The Life and Death of the 80’s

 

Curator: Michal Novotný

 

Participating artists: Laëtitia Badaut Haussmann, Romana Drdová, Justin Morin, Lucia Elena Prusa, Ondrej Vicena

 

Exhibition opening: 4_5_2017 / 22.00

Exhibition dates: 5_5_2017 – 24_6_2017

 

Some people believe art develops in a backstitch manner, in a one step back, two steps forward fashion. Starting from one point, the needle leads the thread one point back in direction of sewing, creating a loop through the back of the fabric and getting out one point forward from where it started. This technique is repeated again and again and allows the stitching line to be filled from both sides and thus endure better.

 

I remember my 80s from the 90s. Radio City 93,7 FM played only the biggest hits of the past ten years. With complete disregard to temporality, Queen were beating Natalia Imbruglia in the annual hit parade of 1997. The same year the first episode of Moonlighting from 1985 was premiered on TV. Not understanding any English at all, I remember my surprise when encountering the ruins of Radio City in the original Planet of Apes movie. Only after I understood why there is actually not strictly “my” City Radio and only after that, that those ruins were actually ruins of a famous New York building. Having no knowledge of English at all, I would imitate the lyrics based on my understanding and in my very own non-existent language. This same year the television premiered the first episode of Moonlighting from 1985.  Despite the fact that I didn’t know how to play baseball and never before seen a single game, the object I terribly desired was a baseball glove. Now that I think of it, maybe it was because of that or maybe because this is how I knew it from the movies.

 

This exhibition is about different temporalities and about catching up with them. It deals with nostalgia towards something that never really existed. Maybe the 80s were more the 90s. Or maybe it all took place some years back and now its all in the past.

 

In the 80s the West still had its charm for being the West and for actualy being in the West and well, not everywhere. The skyscrapers were illuminated somewhat brighten during the night. When I first came to New York and Chicago, the places I knew so well – places that I was looking for, I could not find. There was nothing.

 

Michal Novotný

 

Project partners:


Midcentury Paradox

Adrian Dan

 

Exhibition opening: 3_3_2017 / 22.00

Exhibition dates: 4_3_2017 – 22_4_2017

 

 

An urge to visualise and scrutinise an imagined future has been tied with humans for centuries, may it be through the witchcraft of the crystal ball or on the contrary, through the somewhat more realistic assumptions of speculative fiction, the roots of which are in this case, grounded within an adequate knowledge of the real world. Looking back into the late nineteenth and the following twentieth century, where the multiplicity of imagined futures developed together with concepts of a speeding modernity, we are faced with an arena where the probable became gradually possible and the gap between the imagined and the lived, shifted from a diminishing distance to a greater proximity.

 

Time passing through images from present to future, is represented here in continuous motion and flux. It is confronted with the body – a familiar, stable and a measurable unit that becomes a filter and the scale for the imagination of an improbable, yet surprisingly possible future. A future where the body commemorates its organic form, on a quest towards a robotic upcoming that has long been rooted in the already lived of the day.

 

With the disruption in the understanding of the body as something strictly organic, the body similarly to the revision of the spatiotemporal becomes fragmented. It is no longer perceived as a singular form, but rather as an operational system, constructed from replaceable components, industrially produced (body) parts. While the idea behind modernity’s industrialisation was progress towards a better life, our future visions take a turn towards a non-life. Still far away from the upcoming midcentury, we are already living visions of our own future paradox.

 

Marketa Stará Condeixa

 

 

 

Adrian Dan (1985) is one of the leading artist of his generation in Romania. Currently based between Bucharest and London his recent exhibitions include Kunstlich Naturlich at Sabot Gallery (Cluj-Napoca), Muscle Breach at Suprainfinit Gallery (Bucharest) and Nicodim Gallery (Los Angeles/Buchares) among other. He has previously shown in Madrid(CA2M), Paris (Palais de Beaux-Arts) and Brussels. In 2015 Adrian has been a researcher in residence in Marfa, Texas, as part of the Fieldwork Marfa program. His exhibition at Syntax is the first presentation of the artists work in Portugal.

 

 

Project partners: