CASH RULES EVERYTHING AROUND
Last Wednesday I attended the opening of this years Glitch Festival exhibition at Rua Red, Dublin. It features brand new works from Addie Wagenknecht as well as two sets from Irish artists Breda Lynch and Fergal Brennan, and curated by Nora O Murchú.
One of the main themes of the show, as the title suggests, is money … or at least the systems and relationships of the modern tech day. Works reflect a world born in an era of Jeff Bezosomics, worldwide longtail inventories, goods and services from China, and presented in a symbolic hypertextual space. The show (with no fault by anyone involved) was limited to a grant of 5000 Euros (a familiar circumstance for all art spaces and diminishing funding), yet successfully presents ideas within this limitation.
As you enter, you cannot miss the huge handwritten mantra on the wall, ‘I will not download things that will get me in trouble’, which repeats and degenerates into the opposite. This connects to a three-tier cake, iced and adorned with a unicorn, presenting the same dilemma of desire and fulfilment (you can actually eat the cake if you wish, despite its contextualisation as a piece on a plinth). A collection of Scalextric cars in stop-motion sculptural arrangement appearing to jump and crash into said plinth, yet on a distant wall is a mounted track, ordered on Ebay and sent from Austrailia; it makes the point of the looping paths of our present system. Cars again feature with handpainted scenes from Google Street View, all of which were custom ordered from a Chinese service. The internet played a huge part of how the show was put together: Cash Rules Everything Around Http …
Finally, another huge wall has thirty mounted CCTV cameras each adorned with crystals to give them a fashionable makeover. This made me think of our relationship with portable computing, that in our Snowden-era understanding of surveillance with familiar tech we use and carry everyday, our bond with it is one of customization and personalization. Surveillance is often unquestioned and marketed desireable, an image, part of a look.
This is just a brief overview of the whole show, but it has to be said that Addie is one of the best media artists working today. To me, she is capable of new media artworks with poetry and meaning, all carefully considered and blended together, when often works in this field are cold and esoteric.
You can find out more at the Rua Red website here