Gabriel­la Mangano & Sil­vana Mangano
Of Objects or Sound

31st May – 19th July 2014
Anna Schwartz Gallery Carriageworks

In the exhi­bi­tion Of Objects or Sound’, Sil­vana Mangano and Gabriel­la Mangano present new video works doc­u­ment­ing object and sound-based per­for­mances, cre­at­ed dur­ing a res­i­den­cy in New York. Work­ing in a new city, the artists took up walk­ing as a project; an exer­cise in move­ment, vision and phys­i­cal nego­ti­a­tion. Cer­tain objects encoun­tered on these recon­nais­sance jour­neys were car­ried back to the stu­dio, estab­lish­ing a col­lec­tion that became a con­nec­tion with the city. Find­ing them­selves with­out a his­to­ry in that place, the artists worked to find the essence of each object and endow mean­ing to these almost totemic things. Using the found objects as their mate­ri­als, the artists pro­duced two for­mal­ly dis­tinct bod­ies of work that con­verse across the gallery; pro­ject­ed on one wall is a series of four sin­gle-chan­nel pieces; and oppo­site, a nine-chan­nel work on monitors.

Stand­ing Piece for Forms, Stand­ing Piece for Sound, Walk­ing Piece for Forms, and Imag­in­ing struc­tures (all 2014) show the artists engaged in an impro­vised chore­og­ra­phy for and with par­tic­u­lar dis­card­ed mate­ri­als. Recall­ing the event of car­ry­ing these sheets and rods through the city, the large objects struc­ture the move­ment of the per­form­ers’ entire bod­ies, hav­ing mate­r­i­al qual­i­ties of size, weight, and resis­tance that require con­tin­u­al nego­ti­a­tion for solo or duet action. The archi­tec­tur­al space of the stu­dio, which stands for any pos­si­ble space, is acti­vat­ed as a stage for care­ful, if spon­ta­neous, per­for­mance devel­oped espe­cial­ly for the cam­era. Con­scious­ly stripped to a min­i­mum of ele­ments, the videos go to the core of what makes a performance.

The pres­ence of the record­ing tech­nol­o­gy is even more explic­it­ly built into Per­for­mance Com­po­si­tions for Sculp­ture. Installed in near-dark­ness, and shot against a black back­ground, these vignettes of action are very still, the objects and their sen­si­ble qual­i­ties being the focus of each per­for­mance. The deci­sive cuts of the video are con­stant reminders of the mate­r­i­al of the dig­i­tal medi­um, and a prompt for the acknowl­edge­ment of the pass­ing of time and the re-play of mem­o­ry. While all tak­en from the same per­for­mance, it is not clear whether the shots are edit­ed down or sim­ply repeat­ed — para­dox­i­cal­ly, the cut appears to delay progress. Again, these short, still videos go some way to decon­struct­ing the basis of per­for­mance, lit­er­al­ly show­ing the hand of the artist.

In both series of works, a bold approach to edit­ing exag­ger­ates the non-doc­u­men­tary mode of this doc­u­men­ta­tion: while each of these works is based on sculp­tur­al forms and per­for­mance, the medi­um of video asserts itself as a key mode of pro­duc­tion and con­cep­tu­al­i­sa­tion. The dura­tional, time-based nature of the medi­um is ampli­fied by the sound of mul­ti­ple metronome beats, falling in and out of sync. The hard but seem­ing­ly chang­ing rhythm both pro­pels and restrains the move­ments in the videos, chan­nelling ener­gy as it keeps unre­li­able time.

Hav­ing vis­it­ed Rus­sia on the occa­sion of their inclu­sion in the 2013 Moscow Bien­nale, Gabriel­la Mangano and Sil­vana Mangano make present here the lega­cies of Russ­ian Con­struc­tivist art and design, with ques­tions and exper­i­ments in com­po­si­tion, and stud­ies of iso­lat­ed move­ments tak­en from the real world. Sim­i­lar­ly in play are ref­er­ences to Bauhaus the­atre, espe­cial­ly its con­cerns with ani­mat­ing and invig­o­rat­ing for­mal rela­tion­ships, find­ing new inter­re­la­tions between body, time and space.

Images

Gabriel­la Mangano & Sil­vana Mangano

Of Objects or Sound, 2014
instal­la­tion view, Anna Schwartz Gallery, Carriageworks

Gabriel­la Mangano & Sil­vana Mangano

Imag­in­ing Structures, 2014
sin­gle-chan­nel High Def­i­n­i­tion video, 16:9, colour, sound
6 minutes
Edi­tion of 3

Gabriel­la Mangano & Sil­vana Mangano

Per­for­mance Com­po­si­tions for Sculp­ture (1), 2014
HD video, 16:9, colour, sound
variable

Gabriel­la Mangano & Sil­vana Mangano

Per­for­mance Com­po­si­tions for Sculp­ture (2), 2014
HD video, 16:9, colour, sound
variable

Gabriel­la Mangano & Sil­vana Mangano

Per­for­mance Com­po­si­tions for Sculp­ture (3), 2014
HD video, 16:9, colour, sound
variable

Gabriel­la Mangano & Sil­vana Mangano

Per­for­mance Com­po­si­tions for Sculp­ture (4), 2014
HD video, 16:9, colour, sound
variable

Gabriel­la Mangano & Sil­vana Mangano

Per­for­mance Com­po­si­tions for Sculp­ture (5), 2014
HD video, 16:9, colour, sound
variable

Gabriel­la Mangano & Sil­vana Mangano

Per­for­mance Com­po­si­tions for Sculp­ture (6), 2014
HD video, 16:9, colour, sound
variable

Gabriel­la Mangano & Sil­vana Mangano

Per­for­mance Com­po­si­tions for Sculp­ture (7), 2014
HD video, 16:9, colour, sound
variable

Gabriel­la Mangano & Sil­vana Mangano

Per­for­mance Com­po­si­tions for Sculp­ture (8), 2014
HD video, 16:9, colour, sound
variable

Gabriel­la Mangano & Sil­vana Mangano

Per­for­mance Com­po­si­tions for Sculp­ture (9), 2014
HD video, 16:9, colour, sound
variable

Gabriel­la Mangano & Sil­vana Mangano

Stand­ing Piece for Forms, 2014
HD video, 16:9, colour, sound
6 minutes

Gabriel­la Mangano & Sil­vana Mangano

Stand­ing Piece for Sound, 2014
HD video, 16:9, colour, sound
5 minutes

Gabriel­la Mangano & Sil­vana Mangano

Walk­ing Piece for Forms, 2014
HD video, 16:9, colour, sound
4 minutes