David Levine



June 27 - August 23, 2009

Vernissage on June 27 from 18 - 21:00 

FEINKOST is pleased to present the exhibition “Hopeful”, a project by Berlin-based artist David Levine. “Hopeful” is the result of several years of collecting discarded unsolicited portfolios. Levine has assembled this material as a study to analyze cultural waste in a tangible way while also illustrating human-scaled statistics in an industry where everyone is trying to be discovered.

David Levine’s practice is an anthropology of cinema, theater, acting and spectating. His use of techniques ranges from sociology a là Michel de Certeau to dramaturgical methods of Bertolt Brecht and Constantin Stanislavski. Levine’s research becomes a discussion of the space between reality and theater, the unsaid mechanisms that put them in motion and then collapse them together. The artist’s projects tend to be immaterial, performance-based and potentially unnoticeable to even the most attentive audience. 

Beginning with fieldwork in 2005, sifting through refuse and collecting dossiers, the installation at FEINKOST illustrates the frequency of effort and the seasonality of hope. “Hopeful” maps out a parallelism of the relentless self-promotion of the art world by revealing a semiotics of solicitation. High-gloss productions costs, Janus-faced versatility, an effort to seem both specific and generic, cover letters on fine paper, feigned first-name basis, free tickets to “off-off” premieres; all of these qualities amount to an intense quantity of material and a portrait of the undiscovered and emerging.

An index of phraseologies plumbs the depths of brazen confidence and last-ditch efforts. We bear witness to paradoxical questions regarding the nature of a material that has passed through states of being: an investment near several hundred dollars per subject, a range of self-portraiture voluntarily given away like a message in a bottle, then discarded with the junk mail, and now found; its financial value transformed into an epistemic one.

David Levine recently produced the interactive performance Venice Saved at PS122 in New York. In 2006 he received a grant from the Kulturstiftung des Bundes to produce the action and film Bauerntheater. Levine's performances have been seen at: Documenta XII, Gavin Brown's Enterprise @ Passerby, Galerie Magnus Mueller, Curators without Borders, FEINKOST, and various theater and peformance spaces throughout the U.S. Other projects, including HOPEFUL, have been profiled in Cabinet magazine, which will present this exhibit in their project space this fall. Levine's newest project, HABIT, will open at Toronto's Luminato Festival in 2010, and then travel to the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. For any questions, images or further information please contact Aaron Moulton at info@galeriefeinkost.com.