A group exhibition featuring Abbas Akhavan, Bureau d'études, Emma Charles, Revital Cohen & Tuur Van Balen, Carole Condé + Karl Beveridge, Mark Curran, Wally Dion, Keith Hennessy / Circo Zero, Ashley Hunt, Jeremy Hutchison, Richard Ibghy & Marilou Lemmens, Will Kwan, Gerald Nestler, Public Recordings, Public Studio & Darlene Montgomery, and Hank Willis Thomas & Christopher Myers. Curated by Letters & Handshakes.
"I stood before the source, an empty tomb; to be closer to the source is all I needed."
- Emma Charles, Fragments on Machines
Capitalism’s representations are ubiquitous; less so are representations of capitalism. I stood before the source traverses varied contemporary scenes of accumulation, from data centres to tar sands, airports, prisons, trading bots, factories, mobile communication, vacant offices inhabited by speculation, earth’s atmosphere, and beyond. The exhibition features work that maps tightly integrated circuits of global political-economic power; tracks vast accumulations of dead labour as technological infrastructure; listens in on the plunge of financial markets; choreographs divisions of labour in commodity production; descends into the open pits of the stock exchange; and stages injuries of accumulation as extinction.
How might the tunneling optics of metrics, the digital fragmentation of work, and the algorithmic tailoring of what appears on our dividuated screens affect a social capacity to see systemically? As Alberto Toscano writes in an essay accompanying the exhibition, confronting capitalism as an aesthetic problem is a task fraught with tension: “The demand to visually or narratively identify and encompass a social form, a relation, a totality—a demand often acknowledged to be impossible in the same breath it is proffered—cannot but raise metaphysical conundrums, in all their sordid anxious everydayness.”
For more on this exhibition: blackwoodgallery.ca/exhibitions/2016/thesource.html
Music: White Lotus Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/