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Divided We Stand

Gabriel Lester & Jonas Lund

Gabriel Lester & Jonas Lund

born 1972 in Amsterdam, Netherlands
lives in Amsterdam

born 1984 in Linköping, Sweden
lives in Berlin, Germany, and Amsterdam

In Gabriel Lester’s work, storytelling, film, sculpture, and design are combined to produce experiences that perform evocatively, eschewing resolvable meaning or narrative. His work rigorously steers clear of categorization, always cohering, without settling into medium distinctions. This challenge to preconceptions of what artists can do in the world is one of the central contributions of Lester’s work. First a prose writer and electronic musician, he subsequently transitioned through work in film, and more structuralist sculptural-cinematic efforts, before moving into a mode of sculpture which imaginatively interrogates architectural inventions. In 2013, he and Marine Vletter founded Polylester, an indefinable art and design studio which executes public art and architectural commissions. This collaborative approach continues to inform Lester’s work. Bermuda (2016) for example is a cinematicinstallation executed in collaboration with several actors and fabricators. Therein, objects evoking a whimsical desert island are installed on a spotlit shelf. In combination with dramatic lighting, spoken narrative and soundeffects emphasize the installation’s desert-island narrative.
Titled The Conditioning (2018), Lester’s site-specific installation for the Busan Biennale pursues a more sober but no less immersive critique of architectural space, and politics. This effort began with works like Cross Section (2006), Big Bang (2007), and Big Bang Pang (2013). In those pieces, viewers passed through multiple false walls inside the gallery, each excised with geometrically and organically shaped hollows, which drew attention around our often forgotten experience of space. With The Conditioning, Lester gives this method a political and softly institutional-critical function. Many falsewalls have been clustered near the entrances to the Busan Museum of Contemporary Art’s basement exhibition spaces—architecturally compressed obstacles through which viewers have to walk, back and forth. Each wall is covered in propagandist imagery, from Korea and across the world—yet the compressed space doesn’t allow for any panoramic viewpoint onto these images, leaving the viewer with haunting fragmentary glimpses of the Cold War era as they enter the exhibition space.
In collaboration with artist Jonas Lund, Lester is also realizing a web-based project which in real time, on the Biennale’s social media as well as website, creates a state of flux, of a shifting ongoing narrative, as a kind of play that performs different positions, to reflect on the current geo-political state of divisions, of binary oppositions in terms of territory and world-views, ideas and ideologies.
주요 개인전

2017
Groninger Museum, Groningen, The Netherlands
2016
The Nine Day Week, CAC Vilnius, Lithuania
Unresolved, De Appel arts centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2014
Follies, Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn, Germany

주요 그룹전

2018
Another Dimension, NEST, The Hague, The Netherlands
2017
Radicale Sociale Animale, Cobra Museum, Amstelveen, The Netherlands
2015
Saltwater, a theory of thought forms, 14th Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey