The Fragment Dimension

Daniel Firman

21.01.2016 - 24.04.2016

“The senses and the world. – desires merge. And in this body that I hold against my own I also hold that strange joy that descends from sky to earth”
Albert Camus 

The Pill® is pleased to present its inaugural exhibition of sculptural work by New York based conceptual artist Daniel Firman. On view at THE PILL’s new venue in an old generator factory located in the historical district of Balat, Istanbul, Firman’s solo exhibition will be the artist’s first ever show in Turkey and the Middle-East. As for every exhibition curated at THE PILL, the artist is given the possibility of modifying the space. Originally designed as a platform without predefined walls by its architects, Daniel Firman turned the gallery space into a “spatial partition” for The Fragment Dimension; creating the path he wants the viewer to follow when discovering the works.
The rooms that Firman designed correspond to links between series of works that are materially and formally very different from each other. But it is because Firman’s oeuvre taken as a whole precisely involves the dimension of becoming in its very bergsonian acceptance, that the order he suggests to follow must be thought as an integral aspect of the work, one which implicates the spectator in the tangible gallery space. Among this body of recent and unseen works the artist has given the viewer a broad spectrum of his practice, with his singular approach of performative sculpture. Firman’s sculptural practice always involves the viewer by questioning his relationship to reality. He approaches the notion of presence by using a complex cast technique that enables him to take incredibly precise imprints. For this inaugural show, he has invited gallerist Suela Cennet to perform on a cast sculpture in response to her invitation to open the gallery with his solo show.
A doppelgänger of the founder of The Pill will be standing in the entrance, leaving a poetic yet confusing imprint of her presence in the space.
The Fragment Dimension enhances the artist’s preoccupations to define our relationship to the world and the notion of “being present” in a period of uncertainty which often requires to be defined in the immediate.
In this perspective, the artist’s last neon sentence “If you see something, say something” is not only a comment on securitarian societies but also on the profusion of visual material in a digitalized world with the underlying question of the relationship between art and language.
Art and language are engaged in a new series of works the artist has performed himself by sculpting bas-reliefs with his tongue, which replaces the artist’s hand in the creation process. The exhibition approaches the fragmentary dimension of touching. The hand, as a fragment of the body, plays a central role – both symbolic and aesthetic – by introducing the act of prehension; associated to civilizational development and socialization. The iconic work Nasutamanus, a hyperrealistic real scale elephant standing on his nose (Nasuta-manus meaning Hand-Nose in latin) is floating in the space defying gravity with this paradoxical posture.
As a counterpoint, the series entitled “I’m keeping my distance” represents bronze fingers mounted on corners inviting the viewer to grasp the void by standing in the gap.
Mass and void are presented together in this body of works to render the idea of presence, movement and space.

Daniel Firman (b. in 1966 in Bron) has participated in the Venice Biennale (2009), the Lyon Biennale (2015), and several exhibitions all over the world. His work is featured in major institutional and private collections worldwide.
A catalog published for his solo show at the MOCA Lyon/ MAC Lyon is available.
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