Brian Kennon at Motto. 06.06 – 31.07.2017

Posted in exhibitions, Motto Berlin store on July 6th, 2017 by admin
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Brian Kennon at Motto
06.06. – 31.07.2017

Sliding through the gaps in the rickety fences that territorialize artists and their ideas, Brian Kennon has in the past taken uncouth liberties with Cindy Sherman—The Cindy Shermans I’d Like to Fuck (2003)—and Sherrie Levine—She Has a Hot Ass (2009). The choice of subjects—two ladies who have themselves taught us a thing or two about dismantling the self—creates a conceptual swirl. Sexualising the act of engagement, desire circles in on itself and one remembers the hours spent at the library cruising the stacks while beefing up on art history.

Books, one of Kennon’s favourite expressive tools and subjects, are both signifiers of the institution of knowledge and physical objects to be infiltrated. In Kennon’s hand, printed matter elicits both a fascination for its surfaces and a teenager’s lust for penetration. It features a shared cultural fabric with references ranging from Abstract Expressionism to Christopher Wool, Alice Cooper and Suzi Simpson, John Armleder and Lisa Lapinski. All are subjected to a voracious appetite for the pleasures of active misinterpretation, for the texture of paper, for sex and for the way the contours of an exposed vagina may mirror those of a stack of paper folded into a magazine, for the art of others and for the warmth of human skin.

At Motto Kennon casts himself, Daniel Buren, Cosima von Bonin, and Will Benedict, alongside Michael Krebber and John Armleder in a game of associations out of sync with how dominant ideologies wish us to see them and ourselves. Animated by love for his subjects he continues his persistent dismantling of normative notions of identity through an active engagement with a promiscuous libidinal aim.

Accompanying the exhibition is a survey of Kennon’s publishing activities from 2002 to present, including self-published artists’ books as well as titles from 2nd Cannons Publications, the imprint he founded in 2005.

Postscript: shortly before the exhibition’s installation, one of the windows of Motto’s main vitrine was shattered by a tossed bottle. Incorporating this into the exhibition, Kennon covered the broken glass in a pink vellum, matching the exhibited print “Authorship is Fluid (Designed by Jean-Pascal Flavien)”, adding the anonymous vandal to the long list of “authors” adrift in the exhibition.

Gregorio Magnani

Browse a selection of 15 years worth of publishing by Brian Kennon / 2nd cannons here

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