De Vleeshal presents the first exhibition of Danish artists Nina Beier (1975) and Marie Lund (1976) in the Netherlands. Beier and Lund’s exhibition The Object Lessons opens on 3 October 2009.
Beier and Lund work both individually and collaboratively and the exhibition at De Vleeshal presents a mix of both productions. Their performances, physical objects and incorporeal interventions are based on the history (of pre-existent) materials and contexts. Increasingly, their work plays out in the imaginary world between conception, perception and interpretation. The momentary nature of Beier and Lund’s projects has, in previous exhibitions, been underlined through use of the epithet ‘work in progress’.
One such project was Autobiography (If these walls could speak). A gallery staff was asked to hollow out the holes they remembered to have been left in the walls by works hung in past exhibitions, thereby making the (ghostlike) reminders of prior shows clearly visible. Autobiography thus constituted a ritual whereby former presentations could come back to life, after which the process was repeated in reverse. Another, Archives (World Peace), showed history in isolation from its erstwhile social/political context. Old ‘peace posters’ were exhibited folded in two and framed with the front facing ‘inward’. The temporality of all things was the theme of (Calling) Loss and Cause. This project encompassed the production of temporary reproductions of sculptures that had disappeared from public and private collections; the unfired clay models to destroyed as soon as the originals resurface.
Within the setting of De Vleeshal, a monumental space with a history of design, destruction and reconstruction, the works making up The Object Lessons explore their own evolution (over time) and various levels of presentation and representation. The Remains (The Making of), for instance, is a scale model of The Object Lessons, hewn from limestone over the course of the exhibition: revealing, all at once, the unique moment of creation, of presentation, and of viewing.
Although the individual works have a conceptual ‘starting point’, they change through their exposure to De Vleeshal’s exhibition space and public; the final result as yet unknown. The aim of this structure is to encourage open-mindedness: the artistic works are made contingent on space and viewers, both essential to the assignation of meaning. With the importance assigned to visitors’ viewpoints and interpretations, Beier and Lund’s latest project appears to put the notion of completed objectives to question.
The moment, genesis and development are more important than any predetermined outcome. The Object Lessons’ works are presented as rituals that capture both the passage of time and the impact of transience on materials and their meanings.
Beier and Lund trained at the Royal College of Art in London. The artists are represented by galleries Croy Nielsen (Berlin), Proyectios Monclova (Mexico) and Laura Bartlett (London).
Their work has previously been at shown at venues such as Hayward and the Tate Modern in London; MART in Trento/Rovereto, the Skuc Gallery in Ljubljana, Betonsalon in Paris; and at various galleries and exhibition spaces in Mulhouse, Hanover en Zurich.
Website: Nina Beier & Marie Lund