Body By Body
THE SHOW IN BRUSSELS AT ELAINE AND FLORENT'S GALLERY WITH CHARLEMAGNE PALESTINE (...)
date_from 20/11/2014 10/01/2015
"THE SHOW IN BRUSSELS AT ELAINE AND FLORENT'S GALLERY WITH CHARLEMAGNE PALESTINE"
(They say that romance has become a lost art, but art only gets lost when it becomes hard work. Nowadays machines do all the work. That makes men lazy. Could it be romance is dead because it's too much work not to be primitive? Too bad machines can't do the work of romance, but can anyone love a machine? Let me tell you about a very special girl who found out...)
At the time of writing this some of the work is still unfinished, so anything said here is retractable. We reserve the right to break promises, to show up late and if it all falls apart it's not our problem.
This is a "genre" exhibition, but not "genre" like painting, sculpture, video or any of that, etc. We mean genre in this case like Western, Romance, Horror, Fantasy, Sci-Fi. This show in particular borrows elements of Noir. Godard became famous for his meta- gangster films in the 60s before he directed commercials for fashion line Marithè & François Girbaud in the 80s and before rappers in the US wore Girbaud jeans in the 90s. Godard, Girbaud, Gangster. Gangster, in the traditional 1930s-40s sense, and "gangsta", in the rap/hip hop sense of the 90s, are both more or less out of fashion terms, which pretty much no one uses anymore.*
The exhibition will feature photographs (photography!) of two nameless protagonists (stand-ins for the artists?). They both are wearing grotesque Special FX makeup. Are these from a "press kit" for an unreleased film? Let's say it's a sci-fi gangsta film. The bald guy with the prominent vein is "The Boss." The trench-coated androgyne is "The Assassin." A heist plot ensues with double, triple and quadruple crossings... But it should be reiterated that there is NO movie. Like the Singing Detective's Phillip Marlowe, this exhibition could be the imagination run amok of an author suffering from a debilitating skin and bone disease, who, in a way to escape from the intolerable conditions of his reality, falls into a fever dream where he's a noir detective.
There will also be a robot (if it doesn't break on the way over the Atlantic ocean)...the robot is very primitive on a set of wheels, a kinetic platform that will hopefully move Charlemagne's sound (and animals) through a space. Dmitriy, who is currently building the robot in our apartment, asked us the other night somewhat philosophically about the nature of robots. What makes a robot a robot? Is it just about autonomy or something else? For example, is an elevator a robot? We said something like "Um...not sure, but we need to finish this pronto because it's gotta be shipped on Wednesday."
Meanwhile, this is happening:
*Science fiction as a genre has been gentrified as well, evoked frequently in academic papers and annoyingly in art world contexts. Taken seriously, nerds/geeks and fanboys have become curiosities to not only be inspected but their communities theorized upon, their hobbies and fetishes appropriated and exploited. (see "Furries") (We ourselves are guilty of it, by link-baitishly titling our 2012 show "Ghost in the Puka Shell" and hiring DeviantArt artists) We get it, Sci-fi. Sci-fi. Sci-fi. Sci-fi. It says so much about our current condition. Could the appropriation of the near-forgotten Girbaud brand be another cynical round of contemporary "thrift-store" re-evaluation a la William Gibson circa 2004?