Galerie Fons Welters - Amsterdam

Olga Balema & Win McCarthy

Artists built machines. Cameras swung, mirrors were angled, the monitor showed a person lying face down on the ground convincing their body to first sink into it, and later to rise above it. An act that conveyed to the observer that the feeling of floating and thus the transcendence of terrestrial gravity is not observable. 

“Without the audience the artwork does not exist!”

“There is a place for you in these paintings!”

Earth was scanned on film. Melancholy at first, then incrementally increasing its pace spun frantically. Flickered. Stopped.  In black and white an old man circled the land on his motorcycle, body reverberating as a droning sound left his mouth.  The museum turned into an apparatus for the arranging of light and people’s thoughts turned to Maholy-Nagy and his beautiful construction.  

“A room that is like a dream, a truly spiritual room, where the stagnant atmosphere is nebulously tinted pink and blue.”

The spot on the wall kept spinning. More holes, more motorcycles. A nude woman bathed in green light up to and including her limits was looking at things from above, rather than the front or the back, holding a colored pencil Roto-whatevers, preciseness and acuity, invest invert convert relent relax control. 


Look long enough, and the word becomes unintelligible. It is made of letters: lines curved and straight. It follows the rules, sure. Consonant, then vowel, then consonant, consonant, 

it sounds,



familiar. It sounds familiar. 
The word, “sounds” familiar.
You recognize it, plain as day, yes.

Each of these works is a territory: a temporarily fixed quantity. Within these territories, associative “properties” abound.

A parceling out
An allotment
A reordering of set quantities
A round peg for a round hole
A cut, and a repair

A motorcycle was mentioned before.  There is now a motorcycle.  There is now a raking afternoon light.  There is now a raking afternoon light.

Olga Balema (Ukraine, 1984) is an artist who currently lives in New York. She makes sculptures. One of the major concerns of her work is form, another material. Another is paying attention to where and how things go into a space. Sometimes the work can be called site respondent, other times it responds only to itself. The works shown during Amsterdam Art Week will consist of large flat sculptures, continuing a form she most recently developed in her show Computer at Camden Art Center in London.
In his work, Win McCarthy (United States, 1986) explores the dialectical relationships between subjects like the city and the citizen, the friend and the stranger, or the present and the past. McCarthy’s work often testifies to the paradoxical emptiness one can experience in a metropolis, amidst large numbers of people. Busy intersections within a city become symbols for roads where past and present intersect. The space that someone occupies has significance on both a physical and social level since structures of urban planning and architecture are reflections of ideas about social positions such as socio-economic class, gender and sexuality.