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Wild Horses & Trojan Dreams

18 December, 2013 - 4 January 2014

Currents #1
Marres, House for Contemporary
Culture, The Netherlands

Fabian Altenried, Nima Bahremand, Lou Benesch, John Bijnens, Christophe Clarijs, Rens Cools, Lisa Decavel, Sven Dehens, Kipras Dubauskas, Sibe Duijsters, Daan Gielis, Laetitia Jeurissen, Ekaterina Kaplunova, Jóhanna Kristbjörg Sigurðardóttir, Saori Kuno, Astrid Mingels, Juan Pablo Plazas, Sanne Vaassen, Jelena Vanoverbeek, Charles-Henry Sommelette.

Curated by Laura Herman and Pieter Vermeulen

Exhibition booklet

So what is this all about?

The show is a kind of balancing act, you could say. Assembling twenty graduates from different art schools across the borders drawn by nation or language, the project is supposed to measure the current condition of emergent artistic practices around the Euregion. But we deliberately tried to avoid the format of a talent show or a “best of”.Wild Horses & Trojan Dreams is the mere outcome of various encounters, with people, thoughts and things. These encounters take on concrete physical shape in the exhibition, by blending all these elements together and hoping something enjoyable comes out. It’s more like being on the playground, really. Without a distinct conceptual framework, the group show brings divergent artistic positions under one umbrella.

And the umbrella is not a concept?

Well, it depends on how you want to look at it. The umbrella can be used as a protective device, a canopy to shelter under, but also a plaything, a weapon or an accessory.

Is there a main thread running through the exhibition?

In Greek mythology, Ariadne’s red thread is what allowed for Theseus to find his way out of the Minotaur’s labyrinth. We suggest to let go of the thread, and get lost a little more.

Okay, could you tell us at least what the title refers to? Is it a metaphor of some sort?

Perhaps it is. I don’t know, I was listening to this song by The Rolling Stones – you know like, wild horses / couldn’t drag me away… and I suddenly had this daydream about untamed horses as emblems of performativity, virility and power. There is definitely something appealing about that idea, and its possible relation to the position of young artists today. Working with (former) art students, it seemed to us that they’ve been trained to embody the interesting promise we want them to be. But what about the eventual fulfillment of this promise? The question is, are we still willing to inscribe ourselves in the high-performance culture we live in? How do we defy the constant “pressure to perform”, as Jan Verwoert said it? Most young artists today are the product of a higher education industry that is increasingly being put under pressure (and here we have another nice classic by Queen!). So instead of emphasizing on clear artist statements, research and so forth, how can we think of weakness, failure or disappointment as critical tools?

And speaking about horses, it’s actually the Trojan version we are most interested in, based on the emblem of the legendary city of Troy. The Trojan horse is a fake, a copy, a guileful ruse in the shape of a giant wooden sculpture that is in fact a instrument of military operation. It’s a subtle form of infiltrating the bastion of power, of defeating the enemy by giving him a present.