modern painters #january 2016
Reviews in Brief - Berlin
Hito Steyerl "Left To Our Own Devices" @KOW - 16 Sep – 05 Dec 2015
It was hard to escape Steyerl this year: the Venice Biennale, EYE prize winner, MoMA, and at the gym - well, that’s another story. It is remarkable how she translates sociological, cultural and political subjects from a thoroughly globalized and digitized world in personal, intelligent, and even witty video works. The famous words from Bruce Lee—“Be water, my friend!”—are the initial phrase for the work Liquidity Inc. (2014). It is a formula for survival in the face of a superior power. And that’s exactly what Steyerl does in her work, presenting new possibilities not only as an artist, but as a filmmaker, essayist, and activist par excellence.
Dafna Maimon "Human Comma Being" @Künstlerhaus Bethanien - 09 Oct – 01 Nov 2015
While watching Maimon’s two short movies, visitors sit on a meters-long pillow intended to look like human waste. The absurd gesture of people sitting on a heap of fabrics disguised as shit illustrates Maimon’s performative and cinematic movie. The various sources and narrators are cut in a classical montage technique, in which lovers, friends, Bonobo tribes and a 19th century Finnish organization are all trying to escape their determined role within society (not shit, pillows!)—an attempt to understand being human as a liminal identity.
Matthew Plummer-Fernandez "Hard Copy" @NOME projects - 7 Nov— 23 Dec 2015
The first solo show from Plummer-Fernandez presents distorted, rearranged, printed and copyright-free new pop-icons, such as Every Mickey, Merge Simpson, Gogogogogoku and Spongebool. In an almost didactic way, the 3D-sculptures are presented on white columns and with accompanying prints of a color-ranged original source code. The show itself looks like indicators of a body of research—not surprising, since Plummer-Fernandez is also currently working on his PhD, in which he investigates the socio-cultural role of algorithms and the impact of stand-alone bots and computerization on our daily lives.
Published in Modern Painters #January 2016