Magic Love Trade Objects
groupshow curated by Jan Verwoert
Gitte Villesen, Michael Stevenson, Kirsten Pieroth, Bernd Krauss, Rachel Koolen, Arvo Leo, Linda Quinlan, Sarah Forrest, Julieta Aranda, Anton Vidokle, Danai Anesiadou.
Where magic is performed, objects change hands. They are traded as tokens for the magical bond forged between us and the spirit world: charms, amulets or fetishes. In accordance with the given lore, they serve a function (to protect or bewitch). But there is much more to them. They are very particular things, crafted with much love and attention to detail. In fact, the sheer specificity of their material features often enough cannot fully be explained in terms of symbolic function or meaning only; they are quite simply very very peculiar things.
It's a quality that artworks too can have: made and traded to charm, some works nonetheless retain that strange singularity, materially and intellectually: No matter how hard you try, there is something about them that resists interpretation, not because they were autonomous—no, they're still artefacts to be loved and traded—but because, to some extent, they remain impenetrably singular.
If you listen carefully, you might hear surrealism's unruly laughter resonating around these works. That laughter raises questions: What if these works were tokens for social bonds to be forged? Bonds as peculiar as the works themselves? In defiance of lore, decorum and protocol, what other relations, magical and otherwise, could be brought into being through sharing these strange things?