Overlaps of World as Lover, World as Self 

Chapter 2 by Harm van den Dorpel & Chapter 3 by Geo Wyeth

Photo Courtesy of Shimmer, 2021.

 

Inspired by environmental activist and Buddhist philosopher Joanna Macy, WORLD AS LOVER, WORLD AS SELF turns to contemporary art to help us “relinquish our separateness” and take account of the “residue” of the world that we think we know. Our program does this through the concept of ‘defamiliarisation’ as a means to “turn the familiar strange” to redefine the Self and our subsequent community. Defamiliarisation, or aesthetic distance, is a literary and artistic technique coined by Russian formalists during the 1918 flu pandemic. According to the formalists, the method uses language in a way that ordinary objects are made to be reconsidered, that what is in front of us might surpass our assumptive narratives. It is a process of transformation through language to change perception. It is urgent. How can bodies, technologies and modes be taken outside of predefined cultural presumptions to de-categorise? To shapeshift, to morph, to glimmer, to shimmer. 

 

 

In this program, we estrange not to create ‘other’ but to rethink the community radically, to engage with the World as Lover and as Self. Over more than a year, Shimmer has curated exhibition chapters by artist Magali Reus, Harm van den Dorpel, Ellen Gallagher, and Dora Economou, which fade in and out of each other. We see the chapters crossing over as similar to the crossfade in film or music as a format. The artworks will intermingle, creating entangled relationships and networks of associations

 

 

On 4 June Chapter 3: In Need of Memory Bank by Geo Wyeth fully arrived at Shimmer. Wyeth goes into the walls and down into the pipes of the building, creating a dense and atmospheric environment for Muck Studies Dept. by layering sculpture, sound, drawings and performance. Wyeth’s works are a synthesis that thickens, expands, and queers the very space of sound itself. The exhibition space is painted in muddiness with two watercolour drawings installed handily to indicate where we have been and will go. Stars that stink, shine on the plan and on the ground. In Need of Memory Bank is connected to Wyeth’s Muck Studies Dept, a city agent of low-lying water areas. He is “looking for stars out of what stinks” that is made of mud, water, metal, gas, ass, rocks, coins, extractive industry, deep coloniality, and sensual expression of belonging to these heavy and vast treatments of the world. As a department, Muck Studies is a constellational body employing inherited diasporic/American funk and folk poetics, and techniques of investigative journalism. With Wyeth, we will find, that the process of world-making is more complicated than writing parameters of “simple” codes.

 

 

Coming in and out of the city and the port is a complicated, messy mucky muddy form of creating identity. Initially starting with Juice Helmet (2016) as both headgear and installation, the exhibition begun to drip, drop and dwell in the pipes of the building, seeping into the groundwater. An audio work can be heard from the walls, taking us back outside where a radio transmission meets us, intervening and diverting our attention to the water, to the muck. A transmission mingles with the port of authority airwaves, with the right frequency we can tune in. On certain days, weather permitting, Juice Helmet will be worn by Wyeth and we will gather and move through the port for a performance of poetry and music. In Need of Memory Bank by Geo Wyeth is the third chapter in World as Lover, World as Self which is inspired by environmental activist, and Buddhist philosopher Joanna Macy. World As Lover World As Self turns to contemporary art to help us to “relinquish our separateness” and take account of the “residue” of the world that we think we know. Our exhibition does this through the concept of ‘defamiliarization’ as a means to “turn the familiar strange” to redefine the self and our subsequent community. Defamiliarization is an influence in Wyeth’s work, evident in the artist’s growing array of avatars and characters to step with oneself, outwards, and into the world.

 

 

GEO WYETH has shown work at the New Museum, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, MoMA PS1 (Greater New York 2016), Dutch National Opera, Triangle France, Anthology Film Archives, The Kitchen, TENT (Rotterdam), Arsenic (CH), Biquini Wax (CDMX), LA MoCA, New York Live Arts, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Boston ICA, La MaMa Theatre, Human Resources, The Pyramid Club, Joe’s Pub, and many others. The artist has composed music for the narrative shorts Happy Birthday Marsha!, Atlantic is a Sea of Bones, Salacia, and The Personal Things (all directed by Tourmaline), as well as numerous videos of other contemporary artists. Wyeth was in residence at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten for the years 2015-2016 in Amsterdam, and currently teach at the Dutch Art Institute (DAI) and the Willem de Kooning Akademie where the artist focuses on embodied tactics of performance, storytelling, and remembering. Wyeth was funded by the Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst in 2017, and the Mondriaan Fonds for research on jazz history, extractive industry, and swamp studies in New Orleans in 2019 through the Deltaworkers Residency. Wyeth is currently in residence at the Textiel Museum (Tilburg, NL). Wyeth was nominated for the Dolf Henkes Art Prize (2021). They live and work in Rotterdam, NL next to the Maas River.

Chapter 3: In Need of Memory Bank by Geo Wyeth

Image courtesy of the artist and Shimmer. Photo by Jhoeko

Chapter 3: In need of Memory Bank by Geo Wyeth

Juice Helmet, 2016 Baby ghost fabric, plastic figurines, Homies, ribbon, balloons, wire, light, head- fitting. Dimensions variable.  Image courtesy of the artist and Shimmer. Photo by Jhoeko

 

Chapter 3: In need of Memory Bank by Geo Wyeth

Juice Helmet, 2016 Baby ghost fabric, plastic figurines, Homies, ribbon, balloons, wire, light, head- fitting. Dimensions variable.  Image courtesy of the artist and Shimmer. Photo by Jhoeko

Chapter 3: In need of Memory Bank by Geo Wyeth

Us Field Feeling It, 2021 room painting, room paint in fog, jade and sienna. Dimensions variable. 

Many Muck Rest Less Passenger Signal, 2020 Tulip bag, speaker, smoke machine, oyster shells. 15mins approx Juice Helmet, 2016 Baby ghost fabric, plastic figurines, Homies, ribbon, balloons, wire, light, head-fitting. Dimensions variable. 

Green Means Go, 2021 Personal item, green light, cavity. Dimensions variable. 

Relentless Shards of Stars of Muck Stud Ease for ATM FM Please, 2021 FM radio 107.4 

Images courtesy of the artist and Shimmer. Photo by Jhoeko

Chapter 3: In Need of Memory Bank by Geo Wyeth 

Relentless Shards of Stars of Muck Stud Ease for ATM FM Please, 2021 FM radio 107.4

 Images courtesy of the artist and Shimmer. Photo by Jhoeko

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