2017 – Curating an every-day-changing ultracontemporary exhibition #ULTRACONTEMPORARY. Cape Town, South Africa.
Gallery Ultracontemporaine is a new gallery format, pulsing and responding to the artists need to express in the NOW.
While artists are grabbing the NOW and producing pertinent artworks dealing with current issues the gallery is functioning as a unique dynamic exhibition platform that can be activated accordingly. The gallery creates thus a streaming bridge between the artist and the public bringing the artistic message to the wider audience as well as the media, while the artworks are still “hot”. Gallery Ultracontemporaine is also putting the artworks in an immediate contact with the collectors, who are in search of artistic expressions about the surrounding world. The recipient and acquéreur can thus feel close to the pulsing artistic process and to the actual moment, they live in.
Gallery Ultracontemporaine brings a special focus on art with a critical message, art that communicates about dysfunctions in our society and does it in the moment; NOW before it is too late. Artists’ sensibility towards the surrounding world and often intuitive avant-garde registrations, make it possible to have and express immediate opinions and visions, which can be very valuable as guidelines for future developments. Their preoccupations are turned into important artworks which we call ultracontemporary. Rather then purely aesthetic principals, the ultracontemporary art is based on pertinence. Pertinence as a criterion lifts the artworks above the aesthetic relationship between its form and message because the works primate is evaluated in relation to the surrounding reality that goes beyond the sphere of art. Based on artistic solutions made in fast reactions and often shortcut gestures the ultracontemporary art has been developing its own aesthetics; the aesthetics of emergency.
To create the chain of art production, presentation and distribution based on flexibility and immediacy is a new ultracontemporary concept that challenges the regular way galleries function. Following on the spirit of EMERGENCY ARTand ULTRAFAST ART format born already in 1988, the artist, Thierry Geoffroy/ COLONEL, and the curator Tijana Miskovic founded Gallery Ultracontemporainein 2016. Since, the gallery has been operating online as well as in physical spaces such galleries, art fairs, museums and other types of art and cultural institutions. The sharing of space is part of the gallery concept, which promotes a new type of openness and hospitality that can bring vitality to the established art world.
Furthermore, Gallery Ultracontemporaine is financing the activities of COPENHAGEN ULTRACONTEMPORARY BIENNALE and some of the artworks from the gallery become part of the Delay Museum art collection.
Below is a selection of artworks by Thierry Geoffroy/ COLONEL, produced in Cape Town during ArtAfricaFair where the artworks were exhibited the same day as they are produced and furthermore dealt with topics related to emergencies of today; Such as climate change, deportation, corruption, media propaganda etc.
Especially xenophobia was in focus with conflicts and violent protest, which were alarming especially for a country like South Africa, which proudly defines itself as multicultural and ethnically diverse. The artist also tried to connect the xenophobia problems in South Africa with those in Scandinavia, where he lives.
Thierry Geoffroy/ COLONEL’s artistic praxis is driven by the vision of creating awareness about dysfunctions in the world through art and in time. He has since 1988 been working with art formats that can support the production and presentation of artworks produced in the now. One of the earliest formats Ultrafast gave the setting for a line of exhibitions that were changing in different ways. Either they were moving in space, for example exhibitions on clothes of people who are moving; or they where changing the same place but with new artworks daily replacing the old ones.
This ultrafast pulsing way of working has not only to do with alertness and speed, but also with time. This is why the artist later introduced another term Ultracontemporary, which links more to the notion of time and carries on a critical positioning to the established understanding of contemporary art. Contemporaneity is an interesting phenomenon because it forces us to make a connection between us and the time. Con –tempo (with time) is alluding some kind of togetherness or closeness to the present moment. To express with time (Con –tempo) would thus mean to express while you are still with in it. Today’s understanding of contemporary has become so open that it basically covers all kinds of art made in and after 20th century, or art made and produced by artists living today independently of its pertinence for the present moment. By using the word Ultra and creating a new term Ultracontemporary, the artist brings the focus to the time aspect and insists on contemporary being in the now.
Apart from the speed and time Thierry Geoffroy/ COLONEL also focuses on the content, which has to be in the now too, relating to what is happening in the world at the moment. There are many burning topics that need to be addressed on the spot before it is too late. The artist calls this kind of artEmergencyArt. It is art produced by artists who are alert, who recognize dysfunctions and grab the most urgent ones that cannot wait to be expressed about. This way of working includes ranking of emergencies. Like in a real hospital emergency where the doctor would have to priorities between the different patients based on the level of emergency.
Thierry Geoffroy / COLONEL, Born 1961 www.colonel.dkThierry Geoffroy, also known as COLONEL, is a French artist, living in Copenhagen, Denmark. He is a format artist developing art formats, most known being EMERGENCY ROOM, BIENNALIST and CRITICAL RUN. Thierry Geoffroy / COLONEL has published 6 books and his artworks are included in international museum collections. He is Chevalier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres.SELECTED GROUP AND ONE-MAN SHOWS from 2007 to 2015:P.S.1/ MOMA New York, USA; ZKM Museum Karlsruhe, DE; Sprengel Museum, Hannover, DE; Moderna Museet, the Museum of Modern Art, Stockholm, SE; HEART- Herning Museum of Contemporary Art Denmark, Herning, DK; Plazzo Delle Arti Napoli, IT; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Roskilde, DK; Galerie Asbaek Copenhagen, DK; The Maldives Pavilion, Venice Biennale, Venice, IT; Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool, UK, Manifesta Biennal, Murcia, ES; National Museum Rejkavik, FI; Galerie Olaf Stüber, Berlin, DE, IKM Museum, Oslo, NO; Fries Museum, Leeuwarden, NL; Devron Arts, Huntly, Aberdeenshire, SCO; The Model, Sligo, IR; Fotografisk Center, Copenhagen, DK; Cairo Biennale, Cairo, EG; Blackwood Gallery Toronto, CAN; Galerie Ileana Tounta, Athens, GR; Kunsthalle Osnabrück, Osnabrück, DE