Ted Gahl - Lifetime, 2013
acrylic on unprimed canvas
48” x 24” / 121.92cm x 60.96cm
Documentation of Steciw / de Joode ‘Open For Business III’ at Neumeister Bar-Am, during Berlin Gallery weekend.
Steciw / de Joode was born in 2012. Finding common ground in their interest in photography as a generative practice the artists began exchanging images and ideas via social media as proposed ingredients for future collaborative sculptural and installation based works. This ongoing collaboration investigates issues of ownership and authorship, materiality as it is experienced in networked culture and the mutable nature of both image and information over time and space.
Steciw/de Joode has collaborated 3 times so far; one time in New York at Stadium gallery (february 2013), one time in Mexico City at Casa Maauad (may 2013) and one time at gallery Neumeister Bar-am in Berlin.
Here a review of Open For Business:
We see a different means of freedom in the upper floor of the gallery space, where Kate Steciw and Rachel de Joode have set up studio for the day with the third installment of their performance and installation project Open for Business. In the attic-style studio we find the two artists –de Joode curled before the glowing screen of her computer,
Steciw floating across the studio in a state of arrangement. In the far corner rests a tripod with a camera fixed firmly in place, and on the opposite walls are the products of the day, now coming to a close. Trading roles, the two artists spent the day photographing objects, everything from clay moulds to close-ups of their hands holding various objects.
“Is that sushi?” I ask incredulously, leaning in to take a closer at one of the finished pieces displayed on the wall. “Yes,” Steciw answers matter-of-factly. “We had sushi for lunch.” The whole thing feels a bit silly and thrilling, and we all giggle, because, sushi.
Later, de Joode spins around in her chair to tell us that Open for Business is about the de-mystification of art more than anything else. That taking the process and opening it to the public acts as a means of connection, as a way to counter the insulation of artists within the cocoons of their industries.
We loop the small studio space a few more times, playing Paint By Numbers-style games with the various objects scattered across the studio, threading pieces of salmon to the disembodied fragments that span the wall, the clay mould to every echo of grey, the fingers of a hand directly back to Steciw’s own wrist.
It’s like the Internet itself, I say half-aloud, and Steciw jumps to agreement. Dynamic, hurried, leaving traces of its earlier self behind like shed skin, the studio space seems like the physical representation of the digital process.