Ana Santos & Wolfgang Stoerchle - February 19 * 7/10 pm -
Wolfgang Stoerchle is a somewhat concealed artistic figure of the early 70s who left a certain but little
advertised mark on a generation of Californian artists, especially through videotapes and performances
involving his body as raw material. Born in 1944 in Baden Baden (Germany), Wolfgang moved to Canada with his family in 1959. In 1962, he left Toronto with his brother on a horse, traveling in the saddle for 11 months across the breadth of the United States to finally arrive to Los Angeles. Wolfgang would eventually claim this journey as his first artwork.
Shortly after completing subsequent studies at the University of Oklahoma and at the University of California in Santa Barbara, Wolfgang became one of the inaugural teachers at CalArts (where his students included James Welling, Matt Mullican, David Salle, Paul McCarthy and Eric Fischl). This very productive time in
Wolfgang’s work saw him adopt the Portapak camera and turn to video.
Playing with rudimentary but fundamental actions to interrogate changing forms of state and status,
Wolfgang used often his own body as an expressive instrument. His performances, for camera or live
audiences, played with ingredients of movement and stasis, strength and fragility, provocation and humour. Clothes, dirt, physical exertion, food and his penis would all make frequent appearances in his work.
Wolfgang was a visible and significant presence within the LA art scene of the time, but after relocation to New York in 1973 he eventually grew disaffected with the art world. He spent two years on numerous journeys and retreats– studying his dreams, experimenting with psychedelics and living as an ascetic in the Mexican mountains – before eventually settling in Santa Fe, where he slowly returned to making art. In 1976, Wolfgang died in a car accident at the age of 32.
Two of his video works are on show at Ampersand alongside a sculpture by Portuguese artist Ana Santos (1982), as part of an ongoing re-evaluation of Wolfgang’s practice and its legacy today.
Shoe Piece, Wolfgang Stoerchle
videotape, black and white, sound
Shoe Piece is part of a series of videos Wolfgang recorded in his studio between 1970 and 1972 whilst a teacher at CalArts. Here a parade of shoes (alternatively feminine and masculine) stamp down on plastic cups that are constantly being replaced after having been dragged out of the scene with a scraping sound.
Sue Turning, Wolfgang Stoerchle
video tape, black and white, sound
Sue Turning is a video made during a workshop at the American Dance Festival (Summer, 1973), held at Connecticut College, and organized by Allegra Fuller Snyder (daughter of Buckminster Fuller). For this piece, Wolfgang used three fixed cameras to film the dancer Carolyn Pfaffl, also known as ‘Sue’, from her head to her toes as she stood on a rotating platform. We could refer to the video as a dance without movement. The video is notable for having more professional production values than normally seen in Wolfgang’s work and is the last known video he made.
Untitled, Ana Santos
stainless steel, polyester yarn
297 x 64 x 36 cm
6 to 9 pm - Gabriel Barbi
Monday 13 January, let’s start the week properly, at Ampersand, with the opening of an exhibition from Gabriel Barbi, alongside Peau d’Ana #2 – the new installment of Ana Jotta’s monthly revised and refreshed window display.
Gabriel Barbi was born in Santa Catarina (Brazil) and has been living in Lisbon since 2007. Recent exhibitions include Numre/ Songs at Ch’ien Chien (Copenhagen) curated by Henning Lundkvist, Love & Ethnology at Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin) curated by Diedrich Diederichsen and Anselm Franke, Spirit Shop (Lisbon) invited by Pedro Barateiro, and Mistake! Mistake! said the rooster... and stepped down from the duck at Lumiar Cité (Lisbon), curated by Jürgen Bock. Barbi will be part of the next issue of octopus notes.
Please note that Barbi’s exhibition is easily visited – by appointment only – until 19 January.
Friday 6 December join us at Ampersand for a special session of Moyra Davey’s work from 7 to 10 pm.
Wedding Loop (2017, 23’) and Hujar / Palermo (2010, 4’23”) will be screened throughout the evening. A selected range of Moyra’s publications will also be available to view. Moyra’s work will remain on view until Saturday night.
Wedding Loop sees the artist recounting a turbulent series of events at an operatic family gathering, while interspersing notes on auto-fiction, family portraiture and the legacy of Julia Margaret Cameron, alongside responses to writings by authors including Simone Weil, Elena Ferrante, and Karl Ove Knausgaard. While probing the lives and relations of such individuals the artist holds dearest (her five distinctive sisters, her post-adolescent son, her ensemble of cherished wordsmiths), the film draws a kind of coda to two of the artist’s earlier essay films, Hemlock Forest (2016) and Les Goddesses (2011), each of which are organized around similar concerns relating to the dynamics of longing, loss, and artistic creation.
In Hujar / Palermo Moyra Davey navigates Peter Hujar’s 1976 book Portraits of Life and Death, animating the space between mediums, the living and the dead. “Life is a movie. Death is a photograph” – Susan Sontag
Moyra Davey was born in Toronto, and has been living in New York since 1988. It is tempting, although incomplete, to describe her artistic practice as that of a photographer, a filmmaker, and a writer.
Opening hours :
Friday 6 of December from 7 to 10 pm
Saturday 7 of December from 3 to 8 pm
From Autumn 2019 until the next, PEAU D’ANA, a monthly news-from-the-wall, will see Ana Jotta revising the windown display, right by our front door, with updates on the 13th of each.
On the occasion of the Lisbon Architecture Triennale, Ampersand hosts Accattone, and launch his new issue #6 - Saturday October 5 from 1 to 5 pm - followed by a discussion between Simon Boudvin and Giame Melonie and a screening of Christopher Roth’s movie «Architecting after Politics » (80 min).
Accattone is a project by two architects (Sophie Dars & Carlo Menon) and two graphic designers (Ismaël Bennani & Orfée Grandhomme).
#6 Piet Oudolf. Pier Vittorio Aureli. Maria Shéhérazade Giudici. Sammy Baloji. Filip De Boeck. Anne Grotte Viken. Kayoko Ota. Quentin Nicolaï. Junya Ishigami. Galaad Van Daele. Christopher Roth.
Phone Conversation with Andy Warhol, n.d.
Lil Picard Papers, University of Iowa Libraries
a selection by #bookadviser, available @ampersand
Bas Jan Ader, Discovery File 143/76, New Documents, 2017
Bas Jan Ader, Le Magasin, 1996
Derek Beaulieu, a, a novel, Jean Boîte Editions, 2017
Walead Beshty, Industrial Potraits -2008-2012, JRP Ringier, 2017
Beni Bischof, Texte 1, Edition Patrick Frey2015
Beni Bischof, Texte 2, Edition Patrick Frey, 2016
Karl Holmqvist, Word Squares, Motto Books, 2017
Jutta Koether, f., Sternberg Press, 2015
Enzo Mari, autoprogettazione ?, Edizioni Corraini, 2016
Enzo Mari, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Walter König, 2008
Bern Porter, Hold on To Your Hat, miekal and 2013
Wolfgang Stoerchle, Le Magasin, 1996
Daan van Golden, Made in Tokyo, Misako & Rosen, 2014
Bernar Venet, Poetic ? Poétique ?, Jean Boîte Editions 2017
Jean-Michel Wicker, e industrial, donlon books, Motto Books, 2014
" The plant is like me : too big to be cute / I often talk about that time, but she has never told anyone / You can call an ocean the lake, but you can't call a lake the ocean" a solo exhibition by Anne-Mai Sønderborg Keldsen
Anne-Mai Sønderborg Keldsen (b. 1991, Denmark) is currently doing her studies at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen and has for the past year been studying under artist Angela Melitopoulos. We met Mai in Lisboa while she was doing the ISP at Maumaus. She exhibited in 2016 at Void in Athens and produced recenlty two books that we are glad to present in the space.
Ampersand hosts Vis-à-Vis, a project initiated in 2012 by the bookseller, publisher & bookadviser Christophe Daviet-Thery on the shelves of his bookshop on Rue Louise Weiss in Paris. A reflection about forms and formats of reading an exhibition by a person who lives and works with books in a specific economic context, Vis-à-Vis is both a working method and a device : isolating two works in dialogue in a single room. Books, editions, sound recordings, sculptures, films, the possible combinations are multiple; the display format somewhere between a lecture, a double page spread and a promotional strategy. This month, we replay Vis-à-Vis numbers 2 & 4, and present two new iterations of the project, number 6 and 7.
Joseph Grigely & Pierre Von-Ow
Interview dates: February 22, March 8th & 25, 2015, July 3rd 2017.
Place: Artist’s loft, Chicago, Illinois; around a table stamped ‘Property of Gallaudet College’; TV playing hockey game in the background, sound turned mute.
Pierre Von-Ow: To what extent are you deaf?
Joseph Grigely: Very rare degree of deafness, total. It’s very hard to categorize degrees of deafness since it is a logarithm of scale (frequency in Hz/loudness): 70 decibels is ten times worse than 60, 80 ten times worse than 70, etc. And I am in the realm of 120+, which means that I could only hear something really really really fucking loud. That’s like a jet taking off behind me. But there’s a big difference between being born deaf and being deafened later on life like Beethoven for example and myself, since we both spoke and other people write.
PVO: But writing is not merely a leftover in this kind of situation.
JG: I believe that writing has emotion. And I really believe that conversations are a kind of talking on paper. It is between speech and writing in many ways. But that’s not an argument I want to get in as an artist.
PVO: Are you a ‘deaf artist’ by the way?
JG: Here in America, people are more interested in the artist over the art. This country loves taxonomies. (Dog’s barking) We are obsessed with identities. In Europe, you’re much more concerned to imbricated identities. You’ve got so many countries with different languages, like Belgium or Switzerland. One conversation I had with a German dealer when I did my first show in Paris was particularly striking; he was telling me how people are going to read it as being about deafness while underlined issue is about communication and difference. And he was really right about that because what’s interesting as a sociological fact is when I approach someone or somebody approaches me and says something I say: “I’m deaf, would you write that down?” To me that is normal. My everyday life. But they become the disabled persons because they have to communicate by writing, that’s very unusual and not normal for that person. So basically, sociologically, I turned it around: I was a normal person and they were disabled by our encounter.
PVO: Would you consider yourself as a ‘conversationist’?
JG: On many ways, no. Ironically enough, no. The conversations themselves written on papers are merely a starting point for me. When I have the conversations, they are historical facts, historical documents. But when I rearrange them into the wall pieces, they become fictions at that point, just as painting squeezed out of a tube. They become the material for another structure. But that structure is often, shall we say, detached from the origins of conversations. What I am doing is juxtaposing, at one level, a verbal narrative: one paper beside another paper creates a narrative between them. Like Josef Albers said in the book Interaction of Color (1963), you can’t put one color beside another color without also changing both. You can’t put a word beside another word without also changing both. The conversations like these are also very formal pieces, dealing with grids, dealing with the color of the paper and the way the lines are inscribed on the paper. It becomes very abstract at that level too.
PVO: It reminds me of what Clement Greenberg claimed about Mallarmé in his famous “Towards a Newer Laocoon” (1940): “Poetry subsists no longer in the relations between words as meanings, but in the relations between words as personalities composed of sound, history and possibilities of meaning. […] The poem still offers possibilities of meaning – but only possibilities. Should any of them be too precisely realized, the poem would lose the greatest part of its efficacy, which is to agitate the consciousness with infinite possibilities by approaching the brink of meaning and yet never falling over it.”
JG: I bring some new coffee.
Ampersand is pleased to launch its program with Here Comes Everybody’s Don’t Book, a selection of Bern Porter’s works.
An American poet, writer, artist, publisher, gallerist and physicist, Bern Porter (1911-2004) is considered a pioneer of the artist book and “found poetry”. From 1941 until his death he produced hundreds of books made out of experiments in collage, text and typography.
The self-proclaimed inventor of mail art, Porter actively sent his works through the post every week of his life. A highly active and influential publisher, Porter published works by figures including Henry Miller, Kenneth Patchen, James Schevill, Robert Duncan and Dick Higgins.
A polymath at the crossroads of the 20th century, he was an acquaintance of, among others, Gertrude Stein, Anais Nin, Allen Ginsberg, Dieter Roth and Shozo Shimamoto (Gutai Art Group). With a master's degree in Science from Brown University, Bern Porter was also an eminent physicist. He contributed to the invention of television, worked on the Saturn V rocket for NASA, and was closely involved in the Manhattan project – which he immediately renounced upon learning of the bombing of Hiroshima, dedicating the rest of his life to creative pursuits. After circling the world three times and visiting 43 countries, Porter spent the last decades of his life running The Institute of Advanced Thinking from his own home in Belfast, Maine. At this time, he developed a strong friendship and collaboration with the poet and publisher Mark Melnicove (The Dog Ear Press) with whom he performed for many years and created The Eternal Festival of Poetry.
Ampersand will offer a selection of Porter’s work including an extensive collection of his output in printed matter, alongside collages, ephemera, sounds, records and videos. The project would not have been possible without the kind support and generous help of Mark Melnicove (director of Bern Porter’s estate). This presentation prefaces a 2018 publication that will be edited by Alice Dusapin & Geraldine Beck and published by &: Christophe Daviet-Thery in close collaboration with Martin Laborde and Mark Melnicove.
Do Not Delay, 1980, (1’59), Bern Porter & Mark Melnicove, The Eternal Poetry Festival, recorded in South Harpswell, Maine
Shave, 1980, (1’03), Bern Porter & Mark Melnicove, The Eternal Poetry Festival, recorded in South Harpswell, Maine
May All Be Well, 1982, (1’06), Bern Porter & Mark Melnicove, The Eternal Poetry Festival, recorded during a performance at Maine Poets Festival
The Daily Regimen, 1984, (6’59), Bern Porter & Mark Melnicove, The Eternal Poetry Festival, a re-mixed version by Mark Melnicove from a performance in Syracuse, NY
Thanks to Fredrik Averin, Anne-Laure Chamboissier, Diogo da Cruz, Theo Dusapin, Justin Jaeckle, Douna Lim, Teo Pesso, Baptiste Pinteaux, Elisa Pone & Charles Veyron