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Daniel Nevers in Front + Center: Weather Streams at Headlands, San Francisco, 17/01 - 28/01

Daniel Nevers, the homesession 7th resident, presents its new work in the Front + Center: Weather Streams, an annual exhibition at Headlands Center for the Arts showcasing outstanding works by California artists, including several newly commissioned, site-specific works.

This year's exhibition, Weather Streams, is co-curated by Vanessa Blaikie and Joey Piziali, co-directors of Ping Pong Gallery in San Francisco, and independent curator Jessica Brier.

When: 17/01-28/01, opening on January 17th at 5pm Where: Headlands center for the arts

Daniel Nevers, Zoom exhibition, Torrance Art Museum 21/11 to 19/12

Daniel Nevers presents a new sculpture in the ZOOM collective exhibition at The Torrance Art Museum.

Zoom Daniel Nevers

ZOOM consists in an open-call juried survey of current developments in contemporary artistic practices from regional States. This exhibition seeks to reflect current trends, track developments in contemporary practices, and explore associations between the regional geographical areas.

You shouldn't explain that! A conversation with Daniel Nevers

This is the transcription of a conversation we had with Daniel Nevers after the presentation of his work at homesession, on June 27th. Talking about the "minutiae" installation Daniel Nevers realized at homesession, it introduces the main outlines of Daniel Nevers' process and creations. .

Homesession: this work is going to be dismantled, but we would like to keep it a while...
Daniel Nevers: That's funny, because, for me, it's done, so it could be dismantled now.

HS: Of course, because you were in the process, during one month.
DN: Actually that was very interesting, working in your house, you know. It's like when I made this residency in Southern Exposure in San Francisco, they were going to work everyday and they had to cross my installation, thoses bunches of cable, I was feeling so bad for them. They had to put their bikes there, I was so sorry... And I feel a bit the same way about this, just because it's not the prettiest thing to live with, I guess. I don't think it's ugly, but that doesn't mean everyone would like to live with it... So it's interesting that you want to keep it a while, it's an interesting part of the whole experience. I make it and then I leave... because it definitely changes the whole space!... Actually, at the beginning, I was wondering what I was going to do, you know, I wanted to work with papers and so on, and a friend answered to one of my mails, just saying "well you could put the furnitures outside and say that's your project, leave it out so that they can't move it anymore..." (laughs)... I didn't do that, but finally we had to move all the furnitures. We even put some of them outside for the opening so...

HS: You said this work may constitute a new step in your creations.
DN: I have to figure out a new way to talk about my work, because I think it's not the same anymore. It's changing. I think I have to talk about it in a much more formal way and not that much about the meaning of it.

HS: But wouldn't you have to mix both approaches?
DN: No, I don't think so. For example Jessica Stockholder, who is one of my big influences... She's very interesting, she mixes a lot of very ugly works (laughs), not ugly but well she works with furnitures, products from a lot of stores, Ikea or other places, christmas trees' decorations, it's very interesting. She's also a painter... She only talks about her work formally. She's been around for twenty or twenty-five years and I keep reading about her work. Her work is also about psychological stuff: she said enough for us to know that, but...

HS: ... but she doesn't really explain it...
DN:... No... Her tales gives a little bit of information about it, so you can tell from materials, that there are some personal references, she tells about her father and so on...

HS: Well there's more than a psychological and personal meaning in your work, you're also referring to massive consumption...
DN: The opening was very interesting tonight because people, more than any other time, were saying "oh it's like recycling, but it's all new" or "oh it's like the materials they bring back to the beach in the nets, but it's brand new", and it's really interesting that people get it at first sight.

HS: Maybe because recycling with second-hand materials is very common in Barcelona, it's an industry, everywhere, and in the art world too...
DN: I was happy that people were paying attention to that. People were trying to understand, you know... "What is this about?"... That's always a question but it's not really interesting to me. I always ask people "well, what do you think it means?" and they hate to answer because they don't want to look stupid. But I would like to tell them that they can't look stupid, I don't care about their opinion... Whatever they think it means... They can't be wrong about their own opinion! But they want to know what I think it means, my own interpretation about my work.

HS: And you wouldn't say it?
DN: Of course I would, but it's not interesting to me. When I am in a gallery, I don't care so much about the artist's interpretation. Well of course, sometimes you have to read to know what the artist is talking about, but if I think it's about something and they tell me it's about something else, I will think well... that's stupid (laugh).

HS: Some people said that this installation works like a painting, you can sit on the coach and you have this perfect frontal view of the painting, this very nice composition, but when they saw the other side, they really saw the connection between this installation and your other works... And also, they were confronted to this frustration, you know, not to be able to see the other composition on the backside, not to be able to enjoy another nice point of view, to see what's happening...
DN: Yes, it makes perfect sense to me, the presentation to the outside world. The composition is very nice, it all looks very perfect. But when you go to the other side, you cant get close to it or you get so close to, that you can't see it. And then it's very much about personality, identity and...

HS: ... Oh! you shouldn't explain that! (laughs)
DN: Well, it's very clear to me that it's all there, even though I'm not consciously intending to make that. Actually, I was not thinking about it when I was working on the piece, but it became very obvious to me once it was finished: it's about all those things, the backside is the piece and the frontside is just a mask. You know, I think of the Franz Fanon's "Black Skin, White Mask". That's what it is. Of course, it seems very obvious to me, because I know my work. But I would understand it's not obvious to other people.

HS: You're not so used to develop a work that's almost flat...
DN: I think that what it is very exciting about this work, about the presentation, the concept of presentation. And also the idea of pattern is very interesting to me, because pattern has this double meaning, these visual and psychological meanings. How we follow into patterns or how we use patterns of behaviours. And there are those containers, the idea of containing emotions, it's all very litteral, almost. It's nearly too obvious to me! That's why it's very fun to me, because we could ask people to formally think about the idea of containers, colors, light and dark, panel, front and back, the connection between all those formal things. That's why I try to talk about it more formally, so people can make this connection more spontaneaously.

Daniel Nevers, by Christian Obregon.

TXT: Christian Obregón

Barcelona, june 2009.- Daniel Nevers, 7th artist-in-residence for homesession, is an American artist, established in the San Francisco Bay Area. His work is known as a platform from which the artist pretends to transform, through interaction, not only the audience's interpretation system but also the different versions of the reality as a shared phenomenon.

Using home-improvement materials in an absolutely non-conventional way and convinced that "Do-it-yourself is the new self-help" (the artist begins his statement with this slogan, which throws light on its creative stance toward the punk ideology and the pop psychology), Nevers proposes an artistic production system, which main point is based on the link between attraction and repulsion. More than, strictly speaking, artistic pieces, Nevers constructs indeed areas of discomfort that tamper with the spaces for which they have been conceived, emphasizing that each of his work is not only unique but also atypical and even metaphysical: « If our personalities are nothing but a series of defenses, how do we build and renovate those barriers over time? When do the walls we hide behind end up revealing more about us than they protect? »

Discreetly but conscientiously, Nevers' works make progress by revealing slight crisis in the content of a semiotic universe that had been used to an everlasting conception of the modern and that had forgotten to consolidate its position as a regulator, not only for the beauty, but also for imperfection.

Daniel Nevers at homesession: from June 3rd to June 29th, 2009.

Christian Obregón is an independant curator and a cultural journalist.

Next residences: Daniel Nevers (June) and Beatrix Reinhardt (July-August)

We're preparing new residencies for homesession with two artists coming soon to Barcelona, both of them with very exciting work and projects.

Daniel Nevers (USA-Oakland) will be the artist in residence at homesession in June.
Daniel has developped a work based on sculptures and installations made with Do-It-Yourself (DIY) materials, trying to establish links between Home Depot and... O, the Oprah Magazine: because irony is a serious tool to understand our psychology, his works are representations and constructions that try to materialize our personality, as it would be described by Pop Psychology. Strong materials get tortured and compressed, representations are completed till they reach the chaos, concrete walls finally reveal their precarious construction: each installation is a new story about the mysterious interdependance between our conscience and the others: defenses, necessity, projection, prohibitions, porosity and impossibilities.

Beatrix Reinhard's residence is planned for July and August.
Beatrix Reinardt (Germany-Berlin/USA-New York) is a photographer whose work focuses on the politics of spaces: most of her photographs are empty spaces filled with traces, signs, evidences that build a speech with social implications, despite of the absence of living beings. Actually, through this absence, Beatrix has found a very striking way to express what the organization of spaces can tell about the interactions that usually exist in those places. Those social landscapes introduce a possibility to build real and imaginative narratives, establishing a relation between the viewer and a space he usually doesn't even know. By taking pictures of empty spaces, Beatrix focus on cultural values, social realities, tastes and beliefs: those photographs can actually be conceived as intimate portraits of the individual/s who is/are absent at the moment of the photography.

Daniel Nevers in Urban Matrix at Chandra Cerrito Gallery Oakland, 06/02-26/03

Daniel Nevers' Cinderfella sculpture is currently on show in the Urban Matrix collective exhibition at Chandra Cerrito Contemporary Gallery. Urban Matrix features artists whose attention is captured by the views, materials, objects and feeling of the city, reveal urban qualities that are captivating, true and emotive.

Daniel Nevers’ precarious gravity-defying arrangements of found objects put viewers at a subtle unease. Cinderfella is stacked cinder blocks, a fundamental in the urban environment. Blocks are bound to one another with orange nylon straps that seem to aid only slightly to securing the stack, which is actually kept from falling by other less visible means.

The orange dashes interrupting the concrete highlight the rhythmic quality of the blocks’ rectilinear patterns. Objects normally considered utilitarian become subjects of observation, contemplation and wonder. In the line of ready-mades, minimal art as well as arte povera, Daniel Nevers creates an installation whose emotive potential is as strong as the aspect of its material.

Where: Chandra Cerrito Contemporary, Oakland
When: 06/02 - 28/03

Daniel Nevers: Unconstruction at MG Gallery, Oakland, 10/01 - 07/02

Daniel Nevers is the artist currently presented by the Oakland MG Gallery, with Unconstructed a new opus of his works dedicated to the Do-it-yourself culture. Using everyday objects from the home-improvement megastore, his work examines the ways we present ourselves and the ways we are perceived, our defenses, our fears and paranoias focusing on the walls we build between us and our public character. Those barriers constitute the main link Daniel Nevers establishes between construction raw materials and our psychologies.

I am interested in the moment, simultaneously thrilling and dangerous, when constructions begin to teeter, sag, bend and sway. Whether materials are strapped, stacked or bungeed together, I am searching for the place where control and chaos collide.

Daniel Nevers' work is an investigation-in-process on the popular psychology's permanent injunction to be more authentic and on the way this truth always seems to remain finally out of reach. Heavily informed by pop psychology and O, The Oprah Magazine (a popular personal magazine), Daniel Nevers builds a parabolic works on interiors and our personal renovation and growth as an endless work.

Daniel Nevers and homesession are now planning a residency for this semester. Some complementary news soon!

When: January 10-February 7
Where: MG Gallery, 5532 Shattuck Avenue, Oakland, CA 94609