Fiona Connor’s upcoming exhibition Drawing something under itself, which will open on 22 September at Kunstverein Düsseldorf, explores repetition, variance and exception through construction, drawing and letter forms.
Taking the tradition of institutional critique as a point of departure, the artist (*1981 in Auckland/NZ, lives in Los Angeles) examines not only the Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen as the institution that hosts the show but also the brutalist 1960’s architecture where it is housed and the materials and labor processes that built it. What is the difference between a mason who builds models from bricks and an artist who fabricates their work—or has it fabricated—with similar techniques, traditionally based on drawings? And in what way does the architecture shape an institution?
As part of her research for the exhibition, Fiona Connor consulted archives in Düsseldorf and Essen to learn about masonry training in the Rhein/Ruhr region in the 1950s and 1960s, when her father went to Essen and other cities in Europe to study the labor conditions of construction workers. The conversation at KWI will address the significance of these historical findings, provide an insight into the exhibition’s preparation—an exhibition that will remain in process or under construction throughout its run—and delve into issues of art and labor, craft and traditional techniques, and the relation between the symbolic and the material in her work.