Arthur Cravan, Bas Jan Ader, Chris Burden og Lee Lozano.
Gestures of Disappearance

28. 5. 13:00
Every Sunday 14:00
27. 5. 17:00 Members
31. 5. 13:00 Families

The exhibition brought together, for the first time, four seminal artists, each of whom disappeared from the art world in different ways and for different reasons.

The exhibition gives a comprehensive overview of the life and work of the little known but influential pre-Dadaist poet, critic and rabble-rouser, Arthur Cravan, as well as post-war American based artists Bas Jan Ader, Chris Burden and Lee Lozano. As the title “Gestures of Disappearance” suggests, the exhibition focuses on the ostentatious, performative and, for some, inescapable aspects of artistic withdrawal.

When each of the artist’s scepticism about the social and political capacities of art reached its climax, their doubts in their own role as an artist became visible in both artworks and symbolic gestures. These gestures negotiated the individual possibilities within a societal framework that all four criticised, sometimes drastically, with sharp insight and little will to compromise.

Lozano and Cravan left the art world for good. Burden did not. Ader died during his last project, an attempt to cross the Atlantic from Cape Cod in his one-man yacht. The melancholic and existentialistic tone of the exhibition makes tangible the artists’ struggles with their identities and future perspectives. It points to an artistic model or myth of the artist rooted in romanticism, a position which had become ever more fragile, irrelevant and inadequate.

Based on original sources, the show displayed carefully staged digital prints, Xerox copies, wall texts and graphic material, leaving no doubt about its artificial nature as a constructed narrative touching on the boundaries of visual art. In this way it might be seen as a curatorial revenant of absent works and documents.

The re-presentation of “Gestures of Disappearance” at Bergen Kunsthall, will be a partial restaging and reconstruction of the original exhibition, realised in close consultation with the curator Alexander Koch, and continuing the deliberate use of copies and prints, but also including original artworks.

“Gestures of Disappearance” is curated by Alexander Koch.

_In NO.5 Bergen Kunsthall revisits selected artworks and exhibitions, previously presented elsewhere in the world. Initiated in response to the increasing acceleration of both the production and reception of art, NO.5 provides an opportunity to slow down, focus on, and look again at particular works, exhibitions or fragments of exhibitions. Bergen Kunsthall will commission a new critical text to accompany each of these re-presentations._>

“Gestures of Disappearance” was first shown in 2002 at the Gallery of the Art Academy in Leipzig, Germany, under the full title “Kunst Verlassen 1 — Gestures of Disappearance”.