Artist: Bob van der Wal
Venue: Etablissement d’en face, Brussels
Exhibition Title: Belief System Of A Cannibal Soul 2 (People & Pets)
Date: October 3 – 24, 2020
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Etablissement d’en face, Brussels
As in the first iteration of Belief System of a Cannibal Soul, the viewer is confronted with an arrangement of different objects in association. Many of the formal, material and social components from the first iteration have now mutated and evolved, this time spread across the three rooms of Etablissement d’en Face, Brussels.
The profiles in the body of work titled People & Pets were initially photographed or captured as screenshots on the artist’s android smartphone device, which by default syncs all new photographs to Google Photos (Google’s free cloud storage service). A core feature of Google Photos is its use of facial recognition technology which automatically creates unique profiles of all “People & Pets” (the default name given to this folder by Google Photos). The artist used this archive as a resource to draw down profile images from the front index page of the private “People & Pets” folder. Screenshots of the folder record a particular stage in its growth and reproduce it in its current entirety, unedited and presented in minimal compositions using a photo-transfer technique. The “People & Pets” photographs taken by the artist and represented in these works show 300–400 of supposedly 4 trillion photos in the total Google archive. The majority of these works are finished in a thin layer of powdered graphite. In the vertical People & Pets works the top panels of the stacked pieces zooms in on 4 unique faces.
The Vitrines works show 2 vertical structures; at eye level the walls of these structures are composed of TV magnifying lenses salvaged from the 1980s. Displayed inside the first is a set of 3 artificial flickering candles and at the centre of the second work entitled Heel Concept (2020) stands a hyper real foot with numbered toe nails modelling a crushed glass bong.
The work Study Notes (2016 – ongoing) focuses here on 3 particular graphite drawings which accurately reproduce drawings originally made by the artist at the age of 3-4 years old.
The sculpture 100 Seconds to Midnight (2020) presents a merchandise stand for a band called 100 SECONDS TO MIDNIGHT. Phrases such as “GO AWAY”, “INEFFABLE MELANCHOLY”, “GO WITH YOUR IDEOLOGIES TO HELL”, “IT’S OK’, “RADIATE POSITIVITY” run in association across the merch in the sizes for 1 – 3 year olds. The predominant motif shown is the clock graphic of the ‘International Bulletin’s Science & Security Boards’ graphic illustration of humanity’s proximity to “the end”.
(The artist would like to thank all of the people & pets involved in this exhibition – special thank you to all those who gave their consent to have their image reproduced, and to Juliet, Sebastjian, Margot, Harald, Etienne, Michael and Margaux)