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Private Settings, Art after the Internet (2014) exhibition photos

13 October 2014

For a minute I’m confused. Looking through the images for Warsaw’s Private Settings, Art after the Internet group survey, curated by Natalia Sielewicz, it’s a disorienting trip through a recent and familiar past for any fan of this kind of contemporary art. It features everything from the droll and deeply troubling leftist philosopher-as-popular-icon-and-fashionable-brand video commission and “sportswear range” ‘Thinkspiration’ (2014) by DIS, to Cuss Group‘s more aspirational attempt at redefining post-Apartheid South Africa into a “rainbow nation” in their ‘Live Distillation’ (2013) video and digital print installation. To try to attempt to explain what this kind of art is, where any attempt at a broadstroke compartmentalisation of a creative cluster of artists dispersed along an incongrously digitised world would forever fall short, is impossible. So let it be a generation born at the genesis of the internet and raised in the squall of its exponentially expanding reach; their immediate environment, politics, identity playing a central role in shaping a collective output fed by and filtered through the network.

Private Settings (2014) @ MOMAW exhibition view. Courtesy the gallery.
Private Settings (2014) @ MOMAW exhibition view. Courtesy the gallery.

Pooling together the work of 27 international artists and collectives born in the 80s and 90s, the exhibition – running in Poland’s Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw (MOMAW) and naturally spilling out onto the web as well as a live events programme – supports a deftly constructed insight into some of the most dynamic and influential practitioners working today. Whether its Korakrit Arunanondchai‘s ‘2556’ (2013) – “painting with history in a room filled with men with funny names” – video or Loretta Fahrenholz‘s dystopian Ditch Plains (2013) film – made in collaboration with members of Ringmasters dance crew and Hurricane Sandy – theirs is an experience that is shared in all its difference.

With a capacity for self-mediating at unprecented velocity, images, ideas and popular cultural tropes are consumed and regurgitated in infinite mutations, while remaining static in a state of endless motion. Jesse Darling‘s materialisation of software’s influence as owner and objectifier in Photoshop 1 (Healing Brush, Clone Stamp, Paint Bucket) (2013) confuses the point where the body ends and the image begins, while Harm van den Dorpel‘s ‘Untitled assemblage (selfie)’ (2013) mimics the cyclical nature of identity creation and curation within its sphere of digital prints on perspex while still dangling within, and being dwarfed by the concrete structures surrounding it.

These works, which also include those of Ryan Trecartin, Jennifer Chan, Metahaven and more, are collated, curated and recalibrated into the Private Settings website, where images and information are dispersed across artists pages, then themes: ‘Body in the Web’, ‘Affect and Presence’, ‘Corporate Aesthetics’, ‘Surveillance and Biopolitics’ and ‘Copies in Motion’. Less an index of art and more a web of associations, the exhibition becomes an experiment in form over content; contemporary culture as shaped by “today’s imperative for creative participation in public life”.

Hence, Yuri Pattison‘s gentle wordplay in the temporary “bespoke rogue scraper site” Familiarity Breeds Contentment – where a bot curates content based on the Private Settings themes, museum, artists, curator, from a server set in the exhibition space and hosted offsite – while Czosnek Studio‘s open call for video and image self-portraits in United People of the Internet declares, “the internet is you and me.” **

Exhibition photos, top right.

Private Settings, Art after the Internet group exhibition, curated by Natalia Sielewicz is running at Museum of Modern Art Warsaw until January 6, 2015.

Header image: Trisha Baga and Jessie Stead, ‘Oasis of the Seas: Volume One’ (2014) installation view. Courtesy the artists.

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Cuss Group Video Party #4

18 September 2014

The fourth Video Party from Johannesburg’s Cuss Group is available to view online now, featuring a contribution by London-based artist and musician Dean Blunt launched on the night of September 17.

Exhibiting a new video and GIF by the ever-prolific and nebulous artist and musician, the video features footage from the CUSS group Video Party Harare intervention held in Zimbabwe (their first in the country) in April, as well as footage of Dean Blunt, a dog and a Ford explorer, already featured in a YouTube video for his track DEF Freestyle‘, released in January this year. There’s also the familiar vocal mumble and warbling synth organ line featured prominently on his defining 2013 album The Redeemer.

Following the Cuss Group Video Party retrospective, featuring work by Hannah Perry, Rachael Crowther and Dan Szor a few months back, this new video was made available for download between the hours of 7pm and 9pm as a “torrent to own” on its opening but is still available to view online.

See the Cuss Group website for details. **

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CUSS Group presents ‘Video Party: A Year in Retrospective’

12 May 2014

Johannesburg’s Cuss Group has released a retrospective video for their Video Party series.

Documenting its first year, which alone included three events showing video work by Rachael Crowther, Hannah Perry and Dan Szor, the series calls itself an art intervention, re-appropriating commercial, non-gallery spaces across the South African city.

These locations are then used to show video art produced by artists living outside the country, in an attempt to emphasise “the artistic value of hybrid cultural production” and to move away from the exclusionary nature of conventional art spaces.

Previous spaces included a hair salon, TV store and an internet cafe, while the video includes interviews with participating artists, excerpts from their oeuvre, as well as footage from some of 2013s events.

See the Cuss Group website for details. **

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