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Exhibition: ‘RE-FIGURE-GROUND’ at arebyte Gallery

Text by CLOT Magazine

arebyte Gallery is managing to keep us excited about their new exhibitions. Their opening show for 2019 explores the idea of simulation, fake identities and realities, and what is real and what is not. Are we able to tell the differences anymore?

Simulation has been a topic of conversation for decades, and in recent years, the contours of a new contemporary art movement have emerged. The ‘Simulism’ movement has developed in resistance to the ethos of Silicon Valley, the ‘platforming’ and globalisation of culture, and the widespread availability of power technologies like artificial intelligence, photorealistic CGI, and virtual and augmented reality.

Simulism simultaneously embraces and subverts technology,  interrogating the slippery world in which we live, and proposing humanist and non-binary futures. Simulacra, virtuality and their relationship with contemporary culture are topics explored by artists and thinkers such as Jean Baudrillard, Donna Haraway and Lynn Hershman Leeson.

With this exhibition, curator Kelani Nichole, RE-FIGURE-GROUND wants us to explore myth, identity, and the body. It proposes a softening – opening up an alternative view to the ideologies of Silicon Valley. Queer bodies inhabit virtual space; the boundaries of technology and the body are blurred, as are the lines between author, image, and algorithm. The artists unapologetically disrupt normative cultural production, demonstrating what it means to inhabit this infinitely malleable world.

Opening on 18 January 2019, RE-FIGURE-GROUND will feature works by Morehshin Allahyari, LaTurbo Avedon, Snow Yunxue Fu, Carla Gannis, Claudia Hart, Lorna Mills, Eva Papamargariti, Pussykrew, Sabrina Ratté, Amina Ros and Alan Warburton. The exhibition will run until 16 March 2019.

(Photo credit: Eva Papamargariti, still from ΒUT FOR NOW ALL I CAN PROMISE IS THAT THINGS WILL BECOME WEIRDER (2018) single-channel with audio)
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