MMCA exhibition ‘Vertiginous Data’ questions neutrality of tech

SUPERFLEX | The Korea Herald | By Shim Woo-hyun

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Not many artworks on show at museums have price tags attached to them, but Rachel Ara’s installation work does. The large tech installation, a mass of devices and black cables, updates in real time its value on a screen in red neon numbers.

This seemingly “overcalculated and overcomplicated” tech-sculpture by Ara, titled “This Much I’m Worth,” is part of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art’s latest exhibition.

Showcasing experimental works by 10 artists and artist groups, “Vertiginous Data” at the MMCA attempts to suggest that seemingly objective data and technology are not neutral as they bring about various social, economic and ethical issues.

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Bjarke Ingels’s New Galeries Lafayette Fuses Historic and Contemporary Styles in Paris

SUPERFLEX | Architecture Digest | By Nadja Sayej

The famous department store has received a modernist revamp

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Though it was once a bank, a stately Art Deco building on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, in Paris, has been transformed into a sleek, modern shopping mecca designed by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels. The new Galeries Lafayette Champs-Elysées, which opened this past weekend, is a sprawling 70,000-square-foot space made of marble, glass, and steel.

In a statement, Ingels called the project a “pragmatic utopia,” mixing minimalist function with extravagant beauty. The rose-hued marble in the interior fits in well with the romantic City of Light and is peppered with gold-lined touches that are spread throughout the space’s four floors.

What exactly is a “pragmatic utopia?” According to Ingels, it’s a type of architecture that steers clear of boring white boxes. It also avoids what he calls “the naive utopian ideas of digital formalism.” Here, he fuses convention with concept, tapping into his personal motto: “Yes is more.”

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SUPERFLEX: We Are All In The Same Boat

The Museum of Art and Design at Miami Dade College

15 November 2018 - 21 April 2019

The first museum survey of the critically acclaimed Danish collective SUPERFLEX in the United States, this exhibition focuses on the group’s humorous and playfully subversive installations and films, which address the economy, financial crisis, corruption, migration, and the possible consequences of global warming. The exhibition’s title envisions passengers together in a ship at sea, and a set of shared risks that may put them in danger. Our own collective danger implies a collective responsibility and a need to collaborate so that our ship does not capsize.

Increasingly during the last two decades, global warming and climate change have been discussed and debated, and the consequences of human impact, interference, and possible triggering of the twenty-first century’s climate changes have recently echoed within the art world in a more activist way. Art has always responded to issues in the real world, and SUPERFLEX has been at the forefront of artists who grapple with many of these pressing subjects. SUPERFLEX was founded by Bjørnstjerne Christiansen, Jakob Fenger, and Rasmus Nielsen in 1993, and since then the three artists have gained international recognition for their DIY and activist approaches.

We Are All in the Same Boat includes a group of videos, sculptures, and installations selected for their relevance to the history, present, and future of the City of Miami. The works reflect upon the position of Miami from the perspectives of art, finance, climate, and a fictional, if plausible, future. The topics of water, migration, refugees, and the economy inevitably drive the conception of the exhibition. We Are All in the Same Boat includes the American debut of a number of the works in the show, several of which have been newly reimagined for our city.

SUPERFLEX is known for its interest in unifying urban spaces and commenting on society through art. The artists describe their practice as providing “tools” that affect or influence a social or economic situation. The group often roots its projects in their particular local contexts and outside of traditional art contexts, collaborating with designers, engineers, businesses, and marketers on projects that have the potential for social or economic change. The projects remain difficult to pigeonhole, yet innovative in their approaches to current issues.

The members of SUPERFLEX have used their position as artists to pose questions of political, economic, and environmental behavior and responsibility. In the words of the exhibition’s curator, SUPERFLEX’s “works are meant to create political awareness, generate discussions, and help us think and act.”

Organized by MOAD, SUPERFLEX: We Are All in the Same Boat is curated by Jacob Fabricius, Artistic Director of Kunsthal Aarhus. Support for SUPERFLEX: We Are All in the Same Boat is provided by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, this.nordic, Funding Arts Network, the Danish Arts Foundation, and the Florida Department of State Division of Cultural Affairs.

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SUPERFLEX: Artist Talk for European Union Mayotte at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis

SUPERFLEX: European Union Mayotte , installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, September 7–December 30, 2018. Photo: Dusty Kessler.

SUPERFLEX: European Union Mayotte, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, September 7–December 30, 2018. Photo: Dusty Kessler.

SUPERFLEX

Artist Talk for European Union Mayotte

Thursday October 25, 2018 at 6:30pm

Exhibition On View Until December 30, 2018

Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis

3750 Washington Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63108

Bjørnstjerne Christiansen—one of three members of the Danish art collective SUPERFLEX—discusses the group’s multidimensional practice and the video installation European Union Mayotte with CAM Chief Curator Wassan Al-Khudhairi.

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SUPERFLEX: Western Rampart at Køge Station for TRANSIT/KØS Museum of Art in Public Spaces

PHOTO: For SUPERFLEX in the making of  Western Rampart    ©KØS Museum for kunst i det offentlige rum

PHOTO: For SUPERFLEX in the making of Western Rampart ©KØS Museum for kunst i det offentlige rum

SUPERFLEX

Western Rampart (film, Køge Station Bridge, 2018)

September 13 - November 13, 2018

Køge Station

4600 Køge, Denmark

The artist collective SUPERFLEX has produced a brand-new film for the TRANSIT. Addressing the largest border construction in Danish history, Western Rampart is based on the Western Rampart of Copenhagen as a historical construct. The rampart was part of Copenhagen’s inland fortifications, designed to protect the capital of Denmark against invading forces. It was built west of Copenhagen in 1888-92, stretching all the way from Køge Bay in the south to Utterslev Marsh in the north. With its wide-ranging topography, the rampart crosses several present-day borders between the city councils in the region west of Copenhagen, including Copenhagen itself, Brøndby, Rødovre and Hvidovre. The work is exhibited at Køge Station, the terminal of the E line that cuts through this exact area.

As SUPERFLEX show in the film, the Western Rampart is not only of interest from a historical perspective. It is also linked to a series of contemporary issues, such as the ongoing attempts to define, delineate and maintain borders. Western Rampart’s focus on the negotiation of borders or boundaries is also present in the work itself with its intersection of fact and fiction and its mix of documentary footage with more visually experimental and associative sequences. SUPERFLEX have used drones to produce the film, exploring – like several other works in the exhibition – mobile methods, i.e. methods used to investigate phenomena in flux that are themselves on the move. The members of SUPERFLEX – Jakob Fenger (b. 1968), Bjørnstjerne Christiansen (b. 1969) and Rasmus Nielsen (b. 1969) ­– were born in Roskilde, Copenhagen and Jelling, Denmark, respectively. They live and work in Copenhagen.

TRANSIT is a major research-based exhibition project produced by KØS Museum of Art in Public Spaces. TRANSIT explores transit sites – some of today’s most controversial and crowded public spaces – and the many people who pass through them. Experience art at stations, on the E line, and in an international exhibition at KØS.

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SUPERFLEX: European Union Mayotte at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis

SUPERFLEX, European Union Mayotte (still), 2016. Two-channel video installation (color, sound), 9:42 minutes, 3:54 minutes. Courtesy the artist.

SUPERFLEX, European Union Mayotte (still), 2016. Two-channel video installation (color, sound), 9:42 minutes, 3:54 minutes. Courtesy the artist.

SUPERFLEX

European Union Mayotte

September 7 - December 30, 2018

Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis

3750 Washington Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63108

Founded in 1993 by Danish artists Jakob Fenger, Bjørnstjerne Christiansen, and Rasmus Nielsen, the collective SUPERFLEX challenges the role of the artist in contemporary society and explores the nature of globalization and systems of power through a diverse and complex practice. SUPERFLEX describe their works as “tools,” suggesting multiple areas of application and use. At CAM, the SUPERFLEX film installation European Union Mayotte reflects upon migration, the dream of another life, and the front border of the European Union. Mayotte, an island in the Indian Ocean north of Madagascar, is part of the Union of Comoros, one of the four Comoros Islands that were once part of a French Colony. Mayotte has maintained close cultural and political ties to France, and in 2014 was acknowledged as part of the EU, making it the Union’s outermost region.

The installation consists of two projections, one pictures a scene of a single boat in the ocean, sometimes with passengers visible, the other follows the production of a small fiberglass fishing boat on Anjouan, an island situated only 70 kilometers from Mayotte. In these small boats, people from Anjouan and the surrounding islands of the Comoros risk dangerous and illegal journeys in the hope of reaching Mayotte—in effect, the EU—journeys that have caused death by drowning for thousands of people.

SUPERFLEX: European Union Mayotte is organized for the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis by Wassan Al-Khudhairi, Chief Curator.

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