TEXT BY DONATIEN GRAU
With a Performance by Emily Sundblad and Matt Sweeney
Hauser & Wirth is pleased to present ‘FREEZER BURN’, a group exhibition, organized by Rita Ackermann. This exhibition draws its title from the very antithesis inherent to the making and the experience of art.
Its premise is that artists are able to live through the most intense forms of life, and to transform them into subtle and strong sensorial realities; at the same time they can expand the most limited feeling or event and turn it into a world of its own.
Viewers find in the artwork a separate space, where they are given the possibility to go through moments of contemplation and emotion whose nature is profoundly different from anything else they can be exposed to in reality. And if they are ready to be exposed, these artworks truly alter them, and they go back to the actual world with a changed mind, changed feelings. They are offered the new birth of an intensified existence.
Every artwork is a new birth for the viewer, and a promise of survival for the artist.
This intensity, the beauty and the violence of an eternally new birth merge with the hopes gained with the possibility for life to continue: art is another life, and yet it converses with human existence at large.
It is made by artists, for the sake of art, often in the physical absence of the audience, and yet humans even when invisible, are always present.
Art is a form of estrangement and yet it is the most acute awareness. It is a contradiction that nonetheless builds up coherence. It is discretion, and it is exposure.
With art, you exist on your own, and yet you are part of community, whether you are an artist or a viewer – or both at the same time. ‘FREEZER BURN’ brings together works from a secret community of artists, who have for a long time been engaged in discussions and collaborations, the one with the other, throughout history.
Contributors all exist as powerful creative voices, and yet they dialogue with each other. They perform the tensions of individual, collaborative and collective identity in art.
A line is drawn from one artist to the other, and it is not by chance that many drawings are included in the exhibition: the line is the link between individuals, throughout human narratives. It already existed in prehistory, and continued to be presented in the world of postmodernity and technology. The line is the sign of connection: the connection from one point to the other, from one person to the other.
It creates an image, it brings out dreams, and provides a rendering of reality.
Lines can be physical – the drawing; they can be sensorial – the feeling of existence; they can be political – the community; they can be intellectual – the understanding of the world; they can be chronological – history.
Today, there are multiple lines, which construct a network. When we do not see this network in our lives, we end up caught up in it. Sometimes we sense it, with an artwork: that is when the moment of freedom starts.
In a line, with art, you freeze and you burn. You exist, for good.
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About the artists
Mike Kelley is widely considered one of the most influential artists of our time. Originally from a suburb outside of Detroit, Kelley attended the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, before moving to Southern California in 1976 to study at California Institute of…Learn more
Lee Lozano’s paintings are admired for their energy, daring physicality and tirelessness in investigating the body and issues of gender. Although lauded by Lucy Lippard in 1995 as the foremost female conceptual artist of her time, Lozano had disengaged herself from the…Learn more
Paul McCarthy is widely considered to be one of the most influential and groundbreaking contemporary American artists. Born in 1945, and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, he first established a multi-faceted artistic practice, which sought to break the limitations of painting…Learn more
Jason Rhoades (1965 – 2006) is known for monumental, room-filling installations. These idiosyncratic sculptures incorporate a wide range of objects including products of mass culture combined with hand-made items and biographical references. Drawing on the history of assemblage, Rhoades imbues his materials…Learn more
The opposing impulses of creation and destruction mark the touchstone of the Hungarian-born, New York-based artist Rita Ackermann’s practice, which continues to evolve and manifest itself in the shift from representation to abstraction. Ackermann’s compositions occupy a space between the figurative and…Learn more