FAY NICOLSON. UN MAKE ME
Where the nine hundreds can be considered as the avant-garde century, the age-old motif of the mutual influence and interference between word and image on the one hand and figurative arts and literature on the other gains a new speci fic setup precisely with avant-gardist culture.
That is also the topic behind the so-called ut pictura poesis, the Latin expression by the Roman poet Quinto Orazio Flacco which literally translates to: “as in painting so in poetry”— an across all disciplines-approach defined and advocated for centuries by artists and eloquence virtuosos.
Since the end of the 19th century, images have been manifesting a renewed radical independence and an unbidden value while their translatability into words has become an all-together more complex process. Images— as visual representations of reality in non-solid form— have, since then, made apparent an awareness that exceeded the boundaries of the real while fiddling with new peculiar, metaphysical and musical dimensions erring towards the unmistakably metaphorical.
The avant-garde movements’ strategy has been active precisely in the direction of the elaboration of new aesthetic languages capable of isolating and articulating that metaphorical angle. The latter being the common foundation of both the pictorial image and of the written word—in the framework of literature—it becomes the starting ground to grasp and analyse differences and interrelations between the two languages. All the while maintaining an overarching interest in celebrating beauty as a pure form in an ideology redolent of the statements of art historian Bernard Berenson—who advocated the passage “from the observation of forms to that of a form”. A mise-en-scène of images takes place through a new language whose structure is made up of cultural and emotional stratifications in a succession of linguistic and pictorial images, where the latter lose their original/residual formal specificity.
Fay Nicolson theorizes a new formal code of Ars Poetica according to which, in an accurate yet totally personal way, “poetry is like a painting” or “a painting is like a piece of poetry”—with a firm focus on revealing the special nature of the pictorial sign.
For ‘UN MAKE ME’ Nicolson has produced a series of large-scale works spanning from and around the idea of a making, moving, viewing and sensing body. In this exhibition Nicolson addresses Image as if it were a person, a living thing possessing a drive and consciousness of its own.
Fay Nicolson makes prints, paintings, objects and performances that explore learning through doing—tacit and explicit knowledge and tensions between image, surface and perception. Her works incorporate a set of visual motifs including: rippled surfaces; patterned fabrics; limbs; marks; type and gestures. Her compositions sit between the intuitive, fluid and painterly on the one hand and the choreographed, mediated and digital on the other.
This exhibition is curated by Domenico de Chirico
MIRAK JAMAL. Mirak Djamal IRONIMUS ’91
Galerie Rolando Anselmi is pleased to present “Mirak Djamal IRONIMUS ’91”, a solo exhibition by Mirak Jamal. The exhibition takes its title from a drawing made in Cologne, Germany – the artist’s childhood residence of the time. At the gallery space Jamal will present a site-specific accumulation of works allowing us to enter a new imaginary terrain revolving around a revisitation of an old drawing.
In 1991, the parents of the artist would encourage the pre-teen artist to enter a drawing into a caricature contest in Würzburg, Germany titled “IRONIMUS ’91”. Having made it into the selection, the work became published in a German caricature journal in company of adult satirists and political caricaturists. The stylized drawing, titled “Cool”, depicts a seemingly romanticized alleyway – undoubtedly inspired by cartoons and his familiar surroundings in Cologne, Germany.
Using this drawing as an entry point, Jamal navigates between the factual and fictitious – at once excavating and proposing anew. Utilitarian materials such as drywall panels, wood, mattress foam, and steel sheets, are transformed into objects of undeterred idealism bearing amplified figures, automotive gradients, sensitive machine carvings, and photographic anecdotes. Interior and exterior worlds are then reconciled through fractures of a strong personal past, and a surreal and yet familiar contemporary experience.
If you only had to pic just one image from an entire two-hour movie. Moving pictures are a peculiar one. WHERE TO STOP/WHERE TO STEP IMAGES MOVING in from here we begin. THIS NEUKOELLN SATIRICAL the parade that has shaped this old man masquerade. AT LAST OF AGE on skin he bears this at the least, smoothly. THE STREET CODE CLOSE TO THE PULSE GUTTER ON HIS ARM SUNG HEROES folk ones too he came to look up upon, the whole colorful lot. THE STORY: 1991 COLOGNE GERMANY. Someone once said that idealism is for the young, romanticism for the old. BELT AND STRAP BEHOLD dust deceits THIS IS MOVING FRESH IN INK IN flesh in decomposed postures, noses longer than average. HARSH LIGHT DIMMED LIGHT LIGHT A STAGE what cast, what CHARACTERS SHADOWY FIGURES BY THE ALLEYWAY AT THE POST BY THE BENCH YOUR VERY GROCERY STORE. The street lamp points bent backwards towards that which is then, and a house plant is attracted to the moon. Standing in form this FAMILIAR PLACE ITS SMASHED WINDOWS WITHIN SIGHT LAPTOP GREYS UP ABOVE AND SHIT LIL INSECTS TO GRACE THIS SOLE of the dragging, my pants sagging though I should have grown out of that by now. REPETITION AND RHYME repeats and resilience. The train trembles these insects I speak of, they are ancient and learned men WE HAVE DRAGGED MANY MANY WE HAVE SHARED PATHS WITH shared interests even. SECRET TALES BEHIND THIN VEILS. Do you see these city emblems on my back? SO MANY HOW MANY STEPS FORWARD TO CONNECT THE DOTS THE STUDS on this belt, the medallion on this beer. Insanity is the cure I STUTTER THIS THREAD threatening between what’s what and what’s not. MOVING IMAGES ARE DIFFICULT WHAT IS THAT danger at close range illuminating the colony. CONCRETE REALISM he ass grabs gently, though persistent THROUGH THE NEBULOUS DESERT TREADING. So innocent then. So dumb now. THE RETURN you may call it PART II, though some claim never to have been there. We have been here, I am not crazy. THE SOFT SPOKEN WALL THE PAVEMENT LITTLE PEBBLES PRESSED TO IMPRESS CRAPPY PEBBLES THE LAYERED BRICKS THE MANY WALKS we have been cursed many times, spat upon by regulars we are blessed to stand here. The weather has been grey mostly, the forecast is just as good, yeah. I prefer dimmed light anyway. The stage: FACES FISTS FACES FISTS SOME COLOR the audience demands, and all that JAZZ TO THE BEAT THE STORIED FISTS in the gravel in the air, the stink here, still, ah this Berlin air, hovering forever. 2016 FAMILIARITY HMM THIS WE DREAM WE CAN ONLY DREAM and are awakened by a cousin: THE GRADIENT. Of speed and bullied cars, laughed at, the gloss paint job on this flesh, I carry it. It flashes. Even when I lay. YOU CAN’T SEE ME but I carry it within. HUMBLED MACHINE OWNERS SPEED clumsily SPEED proceed MOMENTS THEY MELT CARS CRASH BUT here we go engraved at a standstill STOP. They do mark speed limits after all. The shimmer I can only wear it with insecurity, I have to, I transverse with it in camouflage. But to resist is another case. I haven’t adapted fully. I have not grown that much, yet. You won’t find beans in my house, I walk out to get my coffee. THEY STAY WE MOVE THEY SAY the first cave carvings were meant to be animations anyway. And this breeze lies beneath the skin. YES A PATINA OF CRUMBS THESE DAILY STREET RITUALS AS WALKED BY the boy THE NOWMAN, still ape though: NOW the paradoxical twist…a phone rings from an old acquaintance KÖLLE ALAAF THESE PEOPLE I LOOK AROUND I SEE I HEAR THESE STORIES BURIED BENEATH these boots, the cobblestones are the whispers of predecessors, and they’ve been trampled to a flat museum. Below that, who knows really. CONFETTI REMAINS ON FLOOR MOSTLY candy is abundant in the air though nobody is looking, unless it hits. I have stayed low key all along, bowed I look at you below HEY I’m crawling too I plead, eye level at low, I’ve been here too though chose to look ahead some few stories ago…beyond, I see these images flashing.
Galerie Rolando Anselmi, Berlin
Through June 15
from 7-16 (cover included)
photos: Riccardo Malberti
courtesy: the artist and Galerie Rolando Anselmi, Berlin-Rome