TAG Presents Cloudbusters

Participating artists: Agnes Meyer-Brandis and Edwin Deen

Curated by: John De Weerd

Opening: Friday 11 March 2011, 19.00h

Open: March 11 through April 24, 2011, Thu to Sun 12.00h - 17.00h

Guided tour by the artists: Sunday 20 March 2011, 19.00h

Performance The Wanderkino by Agnes Meyer-Brandis: Sunday 20 March 2011, 20.00h

More information: www.tag.do

Address: Stille Veerkade 19, The Hague

 

With no clear place of departure and certainly no clear destination, at present we celebrate 'the search' in an exhibition with two artists, Agnes Meyer-Brandis and Edwin Deen.

The exceptional analyst and unique proprietor of forces unknown, Wilhelm Reich (1897 - 1957), was an Austrian-American psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who fled the Nazi regime in 1939. Reich worked Sigmund Freud. In 1940, Reich started the so called onanur experiment. During this experiment, he tested his theory of orgone,  a kind of 'life energy'. Besides an accumulator of orgone Reich developed another device: the Cloudbuster, with which Reich tried to induce rain by forcing the formation of clouds. During an extremely dry period in Arizona he was on an expedition with the Cloudbuster and claimed to have seen UFOs. He contended that UFOs could use orgone as fuel. The deadly orgone (DOR) that their engines produced was, according to Reich responsible for the drought and desertification. Reich reportedly saved the blueberry crop in Maine in 1953 during a severe drought for witch he was paid by the local farmers. However after an indictment and many defenses and verbal abuse by Reich, it was prohibited to move orgone equipment or literature on American soil or across state borders. Along with these restrictions, the judge banned all published material on 'orgone energy', leading to the burning of hundreds of tons of Reich's printed matter.

 

Reich's story has ever since been a great source of inspiration to many people. In 1985, Kate Bush produced the song and the clip "Cloudbusting in which she tells the story from the perspective of Reich's son. To this day there is a lot of speculation whether Reich's theories are true. The boundary between what is true and false in his scientific practice has always remained very unclear, although the theory sounds unlikely; the U.S. government apparently saw reason enough to imprison Reich.

 

Edwin Deen is an artist of comic relief in daily life.  Displaying remarkable collections of combined natural and cultural objects which at first sight seem quite trivial, however with a closer look uncover a web of cross associations in shape, color, function and meaning. Using existing objects as mind triggers. Whether the objects are empty shampoo bottles, a juicer, a pressure cooker, parts of a freezer, Deen sorts, organizes and converts the objects stimulating a broad range of associations triggered by his manipulation. Because many of the objects have been stripped of their every day identity their definition becomes undetermined, hereby opening their reading to be interpreted anew.  

Edwin Deen's work and practice is very close to that of a scientific laboratory, with projects like Terra Incognita (2009) showing water and plastic's ability to transform from solid to liquid to gas undergoing phases of melting and evaporation, his endeavors are of utmost focus however he deconstructs what we "know" as opposed to building on it. In science things are proven based on previously proven facts. Science needs imagination and intuition other wise there would be no progress just as in Edwin Deen's homespun laboratory the search is into the unknown. In Deen's work the facts are disappearing and the imagination is physical.

Deen's work is just as alien as the scientific and clinical experiments of Meyer-Brandis. His research into everyday life, however, departs from a more intuitive and aesthetic starting point. Through his collections, objects, constructions and deconstructions he creates free and sometimes even witty new links between the objects around us. Deen shows an overview of his collection and his new work 'Liquid Rainbow', made during his TAG AIR residency. This installation, using a garden sprinkler and color pigment, shows us the spectrum of a rainbow in a physical way.

Both Deen and Meyer-Brandis blur the line between art and science, the boundaries between fact and fiction remains, with Wilhelm Reich's Cloud Buster in the middle. The result is an intriguing web of associations, mindtriggers and inquiries, with aesthetics and science as key concepts.

 

Agnes Meyer-Brandis' work focuses on the study of coral reefs, clouds, icebergs and other biological and physical phenomena that are often hidden from our day-to-day life. She develops installations, performances and lectures that enable us to participate actively in the exploration of these worlds with-in our world. The instruments she uses, serve to expand our senses. Meyer-Brandis combines factual and fictional elements by bringing together methods used in science along with imaginative gestures and state of the art technologies. Her installations, performances and lectures, pose questions to our everyday reality and common beliefs. Meyer-Brandis is creating links between contemporary art and a number of rather surreal forms of science such as nanotechnology, meteorology and Fluid-dynamic research.

Meyer-Brandis went on an expedition with the German Aerospace Centre in an aircraft flying to 8500m above the earth surface to investigate the behavior of dust particles combined in an aerosol gas at weightlessness. They used a Cloud Core Scanner (CCS). The CCS is the first photographic tool that is capable of investigating the smallest particles in cloud cores, called aerosols. Based on this experience Meyer-Brandis developed a project in which she combines a performance and a lecture: The Wanderkino (2010). For the exhibition she well display the documentation of the extraordinary experiment conducted during parabolic flight.  She will also present the machines and mechanisms based on gravity and weightlessness. Unique in Meyer-Brandis practice is the position she has taken in, firmly holding on to science and art simultaneously. For this occasion TAG will present the performance 'The Wanderkino' alongside the Cloud Core Scanner.

With Deen making a path parallel to science in his back yard manner and Meyer-Brandis bridging art and sciences domains in her social interventions the trajectory of the human need to search and share is absolutely present. In this exhibition the two artists search the boundaries of our beliefs, whether the practice is artistic or scientific, evidence of 'the search' is what we have for the moment.

With financial support from: The city of The Hague, Mondriaan Foundation

Many thanks to: Our volunteers, Fonds BKVB, "The Tropospheric Laboratory "is realized in coproduction with DOCK e.V. and the Schering Foundation. Supported by and TSI (Trust Science Innovation). The experiment "Cloud Core Scanner" was realized with the kind support of The German Aerospace Center DLR and with a financial contribution from Filmstiftung NRW.