Exposition collective du 24 juin au 29 juillet
à Klemms’ Berlin
Opening: JUN 24 from 6 – 9 pm
Curated by Marta Santi
avec James Bantone, Nina Childress, Chelsea Culprit, Juan Pablo Echeverri, Barbara Hammer, Aurora Király, Hein Koh, Jean-Charles de Quillacq, Elle Pérez, Emilie Pitoiset, Davide Sgambaro, Nora Turato, Dena Yago
The modern self strives in eternal longing for something. It seeks shelter in its own image, a reflection which feels safe despite its deceit, embodying a doubt that echoes the self’s own fraught relationship with its appearance.
One could define current times as the ‘era of self-deception’ – a subconscious state of things in which the obsessive achievement of perfection standards, driven by mimetic desires, leads to a form of self-exploitation. Self-deception becomes a cage challenging to escape, a quest for a misleading truth, an obsessive attempt to establish an ultimate, ‘authentic’ form of existence.
What do we talk about when we address self-obsession? What remains with one’s ‘self’ and what is projected straight back into others?
Obselfed is an exhibition that brings together artists who reflect on the concept of the ‘self’, its cohesion and its fragmentation in an imitation-driven society.
The show seeks to investigate the boundaries between self-perception and the perception of others, questioning how our personalities construct themselves within slippery social stereotypes and the constant pressure of foreign sights. What we derive from these fragmented visions of our ‘selves’, and what they mean, is as much a result of an individualistic process as it is the output of a common voyeuristic tendency to spy on others.
The modern self is a kleptomaniac, the need to inflate its own ego through the collection of brand new personality traits transfigures into destructive ideology. Any consideration on the value of the ‘stolen goods’ (indeed, personality traits become commodities) is absent – it recedes into mere vanitas.
Contemporary individuality is dispersed, it backfires and turns into projection; its weakness lies in the inability to trust its own vision. The consistency of its ever-changing nature lies in the delicate harmonies that result from its convergence with the Other.
Obselfed is an attempt to establish a deeper discourse on self-perception by bringing together artists that address the de- and re- construction of the self, sharing an attitude of resistance towards the same anachronistic norms and taboos of our precarious culture.
Addressing the concept of identity in current times means entering a vast and intricate environment.
How do we present our ‘personas’ to the outer world? Where do we draw the line between intimacy and disclosure?
In the strategic process of identity building, the larcenous tendencies of individuals seem to be entangled with a common devotion to oddity – a need to elevate the oddest characteristics of ourselves and turn their perception upside down: what makes us different no longer isolates us but rather validates us as part of a community.
It is a fascinating defence mechanism; whatever used to be hidden is now overly shared in order to find its validation.
In Obselfed the ‘self’ becomes analysed, fragmented, compartmentalised, ironised, elevated, staged, disrupted. The invited artists ‘activate’ a series of characters that raise different social commentaries, fully embracing the paradoxes of contemporary existence.
In this framework, the whole gallery space is involved, from the main room to the office spaces and showroom. The presence of works ubiquitously inhabiting the space is thought to convey a feeling of overcrowding, of reiteration – it is an ‘obsessive’ curatorial setting, turning the gallery into an echo chamber where the works resonate in different corners as affirmations of restless states of mind.
Obselfed seeks to dismantle assumptions of our fixed subjectivity and to highlight the contemporary means of cultural self-consumption, emphatically and without naïveté; a quest for authentic individuality in an ‘obselfed’ society.