Sophie Dejode, Bertrand Lacombe, Philip Vormwald

March 15–29, 2008

ONE: Saturday 15, vernissage
TWO: Friday 21, vernissage
THREE: Thursday 27, lecture
FOUR: Saturday 29, finissage

photos by Maxime Ballesteros-Biguet

Thirty-two Fingers, a three-week collaborative exhibition by Sophie Dejode, Bertrand Lacombe and Philip Vormwald, seeks to negate institutional strictures by manipulating our perception of scale, proportion and repetition; the same formal devices traditionally employed to enforce convention. By replicating PROGRAM’s exhibition space at a smaller scale within the exhibition space, the artists have effectively freed the gallery of its mandate to only exhibit architecture related projects; The mini-PROGRAM, therefore, will host 4 separate openings between the 15th and 29th of March, 2008 – all of which will feature work that may deviate from PROGRAM’s normal curatorial direction.

The institutionalization of formal architectural and spatial devices like scale, proportion and repetition finds its origin in the architecture treatises of classical antiquity. The ancient Greek, the Romans, the architects of the Renaissance, the 18th century neo-Classicists and more recently, the postmodernists, have in one way or another, imposed, sustained or indexed an architecture that is determined by strict design rules or tenets. Rules for design, like social codes of conduct, are often meant to impart a sense of civic cohesion. The proportions of Greek temples, (determined by the lower diameter of the columns), have been endlessly replicated to invoke a sense of spatial harmony; The Roman Empire laid out repeating street grids to imprint their control on newly conquered cities; In Beijing, the Tiananmen Square (440,000 square meters) was scaled to illustrate the insignificance of the individual compared to the state.

Thirty-Two Fingers, the number of fingers originally shared by the three artists, provides a fresh look at how artistic practices can continue to critically engage the institution. Through an ostensibly simple copy-paste-shrink sequence of Photoshop operations performed on the gallery’s floorplan, the artists were able to put forth a radical critique of PROGRAM’s organizational, functional and conceptual structures. Who will direct and curate mini-PROGRAM? Can a gallery be a sculpture? Is it an object or a container?

Sophie Dejode (1976) and Bertrand Lacombe (1974) have been collaborating for six years and currently live and work in Berlin. Their work is integrated in a clearly defined artistic project: the constitution of Floating Land, a nomadic micro-state intended to facilitate, accommodate and promote contemporary creation. Floating Land is conceived as a new political, economic and social territory, populated by citizens concerned with the questions of creativity and self-governance, and incarnating a subversive interface between realism and utopia.
From drawings, sculptures, installations, films to performances, the work of Dejode & Lacombe is not limited to any specific medium, scale or material. Notable solo exhibitions include Centre d' Art en "le, Genf (2008), Gallery Metropolis, Paris (2008), Flux factory, Long Island City, NYC (2008), Espace Kugler, Genf (2007), Dancing in paradise, SKOL, Montreal (2007), Kebab trauma, Galerie Metropolis, Paris (2006), Singing in paradise, Le Belgo, Montreal (2004), Kamikaze 2089, Confort moderne, Poitiers (2004), Floating Bowl, Attitudes , Genf (2003), Kippen's burger, La Chaufferie, Strasbourg (2003), Floating land, Museum of contemporary art, Lyon (2002)

Philip Vormwald (1978) was born in Heidelberg, Germany and grew up in Paris. After studying film at Sorbonne he went to the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts in Paris. Philip's work is driven by a desire to materialize and fix the different steps and moments of understanding caused by thinking and feeling, during moving, through the practice of drawing, writing, film and sculpture.

Invited artists: Martin Hyde, Xavier Metz, Jonathan Cejudo, Frederic Mancini, Maxime Ballesteros-Biguet, Baptiste Cesar, Nicolas Rivet, Benjamin Roth.

Kindly supported by the European Creative Centre (ECC) Weißensee and Bureau des Arts Plastiques.



press release 12.03.2008 [pdf]