<< < > >> (Vol.2)
Layers and layers of meaning and history envelop any action or creation; a collective narrative eclipses our world. Every object demands an association, a chronicle, and its own network on a completely interconnected map. Assembled in this exhibition are objects that resemble materials of a contemporary archeology, works that provide means to reflect on, and unearth, aspects of our culture and epoch.
While the first volume of the exhibition << < > >> focused on the physicality of the found, the second edition will operate on a more abstract level. Our main thread for this chapter will be memories, however, the aim is not to present memory as reminiscence –such as a storytelling approach– but to investigate our relationship with it and its affect on us.
The artifacts of our times shape consciousness, produce meaning, and allow us to define ourselves as contemporary individuals. Aided by new technologies we have modified our behaviour in regards to addressing these artifacts of our generation. Our hyper-connectivity derails the physical link we have with objects, and thus time.
The artworks in << < > >> (Vol.2) address contemporary culture, and contemporary image, tracing back patterns of our history and structures of society. They act like relics altered by time and faced with confrontation from a more modern world, such as the works of Conor Backman where ancient sculptures and greenhouses are veneered with new-tech attributes.
Our compulsive habit of storing and archiving, either in shoe boxes or online, shows our desperate need for conservation. We compile images and data, organize it, put it in order, then share. Presentation also has a role in the elevation of the importance of information; in the exhibition, the work of Pieterjan Ginckels experiments with different aspects of accumulation and display.
A painting or a piece of art takes information from the artist and catalogues it, rendering it in a fixed position. Pieces act as placeholders for an experience that can be returned to, or committed to memory where we keep them with us. In the work of Eva Berendes, objects are arranged over a grid and give the illusion of being suspended in a non-space. This technique causes the objects to feel separated from reality, and through that they connect with something closer to what we experience virtually or mentally. Berendes’ work brings up ideas of perceiving immaterial spaces, how we catalogue the objects of our memories or computer generated images, and how we communicate and share these as well. The work becomes a metaphor for the various sorts of states an image can inhabit, whether it be internal, external, or digital.
In his BG Paintings series, Manuel Fernandez constructs representational abstracts inspired by corrupted image files that he considers to be an image which is in the process of undergoing transition, an alteration of decay and undirected aesthetic. The compositions touch on the digital habitat of image culture and the underlying source of the content; the glitch paintings are immediately recognizable but they refer more to the source of digital image, rather than any kind of pictorial representation. Degradation is important to the study of memories, time affects the memory itself, and thus can modify our bond with it.
Archiving, storing, and collection of information, is an integral element of culture. Records, chronicles, and documentation, are crucial for our learning and navigation of the surrounding world. Here we have gathered works that reflect on the processes or essence of cataloguing information in an attempt to form a contemporary survey of memories.
<< < > >> (Vol.2) includes works by:
Conor Backman (US, b. 1988)
Eva Berendes (DE, b. 1974)
Manuel Fernandez (ES, b. 1977)
Pieterjan Ginckels (BE, b. 1982)
and Ryan Lauderdale (US, b. 1979)