29 September - 27 October 2007

We are pleased to announce the first European Solo exhibit of the Vancouver based, Canadian artist, Alex Pensato (born 1971).

Last year the artist duo BURGHARD created a spatial concept for the cellar space of Jan Winkelmann / Berlin entitled "RED". The diverse fixtures installed by the artists enable the space to transcend its capacity as a storeroom and function as an arena for the presentation of art.

In the future, the space, as designed by BURGHARD, shall be employed as the project room Jan Winkelmann / Downstairs. The participation of the invited artists is contingent on the artistic confrontation with and utilization of the existing spatial design.

Entitled Concepts for Planning, Control, and Decision Making, Alex Pensato's exhibition features - among other things - 24 drawings on carbon paper. The artist utilises carbon paper, a forgotten medium that has become almost obsolete since the disappearance of the typewriter. With time-consuming and elaborate manual dexterity, the artist traces texts, diagrams, and photographs of multifarious provenance leaving the white lines of the "traced away" images to remain on the black background of the paper. The material itself connotes the economic and bureaucratic communicative systems at play in corporate businesses like banks and government offices. The templates employed are derived from the most varied sources; they reference high-rise buildings under construction, diagrams, advertisement price lists from art magazines, scholarly classification systems as well as citations and references to early modernists like Le Corbusier and Mondrian.

Pensato views his sources as linguistic systems. Just like any spoken language, they are in continual development and growth permitting the appropriation of idioms from other languages that in turn fuse with the original sources. Consequently, Pensato's drawings contain numerous affinities and cross references that, together as a whole, open a discourse into modernist and post-modernist theories while also complicating the history of appropriation strategies. The drawings, which are reminiscent of the by-products of mechanical production, are at the same time, an expression of intense human labour and creativity. They are complex and multifaceted-aspects that are likewise reflected in their presentation. While the materiality of the carbon paper drawings implies a continual process, the drawings themselves are displayed behind minimalist black frames reminiscent of museological presentation. The extreme contrast of the carbon-black drawings in the midst of the white, cubistic spatial structure set up by BURGHARD emphasises their imposed system.

Pensato's interest in form, language and design finds expression in an additional piece on display: CANARGITA is a book that comes with it's own context for reading it - a hammock fashioned out of debris netting used on high-rise construction sites. The artist has approached the writing of this novel in a reverse approach by designing the book cover and packaging first. In CANARGITA, Pensato utilises a fictionalized biography of his father to describe the extensive political and economic changes that have arisen within the different cultural contexts (CANada, ARGentina, ITAly) that his father has lived in; the focus is given to ideals of the leftist worker's movement and its dissolution. But, while the physical book already exists, its content is still in development.

Opening hours: Tue-Sat, 11 am - 6 pm

-> download press release in ENGLISH
-> download press release in GERMAN