Delfina Foundation

Nathan Witt

Ramallah: 16/08/12 — 16/10/12

Nathan Witt (b 1974) is interested in ideas about the motives of people and the value of things. He went to art school after working as an test engineer for Dyson in Research and Development for four years and working as a conservation volunteer in Australia for 18 months at the age of 20.

Over the last ten years Witt has, on average, produced an A4 text piece once a week that has acted as a counterpoint to something that may have been needed to be made- and the idea is that the notion should be sufficient enough for the fictive audience to gain an idea to the artist’s motives. Some of the work manifests itself in lists, poems, vignettes, short essays and rants; most of the writing being about art, or philosophy or history and the acknowledgement that the artist is a perpetual amateur of all that they survey.

Witt’s work is embroiled in an emotional type of conceptualism that has a negative attitude towards visual and material culture where very little art is actually made, preferring the methodology of research and using art as a tool for catharsis and tempering the variety of emotional states that people go through. It is self conscious enough to try and be objective but that is not necessarily in the artists [sic] control and there are numerous attempts to deconstruct and pre-empt modes of devalorisation that await the work.

From 2005 to present Witt collected and defaced Press Releases as a means of emotional verifying his position to what he sees and the conflict between other people’s claims of other people’s works. The project became a deliberate extension to B.A.N.K.’s work as a means of validating their idea and deferring responsibility from himself, which is a recurring theme (lately asking a publisher to tell him what to do with the work and simply doing it: which was wrapping each page by hand with toilet paper and ironing each page). The work exists as something libellous, deterritorialised/ lacking in ownership and traitorous.

There have been projects about the cultural infatuation with craft and labour, working about space so something concrete can be learned- and also as a real desire to escape humanity (a recurring theme), non-participation, hermeticism, deferral of responsibility as a means of being responsible, research as the work and lately, tanning animal hides and making books.

Recent projects include producing an alternative press release for Haroon Mirza’s solo show at the Lisson Gallery last year, a group showing In Search of Alchemical Times curated by Cecilia Wee with Aura Satz, Liliane Lijn, Peter Lewis and Makiko Nagoya amongst others, guest writing for about Truth and recently an artists book commission with [SPACE] studios edited by Federico Campagna as part of their Permacultures Residency.