Private View: Wednesday 9 July 2008, 6:30PM - 8:30PM

Exhibition Run: 9 July 2008 - 15 August 2008

Artist: Jay Chung and Q Takeki Maeda

Curated by Bart van der Heide

Over the last four years, Berlin-based artists Jay Chung (1976, Madison, USA) and Q Takeki Maeda  (1977, Nagoya, Japan) have established quite a reputation with their unpredictable and elusive collaborations: they often depart from a dubious mystification or even a veritable lie.

In so doing, Chung and Maeda have successfully established clandestine ways to take on board the aesthetic responsibility of Conceptual Art and challenge bourgeois notions of classification, private labour and style. The Cubitt exhibition Hardy Boys and Gilmore Girls aims to continue this line of thought, while directing it at the same time to a particular case.

Louis Vuitton was born in a tiny village, around 1820.  His father was the proprietor of the village mill.  He was very exceptional as a boy…” begins the main sound piece in Hardy Boys and Gilmore Girls. The simplified narrative tells the life story of the ‘founding father’ as a self-made man during the rise of the middle class in 19th Century France. Now, as the world’s largest luxury-goods maker, Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy [tm] is France’s most visible exponent of arts patronage – ‘inscribed under the sign of creative passion, and a profound love of human values’.

A framed sketch hung in the gallery represents Chung and Maeda’s proposal to house this narrative in an auditorium based on the brown canvas interiour of a Louis Vuitton ‘Alma’ handbag. In their proposal, the purse is enlarged by a factor of 25 in order to form a small chapel. From a speaker system in the giant bag’s zippered ceiling, the viewer would hear several audio narratives, of which this Cubitt piece is the first to be realised.

Hardy Boys and Gilmore Girls doesn’t point its finger solely in one direction; it mirrors the views of Chung and Maeda on today’s state of artistic production as well. In a neoliberal economy in which a proliferation of freelance professionals need to secure their economy on a continuous basis, the visibility and representation of labor has become significant capital. Chung and Maeda clearly refuse to take part in this development and instead make way for a plethora of invisible and dysfunctional forms of practice within their installations.

Previous shows of Jay Chung and Q Takeki Maeda were featured in Otra de Vaqueros, Laboratory Arte Alameda Mexico City, the 1st Moscow Biennale (2005), CCA Wattis, San Francisco (2005 and 2006), MAMbo, Bologna (2006) and ZKM, Karlsruhe (2007). The Cubitt exhibition Hardy Boys and Gilmore Girls is a continuation of their exhibition (under the same name) at Künstlerhaus Stuttgart (2007/2008).

Cubitt’s exhibition programme (October 2007 – March 2009) is supported by: Outset Contemporary Art Fund, 176/Zabludowicz Collection and others.