After one and a half years of presenting a wide range of exhibitions in Brussels, the artist run gallery D.O.R. are closing down.
In February 2011 the Norwegian artists/ performance group D.O.R., consisting of Steinar Haga Kristensen, Kristian Dahl and Sverre Gullesen, opened a gallery space in Brussels. Tomorrow D.O.R. will have a combined opening and final finissage at the gallery showing art works by Dougie Eynon, Andreas Hald Oxenvad and Snorre Ytterstad. The exhibition is entitled An Exhibition Chronicle
on Implotions and Insights and in a press release from D.O.R., the artist group states that
«D.O.R. is pleased to announce a major system shift in the galley´s business strategy that involves closing down Gallery D.O.R. in Brussels. The nonessential has been subtracted, recycled or burned to make space for new narrations. Pressure and insight are added to the vacuum of the situation dumpster.»
Gallery for sale
Earlier this year the gallery participated at the Armory Show in New York in a curated area with a Nordic focus. At the fair the gallery had what seemed like an ordinary exhibition. In reality the gallery sold instructions/ contracts of the works on display enabling potential collectors to reconstruct the work themselves. In addition the gallery sold five franchises of the gallery concept.
Rumour has it that the Malmö Konsthall director and curator of the Nordic Focus, Jacob Fabricius, bought a D.O.R. franchise with instructions/ contract on how he can exhibit under the D.O.R. brand. If that is true, we might be able to see a version of the gallery in Malmö at some point.
In a press release for the Armory Show participation the arts group wrote:
«In 2006 D.O.R. coined the term Neo-Relational to define the work of the group. In debating the relationships between author / agent and conductor / recipient D.O.R. offers various insights and perspectives on cultural practice, and individual explorations. Their artistic works will necessarily yield an inherent fragmentation, while still maintaining a keen awareness that is so typical of “the post-industrial”.»
Performing a gallery
The performance group is known for questioning the art system in a humorous way. For years the group has been staging various parodies of the round-table discussion, a model so common in critical debates about art and artistic practice. In June 2011, they were invited by the Danish artist FOS (Thomas Poulsen) to take part in his Osloo-pavilion, a part of the Danish pavilion, at the 54th Venice Biennale. Here they performed one of these parodies called A Collection of centers – – good vs. bad models of collaboration.
The gallery D.O.R. can also be considered a performance of its own. At the gallery website D.O.R. describe the project like this;
«Gallery D.O.R takes its leading methods from the commercial Galleries globalized, institutionalized and fine-tuned formalities. D.O.R. has scripted and will perform an ambiance so close to a Gallery situation that it will transcend the Ibsenian social realistic “problem drama”.»
A critique of the contextual
In the first show at the gallery, entitled Situation as Object (framed), D.O.R. presented a critical contribution to questions regarding what they in a press release called a «hyper contextualised situation».
The exhibition, consisting of works by Michel Auder, Thora Dolven Balke, Marco Bruzzone, Tora Dalseng, Stephan Dillemuth, Mattias Faldbakken, Jan Freuchen, FOS, Ivan Galuzin, Patrick Guns, Henrik Plenge Jakobsen, Irma Salo Jæger, Vilde Von Krogh, Camilla Løw, Jumana Manna & Ida Falck Øien, Clare Milledge, Fabian Reimann, Gunter Reski and Stein Rønning, sought to «refocus» on the art work. D.O.R. describes it like this:
«The central mystery of art and politics is; not the frame but the image, not the context but the object, not sovereignty but government, not the gallery but its artists, not God but his angels, not the temple but the people, not the king but his minister, not the law but the police — or rather the creating machine this symbioses form and propel.»
This critique of the contextual and the focus on the art object has since been investigated through a number of exhibitions throughout the one and a half years the gallery has existed. What the future holds for D.O.R. the press release does not say, but at the end of the document, after the information on the last exhibition, that gallery states:
«Gallery D.O.R. in Brussels has been franchised. We are looking forward to see the development, and wishes our partners good luck.»
KUNSTforum hope that we haven’t seen the last of D.O.R. and their critical investigation of contexts, and we too are looking forward to see the development, both of the gallery franchise and of the performance group.