Andrea Büttner, Joëlle de La Casinière, Ashes Withyman
April 26–June 1, 2013

Catriona Jeffries is pleased to announce a group exhibition that begins with a garland by Ashes Withyman hung above the door, marking the threshold of the gallery from the world. Such a threshold forms the conceptual basis for the exhibition, which asks questions of that which is inside and that which is outside in relation to creative production and being in the world.

In response to the invitation to show a selection of her ‘tablotins’ – picture poems which combine written text, found materials and drawings – Joëlle de La Casinière selected a group of tablotins to commemorate the death of her long-time artistic collaborator, Michel Bonnemaison, who spent many years of his life sailing the West Coast in a wooden Tahiti Ketch sailboat. Having produced over 400 tablotins between the years of 1971 and 2012, her specific selection for this exhibition have been copied and blown-up into large scale posters and together produce perhaps one small chapter in a much larger, impossible book. Through the inclusion of these works which unselfconsciously lament a loss, the ritual of an exhibition is partially repurposed beyond its codified modes of display.

At the centre of Andrea Büttner’s installation is a seating arrangement of purposefully utilitarian materials (spruce planks, plastic crates), contrasted with padded backrests upholstered in handwoven wool textiles. Combined with this arrangement is a pair of large-scale monochromes made with fabrics typically used for the uniforms of workers, stretched to correspond to the architecture of the gallery as well as a pair of her large-scale woodblock prints. These elements provide an integrated context for her video Little Sisters: Luna Park Ostia (2012) which documents the time Büttner spent with a sisterhood of nuns in Italy, who manage a stand in an amusement park. In their conversations they reflect on the importance of pleasure, joy and aesthetic experiences and their own humility as ‘little sisters’.

Ashes Withyman’s From a place, near the buried canal (2011–2012) consists of many signs piled together, hung, or leaning against the wall. Constructed out of various found materials that have been hand-painted, some direct, others caution while a few celebrate – all of the signs originate from his much larger outdoor work of 2011–2012, a place, near the buried canal. Seeking to create a work that functioned more like real life than that of an artwork, the place operated according to its own logic more akin to a historical site, a cultivated garden or sacred place, with its own rituals, hours, rules and designations.

Together, the exhibition seeks to reflect upon a shared interest in forms of creativity that are expressed in the world outside of the confines of that which is produced according to existing criteria of artistic production, historical or otherwise.

Joëlle de La Casinière (b. 1944, Casablanca, Morocco) lives and works in Brussels. In 1971 she left Europe for South America where she traveled extensively while making films with friends and collaborators, while also producing her own works in drawing and collage. Her first book, Absolument nécessaire, a unique graphic manuscript published by Editions de Minuit in Paris in 1973 was championed by Deleuze and Guattari in A Thousand Plateaus, as a ‘truly nomadic book’. In 1974 she founded the Montfaucon Research Centre ( with Michel Bonnemaison and other nomadic friends and artists fond of graphic poetry and the art of living. Until 1980 she was based in Montreal, chiefly working on films and soundtracks, later in 1983 she returned to France and began producing hundreds of pages of graphic poetry for her ‘tablotins’ (picture poems). With the arrival of the personal computer in the late 1980s, she began work on videos, her Tronic Movie Music Poems, animating text and music. While cruising the canals of Europe on a restored Flemish barge throughout the 2000s, she continued making her tablotins and handwritten books. Recent solo exhibitions include International Project Space, Birmingham (2011); Brandenburgischer Kunstverein (2009), Heidelberger Kunstverein (2007), and Croy-Nielsen Gallery, Berlin (2006). Recent group exhibitions include The Barranquilla Principle, Centre d’art contemporain la Synagogue de Delme, Delme (2010) and Politiques de la vision, Espace d’art contemporain, Geneva (2008). Her video work Grimoire Magnetique was included in Documenta 8, Kassel (1987).

Andrea Büttner (b. 1972, Stuttgart) lives and works in London and Frankfurt. Recent solo exhibitions include Milton Keynes Gallery, UK (2013); Museum für Moderne Kunst, Zollamt, Frankfurt (2013); International Project Space, Birmingham (2012); Moos/Moss, Hollybush Gardens, London (2012); The Poverty of Riches, Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia, Italy (2011); Three New Works, Artpace, San Antonio, Texas (2011); The Poverty of Riches, Whitechapel Gallery, London (2011); Croy Nielsen, Berlin (2009); Nought to Sixty – Andrea Büttner, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, UK (2008); It’s so wonderful to be a woman and an artist in the 21st century, Crystal Palace, Stockholm (2008); Hollybush Gardens, London (2008); On the spot #1 – Andrea Büttner, Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe (2007). Recent group exhibitions include dOCUMENTA (13) , Kassel, Germany and Kabul, Afghanistan (2012); Soundworks, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (2012); Brannon, Büttner, Kierulf, Kierulf, Kilpper, Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen (2012); Reversibility, Peep-Hole, Milan (2012); If It’s Part Broke, Half Fix It, Contemporary Art Centre (CAC), Vilnius (2011); Qui admirez-vous?, La Box, Bourges (2011); An Affirmative Attitude, Hollybush Gardens, London (2010); There is Always a Cup of Sea to Sail In, 29th Sao Paulo Biennale (2010); Unto This Last, Raven Row (2010); Les compétences invisibles 1/3, Maison Populaire, Centre d’art Mira Phalaina, Montreuil (2010); The young people visiting our ruins see nothing but a style, GAM Galleria Civica D’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Turin (2009). A major monograph on her work was published by Koenig Books this April.

Ashes Withyman (b. 1975, Matsqui, BC) lives and works in Vancouver. He has a forthcoming solo project at the Vancouver Art Gallery in June of this year and will take part in a production residency at the Glasgow Sculpture Studios in 2014. His major outdoor installation, a place, near the buried canal was commissioned as part of dOCUMENTA (13) in 2012. Recent solo exhibitions include Rocks on a Clock, Some Photos of Ducks, A Collection of Masks and a Post to Touch, Lüttgenmeijer, Berlin (2009); Selected Chapters from Uncertain Pilgrimage…, Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver (2009); CCA Wattis Institute of Contemporary Arts, San Francisco (2008); As a Wild Boar Passes Water, Witte de With, Rotterdam (2008). His work has been included in numerous group exhibitions, including Sobey Art Award, MOCCA, Toronto (2012); Montreal Biennial (2011); It Is What It Is, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (2010); Nothing to Declare, The Power Plant, Toronto (2009); Every Version Belongs to the Myth, Project Arts Centre, Dublin (2009); Sentimental Journey, Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver (2009); Nomads, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (2009).

Documentation by SITE Photography.