Revital Cohen & Tuur Van Balen

White Horse/ Twin Horse (rehearsing an exhibition)

In the work of artist duo Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen, process and final result are so intertwined that exhibiting their works demands new approaches. The result is a collaborative exhibition in five acts that is constantly in flux.

Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen describe their work as ‘situated practice’: a practice in which the work is created within various networks and whereby the process is every bit as important as the final result. One example is the new trade route they came up with in order to import fireworks from Liuyang in China to Congo, where the fireworks were set off in an open-cast mine (Trapped in the Dream of the Other, 2017); another is their design for an object, the sole purpose of which is to stimulate particular movements in the workers on the production line in a Chinese factory (75 Watt, 2013). These ambitious projects – which often take years to complete in cooperation with specialists from a range of specialist fields – require a great deal of research in advance, and this too makes up an integral part of the work.

 

An exhibition in five acts

Inspired by De Brakke Grond’s operation as a multidisciplinary presentation venue, the duo have derived a number of techniques and formats from the theatre in order to experiment with forms that reveal their process and research. As a result, for White Horse/ Twin Horse (rehearsing an exhibition) they will present their process in a series of acts or repetitions. Not only will they bring all their works from storage and archives to the theatre space, they will also be inviting experts (including curator Samuel Saelemakers, theatre-maker Anne Breure and artist Tyler Coburn) to activate the works at five different moments. By this, the duo are abandoning the usual, static mode of exhibition for a more collaborative, open model that embraces experimentation. 

 

New connectedness

Usually, what goes on behind the scenes is hidden from the eyes of the public. Not so in White Horse/ Twin Horse (rehearsing an exhibition) – an exhibition that seems to be constantly in the reconfiguration phase. New, performative work will be created on the spot from material derived from blogs, e-mails and other texts written by Cohen and Van Balen, and this will recur repeatedly throughout the exhibition in the form of a ‘live rehearsal’. White Horse/ Twin Horse (rehearsing an exhibition) is – to stay with the theatre analogy – more of a rehearsal than a final performance. This unusual way of working is also a way of showing a new connectedness between the various projects the artists have worked on in previous years.

 

Residue

Within the evolving nature of the exhibition, there is also space for quiet reflection, recorded as text by a writer-in-residence bearing witness to the transition between each act. This documentation will be made available to the visitors as an insight into the genesis of the current status reached by the exhibition. The project will be completed with a study day on Friday, 26 January 2018, at which artists and thinkers will together examine, by invitation, the intersection between process, research, repetition and presentation. During the last weekend of the exhibition these results will be shared with the public.  

Rehearsals:

  • 9 Dec - 20 Dec: Rehearsal 01 Index by Revital Cohen & Tuur Van Balen 
  • 21 Dec - 6 Jan: Rehearsal 02 Moonbouncing by curator Samuel Saelemakers
  • 7 - 12 Jan: Rehearsal 03 Walkthrough by artist and writer Tyler Coburn 
  • 13 - 28 Jan: Rehearsal 04 Dormant remains by curator Christina Li 
  • [to be confirmed]: Rehearsal 05 by artistic director Anne Breure 
  • 26 Jan: Rehearsal/ Repetition. During this study day the artists, the public and Z33 will reflect on all the past rehearsals.

In collaboration with: Z33, Huis voor Actuele Kunst, Hasselt (BE).

Supported by: Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst. 

About the artists

Revital Cohen (UK) and Tuur Van Balen (BE) live and work in London. They have recently exhibited in Para Site in Hong Kong, at the 7th Moscow Biennale, Kunstverein Düsseldorf, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary Vienna, Fotomuseum Winterthur, HKW Berlin and Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo. Their work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York and M+ Museum, Hong Kong. The first retrospective exhibition of their work will take place in Z33 in Hasselt in 2019. 

Credits
Images Heart Lines Production Still, 2016 © Revital Cohen en Tuur van Balen
Trapped in the Dream of the Other Production Still, 2017 © Revital Cohen en Tuur van Balen
75 Watt Production Still, 2013 © Revital Cohen en Tuur van Balen
Dissolution (i Know Nothing) Production Still, 2016 © Revital Cohen en Tuur van Balen
Sterile Production Still, 2014 © Revital Cohen en Tuur van Balen
In collaboration with Z33, Huis voor Actuele Kunst, Hasselt (BE)
Supported byAmsterdam Fund for the Arts and Mondriaan Fund