Nobody Can tell the Why of It
27/05 – 14/08/2011
Preview: Friday 27/05 19:00
New works by: Nicholas Byrne, Timothy Furey, Ken Okiishi, Nick Mauss, Josef Strau
Curated by Esperanza Rosales
The weather had turned so much worse that the rest of the day was certainly lost. The wind had risen and the storm gathered force; they gave from time to time a thump at the firm windows and dashed even against those protected by the verandah their vicious splotches of rain. Beyond the lawn, beyond the cliff, the great wet brush of the sky dipped deep into the sea. But the lawn, already vivid with the touch of May, showed a violence of watered green; the budding shrubs and trees repeated the note as they tossed their thick masses, and the cold troubled light, filling the pretty saloon, marked the spring afternoon as sufficiently young.
Those seated there in silence could pursue without difficulty – as well as, clearly, without interruption – their respective tasks; a confidence expressed, when the noise of the wind allowed it to be heard, by the sharp scratch of a pen at the table, busy with letters.
The visitors, settled onto a small set of stairs that, with a palm-tree, a screen, a stool, a lamp, a stand, a bowl of flowers and three photographs in silver frames, had been arranged near the light wood-fire as a choice "corner" – the guests turned audibly, though at intervals neither brief nor regular, the leaves of books covered in lemon-coloured paper and not yet despoiled of a certain fresh crispness. The effect of these volumes, for the eye, would have made them, as presumably the newest French novels – and evidently, from the attitude of the readers, "good" – consort happily with the special tone of the room, a consistent air of selection and suppression, one of the finer aesthetic evolutions. If the writer was fond of ancient French furniture and distinctly difficult about it, her inmates could be fond – with whatever critical cocks of charming dark-braided heads over slender sloping shoulders – of modern French authors. Nothing bad passed for half an hour – nothing at least, to be exact, but that each of the companions occasionally and covertly intermitted their pursuits in such a manner as to ascertain the degree of absorption of the other without turning round. What their silence was charged with therefore was not only a sense of the weather, but a sense, so to speak, of its own nature.
Henry James, "The Story of It", with small insertions by Esperanza Rosales
'Nobody Can Tell the Why of it' takes its name from an inflated and slightly exaggerated as well as archaic idiomatic translation of the title to an engraving by Francisco Goya.
The exhibition is a means of engaging threads of mysticism in five contemporary practices and invites the artists involved to produce new work in a former lumberyard in the center of Oslo. Linking mysticism to certain forms of male hysteria, it brings works spanning the fields of drawing, painting, writing, video and sculpture, together in a non-exegetical fashion.
Furthermore, it examines the paradox that exists at the site of communion between individual practitioners and collective efforts.
About the artists:
Nicholas Byrne (b. 1979, England) lives and works in London. Recent exhibitions include 'Faces' with Nora Schultz at dépendance gallery, Brussels, 'A Catholic Episode' and the two-person exhibition 'Seven Metals Seven Planets Seven Days of the Week,' (with Michaela Eichwald), at Vilma Gold, London, as well as 'The Divider' at Studio Voltaire, London. Nick has been in numerous group exhibitions including The Island: Radio IPS, International Project Space, Birmingham and 'Calypsos', with Anthea Hamilton, Studio Voltaire, London and 'Tales Of Song,' Marc Foxx Gallery, LA.
Timothy Furey (b. 1981, Ireland) is an artist living in Frankfurt. His work has been exhibited in group shows at Galerie Parisa Kind, Frankfurt, 'Terminal Convention,' Cork city, with The Black Mariah, in Cork, Ireland, and 1857, Oslo. Recent performances include: 'Amateur Night' at the Guesthouse,Cork. Furey co-founded the publication Karnival, and was its editor from 2005 – 2008. He studied briefly at The Cooper Union in New York and is currently completing studies at the Städelschule in Frankfurt.
Nick Mauss (b. 1980, United States) lives and works in New York and Berlin. Recent exhibitions include "Adequate" with Michaela Eichwald and David Lieske at Sommer Contemporary, Tel Aviv, "Bloodlfames III" at Alex Zachary, New York, and solo exhibitions at Galerie Neu, Berlin and 303 Gallery, New York; and currently on view, "Disorder" at FRAC Champagne-Ardenne. Mauss' writing has appeared in Artforum and Mousse.
Ken Okiishi (b. 1978, United States) lives and works in New York and Berlin. He has had solo exhibitions at MD 72, Berlin and Alex Zachary, New York, and has done solo performance work at Evas Arche und der Feminist, New York and the Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin. His work has been presented in group exhibitions at the ICA Philadelphia,the Camden Arts Centre, London, and Balice Hertling, Paris His collaborative work with Nick Mauss has been exhibited in group exhibitions at American Fine Arts, New York; Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw; Artists Space, New York; Broadway 1602, New York; MD 72, Berlin; La Mama ETC, New York; Halle für Kunst, Lüneburg, Germany; Ludlow 38, New York, and in solo exhibitions at Gavin Brown`s Enterprise and the Künstlerhaus Stuttgart.
Josef Strau (b. 1957, Austria) lives in New York. His writing and texts have appeared in various catalogues and magazines, such as May Revue, Texte zur Kunst and others. His work has been the focus of numerous solo exhibitions at international venues including Galerie Daniel Buchholz, Berlin, dépendance, Brussels, House of Gaga, Mexico, Konsthall Malmö, Docking Station at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam and Greene Naftali Gallery, New York. In 1990 he founded the legendary exhibition space Friesenwall 120 together with Stephan Dillemuth in Cologne. Friesenwall 120 was operational until 1994, after which he independently organized Galerie Meerrettich in the Glasspavilion of the Volksbühne, Berlin from 2002 until 2006.
About the curator:
Esperanza Rosales (b. 1980, United States) is a writer from New York living in New York and Brussels. Since 2009, Rosales has been the Director of dépendance gallery in Brussels where she has organized exhibitions of new work by Josef Strau, Linder, Nicholas Byrne & Nora Schultz, as well as the group exhibition 'Novel.' Her writing has appeared in numerous publications including frieze, Hunter & Cook, and Mousse magazine, as well as 'Rotterdam Dialogues: The Critics, The Curators, The Artists,’ a publication by Witte de With, as well as F.R. David’s ‘With Love’ Issue (Amsterdam: De Appel: July 2010.)
Performance on the opening by Labanna Bly organised in collaboration with Ny Musikk
The exhibition is supported by Arts Council Norway