Art Basel OVR
With an emphasis on human representation, the exhibition evokes displacement and conflict of the individual within social constructs. A common denominator is the use of strategic appropriation of advertisement aesthetics from the 20th Century. NILS STÆRK presents an online exhibition with selected works from the gallery's roster of artists. The exhibition has a predominant focus on various forms of human representation, invoking the idea of displacement between the individual and social constructs.
In Tove Storch’s objects, the tangible translation of a state of potentiality, where the discernible simplicity of materials and forms is employed to wedge and balance the inherent force of physical matter. FOS’ handcrafted curiosa cabinet invokes a scene from the modernist painter’s ateliers where the acquisitions of small, and often exotic objects were used as inspiration. Within the context of the online art fair, the presented artworks by FOS and Tove Storch bring forward a meta-idea of collecting – with the same wonder and curiosity as of the viewer, the artworks manifest recollectionwithin a collection. The reading of Matthew Ronay’s sculptures is a remembrance of analog technologies often relating to rural life. Drawing out the totemic and surreal qualities of objects through his distinctive use of form and color, which conjure traditions of non-western art-making and American folk art, as well as spirituality and psychedelia.
Gert & Uwe Tobias play with the language of traditional handicraft drawing attention to graphic printing techniques creating imagery with strong references to painting throughout art history. Like the renaissance art is defined by its linear perspective, Eduardo Terrazas’ geometric yarn pieces show the search for distant horizons as science undertook in medieval times where humans were preoccupied with a religious conception of heaven and hell. Michael Kvium’s almost medieval representation of an extravagated main character could resemble a hellish figurative detail from a Flemish Renaissance painting. A narrative that is highlighted by the dimensions. Runo Lagomarsino’s neon sign reads the self-coined word Americamnesia by the simple poetic act of switching the light in the last letter A in America with the first A in Amnesia. The work makes these two words inseparable and sets in motion a critical narrative on the forgotten history of America and the blind spots of historiography - brought to light with 21st century-aesthetics of the neon tube sign.
Gardar Eide Einarsson appropriates advertisement aesthetics into the field of painting where the graphics, language, and specific context of the source image eerily communicates both the current economic and political situation and populist moments in history. The painting echoes Einarsson’s fascination with the language of propaganda and the relation between modernist painting a real-world politics. Carlos Amorales uses graphic production as a tool to develop linguistic structures and alternative working models that allow new forms of interpretation and foster collectivity. In his projects, Amorales provokes a clash between art and pop culture where stencil-graffiti and retro aesthetics are being reinterpreted into a present now. By applying and activating both the context of everyday life objects and the context of art, Dario Escobar shows a critical dissemination of the relationships between consumption and history. The penetrated signs that range from promotional advertisement for shops, road signs and beverage brands that were used as daily gunshot receptors are appropriated and re-contextualized ready-mades turned into a new idiom by gold leaves to remind of something beyond what the advertised.
There are several photographic strategies present in the exhibition; Torbjørn Rødland’s stages photographs that demand viewer participation, simultaneously inhabiting and defamiliarizing everyday life, his pictures keep you in the process of looking. He probes popular visual languages in search of both spiritual and perverse qualities, so as to prolong our engagement with the single and the moving image. The uncanny photographs are saturated with symbolism, lyricism, and eroticism showing attempts to seize and to integrate truth, rather than to deconstruct it, accompanied by the inclination to delve into problematic aspects of contemporary photography and the history of art. Miriam Bäckström’s work of the past decade has focused on portraiture, interviews, and semi-improvised theatrical situations. In the series Negatives, the images are distorted to an extent that makes them lose their recognisability. The positive and the negative images are woven together and create two versions of the same character that can be described as opposites. Olaf Breuning’s photographic work is a staged reality, addressing problems of human existence through a media-modeled pop-culture society. In the works-series by SUPERFELX photographic triptych is used as a way to address a similar narrative around the challenged co-existence of humans and nature. Devoid of human presence it appears as a memory of a time in the early history of our planet, or a glimpse into a future era beyond us.