Barely Furtive Pleasures at Nir Altman / Munich

Srijon Chowdhury, Inga Danysz, Eva Gold, Marie Matusz, Marina Sula / Barely Furtive Pleasures
Curated by Olivia Aherne

February 13 - 21 March, 2020 

Nir Altman
Ringseisstrasse 4 Rgb
80337 Munich

Photo: Dirk Tacke
All the images are Courtesy of the artist and Nir Altman, Munich 
All the images of Srijon Chowdhury are Courtesy of the artist and Antoine Levi, Paris

Barely Furtive Pleasures can be experienced as a ‘psychological theatre’, a play in which each act shifts from submission to control, invisible to (hyper)visible and from desire to disgust - continuously affecting: explicitly and subconsciously.

Inhabiting conflicting positions at once, each of the works toy with the implicit and the explicit, the subject and the object. Carrying with them beauty, horror, disagreement and dissolution, they illuminate fluid demarcations, unstable territories and the unconscious. It is here in the spaces of repression, where power, control and agency are flipped, spun and recast, it is here that the psyche is split open, revealed.

While the works are presented static in the space, they each provoke a specific choreography, a gesture, a liaison - a scene possibly yet to unfold. Ambivalent in its own chronology, the exhibition exists in a moment far gone and yet still to take place, asking questions around the relapse of time and history, and our memory of how things came to be. The works’ shifting positions, often covert whilst in plain sight, reveal the transitory nature of power, control and agency: who is looking, who is in control, what is at stake? Both unsettling and alluring, they stage a psychological and emotional break up - psychosis as a form of catharsis.

The exhibition explores both presence and negation, with works that are suggestive of a body but refuse its spectacle - unconsumed, ghostly and lingering. It is in this haunting space, of push and pull, of duality and multiplicity, where the disentanglement and dissolution of the self might begin.


SRIJON CHOWDHURY (b. 1987, Dhaka, Bangladesh, lives and works between Los Angeles and Portland). Chowdhury’s paintings reference diverse histories, contemporary and ancient mythologies and mysticism. His dream-like compositions are at once unsettling and alluring, and their ambiguous motifs act on a subconscious level between knowledge and emotion. In 2013 Chowdhury received MFA Fine Art from Otis College of Art and Design and in 2009 the BFA Studio Art from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Recent solo exhibition include: A Divine Dance, Anat Ebgi, Los Angeles, CA (2019);
Revelation Theater, curated by Antoine Levi, Conceptual Fine Arts Live, Milano, Italy (2019); Before Dreams, Antoine Levi, Paris, France (2018) and The Coldest Night, Upfor, Portland, OR (2018). His work has been included in group exhibitions at Foxy Production, New York, NY; Magasins Généraux, Pantin, France and White Columns, New York, NY all 2019.

INGA DANYSZ (b.1990 in Warsaw, Poland, lives and works in Frankfurt/Main, Germany). In her artistic practice, Danysz focuses on the radical changes of power structures over time. While earlier disciplinary mechanisms aimed at the apparent influence on the body, the post-disciplinary society is confronted with the appropriation of the entire social space. Danysz questions the paradoxes of the control society, its denial of repressive power structures and examines the signs of post-democratic reversal. Danysz took part in the De Ateliers program in Amsterdam (2015 – 2017). Her work was recently included in a group exhibition at Bielefelder Kunstverein (2019/20). Earlier in 2019 she was included in shows at Fondazione Antonio Ratti, Como and Skaftfell Center for Visual Arts, Seydisfjoerdur, and in 2015, Museum für Moderne Kunst MMK Frankfurt/Main and Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden. In 2016, she received the Columbus Award for Contemporary Art and she recently published the catalogue Insufficient Funds, as well as the artistic book Metamorphosis of the 21st Century Minotaur.

EVA GOLD (b. 1994 in Manchester, lives and work in London, UK). Her practice incorporates sculpture, installation, moving image and writing; often combining these media in a process of fragmented storytelling. Bringing together subject matter which ranges across architecture and film, she exploits the emotional capacities of place, as experienced through cinematic memory. In doing so Gold navigates feelings of desire and disgust, and their often uncomfortable proximity. Gold graduated with a Postgraduate Diploma, from the Royal Academy Schools (2016-19) and with a BA Fine Art & History of Art from Goldsmiths College, University of London (2013- 16). In 2020 she will present a new commission Perv City at Parrhesiades and CCA Goldsmiths, London. Recent exhibitions include: Die Wohnung (The Dwelling), SET Project Space, London, Dinner Party, Royal Academy of Arts, London, Let me look at you, Centre for Recent Drawing, London and Room to Crawl, Becky's Unit 23 Penarth Centre, London all 2018.

MARIE MATUSZ (b. 1994 in Toulouse, France, lives and works in Basel). Her practice questions philosophical, sociological and linguistic theories of power and justice, from the Middle Ages through to present times, questioning their comprehensibility and depictability. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from HEAD Geneva and a Master of Fine Arts from Institut Kunst FHNW Basel. Her most recent solo exhibitions include Golden Hour, Atelier-Amden, Amden (2019); The closest moment of the night is at the same time the closest to the day, Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau (2019); Stages of Recovery, Galerie Jan Kaps, Cologne (2017); It will rise from the ashes, Espace Labo, Geneva (2017). Selected group exhibitions include Retour à Rome, Swiss Institute Roma, Roma (2019); Crocodile Tears, Salts (Fiancé), Birsfelden (2019); Dissonant Healing, Galerie Maria Bernheim, Zürich (2019); Discoteca Analytica, Fri Art Kunsthalle, Fribourg (2019); Hunter of Worlds, Salts, Birsfelden (2018); Namedropping, Galerie Jan Kaps, Cologne (2017). In 2018 she was awarded the Kiefer Hablitzel / Göhner Art Prize. In 2019 she received the KunstKredit Basel-Stadt 2020.

MARINA SULA (b. 1991 in Lezhe, Albania, lives and works in Vienna, Austria). Her work spans installation, photography, sculpture and digital drawing, and explores the
relationship of subject/object, power, love and desire, and the ways in which these come into existence and overlap. Sula graduated in 2018 from the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Solo exhibitions include: tba, Bazament, Tirana (2020); I’m Sorry, I can’t, don’t hate me at Gabriele Senn Gallery, Vienna (2019); Warten at Viennacontemporary (2019) for which she was granted the Bildrecht solo award for the best solo presentation. Her work has been shown in group exhibitions at PCP Gallery, Paris (2020), Kunstforum, Vienna (2020), Belvedere 21 - Museum for Contemporary Art, Vienna (2019), Egret Egress, Toronto (2018); Croy Nielsen, Vienna (2018) among others.