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NERVOUS ENERGY with works by STINE DEJA and RICHIE CULVER at TICK TACK [from 20221119 to 20230107]
[Photos: TICK TACK]
TICK TACK cordially invites you to NERVOUS ENERGY, a duo exhibition with Stine Deja (DK, 1986) and Richie Culver (UK, 1979).
This is TICK TACK’s second duo exhibition and marks the first Belgian presentation for both artists.
In the collaborative show ‘Nervous Energy’, Stine Deja presents a sculptural sound installation called “Joint Forces”. The piece depicts six entangled figures in a so-called ‘human knot’, as they question each other on how they got there. The human knot, a familiar team-building exercise, starts with people in a circle holding hands, then through a series of twists and turns, without breaking hands, they find themselves in a tangled knot of bodies.
Deja uses the ‘human knot’ to reflect on the current state of humanity. At a time where crises cascade, intersect, and draw attention from one another, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the complexity. Deja’s work demonstrates the importance of working together. As humans, animals and the environment are under threat from climate change, war, displacement, health crises and unequal resources, the tangled bodies asking ‘how did we get here?’ ask a valid question. Deja’s earlier piece ‘Assembly’ draws from a similar visual language, with figures huddled in a circle asking ‘are we ok’ as if gathering at a post-emergency meeting point. In ‘Joint Forces’ the figures have not escaped, they instead face a choice to destroy the chain or work together to resolve their predicament.
In the words of Stephen Hawking “We now have the technology to destroy the planet on which we live, but have not yet developed the ability to escape it. Perhaps in a few hundred years, we will have established human colonies amid the stars, but right now we only have one planet, and we need to work together to protect it”.
Born in Hull in the North of England into a working-class family, Culver was not exposed to art growing up and left school with no qualifications to work in a factory making caravans. His practice encompasses diverse elements that range from painting, sculpture and photography to digital performance. Within this, Culver’s work is largely biographical wrestling with aspects of contemporary masculinity, the class system and the digital lens through which we live our lives.
A large proportion of Culver’s practice lies in his antagonistic relationship with technology, the ultimate impermanence of social media and the effects upon human interaction and linguistics, alongside personal and cultural memory. In this regard, much of the material for Culver’s works are formed from images collected on his phone including mundane mobile photography, google translate and notes apps screenshots containing excerpts of conversations, phrases and information.
These screenshots are then blown up and printed on canvas, ultimately forming a visual record of an inner monologue that is fractured and at times disconnected. For example, short phrases translated into different languages and obscured by overpainting creates a visual metaphor for the quick ease at which these digital innovations create a superficial human connection that is ultimately alienated from true apperception.
[Text: Abby Mckenzie]
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