Why Take a Chance with Anyone Else at basis

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Artists: James Gregory Atkinson & Helen Demisch, Kitsum Cheng, Edith Deyerling, Jessie Holmes, Hannah Regenberg, Amy Yao

Exhibition title: Why take a chance with anyone else

Curated by: Sebastian Schneider

Venue: basis, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Date: January 29, 2016 – February 14, 2016

Photography: Nina Pieroth, images copyright and courtesy the artists and basis, Frankfurt am Main

The exhibition Why Take a Chance with Anyone Else draws its title from a real estate company’s advertisement in the Los Angeles Times and presents the position of six artists whose works express an internal view on the world they are embedded in. Living in cities like Los Angeles, Glasgow or Frankfurt many of the participating artists are responsive to complex systems like language, architecture or social phenomena which structure our everyday coexistence.

Thus, language in public space becomes the source material for the work of Hannah Regenberg. Nicht ja, nicht nein, auch nicht vielleicht (2011) features all letters of the alphabet and introduces the building blocks of the artist’s graphic and sculptural work. Regenberg is interested in the tensions emerging from messages of texts and those of their typographical constitution. Kitsum Cheng, whose sculpture developed out of the artist’s contestation of the gallery space, seizes on architectural forms and modes of commodity presentation. However the film Pregnito (2015) by James Gregory Atkinson & Helen Demisch drafts an alternate cartography of New York City’s urban space. Amy Yao extends an examination of the urban into the realm of the social. Her multi-part work series Silent Sneeze (2014) results out of her investigation into historic Asian cultures and the cultural technique of masquerade. There, objects like fans enable a role-play which suspends – at least temporally – categories like class and gender. Yao applies the fan as an object and merges it with text and image fragments suggesting the visual lingua franca of our contemporary time.

The writings of Jessie Holmes scan carefully through seemingly random things and situations the artist has experienced. In the performative act of speech, Holmes re-translates her subjective observations back into the world.

Young artists who can’t rely on secure income structures are exceedingly challenged to legitimize their (seemingly) libertarian lifestyles. The various accesses of the participating artists to structural, architectural or social otherness, marks a self-assertion which proves their existence in the world. Thus, on a meta-level, the exhibition challenges the notion of the role of the subject in a society shaped by wage labor and a continuously growing economic constraints.

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Amy Yao, Silent Sneeze I, no. 4, (Sublet / Live Work), 2014, Silent Sneeze I, no. 16, (bubbles), 2014

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Kitsum Cheng, Volume #2, 2016

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Kitsum Cheng, Volume #2, 2016

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Kitsum Cheng, Volume #2, 2016

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Kitsum Cheng, Volume #2, 2016

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Kitsum Cheng, Volume #2, 2016

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Hannah Regenberg, Jeder Teil, 2013

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Hannah Regenberg, Jeder Teil, 2013

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Hannah Regenberg, Jeder Teil, 2013

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James Gregory Atkinson & Helen Demisch, ohne Titel, 2016

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James Gregory Atkinson & Helen Demisch, ohne Titel, 2016

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James Gregory Atkinson & Helen Demisch, ohne Titel, 2016

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James Gregory Atkinson & Helen Demisch, Pregnito, 2015

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James Gregory Atkinson & Helen Demisch, Pregnito, 2015

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James Gregory Atkinson & Helen Demisch, Pregnito, 2015

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Edith Deyerling, Passion, 2011

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Edith Deyerling, Hundeblick, 2014

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Hannah Regenberg, Nicht ja, nicht nein, auch nicht vielleicht, 2011

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Hannah Regenberg, Nicht ja, nicht nein, auch nicht vielleicht, 2011

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