Occasionals II

Untitled, Scotch tape, some bottles of water, desktop or workplace

11.05.2024—01.06.2024

Marie Cool Fabio Balducci

Curated by: Chris Bestebreurtje and Petra Kuipers


Venue: Rongwrong - centre for art and theory
Binnen Bantammerstraat 2, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Opening Times: Friday and Saturday 14:00–18:00

Public Programme:
11.05.2024
Opening, 16:00–19:00

01.06.2024
Finissage, 16:00–19:00


Marie Cool Fabio Balducci, Untitled, Scotch tape, some bottles of water, desktop or workplace, 2014 (Photography by Gunnar Meier)

The exhibition Untitled, Scotch tape, some bottles of water, desktop or workplace by Marie Cool Fabio Balducci marks the first time their work will be displayed in the Netherlands. The exhibition is the second in a series of three Occasionals planned for this year in cooperation with Rongwrong in Amsterdam. This exhibition concept, that is an annual part of our Satellite Programme, highlights a single work from Tlön Projects' imaginary collection in a specific location.

Marie Cool Fabio Balducci have been collaborating under their double-barrelled moniker since 1995, thereby uniting their identities and expressing themselves as a single voice. They were both unemployed when they met and it was precisely this situation of not being able to do anything economically viable which led to them doing what they do and developing a shared vision of art and the world.

Since then, they have been creating what they term “actions” in response to issues such as power, dominant relationships, individual and object marginalisation in society, the democratic illusion and the lack of actual value and meaning inherent in the capitalist system. These actions consist of repeating basic activities using quotidian objects and natural phenomena: sticky tape, A4 sheets of paper, pencils, headphones, tissues, cotton thread, breadcrumbs, gold stars, a metal ruler, sunlight, water, etc.
All their actions are untitled, the elements involved objectively enumerated, yet their origin is crucial to understanding their selection. The pencils for Untitled, colored pencils on clearance, desktop (2010) originate from a clearance sale and the confluence of four sheets of paper in Untitled, four sheets of paper (A4), desktop (2005) simulates an earthquake, transferring the concept of the work’s revolt.

An interesting group of works within the artists’ oeuvre uses water: pouring or spilling it onto a desktop. Water bottled in plastic constitutes a charged prop for the artists who are increasingly concerned about water’s global commodification, which is inherent in the capitalist system and the latter’s reckless addiction to economic growth. The increasing privatisation and commercialisation of water has birthed a situation in which the supply of this crucial resource is controlled by a select group of multinationals and leads to social injustice and ecosystem damage. And it is precisely this bottled water that is frequently present in offices and on meeting room tables. So, when Fabio Balducci poured the contents of four bottles of water onto a meeting room table, the water pooling, then cascading off, for Untitled, bottles of water, meeting table (2011 - 2018), this can be viewed as an action aimed at disrupting the status quo.

For the work Untitled, Scotch tape, some bottles of water, desktop or workplace (2014), the surface of a desk will be framed with sticky tape which will also be stuck lengthways in strips, a hand-breadth apart. Water will be poured between these lines and thanks to its capillary action, it will sit higher than the surrounding sticky tape dams. The performer, at the head of the table, will rest her hand on the water, slowly dragging some towards herself then allowing it to gradually return to its initial position.