Painting at the End of the world is an organisation dedicated to showing the best in emerging contemporary painting and art practice. Currently based in Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, this free floating curatorial project is engaging with painters from across the world via solo, duo and group shows in a variety of locations. The organisation does not represent individual artists, but seeks to act as a critical platform.
This launch show, sets out some of the concerns of the organisation, primarily in terms of the dichotomy between abstraction and representation, analogue and its post.
The Exhibition Painting Inside the Matrix: Code and its Others, acts as a way to highlight the specific turn in what is broadly described as abstract painting, towards a new engagement with forms of representation and mimesis. This first exhibition also attempts to locate the potential cultural drivers of this recent shift in contemporary paintings trajectory, by examining notions of the real and reality prevalent in neoliberal capitalism. This selection of work by painters Lucas Dupuy, Helen Baker, Charley Peters, Playpaint and Aaron Scheer represents the broad approach to painting out and thinking through the current ideological systems of control and hopefully sounds out a clear ontological position for contemporary painting that the organisation will take forward in discussion and future exhibitions.
The title – Painting Inside the Matrix: Code and its Others – does of course have a nod to the 1999 Sci-Fi blockbuster film directed by the Wachowskis. The title auto suggests that somehow perhaps, painters are asleep in a pod in a dystopian future, whilst their minds are at large elsewhere in a reality matrix, not of their own making. You might say that apart from the pod bit, largely that is a statement we can identify with elements of, but first, we might have to discuss notions of the dystopic, the real and reality.
It is certain that our current day to day, our existence in fact, is largely out of our hands. A system of reality has evolved over the last millennia, that locks us firmly in place, as labour providers, as batteries, for an economically driven ideology machine, that strives for endless amounts of consumption and profit. The film titled the Matrix, was already a mediation on the work of Jean Baudrillard and his thoughts on the real, simulacra and simulation. The title of this exhibition seeks to place the paintings being produced today, as the crucible for a discourse on the nature of the varying contemporary realities of its makers, within the bigger system reality. The control matrix set out both here and in the movie, is of course one of our own making, ours, being the collective that is the current human race.