How my mom got hacked, which ran at Kortrijik’s DASH gallery from October 17 to November 14, 2015, brought together four artists including Aline Bouvy, Adam Cruces, Tilman Hornig and Nicolas Pelzer. Rather than providing context and overview of the exhibitions’ aim and premise, the press release spelt out a list of Plot Keywords:
Increased productivity and efficiency, Gender, Cyberpunk, Computer, Prehistory, We’re all white on the inside (meme), Users, Foreplay, Hands, Technological body, Slow motion, Hacker, Time(d), Foreplay, Devices, Virtual Reality, To break up the surface, The Poetics of Information Overload
Unsure as to whether or not the group are critiquing or investing themselves in these buzzwords, we are asked to draw our own ties between the assemblage of objects. The room is spacious and open, and the works are viewed in conversation with each other. The “double” as a theme and aesthetic portrayal of intimacy works its way through the show.
Cruces presents two blow up air mattress placed on low plinths, named ‘We’re all sexy on the inside’ (2015) and ‘We’re all sleepy on the inside’ (2015). Little drawings of skeletons in sexual acts are drawn on the surface, with underwear, slippers, tissues and miniature clock hands scattered around. Hung above is Pelzer’s ‘Evolving Masters’ (2015), where metal is folded into the shape of hands facing towards (or worshipping) a bright purple light. A temporary wall splits the room, with Bouvy’s drawings on either side. Two heads are connected by an abstract circular shape titled ‘The extensibility of all objects and creatures in the universe’ (2015). Behind the wall is Hornig’s ‘Transformed by lifestyle (TXT on devices series)’ (2015), a log that sits on a low stage-like plinth, holding up two wifi boxes that are scribed with a story titled “An Everyday World” and ending in “this is already rarely misunderstood by an average posted comment.” **
New Milan-based artist-run project Pane is hosting group show Kelly Bar at Cafè al 5 on via Pellegrino Rossi 5, opening January 13 and running to 17.
Kelly Bar is a Chinese cafe that “DOESN’T list abstruse and exotic Chinese dishes with bright names”. Instead, the press release says, it has sumptuous Italian sandwiches and “fragrant breakfasts”. It is a Westernized place that “fully reflects the imagined expectations of a young Chinese teenager” while walking along via Pellegrino Rossi in Milan.
Although the current project is shrouded in some mystery, with a website displaying the opening date, shimmering below a watery surface, the Berlin-based duo have previously collaborated in similar ways. With eStaminathey presented a 60-minute ambient audio track accompanied by CGI in “a drugged fog”, as well as scripted contributions from 26 other artists, musicians, curators and neuroscientists.
Paris-based curatorial programme and exhibition space Exo launched another great exhibition this spring, curating the Check XXe group show at Brussels’s After Howl. Run by curator Elisa Rigoulet and artist Antoine Donzeaud, the curatorial programme invited seven international artists to take part, (with Donzeaud contributing some of his own work as well) for a show that explored the notion and linguistic complexity of ‘checks’—checks-and-balances, checks done to embarrass the parties involved, checks that subtly bring attention that there are people around you trying to mate, checks as agreement, checks as obesity, etc.
Paris’sMatthieu Haberardbrings five new pieces—with a dark wood, epoxy, acrylic painting titled ‘Screen, where the touch, is a real sensation’ (2015), a can-and-water sculpture called ‘Combine painting’ (2015), a wood-and-electric cable piece called ‘Your time is running out’ (2015), as well as two sculptural installations made of steel, plexiglas, acrylic on canvas, titled ‘Marcel; Where the bulbs are?’ (2015) and ‘Stéphane; They took our…’ (2015)—while San Francisco’s Quintessa Matranga‘s shows a series of new cartoonish inkjet paper prints mounted on wood.
Some of the other artists include: Houston’s Adam Cruces with two digital video loops; Bending Bindingwith two sculptural radiators, a plastic-candy-and cooling liquid scultpure, and a neon light, as well as Belgium-born and Antwerp-based artist Yannick Val Gestowith a series of digital collages using 3D render semi-transparent print on brushed aluminium. Antone Konst and Hubert Marot round out the exhibition lineup with, respectively, a series of ceramic tile-on-panel large-scale oil and nail polish drawings and a cyanotype, spray paint, gallic acid on canvas piece. The last artist is Donzeaud himself with a large-scale silksreen print and aerosol paint on tarp and wood work titled ‘Ordinary Objects for Common Use (Couch)’. **
Yves Klein Archives are teaming up with New Galerie for a group exhibition called Plowing Solids and running at their Paris space from March 25 to April 8.
The show, curated by Copenhagen artist Rasmus Myrup (who is currently running the space Weekends) features Myrup along with five other artists for the second in a series of exhibition organised jointly by the Yves Klein Archives and the Paris gallery.
American-born, Paris-based Cruces takes up the Belgian gallery’s project room for Sift, his eleventh solo show, and gives little away as to its nature other than a press release that comes in the form of ten random T/F statements, presenting maybe-facts like “All water on Earth originated purely from comets. T/F” and “Frank Mars, who created the Snickers chocolate bar in 1930, named the candy after his favorite horse. T/F”. The last statement merely reads: “This statement is not true. T/F”.
In the gallery’s main room is the joint Soul Hackers show. Steciw has made regular use of stock photographers from ShutterStock since 2010, like her in joint show with de Joode at Neumeister Bar-Am (NBA), describing her fascination with “authorless” images, and with the notion of invisible aesthetic labour. Val Gesto, on the other hand, credits his inspiration to the DeviantArt aesthetic, to recreate the types of fan art and “meme-imagery” he found on image boards and forums.
Installed in a Hummer limo but exhibited on the internet, the C R A S H group exhibition is the image of rupture. Or make that several images, as the show – curated by artists and New Scenario founders Paul Barsch and Tilman Hornig, along with Burkhard Beschow – presents a body horror of cybernetic objects and synthetic organisms sharing a place in fragments at a point of temporal rift.
Launched on January 17 and featuring the work of 11 artists, each image comes from the one luxury car interior but its object is viewed only in isolation at any given time. The empty space becomes animated as you select an artist’s name, like a point-and-click adventure game of grotesque hidden artefacts, from Hornig’s nylon-limbs stretched out across a leather couch to Barsch’s disembodied hairpiece, dreadlocked and dangling from the sunroof.
Inspired by David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis and Chris Cunningham’s ‘Windowlicker‘ video for Aphex Twin there’s something chilling about Adam Cruces‘ baguette arm that wears three watches in the speaker compartment and Thomas Payne’s plastic pack of oversized synthetic slaters. It’s place in the driver’s cupholder implying it’s there to be eaten.
This is a backdrop of obscene wealth and mediated overstimulation, where the Hummer limousine comes already loaded with a contextual meaning that a white cube – whether online or off – consciously, but possibly even more artificially attempts to avoid. Thus these actors and their stage in the total cinematic experience of C R A S H, where the drama of Zack Davis‘ motionless glass barnacle stuck to the screen of a simulated fireplace plays out in a different dimension of the same space as Anne Fellner‘s painting of a white swan lying limply on its side.
An accompanying text by Joseph Hernandez called ‘Observations From the Bucket‘ presents a first-person account of a “coming change” ignored by the family but offering ideas and concepts that are “constant and shattered and reveled within”. The anatomical imagery that mostly travels through the protagonist’s digestive tract is slightly less confronting than d3signbur3au‘s troublingly feminised personification of a capitalism that’s eating itself in ‘for a future IV: but what if we are not alive?‘:
“Blue shit burning in her ass like melting solder… the smell of blue fever fills the air, a rotten metal meat smell that steams off her as she shits a soldering blue phosphorescent excrement”.
A bulbous pink blob, ice cubes expanding into polygonal shapes, a napkin spattered with what looks like blood and a toilet brush encrusted with grime and cigarette butts. All of these individual pieces add up to a production that evokes that same sensuous feeling of ‘venereal horror’ that made Cronenberg famous, J. G. Ballard an icon and our collective view to the future one that’s equal parts frightening and fascinating. **