press release

In 2011 our experience of the world is to a great extent based on the endless circulation and recirculation of imagery. The Internet has decontextualized everything. All is available, wherever, whenever.

Chaos as Usual explores various structures that influence our lives in our relations with a contemporary culture in which global branding mingles with popular expression, cartoons with haute couture and serious media with spambot-generated content. The virtual world has become the real world, and even the preferred world for the younger generation.

In this exhibition the artists use a variety of strategies and techniques in the encounter with a complex visual culture. Takeshi Murata makes eerie computer-generated still lifes of both everyday and obscure objects, where any hierarchy of importance among objects is levelled down. Seth Price similarly juxtaposes important and insignificant pictorial material in a video composed of unused leftovers from the artist’s earlier works. Liz Deschenes’ The Green Screen refers to a frequently-used tool in film and video – from the film productions of the 1920s to today’s home-made ‘skits’ and pop-culture remixes distributed on YouTube. In Ann Craven’s paintings, images we normally associate with nature (flowers, birds, owls, etc.), are equally part of a mediated and reproducible reality and collective memory. The apparently banal subjects of the type one finds as an endless flow of ‘cute’ illustrations on the Internet turn out to be honestly painted exercises in conceptual repetition.

These are just a few example of how this exhibition navigates in an image culture where the web-based production, communication, sharing and recirculation of images have changed our relations with and our understanding of the meaning and function of the image – and where various forms of (self-)representation become part of a new social identity. Thanks to the media-neutral eradication of former distinctions between original and copy, paintings, digital images and animated GIFs are today parallel tools for thematizing the age’s endless repetition and recontextualization of images.

Hanne Mugaas lives and works in New York, where she is among other things a Curatorial Associate at the Guggenheim Museum, and runs the gallery Art Since the Summer of 69. She has curated exhibitions and projects at places including MoMA, New York; New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; Art in General, New York; Moving Image Archive of Contemporary Art (MIACA), Tokyo; Vilma Gold, London; and Ooga Booga, Los Angeles. She holds an MFA in Curating from Goldsmiths College in London.

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Chaos as Usual
Kuratorin: Hanne Mugaas

Künstler: Philip Kwame Apagya, Ann Craven, Liz Deschenes, Thomas Julier (Cedric Eisenring / Kaspar Müller), Olia Lialina / Dragan Espenschied, Takeshi Murata, Seth Price, Antek Walczak (Bernadette Corporation )