With, For, and Against Each Other
May 27th - June 30th, 2011
SABOT is pleased to announce Aline Cautis’ first solo show at the gallery. The exhibition will feature recent experiments with painting alongside two 16mm films transferred to dvd projections.
Exploring the formal and stylistic language of painting, akin to youtube video mashups, Aline Cautis is building a narrative that includes the fluctuations, insecurities, and failures inherently important to her artistic practice. Operating as language, her paintings attempt to move forward, add, subtract, move back, gesture, articulate and confuse all, reach out, reach in, make sense of contradiction and navigate across practices.
The artist contrasts gestural and emotive painting marks with formal geometric shapes, as means to create a seeming lack of visual cohesion, pitting contrasting painterly languages against each other, within a single painting. Her interest in this strategy is the creation of a visual disturbance in the viewers, where they are forced to consider the possibility of contradictory belief systems co-existing not necessarily in harmony.
With, For and Against Each Other is the result of an imagined narratative of works made with fictional and real artists that Aline Cautis collaborated with, as fantasied by her teenage self.
I am uncomfortable with terming my work as abstraction, because I am not sure I really have ever engaged in anything else. I was trained as an architect in a sort of Bauhaus environment, so I think in terms of space, line, and color, etc. To me, these things are carriers of information and language. In fact, these paintings are not abstract, they explore all sorts of things without actually painting a picture. They are fragments of many, many, narratives. They are also the residue of a practice exploring the limitations and edge of my own practice of painting, a form of self-portraiture. And sometimes they are not even really paintings. Every material and gesture in a painting is a decision that must be considered and represented, for this show the paintings are either self-portraits or squares. The multiplicity of types of schizophrenic decision making in the materiality or language between the works is meant as the illustration of an investigative process that has no real end in mind, but rather, is more about the journey or self-propelled – additive narrative. In any one painting a journey begins with the basic descisions, what size stretcher, what support, what ground. These descisions are reconsidered through every painting and create a psychosis of multiple ideas of the kinds of artists I would like to be, opening the terrain of multiplicity and freedom to pursue one’s practice in whatever direction (as if a group of invisible collaborators created a body of disimillar work with similar ideas in mind, or portraits of different selves).
I’ve always worked with both painting and film in some way. There are things a painting can accomplish that a film cannot and vice versa. Somehow these were the mediums I gravitated to for whatever reason. For a long time my drawing/painting practice and film practice were very different; I studied a lot of 60’s experimental film, the work being done in Chicago, and the Anthology Film Archives in NY, but it wasn’t until I really became involved with other artists in Chicago and fully engaged in my painting practice that I connected to painting on film. Stan Brahkage is sort of the main painted film guy and there was no point in painting on film, because you couldn’t really do it better than him. Dog Star Man is still one of my favorites. Somehow, through painting, I began to be curious about putting painting in motion. Allowing the painting to perform itself across the length of the film. In this way I am not painting on film, but rather exploring other parameters of painting outside of the singular surface.
[Aline Cautis; excerpts from a recent conversations with Marcel Janco]
Aline Cautis (New York, 1975) received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2005. Recent exhibitions include Prague Biennial 5, Mayerei gallery in Karlsruhe, Devening Projects + Editions, and Roots & Culture in Chicago.