11 Oct 2014 - 04 Jan 2015

© Renaud Jerez
TMNT, 2014
11 October 2014 - 4 January 2015

The David Roberts Art Foundation (DRAF) recently gathered together several artists for its exhibition entitled "Geographies of Contamination"*. The notion of contamination, which can be stretched to encompass the very concept of pollution, certainly best applies to emerging practices that Alex Scrimgeour describes as such: "The exhibition as well as the oeuvres are contaminated as much by their entanglement with 'world-images', affects, materials, processes, mechanisms and discourses as by the very site of artistic operations which have themselves become porous, permeable and hybrid". These same practices are also related to a certain "meta-materiality" that could be considered the creative fruit of a generation subject to the commonplaces of a digital society that has altered or modified our very notions of time and space under the influences of the most recent technological revolutions. "While the image has become information (rootless and multipliable), its visible surface has become but an interface, a space for sharing and exchanging. As consumerist technology, the surface is 'clean', but a flat, high-definition screen remains but a deceptive mechanism. The work of art becomes a means for 'buggering' this surface of monetizing data, frozen within the surface's particular materiality." (Alex Scrimgeour). If digital tools are well employed, they are utilized freely, as the commonplace tools of times. The state of ambiguity that nourishes this critical polysemy, and the contradictions it produces, are in line with the project, and the frameworks of its practices that reappear as such, to become indefinable and thereby demonstrate their resistance more to the over-simplistic logic of the marketplace than to its underlying "commoditization". The resulting oeuvres would not or no longer be oeuvres.

The initial intention – originating in ideas or originating in shapes, forms – is the production of radical shapes and forms using conceptual methods and tools in the sphere of representation and, for some, of figuration. But the overarching logic prevailing in the design and implementation of the enterprise is contaminated by the peripheries and manipulations, as well as the resulting distortions, diversions. The work is organized as the world is organized, a world itself rendered incoherent by its composite nature resulting from pollution, interference that is at once exterior and intrinsic, constitutive of the confusions and ambiguities of its analysis (industrial, urban, cold and raw, even dirty and dark) – and this within a freedom to work that could lead them to collaborate, should they so desire.

The art centre’s atrium ("La Rue") will welcome the collective exhibition co-organized with Renaud Jerez, a French, Berlin-based artist belonging to the post-Internet, or post-materiality, generation of artists. The walls of this central exhibition area (totalling nearly 100 metres in length) will be divided into several work surfaces for wall paintings or any other form of desired expression, with each separate work surface being entrusted to an artist of this same generation for an on-site production during the month of September. The group exhibition will gather a selection of artists including Mathis Altman, Jared Madere, Aleksander Hardashnakov, Veit Laurent Kurz, Olga Balema and Max Brand.

The project could be briefly defined as such:"The main idea behind this show is to have somes different monumental wall work composits, dealing with the idea of molecularisation or atomisation, and pollution inside each own art practice ecology. with congested esoteric systems/artworks, dealing with imminency and blackout".

* Geographies of Contamination/Olga Balema, Neil Beloufa, Nicolas Deshayes, David Douard, Renaud Jerez, Sam Lewitt, Marlie Mul, Magali Reus, Rachel Rose, Michael E. Smith, DRAF, London, 31.01-29.03.2014.

Tags: Mathis Altmann, Olga Balema, Neïl Beloufa, Max Brand, Nicolas Deshayes, David Douard, Aleksander Hardashnakov, Renaud Jerez, Veit Laurent Kurz, Sam Lewitt, Marlie Mul, Magali Reus, Rachel Rose, Michael E. Smith, Lucie Stahl