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EXHIBITIONS

“Hello Europa!” at Galerie Valentin, Paris

“A kind of unintentional parody hangs over everything, a tactical simulation, a consummate aesthetic enjoyment [jouissance], is attached to the indefinable play of reading and the rules of the game. Travelling signs, media fashion and models, the blind but brilliant ambience of simulacra.” Jean Baudrillard, Symbolic Exchange and Death, 1976

“Hello Europa!”, a group exhibition conceived by David Renggli, assembles work from six artists who are exploring the saturation of codes and the increasing volatility of values—whether cultural, aesthetic or economic.

Annamarie Ho’s work explores the status of images as surfaces for social scenario projections and fluctuations, as well as the trans-cultural imagination that media representations generate and amplify, such as the notion of exoticism, of artifice, female alterity, or the “fairyland” of codes. Through videos that synthesise footage taken from Youtube, Annamarie Ho exploits the contingent, circular flow of images on virtual networks. Remake and reconstruction processes, combining the lo-fi aesthetic with denaturation effects, are also presented in environments conceived as scenery activated by the presence of characters, between simulation, seduction and semiotic subversion.

Sebastian Schaub’s installations explore the omnipresence of modern reality-visualisation technology. Pushing to the extreme the reciprocity of seeing and being seen, his works play on plastic effects of opacity and reflexivity, where vision takes itself as a model and intensified rationale of its own representation. Painting as a “black box” is brought into conjunction with reflection effects, making the pictorial frame into a prosthesis of perspective turned back towards the context of the exhibition.

In Mia Marfurt’s work, coin and banknote images screen-printed on marble surfaces or aluminium columns produce a neo-baroque decorative pattern, endowing the surface with an “added value” that regulates its contours and redefines the status between virtuality and concreteness. The challenge of diversion is linked to that of reversion, like a game of heads or tails in which a choice is surrendered to the contingency of chance.

Clifford E. Bruckmann’s work recycles the imagination of the products of contemporary hedonism, the standard picturesque quality of reveries shaped by the consumerist society, whose strategies and motives he transposes into the history of forms, placing the modernist theme of the idler back in perspective. The appropriation and extrapolation process involves revealing the medium as a porous surface and projection screen, just like screen- printed towels, “souvenirs” in which contemporary touristic hyper-reality phenomena intersect with the invisibility of financial flows in search of paradisiacal lands.

Zuni Halpern develops image and surface stratification processes. Her works are graphical and pictorial, linking the aura of gestural painting with the swiftness of random lines in a jeopardisation of the aesthetic status of images. The screen-printing techniques used on painted surfaces play on accumulation and over-printing effects, asserting the idea of a processual painting that perpetually updates and intensifies itself.

David Renggli’s work proceeds from the deconstruction and hybridisation of forms serving as cultural “beacons”, and from a saturation of codes and aesthetic mythologies, showing their arbitrariness and their “metastable” dimension. By means of decontextualisation, his installations explore the mechanisms by which objects gradually take on meaning. A feigned precariousness gives way to a margin of poetic indecision, often mobilising absurdities and witticisms that manifest the subversive potential of incomprehension and indifference.

Clara Guislain

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at Galerie Valentin, Paris

until 26 July 2014

“Hello Europa!” installation views at Galerie Valentin, Paris, 2014

Courtesy: Galerie Valentin, Paris. Photos: © Benoit Cattiaux

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