Can You Hear Me?

Issue no5
Oct-Nov 2021
Fluidity

Onomatopee opens a show on music labels by artists. Featuring John Armleder and Sylvie Fleury, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Chicks on Speed, Mike Kelley, Carsten Nicolai, Dexter Sinister, Andy Warhol and Alex Waterman, among others.

Operating at the intersection of art and design, culture and politics, exhibition and publication Onomatopee in Eindhoven inaugurated in May its second space at the former district court - Designhuis. If the headquarter, called Cabinet, located at the Hallenweg is housing project space and offices – the new location, in a very close proximity of Van Abbemuseum - is dedicated to, broadly understood, research.

The new project, inhabiting the first floor of the former district house, opened its doors to the public with two exhibitions: Can You Hear Me? Music Labels By Visual Artists and Alien Invader Super Baby (Synchromaterialism IV) by conceptual artists Jim Ricks.

Compiled and brought together by Francesco Spampinato selection of record labels founded and run by visual artists presents a selection of ephemera on the subject rather than historical survey. Featuring a spectrum of artists such as John Armleder and Sylvie Fleury, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Chicks on Speed, Mike Kelley, Carsten Nicolai, Dexter Sinister, Andy Warhol and Alex Waterman, among others – it appeared in my eyes more as a personal journey and fascination than archival retrospective. Although it introduces 25 record labels from Europe, the United States and Mexico and touches upon more than thirty years of music label / artist affair. Oddly enough it is one of the first overviews of its kind and this subject until today remains at the margins of the art world and artistic production and artist records still are trying to find its status between art works and publications.

The presentation differs from museum-like exposition of documents and exhibits, where except the timeline on the wall are presented pages from a book published in relation to the show, through video documentation of musical events related to the subject matter up to interactive display with record players, where everyone can put chosen vinyl to listen.

For the interaction asks also American-born artist Jim Ricks, inviting visitors to prepare romanesco cauliflower according to his recipe, watch growing poppy seeds or browse books brought from the trip. Activated objects together with a shown video interview construct a portrait of an artist. Collected by himself, they serve for identification of identity like saved bookmarks in ours internet browsers or favorite images put together on tumblr.

Next door Ricks presented new work Alien Invader Super Baby (Synchromaterialism IV) in which he plays with similar principles of editing and collaging objects. By these means they become symbols, which allows for constructing narratives outside of their origins and everyday beings. Things - bought, found and borrowed, in Afghanistan, Eindhoven or Ireland - displayed on market-stalls-like construction gain a status of artifacts. Starbucks paper cup next to souvenir mug with a traditional Dutch theme, football fan scarfs next to fake Louis Vuitton shawls, Nazi Church Mural and eighteen minutes DJ compilation – all to depict the economic and cultural recognition and address our identities. Like in matroshka, each element seems to reveal itself in connection to the other.

Jim Ricks expositions in both rooms are first scene of a Radical Aesthetics series, produced and curated by the Onomatopee founder - Freek Lomme. Each solo exhibition accompany by publication consists of room dedicated to the new work and the other – to artistic background and documentation.

The [email protected]’ exhibition program touches somehow the activates understood often as being outside of main artistic practice and create an environment where phenomena happening at the margins become works itself and research - an exhibition.


[email protected] / Eindhoven
With shows: Can You Hear Me? Music Labels By Visual Artists and Jim Ricks’ Alien Invader Super Baby (Synchromaterialism IV)
3.5.2015 - 14.6.2015

Weronika Trojanska
is an artist and art writer

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Magazine
Metropolis M Magazine for contemporary art No 5 — 2021