Past: February 19 → March 26, 2011
In 2009, Mika Tajima and Charles Atlas inaugurated their joint-exhibition at SF MOMA through a series of performances. For Today Is Not a Dress Rehearsal, Charles Atlas filmed and edited in realtime the footage of the rushes of live performances that are simultaneously projected in the exhibition space, using the sculptures and surfaces of works by Mika Tajima.
United for the first time by their respective works at the New Galerie, Charles Atlas and Mika Tajima constantly renegotiate their oeuvre. The exhibition Transaction Abstraite (abstract transaction) manifests the invisible thread of a conversation in flux, taut between dance and abstraction, filmed performance and performative space, form and formlessness or order and chaos. Mika Tajima makes installations combining texts and images, screen-printed panels, collages and mirrors, as so many potential film sets, recording studios or offices, spaces regularly activated by performance. If Mika Tajima invents spaces with different performative possibilities, Charles Atlas invents unprecedented performances for the camera. Experimentation, accident, improvisation, artifice and reality appear as common ground between these two artists.
The Extras is a module, wood storage unit in which several of Mika Tajima’s works are simply stored in rows as if they just came out of a gallery’s backroom.
Mika Tajima defies the usual expectations of the public in an installation that seems interrupted. The works, stored as potential inventory or abandoned surplus both disclose the working conditions of a young artist and reveal our contemporary condition. The Extras explores the impact of surroundings on the reception of a work.
Since the 1970’s, Charles Atlas is considered the pioneer of the medium «media-dance» (in collaboration with Merce Cunningham) and fictional choreographic-documentary.
Using films, videos, projections, installations comprising multiple screens, Charles Atlas makes the image in motion, the moving image, his unique mode of expression.
His two films Nevada and Floor, presented as part of Transaction Abstraite, are precursory developments of «media-dance», and they introduce the themes that Atlas will continue to explore. Employing an abstract and minimal vocabulary, Plato’s Alley overplays the new media «card», with its gradually rising voltage, and effects echoing the beginnings of the digital video-art.
While maintaining their individuality, the works exhibited in the context of Transaction Abstraite react to one another and refer to questions of portraiture and painting, of sculpture and abstraction, of film and fiction, but never in the same space-time. Charles Atlas’ videos experiment with manifold montage rules and perceptibly surpass beyond the frame. Similarly, Mika Tajima’s work participates in the reorganization of the physical gallery space and, at the same time, refers to the active potentials that exceed these structures. Converted into a space of transit, but also a cinematic and plastic space, the New Galerie deploys unexpected resources.
Opening Saturday, February 19, 2011 at 8 PM erformance by Mika Tajima “new humans”