JONATHAN MONK - Three Ball Total Equilibrium Tank and other problems
Monday, June 15, 2020 at 6:00 pm, after the long pause caused by Covid-19 pandemic, Quartz Studio is pleased to present Three Ball Total Equilibrium Tank and other problems, an edition by Jonathan Monk (Leicester, UK, 1969), purposely conceived for the Turin non-profit space. The project of this edition, following the one of Poster (Manifesto), realized in collaboration with Maurizio Nannucci in 2014, was pending since the exhibition Cool Your Jets (2016), resulting from a dialogue between Liam Gillick and Jonathan Monk on the topics of soccer and economy. Now, within the expanded time of the health emergency, that idea finally takes shape in order to support Quartz through the production of an edition of 10 (+1 AP). On the occasion, three installations have been produced. Each of them is composed by seven hexagonal cement tiles replicating the colors of the original Quartz floor cement tiles and three balls realized in Germany in 2016, thanks to the technical advice of Giulia Mainetti from Altofragile studio, Milan. The original project for the exhibition Cool Your Jets - writes the critic Marco Scotti – was born from a conversation between Jonathan Monk and Liam Gillick, in which to the questions posed by the latter related to themes of contemporary sociology, the former replied with quotations from the world of football. In Monk’s continuous interactions between conceptual art and autobiography, this sport regularly recurs, starting with his beloved Leicester City Football Club. Amidst the artist’s memories and works we find the collages The little things make all the difference, photos of actions during football matches slightly modified changing the position of the ball, Keep Stills, where letraset letters are superimposed over heads within old photographs - occasionally footballers - to compose phrases from On Kawara, or Alighiero Boetti’s world maps redesigned through football uniforms instead of national flags, and minimal sculptures by Sol LeWitt transformed into functional football goals.
Starting from September 2020, Quartz Studio exhibition programme will feature Henri Chopin (Paris, FR, 1922 - Norfolk, UK, 2008) curated by Eva Brioschi, Gernot Wieland (Vienna, AU, 1968) curated by Zasha Colah, Giovanni Kronenberg (Milan, IT, 1974), Lihi Tujerman (Tel Aviv, Israel, 1985) curated by Noam Segal, Martina Steckholzer (Vipiteno, IT, 1974) curated by Lisa Parola and Alice Channel (Oxford, UK, 1977). Such a commitment represents a growing path for the future, which cannot disregard the involvement of anybody who wish to promote, together with Quartz, a different idea of city and community. This is the reason why we have created the membership, a light and flexible form of participation and support dedicated to our community. Thought for a diverse audience with different levels of involvement, the membership will offer a variety of rewards and possibility of interaction, in turn connected with the different exhibition and publishing projects. Moreover, Quartz decided to open an Instagram page aiming for a broader communication of its own projects and a more direct connection with artists and supporters. Through these novelties, Quartz wishes to grow further, to realize its mission to the fullest and to turn it into an instrument of active participation. Together with anybody who will choose to join our community, we will support the artists, help the communication of the exhibitions, provide some educational offer for Turin University and Fine Arts Academy students, and support the promotion of external events. With our exhibitions we faced topics such as ecology, the feminine, psychomagic, capitalism, the idea of sculptural "form", sensuality, the game, communication, politics, history, fairy tale's narrative, the inner perception, memory and archives. In the next future, with the help from others, we would like to keep on producing complex thoughts in simple form.
Quartz Studio means to rethink itself by announcing the achievement of a new formula of confrontation and collaboration with various subjects (curators, art historians, educators, etc.), who across the time expressed and demonstrated common intentions in respect of a specific project. Keeping its nature of small independent reality, acting by site-specific projects that can be seen by everybody through its display window on the street, the space ramifies its own identity into a series of relationships that are activated according to the exhibition programme. Quartz would like to thank all the artists hosted so far (Allora & Calzadilla, Salvatore Arancio, Maurizio Camerani, Sara Enrico, Giuseppe Gabellone, Ryan Gander, Liam Gillick, Isa Melsheimer, Jonathan Monk, Maurizio Nannucci, Jorge Macchi, Adrien Missika, Riccardo Previdi, Andrea Respino, Astrid Svangren, Ola Vasiljeva, Yarisal & Kublitz e Athena Vida aka Gitte Shafer), the Fondazione Sardi per l'Arte and Lisa Parola for supporting its activity in 2018, and all those who gave and are giving their contribution in various way for a better visibility of the space and the communication of its contents, among them Elisa Barbero, Veronica Barisan, Eva Brioschi, Franz Bernardelli, Zasha Colah, Gianluigi Ricuperati, Maria Teresa Roberto, Marco Scotti, Noam Segal, Nina Wöhlk.
Jonathan Monk (Leicester, UK, 1969) lives and works in Berlin. Monk received a BFA from Leicester Polytechnic in 1988 and an BFA from Glasgow School of Art in 1991. In his work, Monk adopts the esthetics and practices of 1960s Conceptualism, but infuses the tradition with humor, levity, and autobiographical elements. In 1992 Monk sold paintings of low-budget travel advertisements for the price of the vacation package itself. In 1994 he mocked the artist's gesture and persona by writing his name in urine on a beach in. And in 1995 and 1997 he took on the role of a driver awaiting various arriving passengers—Marcel Duchamp, Elizabeth Taylor, Jeff Koons, Kate Moss, Mom—in the Copenhagen airport terminal. While he was living in Los Angeles, Monk created None of the Buildings on Sunset Strip (1997–99) in reaction to Ed Ruscha's famed photographic artist book. Monk produced two highly personal slide projections; In Search of Gregory Peck (1997) shows found photographs of the artist's father as a tourist in Europe in the 1950s and The Gap Between My Mother and My Sister (1998) chronicles the trip between the homes of his mother and sister. Monk's ongoing series Meetings (begun in 1999) proposes future dates and locations as hypothetical invitations to congregate, playing off of the text-based work of Lawrence Weiner and On Kawara. In 2002 Monk passed time as 50 nearly-identical photographs of the artist were developed in 50 different one-hour labs. For the ongoing project Day & Night (begun in 2002), Monk sends postcards to institutions rather than friends or family. For Keep Still (2002–04) the artist places white block letters atop the head of each figure in found group photographs spelling words or phrases like “today,” “a cube,” and “buzz. The slide show Big Ben (2003) projects postcards showing the London monument at the same time of day as the gallery. Monk mocked the display stipulations that often accompany contemporary art as well as the curatorial process in works like This painting should ideally be kept in storage (2004), This painting should ideally be hung near a Sol LeWitt (2004), and This painting should ideally be hung slightly too close to a Douglas Huebler (2005). Monk has created several works in neon; perhaps the best known are several from 2005 which display the hours that the hosting gallery is open to the public, a work that is turned on during opening hours and switched off at closing time. Also in 2005 Monk translated several of the neon innovations of his artistic predecessors into opaque painted aluminum in Corner Piece (for Bruce Nauman) and Corner Piece (for Dan Flavin). In 2009 Monk exhibited five stainless-steel sculptures that offer deflated versions of Jeff Koon's signature balloon bunny.
Solo exhibitions of his work have been organized by Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow (1992 and 1994), Centre d'Art Contemporain in Neuchatel (1997), Museum Kunst Palast in Dusseldorf (2003), Institute of Contemporary Art in London (2005), Kunstverein Hannover (2006), Palais de Tokyo + Musee d'Art Moderne in Paris (2008), and Artpace in San Antonio (2009). His work has also been included in group exhibitions such as Taipei Biennial (2000), Berlin Biennale (2001), Venice Biennale (2003), Whitney Biennial (2006), Prague Biennale (2007), and Panama Biennial (2008).
Jonathan Monk is represented by Casey Kaplan, New York (USA); Lisson Gallery, London (UK); Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen (Denmark); Meyer Riegger, Karlsruhe/Berlin (Germany); Dvir Gallery, Tel Aviv, (Israel); Massimo Minini, Brescia (Italy).
Quartz Studio would like to thank the artist and Sonia Rosso for the precious advice.