601Artspace partners with artists, curators and other not-for-profit organizations to produce unconventional exhibitions, talks, film screenings and special projects within a non-commercial context. Its permanent collection acts as a catalyst for artistic and curatorial encounters. Through these interdisciplinary practices 601Artspace engages and investigates issues in the making, organizing, and reception of contemporary art.


601 West 26th St., #1755
New York, NY 10001
212-243-2735
info@601artspace.org
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Affinities Alignments Collisions


March 1, 2008 -
January 15, 2009
Curated by Robert Blake

JOHN BALDESSARI
UTA BARTH
VIJA CELMINS
THOMAS DEMAND
OLAFUR ELIASSON
CANDIDA HÖFER
SHIN IL KIM
ROBERT LONGO
CHRISTIAN MARCLAY
JENNIFER & KEVIN MCCOY
ASAKO NARAHASHI
RIVANE NEUENSCHWANDER
GABRIEL OROZCO
ED RUSCHA
THOMAS STRUTH
FIONA TAN
JEFF WALL
Research for this exhibit considered contemporary art in photography, video, installation, and works on paper. The curator’s ruse took shape as a loose set of détournements, artworks assembled and turned, fixed in relation to one another. As Okwui Enwezor has said of artworks in exhibition, “Happily, they are only under temporary house arrest.”

Brought into a visual and physical relationship, the artworks construct a delicate or not so delicate set of arrangements. Some of the works have affinities, qualities or properties that are drawn towards each other. When we see images strengthened in an alliance, a happy coincidence, a conspiracy of resonance and intelligibility follows. Implicit and elective affinities combine, refract and multiply.

I improvise a score made visible. The space offers its chance dimensions, columns, and windows. Everything exists discretely where and how it is. The works invite an uncanny play of the familiar. Alignments of horizon, scale and content, unveil alternative readings. Alignments announce the desire to re-align, and to alter the axis of representation.

Contested terrain and dissonance are part of the artistic, social and political sublime. Our uneasiness with conflict reveals issues of power and authority in cultural territories and discourses. What follows when works that don't belong together are made unwilling neighbors or unwitting partners? Collisions allow for the unexpected and the unexplainable to protest. What maintains the illusion of a difference that counts, establishes ground, and holds onto it? The artists and their objects resist and betray the intentions of their brief housing. They flourish amiably, independent of the walls that contain them.

Robert Blake, Curator
New York, 2008

Robert Blake (b. 1952) is a multi-media and performance artist, photographer, educator, and author. Mr. Blake directed The General Studies Program of the International Center of Photography, New York, 1985-2008. He was visiting artist at the Ecole Superièure Nationale de la Photographie, France, 2008, and curator of Affinities, Alignments, Collisions, 2008, 601ARTSPACE, New York. In 2005, the Rencontres d’ Arles commissioned his multi-media performance and projection work I am not a Photograph, presented in Arles, France. Mr. Blake is the recipient of an Etant Donnée grant for his solo exhibit, Legend, Paris, 2000. He is co-founder with Susan Jahoda of the performance art group Hybridaxe, active since 1992.