The group exhibition presents three artists who explore ways to present oneself as a contemporary artist in a scene that is success oriented yet fragile in terms of sustainability. The self-ironic undertone of the exhibition comes from a reflection on the cultural world, where artists often don’t have social security, but are expected to work for free. Unavailability of a seriously functioning salary system, being constantly misunderstood within the work field and the never ending blinding race to success creates conditions where one can easily lose touch with their true self and choose to live the life of a persona instead. This will eventually build up to a desire to keep and live up to the appearance of the fiction. The artists have dealt with this, turned it around, and manifested an alternative source of inspiration. The displayed video installations act as self-portraits of each artist by honestly showing a side of themselves that would normally be expected to be kept hidden. By doing this, they reclaim their individuality. The digitality of the exhibited artworks, whether fully implemented in the medium or just slightly hinted at, promotes a hope for a change within the system that inflicts burnout. Having abandoned more traditional methods of creation, the artists' self-portraits are accompanied by sculptural artworks, often being created with ready-made objects that enter ordinary life by being amplified in the context of the exhibition. By taking a microscopic look onto the skin one lives in, with all of its imperfections, they communicate about accepting the uncanny and the awkward. Everyday idiosyncratic social interactions and other true life happenings have influenced a visual language that makes jokes about oneself while being kind of serious simultaneously. Finding joy and pleasure in creation is the answer to overcoming the hardships of this chosen career path and to keep on going.
Thanks to Rebel Art Management, Ottjörg A.C., Ian Simon Märjama, Egle Ehtjen, Andreas Baudisch, Lukas Liese, Kennet Lekko
2021 Grow Up Get Over It. roam project space. Berlin, Germany
Photos by Kristen Rästas and Kelli Gedvil