Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Alien Passions - a BMR trilogy

Školská 28 Gallery, Prague

06 – 28th of March

curated by František Zachoval

The trilogy is a reflection on affects, performance and the body in the form of TV instructional shows which are also available as live sessions: Protect Your Heart at Work (2012), Lovegold. Contemporary Alchemy (2013) and Written on the Wind (work-in-progress, 2014). The title refers to the way alienation plays out in contemporary society, especially in the work relations, where emotions and well-being have to be externalized in order to commodified. Conversely, it also alludes to the inverse movement of passions that take over bodies as external forces, rather than being psychological and interiorized. Instead of lamenting an acceleration of estrangement brought about by the new economy of moods, the trilogy is a threefold recognition of blurry borders between an alleged inside and the anonymity of exteriority.

PROTECT YOUR HEART AT WORK (2012, HD video, 20 min) was produced during a residency in the Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw and was first presented as a performance with the Glass Lady in the Technical Museum there. The work uses the vocabulary of work-and-safety instructional materials to reflect on post-industrial economics, where goods are immaterial and personal satisfaction is put to work to create value. The educational program uses the transparent body of an anatomic model to reflect on the materiality of the immaterial.

Watch an excerpt here

LOVEGOLD. CONTEMPORARY ALCHEMY (2013, HD video, 25 min, premiere) was first presented as a performance in BAK Utrecht in October 2013. It is a cooking show which proposes cosmic cooking as a model for an extended economy which does not start or end with the human element. Cooking involves being cooked at many levels, a continuous interaction and exchange between material and immaterial, between organic and inorganic, between a mood and a meal in the same way that love and gold form a new chemical composite - lovegold.

Watch an excerpt here

WRITTEN ON THE WIND (work-in-progress, 2014), the third part of the trilogy will take the form of a weather forecast program. One of the main characteristics of the melodramatic genre was the emotional charge of its characters pitted against nature, the name referencing the notable film Written on the Wind by Douglas Sirk from 1956. The broader context of global warming and climate change recasts emotions as alien forces coming from the nonhuman realm as an uncontrollable demonic possession. In Written on the Wind a simple breath is the start of a new climate, a whirl of thought is a cyclone and drops of tears gather in dubious waste ponds. At the opening visitors can engage in smalltalk about the weather with the Bureau.