Press Release

Mélina Avouac, Cécile B. Evans, Rainer Fetting, Benjamin Alexander Huseby, Christian Schoeler, Spencer Sweeney

26 Nov 2009 – 9 Jan, 2010

Don’t Projects is pleased to announce Le souci de soi, an exhibition of works by Mélina Avouac, Cécile B. Evans, Rainer Fetting, Benjamin Alexander Huseby, Christian Schoeler and Spencer Sweeney.

“The experience of self that forms itself in an unanxious possession is not simply that of a force overcome, or a rule exercised over a power that is on the point of rebelling; it is the experience of a pleasure that one takes in oneself. The individual who has finally succeeded in gaining access to himself is, for himself, an object of pleasure.” – Michel Foucault

In his lectures at the Collège de France in 1981-82 French philosopher Michel Foucault made “the care of the self” the theoretical point of departure for his exploration of the place of the self in society and human life. He describes the importance of cultivating, forming and mastering oneself – intellectually, physically, sexually, spiritually – which was paramount in ancient Greek culture. Foucault’s understanding of this mentality as a means to an “art of living” focuses on a devotion to the self in search of a purposeful existence.

Don’t Projects will bring together the perspectives of six artists, exploring how the preoccupation with the self is translated into the realm of contemporary art. Working in painting, photography, sculpture and video, the participating artists offer views of the self, each stressing the importance of self-discovery to their own work and how it is experienced by the viewer.

German–French artist Mélina Avouac (born 1982), working in various media, will present three small-scale, illuminated sculptures from 2009: Totes Liebespaar und Mustang, Penner und fette Frau, and Kämpfende. Cécile B. Evans (born 1983), a media artist currently living and working in Berlin and Paris, will show her video Artificial Intimacy, 2009, for the first time. German painter Rainer Fetting (born 1949) will present a selection of three oils on canvas: Marlon Brando mit Katze, 2004, Desmond, 2001, and Room of the Loner, 2008. Dumont recently published a monographic book on his oeuvre entitled Fetting. Norwegian photographer Benjamin Alexander Huseby (born 1978) will include a sculpture, Patrick, and a photograph, Goetheanum, both from 2009. He recently collaborated with artist Lars Lauman on a video project for the 5th Nordic Biennial of Contemporary Art in Moss, Norway. Following his solo show Si le grain ne meurt organized by Don’t Projects earlier this year, German painter Christian Schoeler (born 1978) will exhibit a selection of three recent oils created specifically for Le souci de soi. He currently lives and works in Düsseldorf. Known for his colorful collaged paintings and cartoonish drawings, New York-based artist and musician Spencer Sweeny (born 1973) will complete the show with three recent canvases.