Transparency has been one of the organising principles of the Modern era which boasted of illuminating the opaque and rendering the world visible under the aegis of reason. Likewise, in the realm of visual arts, the concept of transparency has long been revered as an integral tool; through transparency artists can render zones of opacity into sensible, perceivable and mobile forms.
The inseparability of the terms glass and transparency is undeniable. Glass, due to its sheer possibility is increasingly utilised to provide insights into society’s economic and political processes as well as to gain access to our private spheres. Congruently, the fundamental properties of glass such as its transparency, fragility, sharpness or even beauty can be utilised in conceptual art to incorporate into artworks an extra variety or to further develop its contextual concept. The exhibition 'State of Transparency' investigates both the literal/conditional and the metaphorical qualities of the word and will attempt to find visual consonance between the two.
Participating artists will deal with the paradigm of transparency and the material efficacies of glass as a medium. They will examine the consequences of developing a practice rooted in the medium of glass and questing the key attributes of the material without necessarily using it. Significant points of investigation include questions such as How can a material transparency be approached outside of the use of glass or transparent media? How does a material support or carry the idea of the context to help to its understanding? Does glass offer satisfying means for conveying information beyond transparency. This exhibition will investigate those essential properties of glass which harness the potential of revealing and concealing, and the handling of knowledge and ignorance within our society. Just as artist Laszlo Moholy Nagy said ‘The very point of transparency is not to fix the gaze, but on the contrary to set vision into motion’ so too does this exhibition open zones of contemplation where glass refracts, mirrors, reflects and offers its viewers an alternative understanding of transparency in our era.Selected artists
Maria Barnas, Gwenneth Boelens, Ruta Butkute, Forensic Architecture, Mio Fujimaki, Jason Hendrik Hansma, Saskia Noor van Imhoff, David Jablonowski, Katrin Korfmann, Navid Nuur, Fahrettin Örenli, Jens Pfeifer, Laura Puska, Thomas Rentmeister, Judith Roux, Mirre Yayla Seur and Beny Wagner.
Considerations on the topic continue in the form of a symposium organised simultaneously at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie. Invited guests will reinforce the experience of the transparency within the exhibition and elaborate on its ambiguity, emphasizing particularly on educational and cultural manifestation of the term as well as discuss personal artistic practices in relation to the phenomenon of transparency.
Gerrit Rietveld Academie, May 24 - 25 2019 see for more information: www.50yearsrietveldglass.com
The exhibition is curated by Jens Pfeifer, Head of the Large Glass Department at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie.
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