Artists: Cosima von Bonin, Claus Richter, Frances Scholz, Juan Pérez Agirregoikoa, Walker Brengel, Arbit City Group, Simon Mathers, Philipp Timischl, Oliver Husain, Bernhard Walter
Venue: Clages, Cologne
Exhibition Title: AHHHHH! REAL MONSTERS!
Curated by: Lena Albers and Haris Giannouras
Date: September 8 – October 20, 2018
Note: The full press release is available for download here.
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Clages, Cologne
Once upon a time there was a group of monsters that lived in an old city dump. One of them used to sing opera, one loved doing math homework, while another one just wanted to sneak out after hours and scare little children and old men while they were dreaming of candy lands and lost lovers.
The Monster is nothing more than a mirrored image of a collective’s darkest aspects. That which needs to be put aside and camouflaged with a demon mask in order for the rest of us to continue. Locating that precise moment of marginalization means being able to revolt against it. Tracing an instance in space and time that enables us to break that demon process and release everything that silently lies underneath.
Unleashing the Monster from its burden is nothing short of a miracle. But what happens afterwards?
The Post-Monster transcends into the form of a deleuzian BWO *Body without Organs* and questions anything we were made to think is supposed to be sacred and wholesome. Unity, groups and solid entities are merely an aspect of much wider and perplex story we were never meant to fully comprehend. A constant “Becoming” that challenges the real.
Monsters are not to be feared. They’re proud free entities that represent a brave sense of independence and power. They are the feminist witches and queer wizards of the 14th century that burned at the stake with a smile on their face and a dagger through their hearts. Delving deeper into the tales and paradoxes of this knowledge teratology a fascinating pattern begins to unfold. If a pointy hat and a long nose are supposed to transform a feminist icon into something obscure and a set of teeth and artificial limps are to turn a Queer body into Frankenstein’s sex doll, how can we set the Information Monster of our times free? Where is it to be found in the first place?
Information-networks compose a field of theory and research with a major impact on our everyday lives. Since Claude Shannon’s groundbreaking 1948 Essay “The Mathematical Theory of Communication” our curiosity and approach around Information, its (im)material composition, contextual connotations and political impact, has evolved into a much more intriguing construct. Rapidly spiraling down the drain of contemporary cyber politics the idea of an Information-Monster, one Part which needs to be feared in order for the Whole to make it through, can lead to thought provoking understandings on what it means to fear what you cannot understand.
A poster child of an 80s futurology, the concept of information as a fluidly composed network that can no longer be restraint between the dualities of “the medium and message”, becomes a fascinating curatorial tool. Proposed as neither an absolute entity, nor a homogenized sum of elements, but as an ever-changing rhizomatic structure, the show puts us face to face with the gentle Monster of our unavoidable future. Confronting our fears and expectations about the state of the almighty “Information Society” we have to keep our eyes open and bare through a sad song about a witch’s heartache or obsessively read trough a mermaid’s anarchist manifesto. With Cixous’ powerful optimism at heart you learn to love the monster, both informational and not. Cause “You only have to look at the Medusa straight on to see her. And she’s not deadly. She’s beautiful and she’s laughing.”
Haris Giannouras – Lena Albers