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idea / fantasy / dream / myth / image.

Organised by Alasdair Duncan, Jack Lovell, and Mike Merkenschlager.

Camberwell Space 8th Jan -14th Feb 2014

What America means for non Americans.

"America is really the property of the world, and not only of the Americans, who, among other things, have the habit of diluting the wine of their mythical ideas with the water of the American Way of Life. America was something dreamed by philosophers, vagabonds and the wretched of the earth before it was discovered by Spanish ships and populated by colonies from all over the world. The Americans have only rented it temporarily. If they don’t behave well, if the mythical level is lowered, if their movies don’t work anymore and history takes on an ordinary day-to-day quality, then we can always evict them. Or discover another America. The contract can always be withheld.”
-- Sergio Leone (1986)

America has from its inception had a powerful mythic pull for the world beyond it. America, as well as being a place, is a heady, swirling abstraction of ideas, fantasies, dreams and myths, forms of the imaginary which belong no less to the world than to Americans. Our America (we who are not Americans) invokes fierce partisan emotions, and draws us here and there in our relation to our own circumstances as well as the reality of the United States, better and worse. This America, the America of the rest of the world, has been, and continues to be, a material and drive for tremendous cultural production.

Amerika, the exhibition, was a reflection or refraction of the vision of America belonging to the rest of the world, through artwork understood in a broad sense, largely presented in various forms of reproduction.   Amerika takes the form of the ever inchoate ways that we find our Americas, like every relation of desire: always becoming; provisional; teasing us with a sense of a totality that is ever just around the corner and never quite present.


Bas Jan Ader, Fiona Banner, Sam Basu, Christian Boltanski, Maurizio Cattelan, Thomson and Craighead, Dexter Dalwood, Alasdair Duncan, Kyoko Ebata, Yergenis Fiks, Isa Genzken, Florencia Guillen, Douglas Gordon, Richard Hamilton, Hergé, Kirsten Houser, Vanessa Jackson, Franz Kafka, Martin Kippenberger, Jack Lovell, Tatsuo Majima, Mike Merkenschlager, Aleksandra Mir, Simon Morris, Eduardo Paolozzi, Esther Planas, Rebecca Partridge, Dieter Roth, Annelies Strba, Angus Sanders Dunnachie, Maria Thurn und Taxis, William Tuck, Matthew Verdon, Magdalena Wisniowska, Tirdad Zolghardr.