Liu Wa

2020 Got Me Like
As COVID-19 speeds around the world and continues to shut down more cities, people begin to consume Internet culture in order to escape the apocalyptic anxiety in 2020, allowing Internet memes to go viral across the globe. Built upon social media, this work merges everyday sentiments with classical movie scenes to deconstruct the common imagination of “apocalypse” in entertainment industry. The video also incorporates the artist’s footage during protests, turning memes into public commentary and political satire. In this eventful year, meme does more than hijacking and decontextualizing meanings, it has become a form of silent revolt against the absurd.

Paul Vanouse

Labor
What does labor smell like? Labor is a dynamic, self-regulating art installation that re-creates the scent of people exerting themselves under stressful conditions. There are, however, no people involved in making the smell – it is created by bacteria propagating in the three glass bioreactors. Each bioreactor incubates a unique species of human skin bacteria responsible for the primary scent of sweating bodies: Staphylococcus epidermidis, Corynebacterium xerosis and Propionibacterium avidum. As these bacteria metabolize simple sugars and fats, they create the distinct smells associated with human exertion, stress and anxiety. Their scents combine in the central chamber with which a sweatshop icon, the white t-shirt, is infused as the scents are disseminated. The scent intensifies throughout the exhibition.

frank kolkman and juuke schoorl

file sao paulo 2018
“Outrospectre” is an experimental proposal for a medical device aimed at reconciling people with death through simulating out-of-body experiences. In healthcare the majority of efforts and research focus on keeping people alive. The fear and experience of death is a mostly neglected topic. Recent (para) psychological research, however, suggests that the sensation of drifting outside of one’s own body using virtual reality technology could help reduce death anxiety. “Outrospectre” explores the possible application of these findings in hospital surroundings where it could help terminal patients accept their own mortality with more comfort.
This project investigates unanswered questions about mortality and ‘end of life’.

Jessica Packer

Train Performance
Recently, I have found that traveling has made my anxiety peak. I suddenly feel trapped on a train, or in a car, and start being unable to breath. In order to both face this fear as well as do a performative piece about it, I taped myself up on a train. This is putting in to a literal sense the emotions I feel when traveling.

isabel nolan

Turning Point
Isabel Nolan’s artwork utilizes textiles, steel rods, and primary colored paint to approach questions of anxiety, current events, and the human condition. Her work has a particularly erudite quality, with materials teased and propped to mimic symbolism and images in literature, historical texts, science, and art. Nolan’s work has been exhibited throughout her native Ireland and wider Europe, including at the Irish Museum of Modern Art and the Musée d’art modern de Saint Etienne. With her first solo exhibition in the United States fast approaching, artnet News caught up with the scholarly artist to hear about her early diagrams of brains and ideas she is currently entertaining for her next body of work.

Rexy Tseng

90X200
90×200 is an installation that dramatizes the emotions of frustration, anxiety, and delirium through mechanical movements. The work is inspired by the artist’s own experience of being bedridden because of a serious infection.

laura makabresku

La jeune photographe étudiante polonaise Laura Makabresku aime les atmosphères des contes romantiques et elle se plait à se mettre en scène dans des situations melo-dramatiques. “I like to take photos of my own. I imagine fairy tales themes where there are lots of animals, and naked, long haired girls. I like to take portraits but they need to express sadness, contemplation, anxiety.”

Heather Phillipson

100% Other Fibres
Through collisions of image, noise, objects, language and bodies, Heather Phillipson’s videos and sculptural installations behave as places, musical scores, poems and nervous systems – attending to how physical and affective ‘selves’ are constructed, manipulated and, above all, escape. Often rendered as walk-in conglomerations of readily accessible materials (digital images, paint, cardboard, words, audio loops and reproducible consumer detritus), her works stake out an ambiguous territory in which cultural references and emotional responses are mutually contingent and reactive. Collapsing distinctions between the forthright and the inarticulable, the banal and the ecstatic, and between metaphor and extreme literalisation, Phillipson’s work performs constant tonal shifts, disruptions and bleeds. In so doing, it oscillates between physical intimacies and conceptual distances – desire, sensuality, touching and being touched, shame, anxiety, (over-)exposure, resistant surfaces.

MIHAI GRECU

CENTIPEDE SUN

Symbol of isolation, doubled by the sublime landscape and the complex spiritual background, the Altiplano region in Chile is the main character in the film. It represents a self-sufficient being, and the film is this being’s portrait. The illustrious landscape keeps traces of a dark past – hidden dangers and gloomy places add a layer of anxiety: the environment is injured. The human element appears briefly in the video: we see traces of human presence being erased by a devouring nature. By means of creating mental landscapes halfway between photographic research and experimental animation, this work depicts a dreamlike world, a vision hidden in a secret dimension of our reality.

LIDA ABDUL

ليدا عبدول
What We Saw Upon Awakening

In my work, I try to juxtapose the space of politics with the space of reverie, almost absurdity, the space of shelter with that of the desert; in all of this I try to perform the ‘blank spaces’ that are formed when everything is taken away from people. How do we come face to face with ‘nothing’ with ‘emptiness’ where there was something earlier? I was a refugee myself for a few years, moving from one country to another, knowing full well that at every juncture I was a guest who at any moment might to asked to leave. The refugee’s world is a portable one, allowing for easy movement between borders. It is one that can be taken away as easily as it was given: provisionally and with a little anxiety on the part of the host.

Sometimes people say, I am post-identity, post-nation, etc.. I don’t know what this means. For me the most difficult thing is precisely to go past the memory of an event; my works are the forms of my failed attempts to, what others call, transcend. But what? For me art is always a petition for another world , a momentary shattering of what is comfortable so that we become more sophisticated in reclaiming the present. The new wandering souls of the globe, the new global refuseniks —stubborn, weak, persecuted, strong—will continue to make art as long as people believe in easy solutions and closures of the most banal kinds.