A Study on Minor Gestures
A gesture is a physical movement that expresses thoughts, feelings and emotions. Unlike an action, it springs from an irrepressible urge and lacks a specific purpose.
‘The major gesture’ is static and represents consensus within society or a canon within the arts. By contrast, ‘the minor gesture’ is dynamic and opposes the dominant discourse from the margins. It simultaneously creates both closeness and independence. The creative gesture of the artist is always an invitation, an act of reaching out, a touch. Since gesture inevitably involves movement, it relates closely to choreography and performance.
In the framework of the European project ‘Manufactories or Caring Space-Time’, the MSK - Museum voor Schone Kunst in Ghent, Belgium play host to artists Selma and Sofiane Ouissi (Tunisia) and their work on the language of minor gestures. In this presentation, they place the focus on the perception and (re)discovery of old and new forms of visual language. Artist and performer Nikolaus Gansterer (Austria) and philosopher and dancer Erin Manning (Canada) have been invited to join them on this special occasion and present individual installations as well as developing a performance lecture together.
Thinking and drawing involve analogue processes. For Nikolaus Gansterer (Austria), therefore, they are synonyms - both protagonists of a highly complex choreography within our bodies. Therefore his sphere of activity encompasses science, philosophy, music and the visual arts. In his extensive spatial installations Gansterer combines thinking and drawing with concrete action. Here the lines of his thinking become intricate lines in space through which the traces of time and the creative process are fixed - when, even momentarily. The artist explores the potential of expanded drawing with fragile materials like chalk, wooden sticks, wire, as a means of communication, as a musical score, as a manual and an instruction for again taking action.
In two live performances “Translectures on Minor Gestures in 16 Movements” the philosopher and dancer Erin Manning and artist and performer Nikolaus Gansterer activate the spatial installation with a series of hybrid configurations of spoken word, drawings and movements gesturing towards a materiality of barley perceptible processes of sensing the world via the minor.
In addition to the work by the mentioned contemporary artists, the MSK is also showing a series of historical pieces from the collection as part of a discovery route through the museum. The emphasis is upon the gesture as a carrier of beauty, emotion and meaning, and how, in a metaphorical sense, it ‘touches’ the other.
Exhibition: The Minor Gesture - Le Moindre Geste - Het Kleine Gebaar
Venue: MSK - Museum voor Schone Kunst / Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent, Belgium.
Duration: 18.06.2016 - 15.08.2016
Curated by Catherine de Zegher.
Artists involved: Nikolaus Gansterer, Erin Manning, Selma and Sofiane Ouissi
In the framework of the Creative Europe project: Manufactories of Caring Space-Time
A cooperation between MSK - Museum voor Schone Kunst, Ghent, Belgium and FRAC Lorraine Metz, France and Fundacio Antoni Tapies Barcelona, Spain