Hito Steyerl, Duty Free Art
April 6 - 20, 2016
Blue Oyster Art Project Space
December 11 - February 17, 2016, Artspace
Top: A view from the outside of the Sumer Park Kültür Merkezi, Diyarbakir, Turkey. Photo: Hito Steyerl. Above: Google books’ N-gram viewer tracks the word “impossible” in all the books on its database printed in between the years 1800-2000
Duty Free Art (2014) strikes deep into art’s social function. Free-trade zones, where speculative art commodities are bought and sold invisibly and tax free, are, like civil wars, an important backbone of the international art business. Both facilitate the redistribution of public property into private hands, and are catalysts of global inequality. Furthermore, Steyerl uses WikiLeaks documents to show how the Louvre, British Museum, and star architect Rem Koolhaas served the Syrian Assad regime as museum planners and gentrifiers. She describes all of this as the top-down organized production and communication conditions of contemporary art hidden behind the art itself. Steyerl proposes a reversal of perspective to unveil one’s own reality bottom-up. (Alexander Koch, KOW)
Hito Steyerl Duty Free Art
Hito Steyerl's presentation at Artspace is supported by the ARTSPACE Benefactor Programme+
and presented at Blue Oyster with support by the Jan Warburton Charitable Trust.
Will Benedict and David Leonard
November 6 - December 5, 2015
Top: Will Benedict THE BED THAT EATS, 2015 (still). Above: Will Benedict and David Leonard, 'Toilets not Temples', 2014 (still).
Toilets not Temples is the first in a series of videos by artists Will Benedict and David Leonard. The film is shot in various locations in France, Norway, India and the USA. It explores the transnational politics of food distribution through an idiosyncratic and sometimes chaotic mix of reportage, interviews, news stories and analysis. Featuring a talking dolphin, giant rats and human rain, the video builds a fragmented, absurd, and nightmarish narrative, employing a knowing formal idiom that exposes the staging and fictions of contemporary journalistic forms and the exaggerated, sometimes hysterical, visual tropes of the news media.
Will Benedict's The Bed That Eats is a portrait of an unmade bed singing a song of the same title by the reductive blues duo Stare Case. While the video is in the strictest sense a portrait of a bed, the video also takes the viewer inside the bed and down into the bowels of a yellowing underworld where the threat of McDonald's delivered to your door results in the end of natural law as we know it.