Galerie Jette Rudolph GmbH, Strausberger Platz 4, D-10243 Berlin
Opening: 2015/01/17 18:00
AFTER WORK is the first solo show by artist Simon Gush (born in 1981 in Pietermaritzburg; lives and works in Johannesburg) in Berlin and at the Jette Rudolph Gallery.
By means of the preposition “after” that precedes the exhibition’s title, Simon Gush shifts the “work” motif into a post-position on many levels and performs his reflexive procedures in various ways: through self-experimentation with the first-person perspective, through philosophical and reflexive observation from the outside, but also by making use of interpersonal discourse or participatory action.
Thus, in his well-coordinated selection of matching black-and-white videos “Sunday Light” (2013), “Calvin and Holiday” (2014) or “I see you” (2013), Gush extracts peripheral settings that feature a type of “work” barely noticeable in today’s global service society since it is pushed to the edge of that which is visible: Sunday workers, historical monuments for the worker, or vacation work. For example, in the video “Sunday Light” (2013), the camera captures scenes that show streets devoid of people, giving us evidence of suspended work such as cranes that are not in use, locked factory gates and glass façades of office buildings reflecting the sun. In between, we catch fleeting glimpses of figures as tiny as miniatures scaling (glass) surfaces: window cleaners who do their job on a day off, on Sunday – in other words, it’s a job that doesn’t officially take place.
The form of the first-person narrator gives viewers access to the non-presentable notions thematised by Gush, such as work, leisure time, Calvinism, etc. – and it is this form that lets viewers pick up the artist’s train of thought, so that they can concur with him or expand upon his thoughts by pursuing their own assumptions:
"Calvinism was a term I heard often when I was younger in 1990s South Africa, ... . It seemed appropriate to explore this deeply embedded idea of work while I was on holiday." (Simon Gush: Calvin & Holiday)
(Text by J.Rudolph // Translation by Cathy Lara & Associates)
Talk: Simon Gush & Philipp Kleinmichel: Sonntag, 18. Jan. 2015 um 14 Uhr