The Memory group exhibition is presenting a video screening at Stockholm’s Loyal Gallery on October 8.
The programme closes the show, curated by Daniel Iinatti and running since September 1. Featured will be an excerpt of video work ‘Sacre 2: HEX’ (2016 – 2017) by Jaakko Pallasvuo & Anni Puolakka, and Anne de Vries‘ ‘Critical Mass : Pure Immanence’ (2015), which also featured as part of the artist’s E _ M E R G E solo exhibition in Amsterdam last year.
Also screening will be a video by Dorota Gawęda, Eglė Kulbokaitė + Fritz Marlon Schiffers‘ ‘YOUNG GIRL READING GROUP 132 at the Berlin Biennale 9, BOAT RAGE #7′. It’s presumably a film taken from the BB9 event where Gawęda and Kulbokaitė’s performative artist-collaboration and reading group presented on the Blue-Star sightseeing boat venue of the biennale and including readings of Octavia Butler’s sci-fi short story Speech Sounds.
Afternoon lecture and screening, ‘Programmed Inscriptions’, is on at Gothenburg’s Landsarkivet in Sweden on June 22.
Organised by Gluey-c —the design and archiving collaboration also responsible the Communicating the Archive: Inscription lecture series last year —the event is centred around a lecture by writer and new media theorist Wendy Hui Kyong Chun examining the dissemination of writing in digital media which exists “everywhere and nowhere”, “widely and wildly”.
The press release continues, “we now write when we are silent through data analytics that link our silences to others’ noise.”
Artist duo Hannah Quinlan & Rosie Hastings, who have recently shown and screened work at DRAF in London and RoomE 10-27 in Paris, will also screen film ‘UK Gay Bar Directory’. In their ongoing ‘@Gaybar’ project they ‘inscribe’ disappearing gay bars across the UK by using a GoPro camera when the spaces are empty, as it allows for the character of the bar to emerge, something in itself captured in short words amongst the the full title for the work: ‘UK Gay Bar Directory: Centre Stage / Vanilla / Eagle / Eva / Pink Rooms / Switch.’
Also screened during the short two-hour event will be film ‘Critical Mass: Pure Immanence’ by artist Anne De Vries whose recent show Submission at Cell Project Space in London contextualised it within a larger installation.
The Berlin-based Dutch artist explores notions of ‘the individual’ within the mass collectivity of ‘pluralist culture’, where large scale music events and personal devices both “develop fictional power structures that engineer mass ecstatic experience or opportunities to escape”.
Where de Vries’ earlier exhibition at Amsterdam’s Foam, E_M E R G E, dealt with the effects of human desire and technological progress, Submission refers to “our hyper connected world … and information driven reality … feeding a human desire to surpass the limitations of body and mind”.
A glass partition separates the exhibition space of Amsterdam’s FOAM from a plot of trees and plants outside. To all outward appearances, one side seems based on arbitrary, superficial characteristics and the other on natural, organic relationships. But the transparency of this otherwise hard disconnection is, on a macro level, symbolic of a merger made apparent through micro level affairs inside Anne de Vries‘ E _ M E R G E, running August 28 to November 1, itself.
Often appearing as organic forms from afar, on closer inspection the work of the Berlin-based Dutch artist offers insight into underlying technological agency in the digital era and, more specifically, how it relates to the human desire for progress. Photographic images of shavers and sneakers, which, like vine growth forms of plants colonising a house, ascend draped over manufactured frames and structures. Enveloped within is the representation of human masses — pictures of immanent uprisings that show more explicitly a natural yearning to advance, or crowds of people in search of enlightenment rendered through the photographic lens. ‘Critical Mass : Pure Immanence’ (2015) and ‘Boids’ (2015), both displayed at the entrance to E _ M E R G E are representative of those concerns that continue to resonate throughout the exhibition.
The show is a comprehensive presentation of De Vries’ work, and comprises both new and already existing pieces. While broad in this sense, it’s tapered toward specific issues — in particular, those engendered by the ‘natural’ existence and formation of bodies like the internet, Photoshop, Tumblr, and mobile upload feeds. As a result, De Vries’ language is informed by agencies that perpetually infiltrate those bodies like corporate branding, commercial merchandising, and stock photography. The same images that cling organically to E _ M E R G E are also reminiscent of the language of corporate advertising campaigns.
Of particular interest is the way new technologies are grounded in a human desire for progress, i.e., to expand human capacity and overcome physical and mental limitations — according to De Vries: “an ancient quest in which science, art and the spiritual are bound up together, a quest that has produced the manipulated reality of our day and of the future”. This is portrayed in works like ‘Katanga Bub’, (2011) ‘Steps of Recursion on rail — ICG’ (2012) and two ‘Image Transfers’ (2012). As Katja Novitskova effectively describes in her ‘The Merging of Matter and Information‘, “works by Anne de Vries offer access to our increasing entanglement with technology — its material and symbolic origins, our sense of the world as part of the universe and our expanding understanding of the laws of physics through different media”. It brings into question commodities as living things and, at the same time, art in terms of ecological laws.
‘Katanga Bub’ depicts the landscape and workers of Katanga, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, through a distorted press image of its mines rephotographed underwater, while various mobile phones planted against the image provide a ‘clearer’ picture. ‘Steps of Recursion on rail — ICG,’ on the other hand, is a sculpture comprised of a digital print of a sneaker connected to a steel frame. The transition of the recurring footwear between two points is reflective of an upward moving conception of progress, while also referencing that fact that they themselves are “often branded to embody the spirit to strive further to improve oneself”. **
As part of the European edition of Lunch Bytes discussions to happen across the region, Medium:Photography, is happening at Amsterdam’s Foam, March 30.
Following last week’s UK inauguration of the at London’s ICA with Inke Arns, Hito Steyerl, Huw Lemmey and Harry Sanderson, based around medium as format generally, the Amsterdam event gets more specific with its focus on photography.
The documentation of completed art works is usually a closed affair. In the case of Breathing Kevlar, Perforated Skin, the documentationwas the content of the exhibition, which led to a series of bewildering encounters and borderline perverse scenarios.
V4ULT is a project space run out of a studio on Adalbertstrasse, one of the hippest hubs near Kreuzberg’s Kottbusser Tor. Billed as a “performative group show”, the exhibition’s description was otherwise opaque. The blurb read as an ad for Screen Ops Tactical Gloves –hand wear that allows you to use touch-activated electronics while working in “tactical environments”. The relation between the gloves and the show was never explicitly illuminated but the almost poetic perversity of the their description might provide the missing link.
Photographer Mikko Gaestel documented the artworks, for the two-hour exhibition. Several people –friends or benevolent assistants of the artists –lined up in a dark, bare room with the works in hand, ready to be photographed by Gaestel. In the far corner of the room, a one person-wide, brightly-lit closet served as the backdrop for the shoot. The objects were photographed in the hand of their guardian, while visitors could peer into from over Gaestel’s shoulder. The whole thing proved a curiously voyeuristic experience.
The objects to be displayed, though largely unassuming, took on a fetishistic character in the context of their documentation. Martin Kohout’s ‘Sticks: Class A’(2011) looked like a cross between a wind instrument, a weapon and a ritualistic divining rod. The ‘Based on Memory’(2012)Euro coins by Anne de Vries were exhibited enticingly in the palm of their bearer’s cupped hands, like a semi-religious offering. All the while, Hanne Lippard’s familiar voice filled the room, as her audio narrative ‘Dings (Horrorscope 2014)’ (2013) –a series of prophetic reflections on suffocating office atmospheres mixed with astrological truisms –emanated reassuringly from a laptop on a table. It was played on V4ULT’s website (where it can still be seen), the background pattern of Naja Ankarfeldt’s accompanying video, ‘Things’ (2013), meshing seamlessly with the wallpaper itself, giving rise to the V4ULT tag line that “the URL continues IRL”. The site becoming personified –in lieu of the artists themselves –as participant among the performers in the room.
Conceptually, the exhibition was excellent, which made it almost unbearable to experience in real life (conceptual art often only being recognizably good when reflected upon in its wake). There was no indication of how to behave in this strange domestic space, no division between visitors and performers, and seemingly no one ‘in charge’. Witnessing the documentation of an event –before or in the absence of the event itself –produces a sense of fruitless anticipation. This unrequited feeling lingered beyond the one night show, a sure sign of seductive success. **