CURA.

WALEAD BESHTY
Aggregato

Thomas Dane, Naples


September 25 – December 22, 2018

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Beshty’s work draws upon, subverts, and redefines traditional categories to create an artistic practice that uses appropriation, chance, juxtaposition, traces of artistic labour, and the very mechanisms of art-making. The works intertwine their production and reception through the interplay of form, color, and image, and their deceptively simple yet conceptually dense means.

The title of the exhibition belies its compound nature, composed as a survey of key works from the last ten years of the artists’ oeuvre. It also reflects both conceptually and literally the core elements of Beshty’s practice itself, which applies self-reflexive methods of combination and accumulation, often employing and re-employing his own output and working methods to make artworks from fragments, parts, and residues.

In a nod to the location and environment of its presentation, Aggregato surveys the layers and strata of Beshty’s work in an archival, even archaeological way, providing a new context to read, historicise and evaluate his practice.
In the same way that Beshty’s work is often self-referential and self-prophesizing, Aggregato functions as a survey of works, an exhibition of exhibitions. The display will bring together new and existing sculptures, photographs and collages made during the time the artist and Thomas Dane Gallery have worked together - at biennials, art fairs, museums and the gallery itself. The exhibition will present some of his most iconic works such as large-scale photograms, ‘Copper Surrogates’, ‘Selected Works’ composites, and ‘Fedex boxes’. Also on view are ceramics produced while working at Cerámica Suro in Guadalajara, Mexico, made from the discarded byproducts of the studio’s past productions, which featured in the artists presentation at All the World’s Futures, the 56th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, 2015.

Displayed on tables in the central hall of the exhibition will be seven volumes of the book- prologue to his 2014 commission for The Curve, at the Barbican Centre, London, A Partial Disassembling of an Invention without a Future: Helter-Skelter and Random Notes in which the Pulleys and Cogwheels are Lying around at Random All over the Workbench. The books - in their Prologue and Opus volumes - comprise bound pages printed recto and verso with each of the almost 10,000 cyanotypes and photograms produced for the exhibition, which were pinned directly to the wall of The Curve. By utilising objects from the artist’s studio, Prologue creates an archival record of Beshty’s work space as well as an indexation and reproduction of all the tools and artefacts used for its own making. Comprising a selection of  1230 of these cyanotypes, the newly completed Prologue is shown for the first time, here in Naples.
Beshty is also a renowned writer and curator. In October this year an expanded version of his curated exhibition Picture Industry: a provisional history of the Technical Image 1844-2018, presented at CCS Bard last year, will be travelling back to LUMA Foundation in Arles. The accompanying publication, edited by Beshty, serves as an extensive anthology of important historical and theoretical texts, giving an alternative approach to questions associated with photographic representation.

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CREDITS
Courtesy of Thomas Dane Gallery Naples
Photos by Francesco Squeglia

OTHER TIPS
Portikus, Frankfurt
Sprüth Magers, London
Emalin, London
The exhibition seeks to excavate, connect, and understand the extensive range of her techniques, media, and subject-matter, bringing them together cohesively for the first time on a museum platform. Major solo survey dedicated to pioneering feminist artist Judy Chicago at ICA Miami
Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna
Gluck50, Milan
CARLOS/ISHIKAWA, London
The third and final culminating exhibition takes place at the Fondazione Merz, Turin. The exhibition is centered around a series of monumental installations recontextualising, within the exhibition space, the sets, costumes and stage objects of the Runik performance. Curated by Leonardo Bigazzi.