Ben Callaghan - Semi-functional works
26 October – 16 November, 2014
Fri-Sun, 12-5pm or by appointment
preview: 25 October, 4pm
Rhubaba has commissioned Ben Callaghan to explore the juncture in his practice where functional design and art production meet. He has been tasked with the loose design brief of making work which would house copies of Gallery Ganek, a publication on the work of the artist Július Koller and be able to host a series of events. Through the production of new work Callaghan is thinking through ideas around affordance in design; it’s capacity to script use and subconsciously guide users to potential functions, while at the same time exploring what happens when design becomes antagonistic or problematic for the person using it.
For the exhibition Callaghan has built semi-functional furniture and produced sculptural objects suggestive of use. The work has taken the form of a low level platform on wheels, a shelf designed to be completed by the books it supports, benches that double as shelves and angled coasters among other less familiar objects. These works come together to create a social space within the gallery which will host the launch of Gallery Ganek, accommodate artist talks, provide space for a small reference library and be used by the Rhubaba Choir for their bi-monthly rehearsals. These varying events will provide different encounters with the work, testing out Callaghan’s premise that an active engagement with what an object is or how it works can help to focus the users attention to their activity. Be that taking a book from a shelf and reading, sitting around a table and conversing or singing in unusual surroundings. Callaghan will invert the design maxim that ‘good design is invisible’ by deliberately confusing and re-adjusting the users relationship to the objects in the exhibition. Inciting playful interactions with these objects which highlight their own making by complicating aspects of their functionality.
Július Koller - Ganek Gallery
Rhubaba has been working over the past year with art historian and writer Daniel Grúň and An Endless Supply to produce a book centred on Július Koller’s Ganek Gallery.
Ganek Gallery or Galéria Ganku is the name of an inaccessible rock formation in the High Tatras, a mountain range on the border of Slovakia and Poland. Koller co-opted this as a site for a fictive institution, initially beginning in 1971 by drawing on pages from the natural history magazine Vysoké Tatry (High Tatras). Ganek Gallery grew around a small group of members, had a constitution and set of articles; and served as an umbrella for the imaginative activity of the group.
This book, written and edited by Daniel in Slovak and English, includes magazine papers, photographs, photomontages and textual documents by Koller, an essay on the origins and context of the gallery, and interviews with the key participants: Pavol Breier (photographer and mountaineer), Milan Adamčiak (musicologist and artist), Peter Meluzin (artist and educator), and Květoslava Fulierová (artist).
A launch for the book is taking place in Bratislava this June and will be coming to Rhubaba in Autumn. Many thanks to SCHLEBRÜGGE.EDITOR (Austria), Július Koller Society (Slovakia), and the support of Erste Foundation (Austria), tranzit.at, tranzit.sk (Slovakia) and gb agency (France).