Reports from the Year of the Monkey
Emily Bates,Madelon Hooykaas & Saskia Janssen
Curated by Emily Bates
30 April – 8 May 2016
PuntWG Amsterdam
Reports from the Year of the Monkey is a playful and reflective presentation, bringing together works created in other times and places. Positioned together, within an unsettled era of transition and restricted mobility, whether individual or global, they resonate new association and possibility. Borders are transcended, portals opened to other dimensions and realities: Imaginary or temporal spaces with their own breath, rhythm and time.

Madelon Hooykaas’ video performance Grid was be presented during the opening, a European premiere, having first been shown in New York in 2015. Grid, a performance/ video installation by Madelon Hooykaas combines projected video, performance, and a drawing. Structure and separation congregate abstractly as we are confronted by the projected image and sound of a hostile iron grid used to create a house, (a home), and the physical presence and breath of the human. As the performer attempts to recapture the interplay of lines from the video, a drawing is created. She is both chasing the moving image, and chased by the image, as a new temporary dimension envelops her.

Cat Ladders (Konstanz, Jena, Gubbangen, Bjorkas, Salt Lake City), 2012, is an installation by Saskia Janssen consisting of five wooden cat ladders, paying tribute to ‘putting oneself in the position of the other’, even when the other is an animal. Whilst pet owners make cat ladders to allow their cats freedom, they risk them not returning. The ladders are playful symbols of compassion, or altruism, and symbolic stairs to freedom. The ladders are replicas of five existing cat ladders in the cities of Konstanz, Jena, Gubbangen, Bjorkas, Salt Lake City. Her publication A Glass of Water (Some Objects on the Path to Enlightenment), is presented as part of the installation. Saskia Janssen is represented by Ellen de Bruijne PROJECTS, Amsterdam.

The sky is glowing with the setting sun is taken from a photographic series capturing the sacred and shamanistic depths of a remote Japanese sub-tropical island by Emily Bates. The series was first presented in her solo exhibition at Mudam Luxembourg in 2012. Seismic Dreamers is a portrait series by Emily Bates, of teenagers in streets and courtyards in Naples, Italy. By entering into a brief moment of trust and openness with the artist, an intimate and vulnerable transformation and silence pauses the relentless chaotic magma of the city. Bates is also presenting further works made in the landscape around Naples, whilst undertaking a research project during 2013-2014, with nomadic artist residence Il Ventre di Napoli / Patricia Pulles, kindly supported by the Mondriaan Fund. The project focused on the seismic landscape, and its vibrations released through local rituals, music and human interaction.