Speculations on Anonymous Materials

29 Sep 2013 - 23 Feb 2014

29 September 2013 – 23 February 2014

Art’s task changes in a world suffused with generated images. It is imperative to reflect on what are often highly psychologically charged worlds of images, the ways they are reproduced, and represented. Over the last two decades, the relationships between image and text, language and body, body and space, subject and object have changed rapidly. Art’s brief is no longer to generate unique, original images, but to seek reflection in a de-subjectivized approach to the existing stocks of objects, images and spaces. The order of the day is to understand the world from the vantage point of abstraction and not to abstract from the world. The element of individual creation takes a back seat and the transfer of images and objects into the world of art becomes irrelevant as such. Today, visual reflection possesses a rhythmic, process-based and serial form. Serial repetition is less a matter of counterpointing sameness and difference and more a matter of weaving a never-ending web of relations; reflection can only occur within speculative variation.

In Ed Atkins’ videos penetrating, staccato-like sound and the serial poetry of incoherent narratives collide with the hyper-real presence and cold of animated human bodies. The line dividing the ostensible immaterial quality of his medium and the viewer’s corporeality are given an excessive spin. Surface, real and virtual spaces, digital imaging and analog staging are condensed and superimposed in Michele Abeles’ pieces to create complex image levels and meanings. Her work abandons the rigid symbolic order of things in favor of a constant circulation of images and changing angles of vision.

The Speculations on Anonymous Materials exhibition for the first time worldwide brings together approaches in international art that reinterpret the Anonymous Materials created by rapid and incisive technological change.

Tags: Michele Abeles, Ed Atkins