“Mercy” is a joint exhibition by Zlatko Kopljar and Luc Tuymans, organized as a sequence of shared and separate shows highlighting the iconoclasm and analytical complexity of those two artists. The exhibition juxtaposes Tuymans’ latest work in animation, the place the influential painter has constantly expanded the conceptual scope of his observe, with a choice of works created by Kopljar all through the final a long time, combining efficiency, sculpture, video, and experimental cinema.
The title “Mercy” is a plea. It presupposes an pressing want and a basic lack, situating the exhibition as an impact of loss and detachment manifested by Kopljar’s K20 Empty (2015) and Tuymans’ Monkeys (2021), which occupy the exhibition’s first room.
K20 Empty consists of two concrete forged miniatures depicting the buildings of New York’s Museum of Trendy Artwork (MoMA) and London’s Tate Trendy. Stuffing the 2 buildings in concrete to hide their inside areas and the artwork they’re anticipated to show, K20 Empty modifies the museum, reworking it from a web site of show into an nameless materials, a depleted code. Within the work, the museums reappear as souvenirs, reminders of historical past. By miniaturizing the 2 museums, the work signifies their future as previous, a picture of each commemoration and annihilation.
On the wall in entrance of the doorway hangs a cluster of Tuymans’ drawings used for his animation movie Monkeys. Within the movie, a mechanical toy monkey holding cymbals strikes backwards and forwards inside a flickering darkish house earlier than being consumed by black hearth. The disintegration of Monkeys into its single frames follows the logic of Tuymans’ painterly observe, which dissociates movie stills and photographic data to manually produce superfluous, exhausted photographs, whose diluted chromatics and congealed texture mark them as out of date, a mute look of an irretrievable time and place. Tuymans’ curiosity in fragmentary, obscured, drained photographs stems from his radical notion of historic illustration, and, particularly, from his method in the direction of the subject material of the Second World Warfare, as already demonstrated in a number of early, seminal work knowledgeable by absence, void, and indistinctiveness that characterizes the disaster by methods of negation, critically emphasizing its complete un-representability and the inadequacy of visible proof.
The tragic penalties of the Second World Warfare come to mind within the exhibition by Kopljar’s projection K15 (2012). K15 is a reenactment of Willy Brandt’s 1970 historic kneeling down in entrance of the monument honoring the victims within the Warsaw Ghetto killed by the Nazis. The position of Brandt, the chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1969 to 1974, is performed by Kopljar himself, who’s seen dressed within the white luminescent go well with acquainted from his movie performances. The unique surroundings was transferred into an evening ambiance, lending the reenacted occasion a way of dream and fantasy. In relation to the struggle in Ukraine happening not so removed from Lithuania and contemplating the historical past Lithuania shares with Russia and Ukraine, K15’s reflection on Brandt’s act of repentance turns into a grim account of present-day actuality.
Projected onto the again wall of the exhibition’s final room, Tuymans’ animation Give up (2017) will be described as a brief struggle movie. Framing an evening scene considered from a distance, it reveals a naval warrior popping out of the ocean waving a white flag. Extra warriors then be a part of him and shortly after all of them are taken down by gunshots of an unseen supply exterior the body. Give up relies on a 2014 triptych by Tuymans that employs stills from A Twist of Sand, a 1968 movie a couple of former British naval officer managing a enterprise of smuggling items from Africa. Though its supply materials is rooted in British colonialism, Give up enshrouds the id of the combating rivals and the explanations for his or her battle, pointing to the relativity and inconclusiveness of the projected photographs, and broadly talking, to the manipulative potential of photographs in info warfare.
at Galerija Vartai, Vilnius
till January 27, 2023