Exhibitions

Juan Cruz: TRANSLATING CHAPTER TWO

Preview: Friday 11 December 2009,6 - 9pm
Open: 12 - 13 & 18 - 20 December 2009, 12 - 5pm (Or by appointment)

Crate presents two new works by Juan Cruz: 
A Translation of El Arbol de la Ciencia (The Tree of Science) by Pío Baroja
A Translation of
La Sima (The Chasm) by Pío Baroja (with Naama Yuria)

For the third exhibition in Crate’s programme for 2009/10, two stories by Spanish writer Pío Baroja (1872-1956) are translated. These new works stem from artist Juan Cruz’s long-running interest in staging the interpretation of text from Spanish into English, treating it as a metaphor for visual representation and exploring the performative and physical aspects of the process.
 
For A Translation of El Arbol de la Ciencia (The Tree of Science) by Pío Baroja, Cruz has produced a typescript of the author’s best known work, which is about the growing disillusionment of a young medical student with his chosen profession and its inability to contribute in a meaningless and corrupted world. The pages of the typescript will form a stack at Crate – a dumb representation of the translation process - and photocopies of the translated text will be available to visitors.
 
For A Translation of La Sima (The Chasm) by Pío Baroja - A short story describing how the collective religious superstition of the inhabitants of a village prevents them from rescuing one of their own from a hole – Cruz translates the tale orally in a film produced in collaboration with Naama Yuria. This will be shown continuously throughout the exhibition’s duration.
 
These pieces are as much concerned with the process of translation as with its outcomes. Indeed, the work seems to question the distinction between process and product.  Neither artist had read Baroja’s stories before making the works, and the translations conspicuously contain a number of apparent errors and corrections – telling reminders of the way that a reader’s understanding of narratives (whether in literature or visual artwork) is constantly open to change as the reading progresses.  

Translation: Chapter Two is part of Bad Translation, CRATE's programme for 2009-10. The programme is generously supported by Arts Council England and Kent County Council.

About the artists

Juan Cruz was born in Palencia, Spain, in 1970. He is currently based in Liverpool, where he is Head of the Art Department at the Liverpool School of Art and Design, Liverpool John Moores University. Recent solo exhibitions include Mensch, The Enlightenments, curated by Julianna Engberg as part of the Edinburgh International Festival, 2009, and A Semblance of Activity, a solo Commission as part of ESTRATOS, curated by Nicolas Bourriaud, Murcia, Spain. Juan Cruz is represented professionally by Matt’s Gallery, London and Galeria Elba Benitez, Madrid.

mattsgallery.org/artists/cruz

Born 1981, Naama Yuria began her intergalactic research in 2020, with a universal exhibition supported by the Supreme Federation of the Southern-east galaxy of Ashphurka. The exhibition included projecting a 20 hours, 16mm film onto the seventh Ashphurkian moon. In 2023, with the generous help of Ashphurkian telepathic transmission, Naama operated the first teleporting gallery, channelling viewers to the exhibition space on planet Antares. As a certified investigator of Irregular Linguistic Celestial Phenomena, Naama founded the ‘Rudimentary Particles’ association, granting substantial support for young artists to explore various methods of infra-linguistic possibilities of navigation. In 2025, Naama completed the construction of the ship, Pantalaucha, on board which she sailed to the North Pole of Planet Earth as part of the Nagwa ‘Gold Dust Quest project’. The festive highlight of this adventure was incarnated in a 90Km x 90Km image of a ‘synchronization contractor’ projected onto a broad ice field from a purple hot air balloon.

James Howard: DIRT CHEAP FLIGHTS TO CLASSY PARADISE

Preview Friday 9 October, 2009. 6-9PM
Open: October 10 - 11 & October 16 - 18 2009, 12 - 5pm

CRATE presents an exhibition of new work by James Howard.

Howard has created two videos and four gigantic banners featuring budget holidays, herbal remedies, coin-operated televisions and pawn shops.

Each piece is a promise of a better life, a consumer con or an offer that is too good to be true: Gold Rush encourages people to steal "Nanna's gold" and turn it into cash, Coin Op Plasmas demands "another few quid" because Jeremy Kyle is on telly. And Dirt Cheap Flights aims to pull crowds away from Britain’s sea-side resorts.

The work takes its cues from advertisements for products and services that are so implausible or immoral that we would normally find them only on the internet - an unpoliced realm. In this exhibition, the advertisements have become real. Rendered at billboard size, they become menacing: reminders that we know little about those shady characters who fill the ‘junk’ in our email and want our credit card details.

Howard’s work seems to have been made by one of these shady characters: of no specific race or nationality (but definitely foreign), with little interest in local or national culture, insincere, probably male, and motivated by every vice, this persona is an unknowable, generic ‘other’. He does not care about the audience enough to check his English or make the images he uses beautiful or appealing –he is confident that there are as many people out there vulnerable enough to be drawn-in by his quasi-adverts as there are savvy ironists who will find the awkward Chinglish and odd products laughable.

And this character has seemingly infiltrated the gallery. Unintimidated by the art world’s refined sensibilities, he has covered every wall of CRATE’s project space with his vulgar propaganda; CRATE is, after all, merely another venue for the potential exploitation of the masses.

But are we able to separate Howard’s intentions from those of the character he seems to inhabit?

 
About the artist

James Howard began as a self-proclaimed scammer on the internet in the late 90's – which earned him quick cash and eventually a year in prison. Now Howard's scams found his artistic practice. He attended London's Royal Academy Schools, is included in the forthcoming Saatchi Gallery show: The Power of Paper and has been recently exhibited at Plastic Culture The Legacy of Pop with Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons and Takeshi Murakami. He is represented by Sartorial Contemporary Art, London. 

 

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