There is an Elephant in the Room
NOV 13 2021 – JAN 29 2022
von Bartha, Basel
Von Bartha is pleased to present two solo exhibitions by Danish art group SUPERFLEX and Swiss artist ATHENE GALICIADIS in the gallery’s Basel space, 12 November 2021 – 29 January 2022. SUPERFLEX: There is an Elephant in the Room, will continue the artist group’s playful analysis of systematic structures through themes including the financial crisis and ecology, in the gallery’s South Space. The Presence, is Athene Galiciadis’ first solo exhibition at von Bartha gallery, and will consist of large scale paintings as well as installation works, in the gallery’s North Space.
Renowned for their spirited, subversive analysis of our economic and social structures, SUPERFLEX’s oeuvre consists of large-scale installations, films and long-term, process-based projects. Viewing their work as something to be actively put to use, it is designed to affect or influence the wider global social and economic context, often inviting participation from the public. SUPERFLEX’s work continues to confront issues of copyright, intellectual property and trademark infringement.
Featured artworks, will include the ocean-blue neon There is an Elephant in the Room, which gives the exhibition its title. The work, as with many of SUPERFLEX’s, will use the aesthetics of commercial signage to address the impending consequences of human consumerism. The expression ‘There is an Elephant in the Room’ refers to an important topic or issue that everyone is aware of but no one wants to acknowledge typically controversial or inflammatory in subject.
Après vous, Le Déluge (“After Me, the Flood”) which will also be on display, deals with the topic of rising sea levels as a result of climate change inspired by the predictions of the Paris Agreement of 2015 – the work simultaneously paraphrases the quote of French King Louis XV. On the one hand, a prophetic statement about the impending chaos, on the other, an expression of the greatest indifference.
The exhibition will also feature works from the Bankrupt Banks series, which depict the financial crisis of 2008. The subject – the logos of banks who declared bankruptcy – once symbols of strength, authority and trust have now become symbols of failed power structures.
SUPERFLEX was founded in 1993 by Jakob Fenger, Bjørnstjerne Christiansen, and Rasmus Rosengren Nielsen. Conceived as an expanded collective, SUPERFLEX has consistently worked with a wide variety of collaborators, from gardeners to engineers to audience members. Engaging with alternative models for the creation of social and economic organisation, works have taken the form of energy systems, beverages, sculptures, copies, hypnosis sessions, infrastructure, paintings, plant nurseries, contracts, and public spaces.
Working in and outside the physical location of the exhibition space, SUPERFLEX has been engaged in major public space projects since their award-winning Superkilen opened in 2011. These projects often involve participation, involving the input of local communities, specialists, and children. Taking the idea of collaboration even further, recent works have involved soliciting the participation of other species. SUPERFLEX has been developing a new kind of urbanism that includes the perspectives of plants and animals, aiming to move society towards interspecies living. For SUPERFLEX, the best idea might come from a fish.
Opening: Friday, November 12, 6 – 8 pm
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