Nicolas Pelzer at SPACE O’NEWWALL

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Artist: Nicolas Pelzer

Exhibition title: Evolving Masters

Venue: SPACE O’NEWWALL, Seoul, South Korea

Date: September 11 – October 3, 2015

Photography: images copyright and courtesy of the artist and SPACE O’NEWWALL, Seoul

SPACE O’NEWWALL is holding a solo exhibition of a German artist Nicolas Pelzer <Evolving Masters> from Sept. 11, 2015 to Oct. 3. The first works presented in Korea by Pelzer were shown at Temporary Re-Visionists (2011) four years ago in SPACE O’NEWWALL in 2011. This is the artist’s second solo exhibiton that will be held in SPACE O’NEWWALL.

At the exhibition which creates a mixed reality of real life and virtual life using various media such as installation, 3D animation and digital printing, changes in the value system humanity will encounter in the course of the evolution of tools that might gain independent intelligence and even replace humans in the future since the prehistoric times, will be displayed.

Covering the front glass wall on the ground floor of the exhibition hall are 4 huge digital prints, which are digital images of the relics of the prehistoric times, the very first tools humanity used. These images maintain their ‘translucency’, which is often used in the artist’s installation works, and it serve as sort of a ‘layer’ between what’s real and what’s not in order to invite the audience into experiencing mixed reality of real life and virtual life. The lighting work which is relatively small compared to the gigantic digital prints, is covered with modified hand shapes made of eloxated aluminum. This is an abstract expression of a question asking if humans who have evolved from using rough stones in the past still have the authority to be called the master of tools today.

The image of the ‘hand’ which constitutes the human body reappears in ‘Permanent Souls are Solid (2015)’ installed on the first floor. The artist obtained it through online searches and then transformed ‘hand-painting’, which can be considered as the earliest human works of art, into a single pattern. The original hand painting is assumed to have been painted about 40,000 years ago. The traces of the artist’s cave painting were newly reborn with antithetical materials to natural cave. In contrast with the two installation works, ‘Laughing Intelligence’ (2015) displays tools of the future rather than the traces of the old prehistoric times. The projectors facing each other from opposite sides of the room contains a 3D animation of futuristic armed drones. The drones in the work are borrowed from the Science fiction film <Oblivion> (2013), which dealt the story of the end of the world. The armed drones fly disorderly, oblivious of direction or degrees. This is an expression of the relationship between the humanity and futuristic tools that have grown out of humanity’s control.

The future is predicted to the influence of automatic tools will disappear, and gradually be replaced by post-production tools. In the modern society, tangible reality is already being directly influenced by intangible digital networks. The exhibition contrasts virtual world created by computer graphics and tangible world created by tools, and discusses the future the acceleration of digital technology will bring, its impact on humanity, and its implications.

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Nicolas Pelzer, Evolving Masters, 2015

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Nicolas Pelzer, Evolving Masters, 2015

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Nicolas Pelzer, Evolving Masters, 2015 (detail)

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Nicolas Pelzer, Evolving Masters, 2015 (detail)

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Nicolas Pelzer, Laughing Intelligence, 2015

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Nicolas Pelzer, Laughing Intelligence, 2015 (detail)

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Nicolas Pelzer, Permanent Souls are Solid, 2015