the exotic is integrated in the work as a reference to what that means today. With an awareness of the inescapable condition of the global tourist and the legacy of the ethnographer, new positions take place in the perception of otherness within contemporary experience.

 

Je Oldendorf
Beachlife (Elephant Beach), 2014, Archival pigment print on canvas, wooden frame, 164 x 134 cm.

Je Oldendorf’s piece belongs to a larger series of images of paradise-like beaches from the shores of tropical countries taken from Google Earth, in a perspective watching the beach off shore. The pictures themselves are a digital reconstruction of the area being represented, where cameras have no access from such a perspective, the outcome being a calculated image shaped upon a 3D model of the terrain according to topographic, which doesn’t always result into a credible landscape, but rather has the appearance of an unreal painted surface. The blurred image recalls impressionist landscape views as well as color field paintings in its reduced horizontal composition.
The pictures are mounted on wooden frames that resemble the very imitation of exoticism that one could find in a Five Star Thai-Style Beach Resort in the coast of Tenerife. Such a replica, based on an abstract and inaccurate idea of “pseudo-asianism” (self-aware of being a fake and embracing it), is made from an accumulation of exported imagery and concepts such as closeness to nature, Zen, and life in Paradise. With this, Oldendorf doesn’t only point to the inherent kitsch value of the fabricated portrait of exoticism, but also to the contemporary version of the romantic standing in front of the magnificent, wild and intimidating territory. This is, no longer unconquered as in the eyes of the first western explorer, but rather as a version adjusted to the expectations of the global tourist – whose involvement can go from the at home - spa experience to the on the spot pre-packaged adventure, as a range of possibilities of one same thing.

 

Raphaël Constant
La tendresse des perspectives (The Tenderness of Perspectives )
Film, 2011, 26min.

Constant’s video is the staging of a series of moving pictures, recreated fabrications that enact an interpretation of the inherited ideal of Africa in its virgin wilderness and aboriginal civilization. The film, shot in Burkina Faso, Ghana or Guinea amongst other countries through which Constant traveled, is built from a process of involvement with local communities and adaptation to their social structures, resulting in their unconditional participation in the performance of completely foreign scenarios. In one of the villages, an animal sacrifice is made and interpreted in order to determine whether the spirits agree with the artist’s presence. At the positive result of this, their homes are offered to be painted at the artist’s free will and villagers collaborate without constraint.
The situations triggered by Constant, often appearing in them as an integrated outsider, are an awkward blend of vague references to modern art and its ideal depiction of exotic aesthetics and an imposed cleanness of constructivist style, creating an iconic image that doesn’t belong in the landscape, a bizarre portrait of its own endeavor. The subtle clash reveals a constant breach and the acknowledgement of the inherited structures he brings into the mix as well as those of the context he works in.
Constant’s work walks a journey of unfolding rooted perceptions in a surprising account of the projection of desire in otherness.

 

Josep Maynou
Tip of the tongue #2, 2015, 150x210 cm.
Guitar # 1, 2015, wool and cotton yarn, 70x100 cm.

Josep Maynou’s works are part of a series of rugs recently produced in a small village in the mountains of Morocco, where he traveled for the period of the manufacturing and overseeing of the process in a constant dialogue and compromise. Made by hand in looms by some of the women in the village, the rugs avoid traditional motifs and instead reproduce designs familiar to pop culture – such as electric guitars or tongues sticking out –, and interpretations of the idealized imagery of the desert, contrasted with the reality it withholds. The roughness of the traditional craft and the use of colours and choices of execution diverge from the elements being represented, conveying the structural duality of a society living in an ancient system, but consuming the bits and pieces of contemporary global pop production.
In pictures of the process, we can see him dressed in a colorful 80’s style shirt, shorts and a baseball cap, sporting a rug over his shoulder – à la cheap towel from the souvenir shop, on my way to the beach – standing next to a donkey and an olive tree with an arid landscape as the background. The rug itself shows a brick wall, where graffiti in Arabic characters has been sprayed, and beyond the wall an archetypal orange-to-red sunset, framed by two palm trees that enclose reminiscences of the romanticized idea of orient.

 

Marco Montiel-Soto
Seasick direction tristes tropiques / Mal de mar hacia un triste trópico, 2015. Installation. Table, clay pintaderas, bamboo, plants, b/w photocopies on paper, pages of books, lava stones, palm seeds, dry palms, plastic palm tree, globe, wooden platano, map of Venezuela, postcards, speaker, cable, amplifier, lamp, candles, sound composition (12min).

Montiel’s practice takes place in the exploration of his own country’s indigenous culture and the myths of authenticity, wildness and difference it entails, in contrast with the reality of political stress and social violence that Venezuela presents. This research, often also using other countries as his own, keeps him in constant shift, from belonging to being a tourist in one’s land.  
Montiel’s project starts in the study of a pre-colonial, long gone civilization from the Canary Islands, the guanches, and their recovered relics. Their legacy is very limited and thus highly constructed by history, but key to the shaping of local cultural identity and the way the islands portrait themselves in the present.
In the cabinet he displays we can find volcanic rocks, palm trees and bananas, and the multiple reproduction of an artifact, the “pintadera”, meant to be a sort of stamp for tattooing that guanches used. The installation moves on towards the relationship between canary islands and Venezuela, two far-off places connected not only by being paradigms of exoticism having a parallel depiction of the native versus the colonial, but that are also linked by a historical tradition of migratory movements. Venezuela, known amongst canarios as ‘the eight island’, was the desired destination for immigrants who fled the islands between the last decades of the 19th century until after the Spanish civil war in the 1950s. An audio piece reads fragments of several nautical logbooks from the stolen sailboats that took on the challenge of crossing the ocean in precarious conditions, not always succeeding, in a clandestine odyssey to reach the Americas as the promised land.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Guest curator Arístides Santana.
+ info

 

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JUNEFIRST GALLERY
Scharnweberstr 35
10247 Berlin


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JUNEFIRST is a project space.
It is directed and curated by Sira Pizà and Ricardo Trigo.
June first is the length of the first phase of this curatorial project, as well as a constant state of expectation for the long awaited spring.