Exhibition

Babette Semmer: To Make A Sleep

1 Mar 2018 – 7 Apr 2018

GAO

London
England, United Kingdom

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What’s going on here: some supercilious intergalactic space-daemon has found herself awed by the majesty of our economic system. She thinks capitalism is gigavastly superior to every other process of organising labour and value currently operating in the multiverse. She’s also an artist.

Laniakea (Hawaiian for ‘immeasurable heaven’), is a class XVI celestial painter, whose nefarious extra-dimensional practice spans both time and space. For this, her first exhibition on Earth, she will open up a storm-wrapped rift to a parallel universe in GAO’s carpark. Laniakea considers probing the deep-time history of our planet to be as much of an aesthetic endeavour as a cosmiconservational one, and as such, plans to show a series of contextually-purged, paradoxical, live-alternative-past-political-paint-portals in the main gallery. Because she is evil, Laniakea finds it funny that her work will be displayed to us via a medium whose technological advancement shall forever remain out of reach. After finishing a string of residencies throughout the slowly gentrifying Andromeda galaxy, and spending a few eons in marketing/interplanetary relations, Laniakea felt she still lacked empathy. By moving in to our ‘rotten and needy solar system’ she thought she’d experience the ‘shocking penury of this plebeian civilisation first hand.’

And yet her enigmatic ‘Umt!tledb’ in the centre of the gallery still comes across as autobiographical, almost like a self-portrait, with two of Laniakea’s six heads engaging in the sort of debate lovers hold in hot countries. Post-verbal poetry such as, The Sea Has Nothing But Hatred For Humanity floats through the air. Turns out this imperiously cruel bohemian autodidact has a soul, and a past – even knew love, once: My Own Universe Cloyed; I Ran Out of Space. Something of a personal history, ‘Umt!tledb’ explains how she spent the past 3000 years and clarifies her ambitions in coming to the Milky Way. Captivated by our planet’s fantastic nature documentaries she thought she’d visit our oceans, paint portals, possess a few gallerists and show work where possible. Change was cumulative, she knew that, even though the resident London intelligentsia soon mistook her for one of their own. She was able to rebuke society from her interplanetary experience and was a thrill to argue with on long walks, her fury taking off, erupting from the bushes like a pheasant. She was single-handedly trying to reinvigorate the megamaxi-macromodernist vanguard, as it had become schlocky and religious, as everyone from her supercluster thought it meant throwing the galactocentrist colonial baby out with the metaphysically analytical bathwater, but they couldn’t have been more wrong. She still posed for photographs even though she knew gender was a universally hegemonic construct. Ditto with regards to sipping blood outside private views, occasionally sucking on a cigarette. After all, she was sort-of mortal, anxious, suffering and alive, ‘so for fuck’s sake could the cosmos just get off my back and let me be as hip, seductive and ostentatiously self-promoting as I want to be, like a poly-brain 1960’s Joan Didion or something, shit.’

The above text is an excerpt from ‘Gao Is Sorry’ by Martynas Noreika, a fiction commissioned for this exhibition jointly by the artist Babette Semmer and GAO. Full version can be found on http://www.gao.gallery/babette-semmer-to-make-a-sleep/

Exhibiting artists

Babette Semmer

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