HYPERLUCID: training to live in a new reality

Monday, May 11, 2009 17:53

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Gazira Babeli, GAZ OF THE DESERT – painted d’aprŽs Delacroix, 2008. Lambda prints, 123 x 123 cm. Courtesy Fabio Paris Art Gallery.

Curated by Domenico Quaranta

For: Prague Biennale 4
Karlin Hall, Thamova 8 – Praga 8
May 14 – July 26, 2009
Directors and General Curators: Helena Kontova and Giancarlo Politi
General Editor / Curatorial Advisor: Nicola Trezzi

ARTISTS: Alterazioni Video; Gazira Babeli; Shane Hope; Miltos Manetas; Gerhard Mantz; Eva and Franco Mattes; UBERMORGEN.COM; Damon Zucconi.

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Miltos Manetas, Spore drawing, Vibracolour print on superglossy paper, 40 x60 inches, 2008. Courtesy the artist.

Reality is not the one we were used to anymore. Media infiltrate it more and more, and fill up our dreams, which usually come when our eyes are open. Wide open. In the frame of ‘Expanded Painting’, H Y P E R L U C I D is an exhibition collecting works born on the invisible edge between two different levels of reality (apparent reality and media reality), and documenting the continuous trespassing from one level to the other. The walls in between are more and more porous, and sometimes even the more lucid gaze can’t help but wonder which level of reality it is looking at in a particular moment. All of us had this feeling, in front of 9/11 pictures. Media don’t produce simulacra anymore: they produce events, history, life. They overwhelm us with icons, brands, pixellated images of tortures, wars, outrages. The hardest fight happens there. They help us to construct new levels of reality, both abstract and hyperreal, and to get used to them.
Finally, videogames are the places of our training: there, through more and more complex social and narrative dynamics, and through a photorealism which even overcomes our playing needs, we forget how to recognize simulation, and we exercise our brain for the next step: the one in which, between tangible reality, simulated reality and media reality there are no barriers anymore, but only the sheets, translucent and easy to pass through, of a chinese shadows theater. We took the last train to the world of Perky Pat, and there is no way to come back. H Y P E R L U C I D doesn’t collects paintings. Here, painting is not a medium, but a cultural frame, a context of referente for the new generation of the image makers. Alterazioni Video, Gazira Babeli, Shane Hope, Miltos Manetas, Gerhard Mantz, Eva and Franco Mattes, UBERMORGEN.COM and Damon Zucconi, no longer paint: they shoot, they manipulate, they code, they make scripts, sometimes they fight with other virtual characters. Yet, in the end, they produce images.

Catalogue Text

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