Cory Arcangel “Verticals” at Galerie Thaddeus Ropac, Salzburg
Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac presents Verticals, an exhibition of works by American artist Cory Arcangel with a focus on his new series of 14Scanner Paintings. These new works are shown together with a number of drawings, a laser animation, two video sculptures referring to Nam June Paik’s TV Buddha and a new minimalist sound installation.
A pioneer of technology-based art, Arcangel works in a wide variety of media, including music composition, video, modified video games, performance and the Internet. The ease with which he recognises how to use software, hardware and Internet resources as raw artistic material, placing them in new contexts, reveals a new kind of style.The ageing process of technologies is always a central question in his oeuvre.
The Scanner Paintings, a series conceived since 2010, are based on commercially available textiles, which are scanned, inscribed with the artist’s signature and printed with UV ink on IKEA LINNMON table-tops. They show various types of leggings – sweatpants, track pants, Daisy Dukes and ripped denims. In each work, details such as waistband, pockets, zips and logos are combined, usually collage-like, on two boards hanging one above the other. Overlapping letters create word-plays and new meanings, or the logo is legible only by force of the branding typography. Independently of changing fashions, the sports labels are part of a contemporary pop culture and a collective memory to which the artist refers.
Arcangel’s almost abstract laser animation Dunk takes the form of a stylised basketball player from an NBA video game throwing a ball into the basket. The artist drew the animation by hand into a computer using a Wacom tablet. It is projected onto the wall using a Kvant Laser Clubmax 800. Arcangel sees the Slam Dunk as a typically American phenomenon that illustrates America’s current role in the world – requiring only brute height and strength, rather than ball-handling skills or finesse.
The Original and Season 6 are videos made in real-time with the aid of baby monitors. In the first of the two videosculptures, the digital video baby monitor is directed at a plastic mannequin’s head wearing a structured man’s hat from Ping Men’s Tour and Oakley Men’s OO9154 Half Jacket XL 2.0 golf sunglasses. The other baby monitor is directed at a Yeezy Season 6 crepe slide slipper on an acrylic display stand. The displays echo Nam June Paik’s legendary TV Buddha (1974), in reverse: the object is being observed, and baby monitors are surveillance devices.
“I studied music, and discovered John Cage, Nam June Paik and Karlheinz Stockhausen. My works often refer to art history, particularly to Paik. A few years ago, I saw his closed-circuit video installation TV Buddha in the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin. At the time, I’d already had the idea for an installation with two computerscontinuously sending each other mails with an automatic out-of-office message.”
Sonic Attack consists of a speaker and a data visual system directed at the doorway, to register people entering the gallery, emitting the typicalping sound as though it came from their pocket, causing them to think they have received a message on their iPhone.
The exhibition will also present a series of seven works on paper. The abstract drawings were made by dripping triple-concentrate espresso onto the paper and tilted to produce modernist patterns.
Verticals is Arcangel’s sixth solo exhibition in the Salzburg and Paris galleries since the start of our collaboration in 2004. In addition, musical performances were initiated, such as in 2015 with the Ensemble Intercontemporain in Pantin, and in the Église Saint-Denys-du-Saint- Sacrement during the FIAC 2018.
at Galerie Thaddeus Ropac, Salzburg
until 16 March 2019