Artist: Adam de Neige
Exhibition title: Seamless
Venue: MUSA (MUSA Museum Startgalerie Artothek), Vienna, Austria
Date: May 19 – June 25, 2016
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and MUSA
“Seamless”- Adam de Neige´s new exhibition at MUSA Vienna
Two parallel exhibitions make “Seamless” – one a Virtual Reality, accessible online, the other taking place at MUSA Vienna. The free or restricted access to art mirrors a paradox of the globalized world: While information circulates freely world-wide, human condition and mobility are still bound to national states.
With fading frontiers between cyber space and real life, country borders stay an undeniable reality for individuals. Adam de Neige uses visual features like the color blue to trace relations and institutions of power throughout history.
About the MUSA exhibit:
One of the works on display is a series of paintings. Genuine Lapis Lazuli on massive concrete – a visual and substantial relation of mere banality and elitary signification, of art history with cultural exchange and colonialism.
The roughness of concrete on one side, the banility of deep blue skies and realisticly painted clouds on the other, both contrast with the historical and financial value of the radiating Lapis Lazuli blue.
Blue has always been a signal color: formerly, of powerful kings and clerics, more recently, of tech corporations like Facebook, Twitter or Microsoft, to whose corporate design the color is most vital. In the past and the present, Lapis Lazuli is one of the most costly colors, obtained from natural mines, mainly from Afghanistan. During the European Middle Age and Renaissance, it was only used for very important or sacred depictions.
Digital networks and data streams extend the global exchange of information and ressources, structured by contemporary colonial policies, originating in the European Middle Age. In his installations, Adam de Neige combines what is one´s “own“ (establishing “identity“) with what is the others´ (the so-called exotical), triggering a reflection on global relations.
Exploitation and non-equal trade relations fuel conflict, destruction of livelihoods and hence global migration. Migration may go unnoticed, yet borders hardly ever do. In fact, they often stay insuperable obstacles. Originating from the Mediterranean and packed in custom dispensers, Salt builds one of the exhibition´s installations. De Neige´s photographs on a row of salt dispensers may merge seamlessly, thereby creating a bigger image. Still, they are borders. Borders in a boundless blue.