Group exhibition at SomoS, Berlin. Curated by Charlotte Colgate.
Photos by Bea Rodrigues/ Troublemakers Photography
Poster printed by Colorama
AND SURRENDER walks a delicate path between perception and misunderstanding, suspension of disbelief and truth, between love and emptiness. This multi-disciplinary show brings together the works of a select group of international artists currently practising in Berlin. Using sound, light, video and performance, the pieces will plunge you into an immersive experience that playfully explores the themes of intimacy and autonomy. Set against the backdrop of the online phenomenon ASMR – Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response – where a simulacrum of human closeness is created through a mix of role-play, modern binaural recording techniques and psychoacoustics. It is this heady mix of technology, human interplay and the perplexing anomalies of our own individual interpretation that inform each of the dynamic pieces on display, all of which have been devised specifically for AND SURRENDER.
This show taps into the viewer’s sensory palate and, through its holistic approach to space, delivers a sensual experience where each single artwork constitutes a unified whole. The space itself becomes a living, breathing entity, something (of the flesh,) to be touched, tugged, tasted and smelled. The tactile delight and received enjoyment of the audience plays a vital role in completing the works. The audience become the most essential, precious and unborn element in this environment.
The space is explored and encountered through the work of each artist conforming only to the goal of the show itself; that of sensory immersion, the establishment of a curious and uncritical view of the world, a visceral response anchored in inquisitiveness, and the use of technology to explore and challenge the fine line between comfort and distress. With the help of live performers, we work to define the limits of our desire, our perversions, and our ubiquitous and tender need for intimacy. How close is too close?
AND SURRENDER is curated by Charlotte Colgate, a Berlin-based artist and performer.
Video and sound piece, 2016
‘What Was. What Is. What Will Be.’
Reflexivity, tautology and the interrogation of the art object are central to the artists work, where the analysis of creative processes directly pose questions about interpretation and the nature of audience. In this piece, comprised of the only archival footage of the artist as a child, this ‘self-portrait’ challenges the act of looking on the past with nostalgia. Heavily influenced by her interest in analogue photography, the artist creates an unsettling soundscape that confronts moving imagery of a carefree moment, imposing on and warping our experience of what we see. Another space is created where time is extended, exaggerated. Amplified.
Concrete, metal, candles, mirror, 2016
A mismatched family of jagged angles, geometric lines, and shadows created by dancing flames. An empty darkness softly lit to form a fragmented shrine to today’s ever-encroaching dilution of a post-modern society.
The historical significance of the materials and the interplay between the solidity and mundane feel of concrete, contrasting to the warmth of the candles, the cold weightless of the metal and ricocheted light reflect core themes of discord and equality.
Caught in a cyclical response to the surroundings and time, the burning and then renewal of candles in this fractured luminescence, are the life’s breath of an ever-changing sculpture.
Video, wood, light, pillow, 2016
A bright light emanates from a small viewing window on a box on the ground, inviting and enticing the viewer to look in. Kneeling bent over in an uncomfortable and somewhat embarrassing position the viewer is subjected to viewing a video loop of a confronting and unnerving scenario. The artwork is an experiment in observations of self consciousness and peoples’ natural deference of shock, disgust and embarrassment into humor. The video itself toys with themes of submission, power, and gender roles. Images of this nature are commonplace in this the Internet Age, yet we still feel a creeping sensation of shame and disquiet as we become complicit in the perpetual onscreen play of capitulation.
Video and sound diptych, 2016
This 2-channel video installation explores the dynamics of the male gaze in visual art. The artist utilises the inherent polarity of a dual screen setup to present a vision of masculinity and femininity. We see a group of women portrayed on one screen and a group of men portrayed on the other. It is the interactions between these two groups – from subtle gestures and glances to open glares – that both illustrates the male gaze theory and invites an analysis of it. Each audience member becomes an active player in an ongoing conversation; an observer called to evaluate his or her own relationship to each of the two polarities on display. As if to mirror the cyclic nature of dysfunctional relationship, or the apparent doomed repetition of History, this work runs as a loop with no beginning and no end.
Video, sound, wood, fabric installation 2014-2016
Turning the ASMR trope on its head to reveal a gentle fantasy sliding into an unsettling and ever more oppressive nightmare. NURTURE is an immersive video installation triptych that blurs the lines between power and surrender as the voyeur is exposed, making them very aware of their own gaze. In a form of expanded cinema, what is happening on screen is paralleled by the tactile and ever-present performative element of this piece. Whether this presence is construed as passive or aggressive remains undefined.
NURTURE confronts the limits of interaction and intimacy whilst challengingly raising questions about boundaries and control.
***PLUS ADDITIONAL LIVE PERFORMANCE AT THE VERNISSAGE WITH ORIGINAL COSTUMES BY SIAN THORPE**