Is Your System Optimized?
GALLLERIAPIU is pleased to present the first solo show in Italy by Pauline Batista (1988), a Brazilian artist based in London. Batista’s practice questions the impulse to render information, bodies and ‘the quantified self’ transparent. The artist creates her own networks that the viewers are invited to decode, through installations encompassing elements of photography, sculpture and sound frequencies.
“Is Your System Optimized?” dives into our bodies and the grey ethical areas of an ever increasing drive to enhance our human attributes and capabilities. Our current culture promotes excellence and demands the utmost performance of our bodies and minds. Aided by accelerating advances in technology, we as humans are increasingly striving for the efficiency and perfection of machines. This self-optimization is a response to systemic reality, which drives us to commodify ourselves. The commodification is especially present in female bodies, which increasingly act as incubators for human optimization. The emergence of an enhanced human still requires a return to the body from the petri-dish.
For this project at GALLLERIAPIU a new body of work and environment will be on view, inviting the audience to enter and become themselves part of the investigations at play. Inspired by her research into technologies such as CRISPR, which allows for direct genetic modification of embryos, as well as Pink Noise Frequency, Batista examines the space between technology, intimacy, and the medical, playing with ideas of enhancements using tactile objects such as water balls and slime.
In the installation “Optimization Station: please sit and do nothing”, bodies are enveloped both physically and aurally with pink noise and binaural tones. Here the viewer enters the void and becomes the subject- or rather the patient in the doctor's chair, a PVC sculpture created to encase their bodies. Once seated, pink noise induces a deep state of focus and tranquillity, providing a soothing soundtrack to augment our frantic lives. The frequency effectively provides a fundamental strategy to facilitate our quest for peak human potential. Yet within the gallery context, Batista seeks its potential for resistance via strategies of non-action. Through different aspects of the installation and a new series of photographic works, the artist dives into what it takes to be optimized and the future that we are headed towards.