From November 17 2006 to January 07 2007

TAKE MY BREATH AWAY

ERIKA ARZT, berlin
CAT BARICH, londres
CATHERINE BOLDUC, montréal
CLAIRE HARVEY, amsterdam
ELENI KAMMA, athènes
DANIELA KLEIN, berlin
NOÉMI MCCOMBER, montreal

Exhibition November 17, 2006 to January 7, 2007
Opening Friday, November 17, 7 pm
Artist talks Sunday, November 19, 6 pm

The proposition of this show, which calls to mind sentimental pop songs of the 80's, invites seven young international artists to respond. On one side, there is a yearning for something grander, more beautiful, the romanticism and quiet hope that the title evokes. On the other, understood literally, we find a more destructive tendency, a potential for annihilation. The exhibition unfolds in this equivocal space; in this divided ground where hope and disillusion fire off each other.
 

Using drawing, sound, video and sculptural installations, the artists take the title of the show and respond in their own individual ways. From a hopeful idealism to a sardonic pessimism, each work contains a desire which seeks to transcend the immediate reality to reach an 'elsewhere', a space which is 'other'. The exhibition has a strong performative character; the works presented oscillate between the public and the private spheres, between success and failure, between action and contemplation. Several of the works have been specially commissioned for the exhibition, in keeping with the specificity of La Centrale's space.

A version of Take my breath away was presented in London, UK, in April 2003, at the Hotel Bellville project space.

Eleni Kamma presents a series of drawings inspired by discarded architectural plans, children's books and decorative tapestry. These are composed as delicate baroque structures that appear to re-configure themselves endlessly. Kamma introduces us to a fabulous universe of complexity; an intoxicating maze with abundant interrelated and interrupted narrative fragments.

Using lights, found objects and trashy material, Catherine Bolduc constructs precarious and sumptuous installations. Her work opens up a field of possibility; a space that is enticing but not always viable. The artist allows the viewer access to an enchanted world, but one generally out of reach, if not illusory. Bolduc articulates her work according to a given space; at La Centrale she will be occupying the gallery's front window, through a constellation of mirrors and lights, presenting the perspective of a labyrinthine world, at once entrancing and disquieting.

The work of Claire Harvey is composed of drawings, paintings, projected shadow installations and songs. She documents the passing of time, its irreversible character, the ephemeral and fugitive quality of each moment gone by. Pensive and melancholic, but tinged with humour, her work examines the dualities which fill up everyday existence; presence that gives way to absence, a sense of fullness that becomes empty, transience that turns to stillness, the unique in relation to the multiple.

Cat Barich scrutinizes the border between the real world and the constructed one. The artist is preoccupied with the notion of essence and its structure, seeking to expose the mechanism at play between the two. She presents the appearance of her subjects and contemplates their flipside. Through performance, video, painting and writing, Barich manages to find escape routes away from the usual entry points and exits, whether physical, psychological or imaginary.

In her video work, Noémi McComber examines how individuals react when faced with given social constraints. Considering the implicit rules which govern any social space, the artist attempts to reformulate the potential ground that an individual, a group or entity can come to occupy. The public realm becomes a playing field for the artist to experiment with these limits and allow the emergence of a new poetic space.

The drawings of Daniela Klein belong to the realm of fantasy. Through her meticulous work, the artist projects her desires, dreams and nightmares onto paper. The result transports the viewer into the unique world of the artist, composed of winged bodies, rare animals and invented characters. Her drawings have the power to simultaneously attract and repulse the viewer. With a firm and precise touch, the artist threads the strings of our sensitive experience.

The work of Erika Arzt focuses on the notion of authenticity; an individual take is inscribed into the world. Through performance, video and photographic works, the artist interprets images and their content as bearers of promises. Her work points to the moment where experience turns to form; where lived experience takes on a formal character. In this exhibition, Arzt presents a series of works that seek to truncate reality, a collection of chosen moments which become evanescent, ethereal, slowly vanishing..
 

Eleni Kamma was born in Athens, Greece, in 1973. She has presented her work in several European countries, including Italy, Greece, the United Kingdom and Bosnia. She holds a Masters degree from Chelsea College of Art in London (2002) and her work is part of many private collections in Greece. She lives and works in Athens and is represented by gazonrouge gallery, Athens, Greece.


Catherine Bolduc was born in Val-d'Or, Quebec, in 1970. She has shown her work extensively in Quebec and in Europe (Spain, Netherlands, France, Ireland and Belgium). In 2001 she received the Duchamp-Villon prize from the exhibition centre Plein Sud in Longueuil (Qc). She holds a Masters degree from the Université du Québec à Montréal (2005). She lives and works in Montreal.


Claire Harvey was born in Wing, United Kingdom, in 1976. After completing postgraduate studies in London (UK), she benefited of a two year residency at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam in 2003/04. She has shown her work in the Netherlands, Greece, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia. She lives and works in Amsterdam and is represented by Fons Welters gallery (Amsterdam) and STORE (London).


Cat Barich was born in Hamburg, Germany, in 1973. She holds a Masters degree from Chelsea College of Art, London (2002) and was awarded the Art Stipendiaten prize from the city of Hamburg in 2004. She has exhibited her work through Europe (Russia, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Germany, Greece, Austria, France and Poland). She lives and works in London, United Kingdom.


Noémi McComber was born in Montréal, Quebec, in 1975. She completed a BFA at Concordia University in 1998 and an MA in visual and media arts at Chelsea College of Art in London, United Kingdom, in 2002. She has shown her work in Quebec and in Europe (Russia, Greece, United Kingdom, Austria, Spain, Germany). She lives and works in Montréal.


Daniela Klein was born in Speyer/Rhein, Germany, in 1974. She holds two Masters degrees, one from HDK Berlin and the other from Chelsea College of Art, London (2002). A permanent installation of her work (sculptural and video) is displayed at the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, Berlin. She has exhibited her work in Norway, the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. She lives and works in Berlin.


Erika Arzt was born in Scheibbs, Austria, in 1969. She holds a BFA and an MA from Chelsea College of Art, London, UK (2002). In 2005, she received a prize for her collaborative work with Juan Linares, and their project Idensitat 05/06 Calaf/Manresa (Spain). She has exhibited her work in Spain, Austria, the United Kingdom and Germany. She lives and works in Berlin.

TAKE MY BREATH AWAY