Nick Bastis - Henrik Olai Kaarstein - Valerie Snobeck / Opening November 15 at Catherine Bastide

Galerie Catherine Bastide

Henrik Olai Kaarstein

Valerie Snobeck
Go Soft
(Film projection)

Nick Bastis
Making Friends

Opening  Saturday 15 November - 6 to 9 pm
16 November - 24 January, 2014


("Lady Pride, national pride, gay pride, parental pride, maternal pride, artistic pride, female pride, classless pride, pride lecture, we are proud, bongo pride, cock pride, pride tears, tears of pride, proud shit, proud abstraction, proud patience, proud future, Europride, pink pride, proud blue, red pride, proud black, orange pride, proud violet, purple pride, proud white, yellow pride, pride grey, proud flower, proud rose, proud sex, good pride, less good pride, adequate pride, proud Magdalene of Magdala, proud in Persia, proud at home, proud in water, proud with a gun")

- Henrik Olai Kaarstein

Henrik Olai Kaarstein's work is an exploration of the domestic, the intimate and the private in its materials, its rituals and its aspirations. It is often made out of found objects, many of them functioning as a sort of personal image bank and having a sentimental as well as an aesthetic value: a sleeping bag, an office table, a fake rose, a tissue paper box, some underwear packaging, some cardboard sheets, and so forth. His paintings are not painted on conventional canvases, as he uses various objects and materials soaked in paint or stained by it, rather than the paint being deposited on the surface of the canvas. Characters, symbolic systems and recurring imagery are used such as a swimming/drowning divas, some birds, roses, torsos, objectified men, and even some terrorists, all brought into play in colorful abstractions. Kaarstein relies on these various sources to paint even though he works in a intuitive way, allowing mistakes made during the process to remain or even to be highlighted, letting the process of soaking his supports sometimes damage the surface if needs be, to embrace, "the murky line between creation and destruction". The constant feed of news, information and disinformation is source of excitement and fascination for Kaarstein, who equates the confusion delivered by mass media each time a sensational situation arises with something he wants to project in his own art, such as in "Dzhokhar Rose", based on the press images of the surviving sibling of the Boston Marathon Bombers.

Henrik Olai Kaarstein was born in Oslo, Norway in 1989. He has attended the Nordland College of Art and Film, Kabelvåg, Norway and is currently enrolled at the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main. He has exhibited in Milan, Oslo, Naples, London, Athens and Rome.



There's a monochromatic green filling up the frame. We hear the sound of footsteps approaching. A hand lays down a non-running mechanical pocket watch, and sets up tools nearby. Over the next hour, we see the horologist's hands filmed from above, meticulously take apart, clean up and maintain the watch mechanism before putting it back together. The video unwinds a continuous cycle of removal, resuscitation, and delay.

Valerie Snobeck's video, "Go Soft" uses formal constraints similar to those within the Structural film tradition. Throughout the video the watch does not give us the time, at least not a regimented time of notched minutes. Dismantled, the watch becomes an object to watch. Many objects, gears unlatched from one another, and unlatched from chronology, move in and out of the frame.

Engraved on one of the gears are the letters S H E L L. This watch was originally lubricated with Shell oil. In the 1940s the watch was a promotional item, a way of lubricating the public's opinion into positive thoughts about the oceans, the future and our control of it.

Valerie Snobeck was born in Wadena, MN, in 1980. BFA, St. Cloud State University, 2003, MFA, University of Chicago, 2008. Her work has been exhibited in the United States and in Europe, at the 2014 Whitney Biennial, the University of Delaware, the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago, and the Consortium in Dijon. She lives and works in New York.


NICK BASTIS - Making Friends

On this particular morning, Sam's internet was down, so he went out for a stroll along the river. He looked over to the other side and thought he saw his friend Mose. He couldn't be sure from that distance – it could have been someone else with a similar stride and the same hair-do as Mose. Sam decided to take the bridge across the river and see whether it was Mose.

Mose was walking on the other side of the river. As he looked across the river, he thought he saw his good friend Sam. He was almost sure it was Sam, but at the same time, he knew it could have been someone who looked just like Sam with a comparable puffy jacket. He decided to take the bridge across the river to see if it was Sam.

On the bridge, it turned out that it was neither one of them.

- As told by Gijs Milius

Rather than expressing something in particular, the work is more concerned with the mechanisms of expression itself and its contingencies, produced through minor interjections in already occurring processes, flirting with an evacuation of the ego. Well, except for the sculpture of the guy with his penis looped into his own anus. That is an autonomous piece.

Nick Bastis (MFA, 2013, University of Chicago), was born in New York in 1985. Currently based between Brussels, BE and Vilnius, LT. Works recently shown at the Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago, US), Fluxia (Milan, IT) and Objectif (Antwerp, BE), upcoming shows at Regards (Chicago, US), Podium (Olso, NO), Kunsthalle Athena (Athens, GR), Chapter NY (New York City, US).

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