Curated by Michelle Cotton
Friday 2 July 2010 to Saturday 7 August 2010
Paul Sietsema’s sculpture, drawing and 16mm films explore the basic mechanics of aesthetics; how information is formulated in images and objects and the way in which ideas are filtered through representational structures that have evolved over time.
Photographs, printed media, objects that resemble museological artifacts and other cultural fragments are recurrent subjects. Such items are processed through the activity of his making or re-making, gradually becoming redefined by the syntax of the medium itself. Within his films, they provide the focus for exhaustive enquiry. Historical working methods, such as the fixed-camera techniques associated with Structuralist cinema wear-out fascination with the subject on screen and redirect attention to the apparatus. As such, the physical character of film; the grain of the image, sound of the projector and periods of overexposure punctuate the experience and interrupt the sequence of immersive representation.
At Cubitt, Sietsema will show a new version of his most recent film, Anticultural Positions that was made in response to an invitation to give a public talk about his work. The film takes its title from a 1951 lecture by the painter Jean Dubuffet in which the artist readdressed the subject of Primitivism aligning its expressive qualities with painting as a cultural form. Dubuffet discusses ‘unintentional’ mark-making as the most ‘real’ or factual type of mark, regressing to acultural or anticultural status, uncorrupted by reason and linguistic thought. Sietsema’s film alternates between sections of imagery and a reconstructed version of Dubuffet’s text, forming a fragmented but eloquent monologue that both resembles and eschews the standard format of the artist lecture. Rather than adopting conventions of anecdote or explanation, Sietsema’s ‘lecture’ attempts an intimate view of practice, pairing Dubuffet’s discourse on painting with the abstract accumulation of materials such as paint, ink, plaster and cement on the work surfaces in his own studio.
This will be Paul Sietsema’s first solo exhibition in the UK.
Paul Sietsema was born in Los Angeles in 1968 and studied at the University of California in Berkley and Los Angeles. Solo exhibitions of his work have been held at The Museum of Modern Art New York, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum, New York. ‘Anticultural Positions’ is also currently on display at the Schinkel Pavillon in Berlin. Sietsema is currently in receipt of a DAAD fellowship in Berlin. He lives and works in Los Angeles and Berlin.