Friend of a Friend, Warsaw

07 Apr 2018 - 12 May 2018

Friend of a Friend 2018 Warsaw

Leto Gallery hosts Dürst Britt & Mayhew
Lift Off Land Ahoy! – Sybren Renema

Leto Gallery
Dzielna 5
00-162 Warsaw

Sybren Renema’s interest lies in all forms of human knowledge-production, with a particular liking for art, history, geographical exploration and the natural sciences. His work is often concerned with narratives of exploration and the sublime landscape, in which he focuses on the validity of Romantic clichés in the 21st century. He is active as an artist, writer and musician and his practice manifests itself in the form of videos, collages, neon-installations, digital prints and sculptures.

His latest videowork ‘Discovery’ follows a piece of wood from the deck of British polar explorer Robert Falcon Scott’s (1868-1912) first polar vessel, the Discovery, as it floats through the stratosphere. For this video Renema collaborated with SendIntoSpace, a company that specialises in commercial flights with stratospheric weather balloons. Point of launch was Dundee, where the restored Discovery can be visited. After having reached a height of 32 kilometers, the wooden relic and camera landed back in the North of England and were recovered using GPS. The continuity between polar travel and space flight, which Renema highlights with this work, is a phenomenon that has often been commented upon. Besides this, the work reflects on the general human tendency to escapism.

The neon sculpture accompanying the video quotes Robert Falcon Scott. ‘Great God! This is an awful place’ are the words he wrote in his diary as he reached the South Pole and found it to have already been visited by a Norwegian expedition under Roald Amundsen. In 2017 both video and neon were shown at the Antarctic Pavilion as part of the Venice Biennial. At LETO a series of collages showing images of snowy mountains now form an extra layer in this Antarctic storyline. Taken from old editions of National Geographic magazine, inhospitable areas turn into hallucinatory beauty.

After receiving his BFA from the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague Sybren Renema (1988) became the youngest MFA student to ever enroll at the Glasgow School of Art. He recently concluded residencies at Land Art Mongolia and the EKWC in Oisterwijk. Recent solo exhibitions include The Harvest of Leisure at Cydonia, Dallas, The Milk of Paradise at Dürst Britt & Mayhew and Pleasures of a Grave Desire at CCA Glasgow. Recent group exhibitions include Nightfall at Musée Rath in Geneva, Switzerland and Palinsestri at Palazzo Andrea Dori in Genoa, Italy. Renema’s work has been discussed in Artforum and various other international publications. His work is held in private and public collections, including the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden, the AMC Collection and the In4Art collection.


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