Part 1: Beating Death With His Own Arm*
Exhibition Opening: 19:00
Performance by Janneke van der Putten: 20:30
We are excited to welcome you to Beating Death With His Own Arm*, the inauguration of Volume III of our exhibition series The Last Terminal: Reflections on the Coming Apocalypse.
The exhibition consists of two parallel presentations by gerlach en koop, Tomo Savić-Gecan, and Lisa Ivory and will be opened with a site-specific performance by Janneke van der Putten, who in exploring the limits of her unmediated voice will engage with the acoustics of the exhibition space.
Part of Volume III consists of exploring several recent and stylistically diverse painting practices. A selected collection of works by a single painter is broken down into distinct chapters and shown as a developing story over the course of one to two years, in conjunction with other exhibited works and characters some of which are introduced at a later stage to the story of The Last Terminal. We are keen on experiencing how these paintings and their future offspring that are yet to be painted, will animate the exhibition’s evolving narrative with their somewhat withdrawn presence.
Simultaneously we will start exploring the process of importing and re-staging entire exhibitions that were previously presented and developed for another context. Rib’s proposal is to lift the original exhibition from its stationary and propositional status by gradually re-animating it over time. At the same time, and in a reversed fashion we are preparing the export and re-staging of the three volumes of The Last Terminal developed over a period of more than three years, as a single stationary exhibition in a larger institution abroad in 2026.
As accompaniment to the gradual outstretching of our program both in time and in terms of its readjustments to new infrastructural changes, the oral history of this process will be consistently recorded through Rib’s own regular publishing and in collaboration with a guest writer who will be following and reflecting on our program throughout the year.
En om drie uur?
Dan slaap ik.
gerlach en koop (2024)
Sleep can neither be learnt nor mastered. A force that cannot be forced. Sleep is something that is granted. All insomniacs can do is imitate a sleeper, adopting the posture of a body that sleeps. In fact a re-staging of the night before and the night before and the night before, hoping that at some point their imitation will match, that the faithfully copied sleeper will coincide with the original from last night … and that is when you fall.
In 2020 gerlach en koop displayed works by other artists in an exhibition at the edge of sleep at the GAK, Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst in Bremen, Germany. Over the course of this coming year a faltered re-staging of this unusual solo-exhibition will unfold in the space of Rib. One work at a time. A full re-staging will follow, later on, in a somewhat larger space. Not all works exhibited in Bremen will be re-staged however, and the ones that are will be changed by the very act of re-staging. For this first one—En om drie uur? Dan slaap ik.—gerlach en koop decided to retrace their steps and invite an artist to discuss a work that had been present in their thinking about sleep from the beginning, a work that was absent in Bremen.
Untitled 2020/2022/2024 by Tomo Savić-Gecan is one of three spatial interventions, functional walls initially built for an exhibition at MSU in Zagreb in 2020. This particular wall was reconstructed in Galženica Gallery, Velika Gorica in 2022, and will now be reconstructed once again in Rotterdam. The wall is straight and white and taller than wide. You can imagine this wall for art or thoughts about art. You stop in front of it, standing still. Other walls exist, sure enough, walls you walk along or past, thinking about the art you’ve just seen or are about to.
In a recent phone call, Ivory made it clear that the female figure in her paintings does not represent her. She rather identifies with the monster. The female figure in her paintings mostly interacts with a skeleton, a classical symbol of death, and a dark fluffy monster figure. In a painting titled Upper Hand, she is slapping death on his meatless buttocks with his own detached radius while the monster is watching from afar, and elsewhere death is returning her the same favour in a painting titled Cross Bone Style. Here we see death sitting cross-legged (boned) on a rock, slapping her on her buttocks, while the now tiny slightly shapeshifted monster is watching them passively from close by.
Roles and scales interchange as well as the framing of events. The same scene is sometimes painted twice. Revealing only in a later version an overview of the entire role distribution of all the reoccurring figures, including possible absentees. When paying close attention and reading for an extended period, as I did, the paintings seem to enter your soul and then your dreams. We like these works and think they are not so different from how we stage, direct, and are directed in our playing field. We didn’t even mention the animal figures in her paintings, which remind one of the following quote:
For when the animal being supporting him dies, the human being himself ceases to be. In order for mankind to reveal itself ultimately to itself, it would have to die, but it would have to do it while living—watching itself ceasing to be. In other words, death itself would have to become (self-)consciousness at the very moment that it annihilates the conscious being.
—Georges Bataille, Hegel, la mort et le sacrifice, 1955
* Title of a painting by Lisa Ivory