Nina Rodin>2012>Exhibitions> Variable Control/Control Variable





'Variable Control / Control Variable' at The Center for Contemporary Art, Baku, Azerbaijan.

when > 12th - 17th March 2012
where > The Center for Contemporary Art, Baku, Azerbaijan
what > Collaborative paintings on glass and performances with Sarah Knill-Jones. Presented in a one-night show

> Press release text:

'Variable Control / Control Variable' (2012) is a collaborative painting project by artists Sarah Knill-Jones and Nina Rodin in which they seek to explore the limits of direct collaboration in painting, working in a constructive/destructive dialogue on the painted surface. They painted in turns on two surfaces, interposing each other's marks, thus exercising variable degrees of control on the other artist's work in a visual but silent conversation.

The artists work on glass which allows acrylic paint, even when dry, to be reactivated, peeled, moved, crumbled up, thus widening the classically additive repertoire of painting to one where marks can be reconfigured or removed. This process has parallels with the undo button of digital imaging software but also with the cylces of urban expansion as cities grow and remodeled to match ever-changing and sometimes conflicting needs.

The windows - one old and one new - also allow partial access to the history of the work albeit one consciously manipulated by the artists. Likewise, a city can only revel part of an edited history where new facades are layered on top of older ones.

Between each change-over, the artists walked through the streets of Baku: through this intermittent alignment of their conscious experience and an awareness of the city, the artists sought to draw on a shared memory in their mark-making.

Wo other works are shown:

'Conversation' (2012) was construed as a preparatory dialogue, removed from teh gallery setting, immediately preceding 'Variable Control/Control Variable' and served to set the parameters of the final piece.

'Control Condition' (2011) was the two artists' first collaboration, in which they sought to explore the possibility of a completely detached 'expressionist' painting, questioning the ideas of originality and authorship as well as the antiquated notion of the hand of the artist which still forms the basis of many value systems in the art world. The work seeks to emphasize the tenuous difference between controlled and accidental mark and questions how much control the artist can really exert on the finished product - a control finally relinquished in the present work.

In all three pieces, the filming of the painting process is an essential component, possibly replacing the actual paintings as the final artistic product. The paintings themselves become mere leftovers or by-products of a process better framed by digital means.


> Images from exhibition:


> Conversation was shown framed in white frames hanging from the ceiling with the video on a small screen:


> People could walk behind the frames and see the painted side of the work which was matte, plasticky and bolder, more opaque in colour.


> On the glass side of the paintings, the work reveals more of its history as the first layers on glass are always very thin and fragile and are displaced and partially damaged by subsequent layers.


> In places, the glass was scraped clean again



> Work on show: click on thumbnails below for more details:

conversation    control condition