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Double or Nothing: Problems of Presence in Contemporary Art

af Timothy Long

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2Ingen4,468,539IngenIngen
My Evil Twin is the third and final exhibition of the MacKenzie’s Mirror Series, which explores how mirrors, mirroring and doubles are used to perform a formal and cultural critique in contemporary art.The MacKenzie Art Gallery is pleased to present the work of four internationally acclaimed artists in the exhibition My Evil Twin, on view October 3, 2009 – January 24, 2010. This exhibition responds to society’s fascination with multiple births (think Octomom and Jon & Kate Plus 8) by exploring how representations of twins and doubles in contemporary art function as a sign of social anxieties. My Evil Twin features the work of four artists: Janieta Eyre and Kristan Horton from Toronto, Maria Hupfield from Vancouver and Julian Rosefeldt from Berlin, Germany. While society is enthralled with multiple births, the public reactions today are not necessarily the same as those of the past. Commenting on this topic, anthropologist René Girard observes that in some primitive societies twins inspire a particular terror. It is not unusual for one of the twins, and often both, to be put to death. According to Girard, theloss of clear differences, embodied in the shared identity of twins, is the underlying source of people’s fear. Of course, apart from diaper bills, no-one considers twins to be a harbinger of evil today. Nevertheless, the device of the ‘evil twin’ continues to pop up in popular culture pairings such as Austin Powers and Dr. Evil, Battlestar Galactica’s Boomer and Athena, and The Simpsons’ Bart and Hugo to name a few, says Timothy Long, Head Curator at the MacKenzie Art Gallery. Each artist featured in My Evil Twin presents a representation of the double that can be related to fears that have their root in the loss of differences which have shaped recent experience in contemporary society in recent years. Together, the work of Eyre, Horton, Hupfield and Rosefeldt form a narrative that grapples with the human need to shape our individual identities, not out of fear, but out of an understanding of our desires for difference and semblance. This exhibition is curated by Timothy Long and will be accompanied by a catalogue, being produced later this fall, which will be available through the MacKenzie Art Gallery. My Evil Twin is the third and final exhibition of the MacKenzie’s Mirror Series, which explores how mirrors, mirroring and doubles are used to perform a formal and cultural critique in contemporary art. The first exhibition, Let Me Be Your Mirror, took place in 2008, with the second, Double Space, taking place in 2009. Publisher's note from website http://www.mackenzieartgallery.ca/engage/exhibitions/my-evil-twin. After Presence February 4 to April 15, 2012 Engage exhibition & events Discover collection & research Visit tours & rentals Learn schools & community Connect join & support Shop unique gifts What will be the echo of your existence? The Occupy Movement sparked popular and media attention on the concentration of wealth among the top 1% of income earners, compared to the other 99%. Debates focus on what many perceive to be unfair taxation, unethical business practices, and unsustainable inequities. But perhaps we need to open up the debate. How does pop culture’s fascination with the elite, with celebrity, with high-living and high-spending support the 1%-99% paradigm? How do nostalgia and aspiration complicate our desires and actions? The four artists in After Presence look at how the residue of aristocracy has seeped into every corner of our existence and continues to shape contemporary culture. Belgian artist David Claerbout, complicates the way we look at a stunning villa in the European countryside. The Canadian artists in the show change the way we look at treasures from antique shops and the faux antiques and cultural markers found in American hotel chains around the world. The challenge of this exhibition is that the artists recognize that the same qualities that attract attention to an artwork (or an object or person) are also at work in more sinister tools of oppression such as propaganda, cults, tabloid journalism - even conspiracy theories. After Presence examines a recent trend among artists making works that are wary of larger than life people, places and things - wary of presence. From opulent chandeliers to a peasant’s bicycle, from silver platters to beat-up coffee tables, the works in this exhibition tease out the complications and contradictions of iconic objects, and challenge us to re-examine our history, our assumptions and our perspectives. After Presence includes the works of Jack Anderson, Shary Boyle, Liz Magor and David Claerbout. Curated By: Timothy Long, Head Curator, MacKenzie Art Gallery For more about After Presence, download the My MacKenzie App or tweet your thoughts with #MAGafter. Publisher's note from http://www.mackenzieartgallery.ca/engage/exhibitions/after-presence-jack-anderson-shary-boyle-david-claerbout-and-liz-magor (viewed 10 April 2014).… (mere)
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My Evil Twin is the third and final exhibition of the MacKenzie’s Mirror Series, which explores how mirrors, mirroring and doubles are used to perform a formal and cultural critique in contemporary art.The MacKenzie Art Gallery is pleased to present the work of four internationally acclaimed artists in the exhibition My Evil Twin, on view October 3, 2009 – January 24, 2010. This exhibition responds to society’s fascination with multiple births (think Octomom and Jon & Kate Plus 8) by exploring how representations of twins and doubles in contemporary art function as a sign of social anxieties. My Evil Twin features the work of four artists: Janieta Eyre and Kristan Horton from Toronto, Maria Hupfield from Vancouver and Julian Rosefeldt from Berlin, Germany. While society is enthralled with multiple births, the public reactions today are not necessarily the same as those of the past. Commenting on this topic, anthropologist René Girard observes that in some primitive societies twins inspire a particular terror. It is not unusual for one of the twins, and often both, to be put to death. According to Girard, theloss of clear differences, embodied in the shared identity of twins, is the underlying source of people’s fear. Of course, apart from diaper bills, no-one considers twins to be a harbinger of evil today. Nevertheless, the device of the ‘evil twin’ continues to pop up in popular culture pairings such as Austin Powers and Dr. Evil, Battlestar Galactica’s Boomer and Athena, and The Simpsons’ Bart and Hugo to name a few, says Timothy Long, Head Curator at the MacKenzie Art Gallery. Each artist featured in My Evil Twin presents a representation of the double that can be related to fears that have their root in the loss of differences which have shaped recent experience in contemporary society in recent years. Together, the work of Eyre, Horton, Hupfield and Rosefeldt form a narrative that grapples with the human need to shape our individual identities, not out of fear, but out of an understanding of our desires for difference and semblance. This exhibition is curated by Timothy Long and will be accompanied by a catalogue, being produced later this fall, which will be available through the MacKenzie Art Gallery. My Evil Twin is the third and final exhibition of the MacKenzie’s Mirror Series, which explores how mirrors, mirroring and doubles are used to perform a formal and cultural critique in contemporary art. The first exhibition, Let Me Be Your Mirror, took place in 2008, with the second, Double Space, taking place in 2009. Publisher's note from website http://www.mackenzieartgallery.ca/engage/exhibitions/my-evil-twin. After Presence February 4 to April 15, 2012 Engage exhibition & events Discover collection & research Visit tours & rentals Learn schools & community Connect join & support Shop unique gifts What will be the echo of your existence? The Occupy Movement sparked popular and media attention on the concentration of wealth among the top 1% of income earners, compared to the other 99%. Debates focus on what many perceive to be unfair taxation, unethical business practices, and unsustainable inequities. But perhaps we need to open up the debate. How does pop culture’s fascination with the elite, with celebrity, with high-living and high-spending support the 1%-99% paradigm? How do nostalgia and aspiration complicate our desires and actions? The four artists in After Presence look at how the residue of aristocracy has seeped into every corner of our existence and continues to shape contemporary culture. Belgian artist David Claerbout, complicates the way we look at a stunning villa in the European countryside. The Canadian artists in the show change the way we look at treasures from antique shops and the faux antiques and cultural markers found in American hotel chains around the world. The challenge of this exhibition is that the artists recognize that the same qualities that attract attention to an artwork (or an object or person) are also at work in more sinister tools of oppression such as propaganda, cults, tabloid journalism - even conspiracy theories. After Presence examines a recent trend among artists making works that are wary of larger than life people, places and things - wary of presence. From opulent chandeliers to a peasant’s bicycle, from silver platters to beat-up coffee tables, the works in this exhibition tease out the complications and contradictions of iconic objects, and challenge us to re-examine our history, our assumptions and our perspectives. After Presence includes the works of Jack Anderson, Shary Boyle, Liz Magor and David Claerbout. Curated By: Timothy Long, Head Curator, MacKenzie Art Gallery For more about After Presence, download the My MacKenzie App or tweet your thoughts with #MAGafter. Publisher's note from http://www.mackenzieartgallery.ca/engage/exhibitions/after-presence-jack-anderson-shary-boyle-david-claerbout-and-liz-magor (viewed 10 April 2014).

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