In Anonymous, untitled dimensions variable, Eva and Franco Mattes present a selection of recent works that either document or introduce the stories behind their interventions and infiltrations into physical or virtual spaces. Different themes are woven in the show, connecting the works that somehow ‘speak’ to each other, raising questions around identity and privacy, originality and authorship, trust and safety…
The Others, 2011. 10,000 photos stolen from personal computers
The Others, a slide show of 10,000 photographs and home-made cover songs ‘stolen’ from random personal computers, speaks of the current tension between over-exposing ourselves using social media and, at the same time, trying to protect the privacy of some aspects of our lives. It also reveals the existing moral and legal grey area regarding authorship and appropriation of images or other creative material.
The art-world seems particularly behind in this debate, especially if we compare it with other industries such as music. We still hold on to a hierarchical structure of art with a belief in originality at its core. Catt, an internet meme turned into a sculptural piece and originally exhibited as a Maurizio Cattelan, unveils and defies this apparently fixed structure by offering the possibility of chaos and uncertainty within the system. Other works in the show like Re-enactments, a live restaging of historic performances inside Second Life, and Stolen Pieces, a museum vitrine displaying stolen fragments of masterpieces, similarly explore this fine balance between value and context and the aura constructed around the artist and the art object.
Let them believe, 2010, Video Projection
Encountering in the same space My Generation, a collection of video clips appropriated from the internet showing frustrated kids playing video-games; Let Them Believe, a film documenting the artists trip to Chernobyl in search of a carnival ride; or Colorless, Odorless, Tasteless, an arcade game customized to fit an engine that spews carbon monoxide as the audience plays; creates a multi-layered discussion around the progress of technology and the trust we place in authority figures, such as governments or an art institutions. Did the Soviet Government strive to protect the people from Chernobyl? Would a museum let you interact with an artwork until it actually kills you?
In the show, all these dialogues and stories coexist creating, through sound, video or installation, a physical and conceptual cacophony where these debates can take place. To emphasise the evolving, participatory nature of their works, the title of the exhibition will change daily. We started with a generic title, Anonymous, untitled dimensions variable, but it could easily have been titled Building Stories (12th April) or That Awkward Moment (25th April), since the meaning and interpretation of the works is subject to change depending on the context presented.
Eva and Franco Mattes
Anonymous, untitled dimensions variable
13 April – 18 May 2012
If you happen to be in London, join the artists for a discussion this Saturday at the Carroll/Fletcher gallery.
Colorless, odorless, and tasteless, 2011, Customized arcade game
Re-enactments, 2007, Performances held in Second Life & Stolen Pieces Prints, 1995
Catt, 2010, Fake Maurizio Cattelan Sculpture