“How can we grasp the ungraspable character of passing? How can we grasp the pure conjunction of passing and presence, fleeing and stasis?” Jean-Luc Nancy
In Renée Green’s third solo exhibition in Lisbon, the artist continues her radical exploration of aesthetic and linguistic forms. Probing questions and forms of being alive, living, inhabitation, space, time and distance, Spacing continues Green’s ongoing examination of cities and people we feel and think with, as well as spaces and places that generate conditions for feeling, thinking and wonder.
Developed for Lumiar Cité, the exhibition Spacing brings together recent works, and premieres Walking in NYL (2016), the last iteration of a series of films initiated in 1992 with Tracing Lusitania, Green’s durational and accretive project showcasing the artist’s ongoing interests and relationships with the city of Lisbon and the Lusophone world. In Walking in NYL, writing and the varieties of voices it invokes provide a mysterious passage through the highly sensorial streets of the city of NYL.
At the core of the exhibition resides the film Begin Again, Begin Again (2015), a meditation on propulsive drives of live organisms, including humans; the film is a probing passage through forms of inhabiting, occupying, and myriad sensations and perceptions that flow through the process of staying alive. The architect R.M. Schindler is invoked via his 1912 Manifesto, Modern Architecture: A Program, yet the numbered pronouncements are interrupted by another consciousness’ musings on the strangeness of survival. Questions of configurations, architectures, and spaces emerge in relation to people and subjectivities that exist in the world: What is inherited and what is made, gained, lost, and transmuted through time, amid change and migrations, amid contestation, repetition and difference, or imagined as utopian, even when violent? What efforts do live creatures exert to begin again?
Also present in the exhibition space is Relations (2009), and Green’s Space Poem #5 (Years & Afters) (2015), a group of hanging banners that provide a colorful and contrapunctal “chronomorphic poesy,” a poesy enhanced by a series of letterpress and digital prints; these elements are complemented by a careful selection from the artist’s repertoire of films–Climates and Paradoxes (2005), Come Closer (2008), Endless Dreams and Water Between (2009), and Excess (2009), adding yet another layer to the complex web of associations stimulated by the exhibition.
In Spacing, Renée Green continues to play with variables of time and location, space and things, amongst reflections on relays, delays, movement, exile, migration, displacement and reinvention, all allowing for the contemplation of what arises amid particular combinations in a variety of conditions.
“This technique, this art, this calculated operation, this procedure, this artifice, produces something not with a view to something else or to a use, but with a view to its production alone, its exposition.” Jean-Luc Nancy
As a warm up to the Spacing exhibition at Lumiar Cité, and to celebrate the publication of Other Planes of There: Selected Writings, Livraria Linha de Sombra hosted on January 25th, 2016 a conversation between scholar Ros Gray and Renée Green, moderated by Jürgen Bock, curator of Lumiar Cité and director of Maumaus, Escola de Artes Visuais.The conversation was followed by a screening of Green’s films Come Closer (2008), and Endless Dreams and Water Between (2009) at the Sala Luís de Pina, Cinemateca Portugesa, Museo do Cinema in Lisbon.