WLGTDWI is the acronym for What’s Love Got to do With it, a song recorded by Tina Tuner in 1984. It was her first and only number one hit, and the most popu- lar single from her celebrated solo album Private Dancer. The song also gave its title to a biographical film containing most of the revelations Turner made about her life-changing, yet -destroying marriage with music producer-cum-manager Ike Turner. The film was released in 1993.
For centuries, love has been one of the great subjects of Western art, and of- ten used to illustrate the depths of human mind, or to bolster the value system in place. Used in countless allegories, love was a strong political tool used by Romantic painters to depict the authority of concepts such as nation, religion
or monarchy. Though love is still the prime preoccupation of songwriters and filmmakers, most of today’s plastic artists seem to neglect the topic. Arguably, this breach sparked with the postmodern turn and its reexamination of Western values, which shifted artistic relation to many longstanding paradigms, including love. Love was no longer a transcendental, serious artistic topic.
For WLGTDWI, SALTS invites 13 artists to develop a new performative body of work together with their romantic partners. With the aim to discuss how couples with different and autonomous artistic practices influence each other, and to uncover the poignant banality of daily romantic life, the show sets out to legiti- mise the silent collaborations often at play. Collaboration brings the opportunity to fight the individualism that monopolies the art world, while blurring authorship and shifting the conceptual and formal results of a shared process. On the other hand, negotiation becomes crucial when affect is involved, as the rules of the game inevitably change under the pressure of irrational parameters.
Though working independently, Petrit Halilaj and Alvaro Urbano very often serve as each other’s assistant in respective projects. In What Comes First (2015), they built a sophisticated henhouse (with atomic shelter) in the shape of a giant egg. Reflecting on the chicken and egg question (“which came first?”), the project combines specific aspects of each artist’s current research – Urbano’s habitable structures, on the one hand, with strong sociological investigation of the past, on the other; a continuation of the biographical and site-specific emphasis that is so present in Halilaj’s work.
Extract from press release