Space 4235

After Touch

Andrew Amorim
October  28, 2016

19:00 –

28.10 – 27.11

 

«There is a forest.
Here is the forest ablaze.
As thick trunks of tress crackle from the approaching heat
insects seek cracks in the barks and dig holes in the drying
up mud covering the forest floor.»

(excerpt from After Touch)

 

Through the intrusive whispers of the video, explaining the end of the world with the most vapid though valid narrative of all; the approaching asteroid, we´re confronted with the perversity of apocalyptic urge deeply implemented in the collective psyche of the developed world. The urge to compromise, deteriorate and obscure what is produced for us, must be as much a trigger for investment as preserving the investment, being a caretaker. It´s unavoidable, if you invest you will be responsible for decay. The more care you take the more at fault you are when the unavoidable happens, because all things must be compromised. The characters in After Touch provokes this unavoidable decay, making their shiny suits inferior in character, quality and value, by lingering in mud. They’re fighting the garments using their whole body as a tool for corrosion. The synthetic rubs against and is covered in what is counted as the most natural, what feeds us, which is what is compromised in the film itself through the impact of the celestial threat; earth itself. It doesn’t go deeper than this, it can’t, though what’s at stake here lingers on the surface comfortably. If one objects to these markers of culture, human beings dressing up in Adidas garments, to wallow in wet earth, filming themselves with go pro cameras or advanced phones, one would also need to object to sunbathing, diving or filming with drones. It all rests within the same sphere of activity. The stigma is generated through the implicit sexual connotations which by default emerges when you witness grown men embracing the soil, in shiny suits, to provoke a neurological tingling sensation on their skin, starting in the scalp moving swiftly in pulses down the back of the neck and upper spine. This is not adrenalin, this is sensory response, the mud and the garments tools to get to the one thing that matters; inner bodily sensations, autonomous in solitude. For what? Comfort. But who cares? The question “why” is irrelevant here. This is the cactus land. There are no eyes here. These men are the hollow men in death’s dream kingdom.

A vision of science fiction emerges in the mental hemisphere of the viewer who’s confronted with this material, but nausea really starts kicking in when one realises science is NOW and fiction is reality. This fragmentation, the activities which can not be identified as artistic practice, nor has any practical consequence beyond respiratory pleasure within the voyeur peeping Étant donnes style. Peeping at these bodies immersed in action and matter through the peephole of the viral tube. This is reality. This is reality detached from the prominence of the Star Trek suit, the notion of a future nourished by banal notions in the past, nurtured by perverse visions which are as clean as the design of the newest technological fad. The reality of the future of this planet is foolish and ghoulish, which shouldn’t worry a soul, man has always urged for the absurd. Reality is dirty and cold. Tribal notions deeply imprinted in the soul and spirit of man, is synchronised with the digital culture, shared. Thousands and thousands of individuals in sync through a cultural rarity: Solo mud wrestling textile masturbation. This is cultures emerged, detached from the loop of revolt and revenge. Total stagnation manifested in actions with implications so deep we’re not willing to wallow in it for too long. If you realise you’re making love while doing it, you’ll fast realise the absurdity of the motions, and adapt to the fact that you’re in fact mating primal style. Love is not the question. We don’t want and we don’t need this self consciousness when interacting sexually with the other, especially not when the other is Mother Earth. We heed to be immersed. The Oedipus complex meets up with Caligula fighting the waves. Schizophrenia becomes the norm. Normality attacked and obscured with the logo losing more and more visibility, covered in the opaque slush.

Two men are bouncing against each other in a gymnasium, wearing white fencing suits, hugging briefly, impotent without their weapon. The intensity escalating gradually. Impact after impact after impact after impact after impact. Impact as touch. After touch new impact. Touch is impact. Fatigue is generated gradually suspending the moment in an expectation of collapse, like every narrative, built up to reach catharsis through cataclysm. These men are avatars, strictly directed, slaves for a film. Fatigue kicks in. Posture intact. Rhythm so stable the two men, the mirrored men, makes the viewer question if there are real men inside these suits. This narrative merges and reemerges in a dual discourse with the meteorite mud men merrymaking. Here the quality of the image generates a cinematic premise, but there are no identifiable characters here, the actors, the dancers, the fencers without swords, they are anonymous, their identity exclusively rests within the integrity of their movements, their gradual bodily bankruptcy. This dance derives from the warm up, before the wrestling match starts, but unlike wrestling the premise of the integration is not based on competition, but collaboration. We’re living in a global situation of collective progressive stagnation. No actions are really legitimate except the vital ones; food, sleep, work, rest, sex, though no actions are illegitimate either. If you go to the core of any activity you’ll find the pointlessness of it, but art is the only culture which receives scrutiny without being compromised by the receiver as fetishism, and art rests, prospers and thrives on meaninglessness. Fetishism does not. It feeds on urge. It’s absolutely necessary, synonymous to hunger. There is still potential for an elevated freedom, though threatened and pressured constantly by the spectator. Everything is up for grabs.

After Touch puts the concept of culture itself under the loupe. By poaching and thieving the artist changes the premise of sampling, performance, photography, editing and identity. They are all mashed up into an assemblage of cold hearted confusion without desperation. Movement itself generates meaning. The pointlessness starts and ends with the material, what is made. Action transcends matter. If only the individuals posting these vignettes knew how much political and sociological potency their actions emphasise, by showing how soaked their garments can get, how many Khmer or Bangladeshi children are undernourished because of the prize they pay for these textiles. This basic and obvious political meaning is rejected in these films, lost to the core of the reading, instead we witness touch as touch, the soft touch of mud, and the firm grip released. Matter of factly. Our dried voices, when we whisper together. Are quiet and meaningless. As wind in dry grass. He quoted. Shaved. Fat. Sweaty. Hopeless. Barely moving at all. We might as well wallow in mud as go fighting in deserts, shoot criminals addicted to junk, attach cameras onto miniature helicopters to emulate the eye of God, moving miniature pieces of wood on a grid. People are paid for eating in front of their web camera, these days. People are hunting Japanese monsters outside your window, right now. People are counting their steps and calories on machines, in their pockets. Monitoring their sleep underneath their pillow. R.E.M. world. So, we might as well, wallow in mud. Because this abnormality is the new normality. Normality under threat, as vague as the term art. To be. To do. To know. To sleepwalk. Because this is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper. The world ends when you end. There is no room for anyone else in the reality we’ve generated. Only you. And your things. Life is very long.

The supplication of a dead man’s hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

Kristian Skylstad

 

Andrew Amorim (b. 1983, Brazil) is an interdisciplinary artist working with photography, film, video installations, sound and text. He recently graduated from Bergen Academy of Arts and Design, Norway. His work largely consists of stagings in front of a camera, where his choreography plays a key role. His installations are made of slow and contemplative videos that references cinematic and minimalist traditions.

 

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Contributors:

Photography: Numi Thorvarsson
DOP: Kjell-Gunnar Hjartholm Knudsen
Lights/Grip: Mats Willassen
Voice-Text: Federica Bueti
Voice-over: Johanna Balet Lettmayer
Essay: Krïstïan Skylstad
Performers: Ole Martin Meland, Timothy Bartlett, Nikolay Tysse Øberg, Henrik Nordin
Sound: Jorunn Børve Eriksen
Soundmix/Drums: Anand Chetty

 

ITA

Il 15 febbraio 2013, una meteora è entrata nell’atmosfera terrestre ed è esplosa in una raffica d’aria sopra Chelyabinsk Oblast, in Russia. L’esplosione ha generato un’onda d’urto che ha danneggiato migliaia di edifici nelle città e in tutta la regione. E ‘stato un sollecito amichevole delle forze distruttive che circolano nello spazio esterno.

Andrew Amorim considera l’impatto del grande asteroide sulla terra all’interno dell’installazione in tre parti presentata allo Space 4235. Qui mescola diversi materiali trovati, tra cui filmati amatoriali dell’esplosione Chelyabinsk, clip sportivi feticisti estrapolati da YouTube, e una moltitudine di filmati personali a un testo narrativo (con una voce sussurrante fuori campo).

 

Andrew Amorim (b. 1983 Brasile) è un artista interdisciplinare che lavora con la fotografia, film, video – installazione, suono e testo, recentemente laureato alla Bergen Academy of Arts and Design, Norvegia. Il suo lavoro è in gran parte costituito dalla messa in scena di fronte alla telecamera, in cui l coreografia gioca un ruolo chiave. Le sue installazioni sono composte da lenti video contemplativi che fanno riferimento alla tradizione cinematografica minimalista.