Gazelli Art House presents I Cyborg, curated by Will Corwin, a group exhibition featuring UK and US based artists who are cognisant of the position of the human in relation to its new place as an increasingly hybridised and unified entity. The days of the Vitruvian Man are numbered and replaced by a growing physical collaboration with technology, architecture and the wider biological panorama.
The exhibition is not about new forms of art, but as these difficult and contradictory ideas about humanity sink in, older forms such as sculpture, ceramics and painting are as quick to embrace and consider the new world as performance, video and computer animation. Sculpture by Dustin Yellin focuses on the natural world, otherworldly mutations of living things, especially insects and plants. Elisabeth Kley’s ceramics present rough designs of unknown ethnographic origin and Kianja Strobert’s abstract paintings are a commitment to the artistic practice of the present moment.
The idea in sci-fi of the cyborg or the malevolent technological entity that enslaves and conquers the human race is a transition playing out now before our collective consciousness. Exhibiting artists are making work about this change, utilising craft such as ceramics and tapestry with Photoshop and other technological programmes and ideas. Collaborative artist duo Roxy Topia and Paddy Gould will present ceramic sculpture of which their conflation of mediums represent the constant and oversaturated flow of information in today’s modern society - just when something could be left alone it can be transformed into something else. Similarly, Aziz + Cucher’s new digital jacquard tapestry from “Some People,” their series of projects representing human emotion and gesture within a landscape that has been devastated by either misguided war or ongoing tribal and nationalistic conflict will also feature in the exhibition. Once again alluding to the past, and referring to the future, the artists do not point to any specific conflict or political situation in particular, but rather, try to evoke the senselessness and futility of these ongoing struggles and the anxiety of the historical moment we all inhabit.
To some extent this is a subtle political survey of works: artists have always been the canaries in the mineshaft in terms of social and cultural changes. The new technological and environmental changes that are affecting our lives have inevitably seeped into the practices of the exhibiting artists drawing inspiration from their surroundings—both physical and metaphysical. The show will include drawings by Roxy Paine in which he demonstrates the human attempt to impose order on natural forces, depicting the struggle between the natural and the artificial, the rational and the instinctual. James Ostrer’s new photographic series ‘The Ego System’ draws inspiration from his surroundings by means of the media, portraying grotesque portraits of characters such as Donald Trump and Cara Delevingne, alongside a new video work which will also be featured. Showcasing a wooden sculptural work, Recycle Group reflects on what our time will leave behind for future generations, what artefacts archaeologists will find after we are gone, and whether these artefacts will find their place in the cultural layer referencing technology and social media. Fascinated by memory and time, Saad Qureshi’s work probes these issues of cultural belonging.
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GAZELLI ART HOUSE
I Cyborg is an exhibition about aesthetics as well—the body has always been a fascination for artists, but how does one address a body that is linked to a greater consciousness and is itself transforming physically through the addition of non-organic components as well as the intrusion of alternative genetic material? I Cyborg is the antidote to humanism—it neither rejects nor glorifies the idea of the figure or the singular human consciousness, instead envisioning a humanity embodied in multiplicity and the other.