The Ha-Ha Crystal

Colin Guillemet

Allen Grubesic

Niamh O’Malley

Jason Rohrer

Curated by Chris Fite-Wassilak

Private view:  Thursday 31 March 2011, 6.30 -8.30 pm
Exhibition dates 1 April – 7 May 2011

Hands working overtime, the flustered old man frets, turns his back:
“Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain. The great Oz has spoken!” She pulls aside the curtain, “Who are you?”

He looks at her, then aside into the dangling microphone, “I am the great and powerful,” before giving up and mumbling the rest her direction, “…wizard of Oz.”

Every image, every utterance has an intricate web of origins and latent potential, clusters of coherence, at times frail, even broken, other times loud and fully flexed. The potentcy of narration, though, is its tenacity—devoid of chronology or coherent order, it still manages to manifest itself, if even as just a problematic question of authorship and authority.

From the experimental video game designer Jason Rohrer’s two-person game ‘Sleep is Death’, to the destabilised serality of Allen Grubesic’s straight-faced jokes, the artists gathered in ‘The Ha-Ha Crystal’ use different methods to look at the breaking point of (visual) narrative. Here Colin Guillemet’s playful re-contextualisations and a series of quiet, experientially layered drawings by Niamh O’Malley peel away and paw at the curtained structures of subjectivity and authorship, trying to find the ghost that still speaks from an apparently abandoned machine. Alongside this, as a conceptual backdrop ‘The Ha-Ha Crystal’ will also include several printed examples of David Lynch’s long-running comic strip begun in the 1980s, ‘The Angriest Dog in the World.’

What is the agency of the free-floating voice? The ghost who speaks from no-where? This exhibition looks to the space dark between non-narratives, suggesting several possible responses to Robert Smithson’s open-ended question:

“[R. Buckminster] Fuller was told by certain scientists that the fourth dimension was ‘ha-ha’, in other words, that it is laughter…Laughter is in a sense a kind of entropic ‘verbalisation.’ How could artists translate this verbal entropy, that is ‘ha-ha’, into solid models?” *

A daily blog will run for the duration of the show with ideas, links and thoughts around the exhibition at http://www.hahacrystal.blogspot.com/

Colin Guillemet (born Paris, 1979) graduated from Central St Martins BA (2001) and Royal College of Art MA (2003). Since 2010, he lives and works in Zurich. Recent shows includeThe Magic Show, Hayward Gallery touring;Catalogue presents.. (screening), South London Gallery; Back Yard, Lucy Mackintosh gallery, Lausanne, and Boule to Braid curated by Richard Wentworth, Lisson Gallery London

Allen Grubesic lives and works in Stockholm. Recent solo exhibitions include the Charles Bank Gallery, New York, and Alida Ivanov Gallery, Stockholm, and the group exhibition ‘Silence is Appreciated’ at Manzara Perspectives, Istanbul.

Artist, filmmaker, and musician David Lynch was born in Missoula, Montana. ‘The Angriest Dog in The World’ ran from 1983 to 1992 in the weekly newspaper LA Reader, as well as Creative Loafing and the Village Voice. Here are included examples of the comic strip printed in the comic book anthology Cheval Noir.

Niamh O’Malley’s work is concerned with issues of visibility; the slippage between a moment and an image. Her practice investigates the construction and arrangement of time and document as revealed through both the moving image and painted still. Forthcoming exhibitions include Dublin Contemporary & Green on Red Gallery, Dublin, while recent exhibitions include Centre Culturel Montehermoso, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, Gaain Gallery, Seoul, South Korea, Void, Derry, Northern Ireland, and Galleri Flach-Thulin, Stockholm, She is currently a resident artist at TBGS Studios, Dublin.

Jason Rohrer is currently parenting and making video game art in Las Cruces, New Mexico. His games can be found at http://hcsoftware.sourceforge.net/jason-rohrer/

Chris Fite-Wassilak is a writer and curator based in London. He is a regular contributor to Frieze, Art Papers and Art Review, as well as writing for Flash Art, Art and Australia, Artforum. com, and the Visual Artists Newsletter Ireland. Recent curatorial projects include Simile: Lucy Conochie at Studio 1.1, and a forthcoming exhibition with David Beattie and Karl Burke at the Galways Arts Centre in September.

Maria Stenfors is delighted to present ‘The Ha-Ha Crystal’, curated by Chris Fite Wassilak as the first externally curated show in the gallery. During the exhibition period the gallery is having it’s 1-year anniversary and also wishes to thank everybody who has contributed to the gallery and program throughout the year.

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