This third edition of the now annual show, which follows the format established by the gallery’s successful first and second CACOTOPIA exhibitions, will unfold over the course of five weeks, with a new artist featuring each week. The works on display will explore, amongst other themes, perspectives on trans-generational trauma, social interaction, algorithmic learning and digital painting. The artists featured in CACOTOPIA 03 are Daria Blum (Central Saint Martins), Johanna Flato (Royal College of Art), Rui Lin (Goldsmiths University of London), Marton Nemes (Chelsea College of Art) and Aaron Scheer (Gothenburg School of Design and Crafts).
Martin Nemes will open the exhibition, presenting a number of newly developed, wall-based paintings and installations inspired by the architecture of night clubs, escapism and stage design. The paintings are realised within bulky, steel and wooden structures, hanging and interacting with and in the gallery space. Bright, illusive colours and the use of fluorescent lighting throughout the works, reference mind altering experiences and distorted realities, creating paradoxical contrasts of materials, palettes and finishes.
For the show’s second week, Rui Lin will produce a public presentation to showcase the progress and development of his EMFA (Executive Master of Fine Arts) project. Ongoing in nature, EMFA is a collaborative, research-based, pedagogical experiment, part non-profit project, part hyper-reality. The presentation will include a brochure and course curriculum for the EMFA, as well as live-stream into the gallery potential locations that could host the EMFA project in the Chinese city of Haikou, filmed on a steadicam by a local videographer.
Daria Blum will present for the third instalment of CACOTOPIA 03, a series of live performances incorporating music and video, structured around songs the artist has written for her different personas. During her performances the artist will shift among her various characters, changing costumes and personalities accordingly. Blum’s work operates on the margins of public and private space, consolidating and contrasting dynamics such as audience and performer, humour and tragedy and truth and fabrication. Though consciously ironic, Blum’s performances consider the masochism of performance, exploring how performance operates in day-to-day interactions.
Blum will be performing in the gallery from 4 – 6pm on Tuesday 18th, Wednesday 19th and Thursday 20th December 2018.
Commencing in January 2019, Johanna Flato will exhibit a pair of works. The first is a series of audio-video works on custom-made mirrored screens, while the second comprises freestanding autocues with projected text. In the Recite Lipsum Corpusseries, by the use of 3D scanning and modelling techniques, voice synthesis, natural language processing and machine learning, visitors will see themselves reflected onscreen over a glitchy, digitised masked default avatar, while through the accompanying headphones they will hear through the left ear a spliced and broken monologue by Flato on the ethics of pleasure and pain and through the right a computer generated male voice reciting Latin. Generate Lipsum Corpusfeatures text live-generated by an algorithm programmed to describe pleasure and pain using language from a database of a hundred historical texts spanning genres as diverse as poetry, philosophy, the romance novel, and scientific papers. Through her show, Flato will develop themes around meaning-making and gibberish, embodiment and constraint, and the proclivity of the now to loop and glitch.
The final week of the exhibition sees Aaron Scheer exhibit a number of recent digital paintings. Created on a variety of digital devices, Scheer’s works utilise the digital realm to combine elements of collage, photography and painterly technique to expand what painting can be and mean today. The artist’s process involves using free form digital gestures, keyboard commands and touchscreen swipes to develop his works, which once complete may be read as an abstracted version of contemporary digital activities, full of vibrant and vivid colour palettes, redolent with distortions, static and blips that contrast with subtle gradations of luminous colour saturations. Through his art, Scheer questions the idea of the human in technology and the technological in the human, thereby allowing him to explore the challenges that an increasingly digitised world presents, such as virtual matter, perceptions of the real, automated production, big data, technocracy and contemporary working cults.
In addition to receiving the opportunity to show at the gallery, each exhibiting artist will automatically be nominated for the Annka Kultys Award. The award recognises the artist that produces the most outstanding show for that year’s CACOTOPIA exhibition, as determined by the award’s jury.
The jury traditionally comprises artists, art critics, curators and other art professionals and as CACOTOPIA 03 aims to showcase a broad range of competencies from within the visual arts, the jurors have similarly been selected for their varied backgrounds. For the Annka Kultys Award 2019, the jury will include Cécile Emmanuelle Borra (Lecturer Chelsea College of Arts and artist), John Brennan (Collector), Alice Bucknell (Art critic), Damian Griffiths (Artist, photographer and curator), Kamila Naglik (Tate Collections) and Marek Wolinski (Independent curator and writer). As part of its deliberations the jury will consider interest shown in the artist’s work, the number of gallery visitors a show attracts and the number of likes a show gets on Instagram, amongst other determining factors.
BIOGRAPHIES Marton Nemes (b. 1986, Székesfehérvár, Hungary) is a multimedia artist based in London, creating paintings, sculptures, installations and sounds. He received an M.F.A. from Chelsea College of Arts, London in 2018. Initially inspired by the architecture of Budapest, a city that he has spent the majority of his life residing in, Nemes’s practice is rooted in the colourful abstraction of buildings. Since this early work, and after moving to London, Nemes has been heavily influenced by techno subcultures, continuing to create abstracted colourful works whilst attempting to duplicate the atmosphere and experience of rave culture, creating a disintegration and rearrangement of the pictorial state. Made using a range of materials, Nemes’s artworks are eager to expand and bend, referencing the escapist counter cultures associated with rave scenes, creating multisensory, diverse experiences.