ALL ROADS LEAD
new drawings by Alexis Dahan
Coburn Projects New York
8th - 14th November 2016
208 Bowery - New York City
daily from 10-6pm
All Roads Lead is a solo exhibition of new drawings by Alexis Dahan. For his second collaboration with Coburn Projects, Dahan shows a series of charcoal drawings representing various cobblestone roads around the western world.
Roads are a paradoxical vector of civilization. While they allow for fast transport of people and goods, they also limit freedom of displacement to the locations which they link. They allowed the Roman Empire to take hold and to prosper, speeding its trade routes and projecting its armies throughout Europe and beyond. They also ironically facilitated the Barbarian Invasions that ended the empire. By definition, roads are never considered for themselves but rather for the destinations they reach or for the function one allocates to them. A road never ends, it always connects with another road in a narrower or a wider network. The web of roads is infinite.
Dahan wants to represent the road as an object in itself by removing the destination, taking out the “to”. These paths have no beginning and no end, but if one looks closely a new network, made of the interstices between each cobblestone, appears. These new roads are hiding within, like city blocks seen from the sky, tracing an endless grid.
All roads lead somewhere and the roads depicted in the exhibition might very well lead to the back of the gallery where an installation entitled baR MUTT 2017 is hidden. baR MUTT was conceived by Dahan and Coburn in an attempt to connect people the same way roads do. It is the artist’s stance that all the roads of contemporary art lead to Marcel Duchamp. We imagine him working in secret on Etant Donné the same way people drank in hiding during the prohibition. The wine bar will thus function as a local community experiment, where guests come after seeing an exhibition to exchange ideas and thoughts around a more Dionysian surrounding than the white walls of the gallery.
The bar floor is painted in a cobblestone fan pattern, bringing an imaginary street inside the gallery. Contrary to the drawings, the floor painting does not represent a real road. This one is new but still leads to nowhere and thus puts us in a state of static displacement.
Alexis Dahan is an artist currently living in New York. After studying literature and philosophy in Paris, Dahan received his M.A. in Journalism at NYU. Dahan’s first exhibition at Half Gallery in December 2012, met with critical acclaim and was followed in November 2013 by “We serve selected texts”, a not-for-profit interactive installation that distributed philosophy texts to bystanders and was invited by the DIA Art Foundation to operate in front of their Chelsea headquarters. In 2014, Art Production Fund commissioned Dahan’s “If the game is the art, is chance the artist?” in Las Vegas and the following year, the Fire Department of New York approved Dahan’s “Alarm Amann”, an intervention consisting of repainting an old fire alarm box at the corner of Rivington and Bowery with red fluorescent pigments, to remain on long term view. Two successful solo exhibitions followed in 2015 with Coburn Projects in the Lower East Side and Five 11 in Chelsea. This last February 2016 new works were shown at the Lamb Arts gallery in London. Dahan has also conducted interviews for Purple Magazine with artists such as Joseph Kosuth, Jeff Wall, Gabriel Orozco, Lawrence Weiner, Giuseppe Penone, Barbara Kruger, Claude Rutault and Stephen Shore.
The installation “baR MUTT 2017” is open to the public every day from 6pm to 11pm
and will remain open after the exhibiton and until further notice.
208 Bowery - New York City
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