THE UNDERGROUND (Exhibition) : Yea, I made it Up, Yea It's real
Montreal, 23 february 2023
Here we are, the Underground scene.
It was kind of a challenge for me to find the right words.
How to describe a world I used to be part of for years? I have to be honest. Personally, I see the Underground art, going step by step in the Ground (see my previous posts) or flirting with capitalism and indulging in one of many consumer trends. But for this special exhibition, mostly made by former Concordia university students, They are obviously part of the Underground scene, even if they have support from institutions. I haven't been to the Vernissage for personal reasons but also because I know people who organized it and the crowd. On a basic cold sunday, I went and felt lucky to get there, admiring their arts without noises or some drunk clout chasers all over the place. (kkrkrrk)
First, the exhibition was organized by Dyana Matasheva and Edson Niebla, in their studio on boulevard Saint-laurent. The building is one you have to know if you are curious about things happening lol(ended up here for different reasons all the time), there are multiple underground artists there, from rock concerts to commune appartements, films projections AND exhibitions. Matasheva and Nielba‘s work is frankly recognizable. They have a profound way of portraying humanity in this technological spiral. It is with no surprise that I was impressed by the technique of Promise me, you'll never unfollow me, an amazing work where this character, focused on the computer screen, turn their back at us. It is captivating and soul-moving just by the lighting turning this kind of dreamy superficial aspect ON, which is important in their work. Another character was hugging them making me question why the face seemed scared or sad(lack of following?). After reading the description, I was puzzled. They were stating that their work was to "Confront the possibility of extinction" Something I couldn't see or felt. Unfortunately, exhibitions around technology and the doomed aspect of it, is sometimes predictable. With time, I turned my eyes to artists who challenge our relationship with technology in a more unique way... a little je ne sais quoi...for example the artist, KROY and her work ANIMACHINA - animisme et némésis. But as I told them, I'm excited to see more. All these thoughts brings me to the work of Oceane Buxton with Saint-Madamette of Los Angeles. Also familiar with Oceane's work, her humour and incredible view on life is refreshing, a light around darkness. It is the genius behind her acting and the use of sarcasm to depict superficial interactions that strikes me. You enter world Oceane's world laughing at her and at you. The ambient narcissism on the internet is in this pillow, using her own images again and again. It is through using her face as a branding that reminds me of this social medias endless quest of uniqueness. I have to say, Buxton is my soft spot !
Tik tok, Tik tok, Tik tok. It is seen as the devil today and in the mainstream world when in fact we are all endlessly scrolling in our bed to escape capitalism. And to that I have to say, TELL ME MORE without guilt-tripping ME (laughs). Anyways, there were two artists having a take on this. I was curious because these initiatives, that seem to be easy to talk about are the most difficult to handle. Especially on a mainstream subject with familiar images. You can easily fall in the elitist perspective where you look down on people or fall in this trope where you expose what is going on without this little personal statement, shutting doors on our imagination. All I have to say is: It is not simple for visual artist to communicate this without us rolling our eyes as a spectator. Hard to miss, when you get in the first work you see is by Yutong Lin, Non-human Live Streaming. It was interesting. I could felt that there were some researches behind. It appears as a documentary. As a participant of the algorithm, I could relate and learn how Tik tok impacts us. With this serious note, they opened a new door, a new food for thought. Liz Waterman and Doom Scroll : When the shadow appears, I felt like YES, I feel something, I can see the heaviness after scrolling for hours, how it felt like, but I doomed scroll for too long and saw it when I left.
Overall after saying feeling 10000 times in this article, the exhibition made me optimistic, especially because I usually see these artists everywhere and never at one place at the same time ! I couldn't see everything but yes, I want more !