Opening Reception: Saturday, September 12 (7-9 pm)



"Artists - Recent Photographs from My S/L Series”

September 12th to November 1st 2015

Opening Reception: Saturday, September 12th (7-9pm) 

Installation View

Installation View


Following Rainer Ganahl's exhibition "El Mundo," which inaugurated Kai Matsumiya in April 2014, the artist will now open the gallery's fall season with recent photographs from his Seminar/Lecture (S/L) series. This series of photographs was captured by Ganahl during seminars, lectures, and announced talks, and was not subjected to formal photogenic refineries, such as stage lighting, digital editing, tripods, or forced photographic perspectives. Each set is comprised of 2, 4, 5 or 6 photographs, and is specific to each event, and titled after the hosting institution and the date (i.e. “S/L, Jens Hoffmann, Martha Rosler, Jens Hoffmann in conversation with Martha Rosler, Art Basel, Basel 6/18/2010”). His subjects were sourced solely out of personal interest, rather than with any systematic or strategic considerations, thus revealing Ganahl’s intellectual flânerie.
Depicting speakers, audiences and venues, the images subtly reveal the economic and cultural privileges associated with access to these specific institutions and contexts, and the interests and understandings involved therein.
The artist began his S/L series in 1995, focusing primarily on influential academics. It was inspired by one of Edward Said's courses, titled "The Representation of Intellectuals." A few of the subjects from this original series have since passed away, including Said, Pierre Bourdieu, Eric Hobsbawm and Susan Sontag.
Whereas the photographs captured between 1995 and 2005 principally included intellectuals, The artist's most recent investigations have shifted towards an increased focus on artists and curators. He questions the changing interests in the art world, from the general philosophical, cultural and political topics discussed in the 1990s to matters concerning art production and its context. 
“This trend also mirrors my renewed interest in arts education, with all of its implications, forms and consequences," Ganahl says "This exhibition will display the individual positions of artists as both intellectuals and human beings. I am interested in how artists live in an increasingly complicated, fragmented and precarious world, and how they try to cope with it.”
For his second show, Ganahl has selected photographs of lectures and discussions by artist-friends including Jutta Koether, Ken Okiishi, Yael Bartana, Martha Rosler, Stephen Prina, Willem de Rooij, Jeff Wall, and by artists he admires, such as Werner Herzog.

The show concludes in the back area of the gallery with a set of photos covering the presentation of  Mike Kelley's Educational Complex by one of his best artist-friends John Miller. These images are surrounded by two other works made with pure silk which display the two questions in bold black letters - "Why do we fail?" and "Why do we fall?" 

The most recent significant presentations of the "S/L" series were shown at the Arsenale section at the Venice Biennale (2007), curated by Robert Storr; and a solo exhibition at Columbia University's Wallach Gallery titled "The Politics of Learning” (2005), curated by William Kaizen.



Kai Matsumiya

153 ½ Stanton Street

New York, NY 10002

Wed-Sun 12-6

+1 617 678 4440