It’s easy to have a rather scathing attitude towards art. Y’know, when those fancy shows exhibit things like a unmade bed with a couple of pubes in it. Or half a shark in a tank of formaldehyde. Or that screwed up ball of paper and wad of blu-tac which won... some fancy-ass arty prize or other.
You could say things like, “this is all bollocks, right here,” or “screw this, where are all of the sexy lady artists with their undercrackers-free self portraits?” You could, and we would respect you for it. You’re shooting from the hip, keeping it real, and whatever else they say on TV.
Anywho, yes. Now for some art we can get on board with. Making a poem from Doom’s difficulty settings? That’s some top artsiness. See that up top? That’s deep, right there. This is the sort of spectacle that awaits in Berlin’s Dam Gallery, all through October. Behold the brainchild of veteran paintbrush-brandisher Aram Bartholl.
The show, dubbed ‘Hurt Me Plenty,’ purports to be an exploration of mankind’s increasing reliance on all things digital, and the perils involved with such. In practise, it seems to involve bringing your old hard drives along and mangling them in a hardware crusher. Y’know, symbolically.
This being an art show, there’s a good amount of pretentious wankery here. This whole business is ‘inspired by the questions and developments engaging humankind’s ‘entry’ into the digital realm and the role of the first person as ‘shooter’. Bartholl deconstructs stereotypes about pixel imaging with unique large-scale works that are subtly combined with a series of pieces about issues of privacy, surveillance and net neutrality,’ quoth the official site.
‘With this exhibition, Bartholl proposes a new discourse that challenges the current debates about surveillance versus the seemingly antiquated ideas and images of ‘cyberspace.’’
Of course he does.