de Appel, Nieuwe Spiegelstraat 10, Amsterdam

‘Idealism, according to curator Theo Tegelaers, has turned into an empty concept which is better to avoid, even in art, unless tempered by irony. However, subjecting outmoded ideals to new artistic scrutiny makes it possible to judge how much they are still applicable to modern society. This is all the more relevant now that political and social relations have become matters of intense concern owing to recent events and developments on the world stage. Art offers a space for reflection and for a dialogue with reality. The artists invited to take part in this exhibition make work that deals with the potential of art to open up new channels. Tegelaers intends this exhibition to shed light on the artistic-idealistic considerations underlying the work of artists active in contemporary art. Much of Lara Almarcegui’s work transpires in public space. She addresses architects and city planners with a statement that draws attention to demolition buildings, wastelands and unregulated structures. The artist’s main aims are to expose the potential of what is already present and to seek connections with how people experience and take advantage of their own environment. For ‘Idealism’, Almarcegui is restoring a neglected wooden summer-house which will function as an open-air café for gardeners on the ‘Van Houten’ allotments in Weesp, near Amsterdam. The work of Dafna Moscati challenges us to explore our individual longings and creativity. Her call for people to send in ‘crazy ideas’ spurs the imagination to its limits. All the ideas submitted will be collected and exhibited at De Appel. By appointing a jury, Moscati also introduces a competitive element into her project. The intended outcome of the jury discussion on Sunday 27 July, which will explore the borders of the private and the public, and of the desired and the desirable, is the selection and realization of the most extreme ‘crazy idea’ of all. [...] The essence of William Speakman’s work is the communication of intense individual experiences. The artist hopes that his craft-made work will disengage the viewer momentarily from time and place. He relies on the aesthetic power of his objects to achieve this. By detaching and isolating the image from its context, he enhances the possibility of experiencing and identifying with it. The physical and sensory aspects of Speakman’s work form an intriguing contrast with the display of Almarcegui, which will consists chiefly of an archive of structures. Parasite Films is a collective which makes films with a critical outlook on contemporary social and political themes. In 04.11.02, Sagi Groner follows three friends in Israel who visit the site of a suicide bomb attack that has taken place earlier in the day. Sami Kallinen’s video The Juggler portrays a street artist whose act takes place daily on a street corner. This man’s story gives us some insight into his motives and into why he has chosen this activity out of all life’s other options.’ (Press release De Appel) Catalogue: Lara Almarcegui. Demolitions, wastelands, allotment gardens, 2003. Etablissement d'en face projets, Brussels / Le Grand Cafe, Saint-Nazaire. Text: Lara Almarcegui, Ramon Tió Bellidó. French, English & Dutch. Soft cover, b-w. Design: Claudia de Backer. ISNB 90 77299 01 7. € 16,-

Dafna Moscati – Craziest Thoughts

affiche, 2003