C for Confidence

Eau Pernice
C for Confidence

‘To do, is to act; so all doers are actors,’ writes Herman Melville in The Confidence-Man, and in the exhibition C for Confidence, the works assume the lead roles, exploring the various meanings of the word ‘performance’ – as an artistic medium, as a business term, and as a fundamental aspect of social life.

The exhibition’s title introduces a narrative framework that puts the gallery to the test as a place where confidence is key in the encounter with ambiguous images. The gallerist shows visitors around the exhibition, revealing internal linkages between works. The works are thereby connected in a linguistic structure, and the gallerist fulfils their role as a salesperson. Among the works featured in the exhibition are Piscine Commerce, a newspaper covering the gallery windows, staging the gallery as a site of fishy business, and Tribute I, III, III, laser etchings of bank notes folded into the shape of fish that point like mischievous arrows at illusions and rituals as well as power relations – between artist and gallerist, artwork and viewer.

C.C.C. Gallery | November-December 2021 | Photo: Brian Kure

In the work Tribute I, II, III, featuring reproductions of Euro notes folded into the shape of fish, Pernice juxtaposes the graphic artist and the counterfeiter. Whereas the counterfeiter makes fast cash that may immediately be put in circulation, the artist’s path from idea to economic gain is much longer. In both cases, there is a high degree of uncertainty. Reproduction is, as suggested, fishy business, while the slowness of the printing process evokes the dictum ‘time is money’. The linear temporality of the fish’s journey across the ‘space’ of the paper is punctuated each time the motif moves in relation to its initial position, marking the beginning of a new timeline.

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