Mikael Brkic at VI, VII

VI, VII_Mikael Brkic_Fair point (Enlightened),2015_Mannequin, beer crates_Photographs by Vegard Kleven_VK_9736

Artist: Mikael Brkic

Exhibition title: For the Fans / Tü de Fäns

Venue: VI, VII, Oslo, Norway

Date: August 14 – September 9, 2015

Photography: images copyright and courtesy of the artist and VI, VII, Oslo

Ecclesiastes 3:1

†  [1]

PIE [2]

The artist has recently taken a day job at a corporation operating in the online fashion retail market. The exhibition, therefore, is laid out by various methods, conventions, managerial frameworks etc. from textbook Business language and from the experience of working at the corporation. For instance, at first glance, the exhibition is repeated with slight variation at either side of the separating wall structure, mirroring an A/B or ‘split’ testing experiment used in marketing intelligence and the field of statistics.

Three types of work in the show fulfill different functions in the artist’s’ thinking about Business and the corporation. The paintings JIT, JF, OKR and EoSS[3] lay bare a digesting process, along the immanent plane of the gallery wall. Featured in them are objects like coffee cups, clothes hangers, data chips and a grid-like structure referencing signboards, namely the JIT (Just-in-Time) management systems for scheduling production.

A wall-mounted assemblage features the vine as a ‘history’ device devouring items representative of fashions and taste and folding them into the vine. In Poussin’s The Empire of Flora, all mortals are transformed into plants as the vine grows through time. Connected to this image are ideas like eternal return, cyclical development, recurring motifs of continuity and transformation as well as mumbling and whispers from the grapevine of history.

Themes and motives are segued, and common to all the work is the gesture of ‘grabbing,’ which the artist sees as part of an indexical task that he performs, willingly or unwillingly, and perhaps at the behest of the Algorithm.

Central here and to the artist’s oeuvre is the recurring theme of the vine, simultaneously unfolding and enveloping objects and ideas.

The scientific names of two such vines featured in the show, helixia and pothos, (‘spiraling’ and ‘longing’) relate to the concept of Eternal Return as referred to by Nietzsche. One could argue that Nietzsche himself ‘borrowed’ this idea from Enlightenment thinker Giambattista Vico, who first coined the concept of cyclical history in his Scienza Nuova. Other concepts put forth by this figure are also illustrated in the exhibition, for instance the idea of barbaric reflection.

[1] At the intersection of an autonomous Algorithm and the human faculties stands the institution Business. Business, as a highly concentrated center of power must fulfill certain obligations towards The Algorithm, generally understood to be making all performance channels work towards attaining higher goals or Key Performance Indicators. In the meantime Business also has to fulfill obligations towards its human staff, their culture, their hopes and aspirations within the Business.

[2]  PIE: Performance, Image Exposure.    The PIE-method outlines 3 points to focus on in order to better your networking capabilities and swift       ascension within a company or business.

[3]  Just In Time, Jour-Fixe, Objectives & Key Results and End of Season Sale

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Mikael Brkic, JIT, 2015

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Mikael Brkic, OKR, 2015

VI, VII_Mikael Brkic_Detail, Seasons past (helix), 2015_Photographs by Vegard Kleven_VK_9733

Mikael Brkic, Seasons past (helix), 2015

VI, VII_Mikael Brkic_Details_Photograph by Amalie Winther_11

Mikael Brkic, Seasons past (helix), 2015 (detail)

VI, VII_Mikael Brkic_Details_Photograph by Amalie Winther_8

Mikael Brkic, Seasons past (helix), 2015 (detail)

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Mikael Brkic, JF, 2015

VI, VII_Mikael Brkic_Thank you for your feedback (Barbaric Reflection),2015_Computer screens, miniature neck mannequins_Photographs by Vegard Kleven_VK_9747

Mikael Brkic, Thank you for your feedback (Barbaric Reflection), 2015

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VI, VII_Mikael Brkic_Fair point (Enlightened),2015_Mannequin, beer crates_Photographs by Vegard Kleven_VK_9736

Mikael Brkic, Fair point (Enlightened), 2015

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Mikael Brkic, EOSS, 2015

VI, VII_Mikael Brkic_Detail, Seasons past (photos), 2015_Photographs by Vegard Kleven_VK_9734

Mikael Brkic, Seasons past (Photos), 2015

VI, VII_Mikael Brkic_Details_Photograph by Amalie Winther_9

Mikael Brkic, Seasons past (Photos), 2015 (detail)

VI, VII_Mikael Brkic_Details_Photograph by Amalie Winther_10

Mikael Brkic, Seasons past (Photos), 2015 (detail)

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