Emotional Supply Chains
24 Mar - 17 Jul 2016
24 March – 17 July 2016
"Each of us is a multiplicity of parts, fragments, and desiring connections"
Sherry Turkle, Life on the Screen: Identity in the age of the Internet
Zabludowicz Collection is proud to announce: Emotional Supply Chains, a new exhibition addressing the construction of identity in the digital age. Featuring 16 leading international artists and including six new commissions, all works are drawn from the Zabludowicz Collection and produced since the year 2000.
Exhibited artists include: Korakrit Arunanondchai (TH), Neil Beloufa (FR), David Blandy (UK), David Raymond Conroy (UK), Andrea Crespo (US), Simon Denny (NZ), Aleksandra Domanović(YU), Ed Fornieles (UK), Guan Xiao (CHN), Eloise Hawser (UK), Ann Hirsch (US), Pierre Huyghe (FR), Daniel Keller (US), Seth Price (US), Frances Stark (US), Christopher Kulendran Thomas (UK).
Through diverse aesthetic and narrative approaches, the participating artists explore how a sense of self is sourced and assembled through a supply chain of readily available constituent parts: objects, ideas and experiences that are often mediated on screen or online. In 1938 Socialist psychoanalyst Otto Fenichel proposed the theory of ‘narcissistic supply’ to describe the way individuals draw support or sustenance for their self-esteem from their environment. Our digital present seems to offer vast possibilities for such supply, and for fabricating multiple, fluid identities. However, online spaces are increasingly structured by capital and commerce, directing ‘chain-store selves’ to be replicated across a multitude of platforms, each reaffirming and circulating our tastes, preferences and networks.1 The participating artists combine elements of autobiography and anthropology to explore the tensions between happiness and anxiety, confinement and escape, and play and addiction that structure our virtual and physical interaction with others and the world around us.
A key component of the exhibition is a response to specific locations and circumstances. In November 2015 the Zabludowicz Collection launched an inaugural artist residency programme in Las Vegas, Nevada, and invited a group of artists to spend up to a month in this complex city. From this experience Eloise Hawser and David Raymond Conroy are producing newly commissioned works for Emotional Supply Chains.
The exhibition also contains extended and reconfigured installations of existing projects. These include a newly designed sculptural totem housing Ed Fornieles’ seminal ‘facebook sitcom’ Dorm Daze (2011), in which the artist ‘scalped’ the profiles of 32 real American College kids which were then inhabited by volunteers over the course of 3 months. Simon Denny’s The Personal Effects of Kim Dotcom (2013–) relays the story of the fall from grace of a larger-than-life internet entrepreneur through the physical reimagining of his seized possessions. For this exhibition works by other artists from the Zabludowicz Collection will be included in Denny’s array of objects. Ann Hirsch is producing a new video installation developed from her live performance work Playground (2014), drawing on real life experiences of grooming in a pre-Web 2.0 chatroom. Her work addresses a loss of innocence, both on a personal level and for the internet as a whole. And the exhibition will feature the London debut of Korakrit Arunanondchai’s moving image work Painting with history in a room filled with men with funny names 3, (2015). Presented in a specially produced sculptural installation, the artist’s autobiographical and constructed artist-image merge together in an ‘in-between space’ that is mediated through myth, spirituality and communication technologies.
An extensive public programme of live events, talks and performances will take place throughout the exhibition and a fully illustrated publication featuring exclusive content from each of the exhibiting artists will be available during the run of the show. Affordable limited edition art works by a number of the artists in the exhibition will also be available in the gallery and online.
Emotional Supply Chains is curated by Paul Luckraft, Curator: Exhibitions, Zabludowicz Collection.
1. Laurence Scott, The Four-Dimensional Human, 2015