The Last Terminal: Reflections on the Coming Apocalypse (Part 3 — The Phantasy) at Rib

Contributors: Marije de Wit, Shahin Afrassiabi, Eleonore Pano-Zavaroni, Mathew Kneebone, Kianoosh Motallebi, Bo Stokkermans & Jack Segbars, Albert Lamorisse, Olivier Goethals

Exhibition title: The Last Terminal: Reflections on the Coming Apocalypse (Part 3 — The Phantasy)

Curated by: Maziar Afrassiabi

Venue: Rib, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Date: 26 March – 28 May 2022

Photography: Lotte Stekelenburg / all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Rib, Rotterdam

When people gather around an object that makes them interdependent, what would that object be if potentially their connection to it is established through their non-aligned fantasies about it? In the meantime, although still not used to the blackouts here, we see them now as part of our productive life. We once conducted a candle-lit job interview, and during one of our dark opening hours visitors indicated that they would like to come back to see the show when the power is back. Whether the show is on or off one always misses something. Nature is often disguised in the operational part of art production, presentation, and communication. But how meaningless our artistic operations would be if not animated by phantasmagoria.

Kianoosh Motallebi’s paraffin sculpture From a Marvellous Faucet is growing out of its bounds.

Marianna Maruyama wrote a beautiful article on Part 1 – Survival of the Fittest: the big toe of little big man, published by Nero Editions, titled The Body, The Plane, The Camera creating yet another image of the program. Reinier Vrancken wrote a creative follow-up text, titled Trans What? Pondians! on Part 2 – Natural Selection, also published by Nero Editions.

Marije de Wit displaces her photographic work Damage Control in the space and has removed the light sculpture This Means That Much. She follows up on the reader Former Epiphanies, Impressive Moments containing quotes which reflects the conversations on art, its politics and its relation to (end)durance, that went into making the program. Opening up our mezzanine, in Once a reader, visitors can read the essays, poems, and chapters that the quotes were taken from. Visitors get glimpses of the work of Anne Boyer, Don Mee Choi, Moyra Davey, Joy Harjo, Lyn Hejinian, Chris Kraus, Marianne Morris, Fred Moten, Alice Notley, and Juliana Spahr. A photo that features a quote by Anne Boyer is made into wallpaper and serves as a backdrop. The furniture is designed by Olivier Goethals and manufactured by Louis XvX.

Eleonore Pano-Zavaroni comes back with some of the artists she invited for Afspraak Future, to reactivate the work and her platform with After Life with Friends – by Fabrice Croux, Ash Kilmartin, Fabien Renneteau, Coralie Guillaubez, Romain Bobichon, Akim Pasquet, Eléonore Pano-Zavaroni & friends – with jingles set up especially in honor of The Upcoming Apocalypse and the end of Life. Celebrating Afspraak Future!

Mathew Kneebone introduces two drawings from his ongoing collection of cultural artifacts, courtesy of James and Jim Yu. On 24 October 2021, a large-scale power outage afflicted the Bay Area, triggered by a powerful storm that swept across Northern California. The storm arose from a seasonal shift occurring during the autumn months when intense barometric pressure can suddenly drop. With this fall in pressure, the immense moisture that drifts in the air from warm tropical waters across the Californian coast-described as an “atmospheric river”—is dumped onto the state, resulting in flooding accompanied by gale force winds. In this case, power was lost when tree branches broke away, severing overhead power lines. During the event, residents turned to social media to share their experience through videos and images. Among these were two drawings by James Yu (4 years-old), posted by his father Jim, inspired by a sparking electrical wire that James saw fall to the ground during heavy rainfall. He then drew an emergency PG&E (Pacific Gas & Electric) truck to go and mend it.

In Part 2 – Natural Selection we have replaced two paintings by Shahin Afrassiabi. For the last two decades Afrassiabi‘s output has taken many forms yet always in a relation to painting‘s various genres. The new paintings seem to be portraits, still-lifes and landscapes simultaneously and in different registers. He says of his work: “I am mostly motivated by what I don’t see.”

Work and Shadow-work, whispering vs speaking is a collaboration between Jack Segbars and Bo Stokkermans, connected to Rib‘s program. Their aim is to probe the possibility of artistic work within the present conditions. This question is approached via the life and art binary, which is the historic form of art in our time. They ask, if we understand art as that activity that aims to reflect on the conditions of life in which art is made, how is such a conception possible in the condition of full subsumption of life and art in neoliberal capitalism?

Both artists have taken—each differently—their own practices as case to examine this question, mobilizing the figure of the artist and artistic work within present-day production. For Stokkermans, this question is currently framed via the notion of (self)care: how can we understand, synthesize and radicalize art and life as a notion of caring work? For Segbars the focus lies on the institutional formation of art and the need to include a broader notion of authorship within the system of art. For both how the object of art functions and is produced within the field of art, is a critical focal problem.

This includes the underlying problem of the subject-object relation (and subsequent division of labor) that keeps the exceptional economy of art and the exceptionality of the artist figure in place. These issues are investigated by a continuation of the conversation between Stokkermans and Segbars which takes the dialogical encounter between the two practices as a regenerative model.

Within this model Rib functions as a nodal hub where this conversation is performed publicly, hereby questioning this idea of productivity within the current conditions. For Part 3: The Phantasy, Stokkermans and Segbars replace for the first time in the program The Lover‘s Wind the film by Albert Lamorisse with their own film documenting the moment after emptying the house of Stokkermans mother who recently passed away during a conscious decision to end her life. This film is juxtaposed with the postscript to Lamorisse‘s untitled film, the making of which lead to his death.

Overview, Olivier Goethals, Shahin Afrassiabi, Mathew Kneebone, Eleanore Pano-Zavaroni, Marije de Wit, Kianoosh Motallebi, Jack Segbars and Bo-Stokkermans, Albert Lamorisse

Overview, Olivier Goethals, Jack Segbars and Bo-Stokkermans, Albert Lamorisse

Overview, Olivier Goethals, Shahin Afrassiabi

Olivier Goethals, Spatial Interventions, 2021

Olivier Goethals, Spatial Interventions, 2021

Olivier Goethals, Spatial Interventions, 2021

Mathew Kneebone, drawings from his ongoing collection of cultural artifacts, courtesy of James and Jim Yu, 2021

Eleanore Pano-Zavaroni, Afspraak Future, 2021

Eleanore Pano-Zavaroni, Afspraak Future, 2021

Eleanore Pano-Zavaroni, Afspraak Future, 2021

Shahin Afrassiabi, Three Yellow Orbs, 2019

Shahin Afrassiabi, Upon approaching an insect, 2021

Shahin Afrassiabi, Mirror, 2019

Shahin Afrassiabi, Luz Aberrante, 2020

Shahin Afrassiabi, Balzac, 2020

Shahin Afrassiabi, Head of a young man, oil on plaster 2021

Marije de Wit, Damage Control, 2022

Marije de Wit, Once a Reader, 2022

Marije de Wit, Former Epiphanies, Impressive Moments, 2022

Overview Jack Segbars & Bo Stokkermans, Work and Shadow-work, whispering vs. Speaking, 2022, Albert Lamorisse, Title Unknown (Postscript to Baadeh Sabah), 1970/1978

Original Risk Game: La Conqûete du Monde, design by Albert Lamorisse, 1956

Kianoosh Motallebi, From a Marvellous Faucet, 2022

Overview, Kianoosh Motallebi, Shahin Afrassiabi, Marije de Wit, Olivier Goethals