I Meet Together, I Agree20. Aug - 31. Aug 14 / ended VITRINE Bermondsey Street
Wednesday – Friday 12-7pm, Saturday 12-6pm (& by appointment)
I Meet Together, I Agree
I Meet Together, I Agree features new works by artists-in-residence Eleni Bagaki, Stéphane Blumer, Heena Kim and Soomeen Kim. The title, from the Latin term congruÅ that means to agree/ meet/ combine, is a nod to the residency programme at Vitrine that brought the artists together.
Conversations about the local, its people, history, symbols and inevitably, its transformation were starting points of the exhibition. Eventually, the conversations became about communication itself. How language, symbols and objects imprint our existence, how they interact and intercept and how, perhaps, it is the experience of meaning that transpires through time. Together, they have come to reveal something beyond the local, something omnipresent.
Bagaki’s work moves between the aesthetics of the sublime and the mundane, the banality of everyday objects, consumerism and Internet culture. She is intrigued by new connotations an object or person acquires when photographed, what they have come to represent as an image and how this image might become a symbol, a cultural artifact. For her work ‘Be my Bacon’ she navigates the plethora of images we consume daily to interpret and appropriate. By manipulating the size, she directs how one reads the image. The mundane becomes sexual, playful and humane. By juxtaposing desire and disgust, consumption and waste, she suggests the inherent manipulation of meaning in mass culture, seeking the mythic content that Barthes sought to expose.
Blumer addresses the zone of conflict between the individual and society. His practice challenges personal and cultural conventions by investigating language and its shortcomings. Nostalgie de la Boue, meaning ‘nostalgia for the mud’; is a metaphoric expression of desire to return to more primitive social conditions. Blumer’s film of the same name, an hour-long montage of found footage illustrates Beckett’s ‘exhaustion of language’. The new constructed narrative isolates the protagonists in a desert landscape where they interact through eye contact and body language without ever meeting one another. The film reveals a journey that edges between the inconsequential and the possibility of an encounter.
Blumer’s Bermondsey Square installation #hashtactivismspreadswhilerocksfalldownthedrycliffsintotheseasbythesunsetlight is a commentary on the possibilities and complexities of democratic language. The Hashtag used to group and search key concepts that circulate social media is becoming incoherent in its variations. Here, the symbol has been objectified and split into 8 pieces of chunky foam, a play between the real and digital world. By taking it apart one could create infinite possibility of sculptures that may come to mean a lot or nothing.
Heena Kim’s work is concerned with the omnipresent idea, ‘something is always happening behind our sight’. She reenacts constructed narratives based on learned assumptions instead of didactic facts. Her paintings reveal a playful and provocative interpretation of these misunderstood narratives. She builds upon this disruption to highlight irregularity in comprehension. In Unreleased Plot, she approaches them with in an intention to contradict or ridicule its exiting relevance.
Soomeen Kim focuses on revealing discarded, forgotten, inconspicuous construction objects that once lent strength or character and have now become redundant. She collects these architectural fragments and shed light on their efforts, aesthetics, layers and histories. Her practice has an element of ritual, the daily pilgrimage to collect remnants of an over powering industry, the daily treatment of these objects to retain history and reveal a new story. In her attempt, Forgotten Materials becomes an archive of an historic site. These found fragments, embed in nostalgia, are monuments for transforming cities.
Between them, between this diversity, they have come to tease the pathetic. It is perhaps an attempt to defend the experience of emotion, above any profound narrative.
Residency Programme and exhibition co-curated by Mary George
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