Percussive Hunter at Akbank Sanat


Artists: A Kassen, Juliette Bonneviot, Nina Canell, Nicolas Deshayes, Kevin Gallagher, Paul Geelen, Camille Henrot, Carlos Irijalba, Rachel de Joode, Fran Meana, Alexandra Navratil, Katja Novitskova, Angela de Weijer, Müge Yilmaz

Exhibition title:  Percussive Hunter

Curated by: Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

Venue: Akbank Sanat, Istanbul, Turkey

Date:  March 11 – May  16, 2015

Photography:  images courtesy of the artists and Akbank Sanat, Istanbul, Turkey

A group exhibition with A Kassen, Juliette Bonneviot, Nina Canell, Nicolas Deshayes, Kevin Gallagher, Paul Geelen, Camille Henrot, Carlos Irijalba, Rachel de Joode, Fran Meana, Alexandra Navratil, Katja Novitskova, Angela de Weijer, Müge Yilmaz, curated by Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk.

Percussive Hunter is the outcome of the Akbank Sanat International Curator Competition 2014.

Percussive Hunter is a group exhibition dedicated to the examination of processes of mattering and sonic resonance contained by, and inherent to material substances. Especially considering the depth of the material contingencies between the inorganic and organic, the human and nonhuman registers of the Earth that have recently gained urgency in artistic practice, among other fields of enquiry. Here, the artistic process of perception-making through mattering is employed to move away from the surface of our contemporary society, through different material strata, sonic and spatiotemporal reverberations, to foreground specific instances of material agency beyond the immediately perceptible. The exhibition title is derived from a certain type of animal that sources its nutrition by means of scanning and tapping surfaces – here one could think of the Woodpecker and the Aye Aye. Thus, although employed metaphorically, the exhibition entails to reach out and seek for those undercurrents, both material and immaterial, audible and inaudible, scopic and non-scopic, that allow artists to reinvent fundamental metaphors and models for relating to our present day reality, beyond surface effects and towards a more deep understanding of how matter functions and resonates within the different natures of the material world.

Is the material surface where the limit of the object resides, or should we equally account for those relations established between the object in and by itself, its differing workings, and the other objects and entities in its proximity? The object thus being extended beyond its physical and material contours, by means of a web of interrelations and linkages with other material presences. A common ground between the works in the exhibition is an enquiry into the much contested idea of human access to objects and their material states through and by means of overmining and undermining, as outlined by Graham Harman in The Quadruple Object (2011). In short, undermining by claiming that the object’s action happens at a deeper level, or overmining by saying that objects are falsely deep, and that the real is not established by individual objects, but processes, events, dynamism, and surface-effects. The works in the exhibition outbalance these two positions by examining the interplay between those undercurrents that reside beneath, and those actions and effects that spring from the surface, both by laying bare and instigating processes of mattering and enhancing acts of sonic resonance.

However, the question remains to what extent we – as humans – are enabled and supposed to extrapolate the symbolic matter – the ideas, concepts and historical narratives – that is so often considered and made intrinsic to art objects, without necessarily overestimating and exhausting the art object and its state of being as a material entity? In other words still, we might as well acknowledge that the artistic act of making objects, as a form of energy exchange, can only ever be an approximation and never really an embodiment of the object and its materiality. An object in and by itself that is sidestepped by further conceptualisation and projected contents, then re-approached, time and again, by acts of hermeneutic phenomenology, deconstruction and weak thought. In short, the art object as a site of conflicting material and cognitive agenda’s, capable of producing affects, pretenses and leaps.

Ultimately, the exhibition Percussive Hunter could best be framed as an ecology, or as an exhibition that puts forward a climate of vibrant matter and lively intensities, one in which acts of artistic differentiation investigate the varying natures of the material world. In that, the exhibition is tacitly posited against the backdrop of capitalism’s imperative of linear growth and materialistic accumulation, radically standing at odds with ecology’s notion of interdependence and scarcity. In that, the exhibition seeks to introduce and exemplify a number of objects, concepts and phenomena by means of different clusters, pivoting between those fields of enquiry including Dark Ecology and the Anthropocene, Objected Oriented Ontology and Posthumanism. Fields of study and interrogation that inform a fundamental discussion of how matter functions beyond mere ownership and human application, aiming towards a heightened sensitivity towards other, non-human states of material being and the affects they put forward. In so doing, the ultimate landmark might perhaps consist of the idea that an ecology is not only a support structure, but an assembler, one that links the living and the inert while being both, that serves as a basis to explicate the social and the material, beyond the realm of the formal, and that leads us humans back to being animals…




Carlos Irijalba, Bi83, 2014



Nina Canell, Another Ode to Outer Ends, 2010


Paul Geelen, 5th Wall, 2014


Nina Canell, (Near Here), 2014


Camille Henrot, Grosse Fatigue, 2013


A Kassen, The colour of things (Cactus), 2013


A Kassen, The colour of things (Cactus), 2013 (detail)



Katja Novitskova, Approximation XV, 2014


Rachel de Joode, Sculpted Human Skin In Rock (II), 2014





Angela de Weijer, ∞ 3: Earwitness Objects, 2014


Juliette Bonneviot, Minimal Jeune Fille Stategy Board #1, Minimal Jeune Fille Stategy Board #2, Minimal Jeune Fille Stategy Board #3, 2013



Nicolas Deshayes, Squid Jam, 2014


Müge Yilmaz, Continental Island (A New Élan Vital), 2013