Critics’ Picks

Manon de Boer, Maud Capturing the Light ‘On a Clear Day,’ 2015, 16-mm film, color, silent, 2 minutes 20 seconds.


Manon de Boer, Joachim Koester, and Ian Wilson

Jan Mot
Petit Sablon / Kleine Zavel 10
June 10–July 25, 2015

More than one thread links the works in this sophisticated group show, which considers revisitation as a form of creation and reflection on art as an art form. Seven sheets of paper from Ian Wilson attest to six discussions he had with Daniel Buren in Paris between 1970 and 1980, and include a title page signed by both artists. Joachim Koester revisits Hans Haacke’s most famous (and controversial) work thirty-five years later for Histories. Hans Haacke, Shapolsky et al. Manhattan Real Estate Holdings, a Real-Time Social System, as of May 1, 1971. 312 East 3rd Street, Manhattan, New York, 1971, 2005. In Passaic Seems Full of Holes, 2012, Koester concentrates, almost like a detective, on a New Jersey newspaper that came out the same day that Robert Smithson made his celebrated tour of “The Monuments of Passaic.” The subject of Maud Capturing the Light ‘On a Clear Day,’ 2015, Manon de Boer’s short, exquisite 16-mm film, is a print by Agnes Martin—de Boer asked the collector who owns the work to film it.

Besides a set of conceptual preoccupations, what these works share is an intense sense of time: time that has passed or that is passing. This is the stated or implicit subject of the works of the two younger artists, in their thoughtful contemplation of the decades that separate old and new Conceptual photography (Koester) or of a present that dissipates like sunlight on the glass that covers a print (de Boer). Given the context, even Wilson’s laconic documents seem like permanently sealed time capsules, the content of which (attested to in the conversations) cannot be known by anyone.

Translated from Italian by Marguerite Shore.