Fri 13 July
Opening: The Silent Clowns
The Silent Clowns is an international group show, which runs from July 13 until September 16 2012 at Showroom MAMA. The Silent Clowns exhibition takes slapstick and physical forms of comedy as its starting point. Slapstick being a world of conflicts, disasters and catastrophic transformation, a place where extravagant chaos prevails and where the whims of chance reign over all forms of logic.
The title is derived from the film critic Walter Kerr’s book, The Silent Clowns, about the history of silent film comedy. The gags in these well-known black and white movies can be traced back to the 16th century theatre of commedia dell’arte, and 19th century vaudeville theatre. The visual spectacle and physical nature of its jokes meant this form of folk theatre comedywas ideal for adaptation to the silver screen.
The artworks in the exhibition are connected by the context of slapstick. Objects take on a life of their own; they shrink or grow and physical discomforts are magnified in clownish ways. The artists are physically present in their works in the same way a slapstick actor is an integral part of their humorous actions. Willem Claassen’s installation fills the space, its autonomy is contrasted by the fact it provides a context for the participating artists’ video woks.
During the closing event on Friday 14 September modern dancers Melanie Wirz (CH, 1986) and Jakob Witte (NL, 1984) shall choreograph a work inspired by the exhibition’s layout.