24 Jun – 9 Jul 2000

Cast By Inertia/ The Dorsal Fin

Peacock Dutton, Giles Eldridge, Maria Fusco, Tim Goldie, Elliot Howard, Arjen Lancel, Carol Murphy, Giselle de Oliviera Macedo, Valerie Rapelala, Reinaart Vanhoe
(This text is only available in Dutch)

In het begin van de zomer fungeert de voorzaal van W139 als ontvangstruimte en documentair centrum; kortom als de ‘sturende achtervin’ voor een tentoonstelling op locatie in de parkeergarage van de Bijenkorf.

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At the start of the summer, the front space of W139 will act as reception point and exhibition information centre – as the ‘dorsal fin’ of an exhibition located in the parking garage of the Amsterdam department store ‘de Bijenkorf’. In the front space, visitors can find information on the projects in various media. For one artist, this means an annexing artwork, while another makes do with coffee and a video letter. This is the point from which the public leaves for the garage on the opposite side of the Warmoesstraat.

CAST BY INERTIA This part of the show focuses on the phenomenon of parking garages. Ten subtle integrations are presented on and in the various levels, lifts and staircases. Far from being a traditional ‘outdoor artworks exhibition’, this is a series of works that are not so much involved with confronting the viewer but which, after some brain-racking, seem almost to blend into their environment. Most of the works use elements native to parking garages – signboards, advertisements or security cameras. The garage is open twenty four hours a day, its atmosphere coloured by the architecture typical of multi storey carparks, the stench of car fumes and urine and drivers vainly searching for parking space in a city where cars are bumper to bumper.

So what’s there to see? Bunches of flowers haphazardly discarded with messages for whoever finds them. A security camera with wolves running free. A lost Mondriaan. Photo prints stuck up like billboards. A ghost weeping tears of rosé. A barking dog and an exhortation to hold onto wood. All works specially made for the site. Cast By Inertia, 'the inert shadow’, was originally conceived by Elliot Howard and then developed with Carol Murphy and W139.

The artist Elliot Howard extends you a personal invitation: Please don't be afraid, you are welcome. In many ways the art works presented here are for you, they are here too for you in many ways. Whilst separated by the street, by the nature of their homes, by their relationship to interpretation and intention, they are gathered on this occasion, just close enough, united and encompassed by the expanding envelope that art and city are. In the shadow of this expansion I can hear the voices say, "Why on this night do we lean towards a car park and a gallery, when on other nights we may lean towards a gallery or a car park?" I know that you and I can remember the number of contexts within art exhibition's empire, for years we have colonised, out of necessity and out of vanity, warehouses and power stations alike. Cast By Inertia has acquired a colonise blindspot: it has decided to cohabit, both the punctured envelope (car park) and a fact (problematic) associated with the city's relationship to the car and/or the artists relationship to art production.

This sounds like a good place to start but better still is The Dorsal Fin, housed within the notion of exhibition information centre. Hypnotic is the jedi like relationship to its severed limb (the car park). Watch out for the ghostlike visual twitches, the works here know they were once part of a greater whole - the artist that sought to establish them, a time when art was produced willy nilly and when modernism was engaged in genesis. Today they share this gallery space, comfortable only in the knowledge that there are no virgins amongst them. You may well find references.

With thanks to
The British Council, Dhr Koster en Ad Jahangir van de Bijenkorf en het Ierse Department of Foreign Affairs