Critics’ Picks

Installation view, 2006.

London

“Open-Ended”

Thomas Dane Gallery
3 & 11 Duke Street, St James's
December 8–January 28

This group exhibition brings together three artists whose Conceptual practices are marked by ephemeral gestures enacted upon everyday objects and by interventions into overly familiar situations. Pierre Bismuth’s Newspaper: Heavenly Harmony. The Irish Times, Thursday 12 August 1999 consists of two identical images coupled on the front page of a newspaper. On the other hand, Gabriel Kuri uses newspapers to wrap avocados placed in a bowl (The Recurrence of the Sublime, 2003) or as boards on which to stick products’ price labels. A closer inspection of the former work reveals that Kuri’s newspaper is from July 21, 1969, the date of the first moon landing. Such quiet revelations confidently outline how information can be displaced or recontextualized. A few meters away, a small, dirty cube of white plaster deliberately rests on the threshold between two spaces. Michel François’s Open-Ended, 1990–2005, is just that, an “open-ended” statement about the reasons for its presence—as a physical object and as an obstacle. Indeed, presence is a persistent theme of this exhibition. Viewers are invited to register theirs by writing on François’s Waiting List, 1997–2001, which is placed across from its opposite: A “complete” version of the same work—delirious graffiti made collectively. The piece straddles the border between artwork and residuum, which can also be said of Kuri’s Superama II, 2005 the remains of a transaction (a supermarket receipt) presented as a giant woven tapestry.