ETCAMA: The Problem of Everything
Until 1 August, 2013

Featuring artists;
Bernadette Corporation,
Calla Henkel & Max Pitegoff,
Ilja Karilampi,
Nora Schultz,
Lawrence Weiner

GAK-gebouw, Amsterdam
Bos en lommerplantsoen 1

ETCAMA—THE PROBLEM OF EVERYTHING is an art project initiated by Nicolas Borel & Tore Wallert, with support by Jonathan Sachse Mikkelsen. Our last show was called 'The solution to nothing'. Our new show is called 'The problem of everything.' Why? Because something is missing; risk, ambition, guts, scale, presence!

On 21 June, half of the GAK-gebouw—a monument in the form of a massive empty Modernist office complex in Bos en Lommer—is opened for the first time to the public. Artworks by Bernadette Corporation, Calla Henkel & Max Pitegoff, Ilja Karilampi, Nora Schultz and Lawrence Weiner will be exhibited in the 3000m2 space.

Everything around us is self-propagating, self-reproducing the homogeneity of the same old same. Our environment is flatlining. ETCAMA is possibility in an environment of no possibility, non-existent diversity, where there is no space for input from the outside.

The problem is the pure attempt to reach the absolutely unfamiliar—the critical and the affirmative. ETCAMA is an unlikely symptom of the general condition. It makes no sense. The problem of everything is altogether taking up the irrational, taking up a responsibility in the total sacrifice of self-interest.

The problem is every aspect of everything we come into contact with; money, space, time, architecture, humans, politics, energy, art. The problem of everything is the exposure of art to everything which is not of art, the social aspect, the anti-heroic struggle for cash, all types of crisis, systemic failure, doing everything because we said 'everything.'

ETCAMA is a renovation project. How to turn a towering half torn down 60s relic into an art space, how to breathe new life into the landscape with a giant architectural skeleton on our backs? We are individuals facing the monolithic, dealing with brutal quantities of free labor, energy & exhaustion. Every artwork on show is made new, specific, made material. Curation here is 99% physical; displaced walls from the floors of the building, up to the next. Getting rid of the past by using its past.

The GAK breaks with the continuity of the scale of this city. A sort of alienated, alienating sleeping giant, a sublime object of ideological dysfunction. We found it as a second hand construction site, too big, incommensurable. Walking through its interior, mounds of left-over materials and the fear of asbestos. The most ideal and yet the most problematic space in Amsterdam.

How it is to be done? Our organization is three people, three artists. How can we become the work? Can we build an art project free from any presupposed idea? Every administrative, bureaucratic & practical process in opening up the building, every necessary communication with every type of person along the way; problems, possibilities. How are we being confronted by public responsibility? ETCAMA is an artwork and the means for art to happen. It creates its own structures, challenges everything, distinguishes art from everything. We do it because we like to. No-one gave us this opportunity, so we took it, so now we have to.

Between the external interests of others and subjective feelings of necessity & urgency—we look for the outside gesture, the clear position, the different example.