Young Americans at FRANZ JOSEFS KAI 3

YA05_8 Alex Ito Detail

Artist: Petra Cortright, Luis Gispert, Alex Ito, Carter Mull, Ken Okiishi, Timur Si-Qin, Ryan Trecartin, Kaari Upson

Exhibition title: Young Americans

Venue: FRANZ JOSEFS KAI 3, Vienna, Austria

Date: November 17 – 30, 2015

Photography: Simon Veres, images copyright and courtesy of the artists, FRANZ JOSEFS KAI 3, Vienna, Mathew Gallery, Berlin, Stefan Lundgren Gallery, Palma de Mallorca, Kaari Upson and Massimo De Carlo, Milano/London, Société, Sprüth Magers, Regen Projects, Los Angeles, Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York

Depth of the Digital Realm by Arielle Bier

Don’t be deceived by the Young Americans. Their youthful exuberance is seductive, but they have deeper and darker secrets to tell than frst meets the eye. Underneath the pop aesthetics, the fashy branding, and the decidedly artifcial surfaces, are Generation X and Y digital natives and artists, coming to terms with the alienating ubiquity of daily life expressed in new media.

One of the curious paradigms of the digital experience is that the increasing importance of image culture used on computer screens has been balanced with the growing potential of new materials available to produce physical objects IRL (in real life). Contemporary artists are increasingly transferring techniques used in computer programs directly to material objects and vice versa. When taken offine, the assumed limitations of the screen become endlessly generative as the need for material expression of ideas continues to fourish. Like a teenager coming of age, this approach is maturing, as are the nuances that defne it.

However, the journey is far from over and has been more destructive than productive. The apparent equivalence of digital content and physical form has destabilized defnitions of wholeness. Information and history have become mutable, just as much as fxed identities and the purity of ‘truth’ cannot be trusted. The boundaries between what is real, imagined, projected and seen are falling away, blending into lived experience as a mash-up of metaphysical philosophy. With the constant need to delete and refresh, memory and meaning are effectively wiped clean, leaving behind a feeling of emptiness – a neo-nihilism that underpins the digital experience.

From photographs about alienation and commodity by Ken Okiishi, to the post-apocalyptic landscape of Alex Ito’s installation, and the self-conscious videos by Petra Cortright, the selection of artwork in the Young Americans forefronts each artist’s unique digital output as well as their specifc socio- political, ecological, and metaphysical concerns.

The American dream has long been tarnished as the façade of capitalism, power, and moral righteousness blinds the realities of rising poverty rates, institutionalized violence, and impending environmental collapse. There is an understanding of social degradation built-in to the American experience that bubbles beneath the surface, and feeds its way into the narratives that the Young Americans address.

YA01_1 Ken Okiishi

YA01_2 Ken Okiishi

Ken Okiishi, William Eggleston on Pallasstrasse, 2007-2014

YA01_3 Ken Okiishi

Ken Okiishi, William Eggleston on Pallasstrasse, 2007-2014

YA02_1 Timur Si Qin

Timur Si-Qin, Premier Machinic Funerary: Prologue, 2014

YA03_1 luis gispert

Luis Gispert, Chanel Jetty, 2011

YA03_2 luis gispert

Luis Gispert, Burberry BMW, 2011

YA03_3 luis gispert

YA03_4 Exhibition View

YA04_1 Carter Mull

YA04_2 Carter Mull

Carter Mull, K, 2014, Untitled I / Me Painting, 2014

YA04_3 Exhibition View

YA05_1 Alex Ito

Alex Ito, The Principles of Hope, 2015

YA05_2 Alex Ito

Alex Ito, The Principles of Hope, 2015

YA05_3 Alex Ito Detail

Alex Ito, The Principles of Hope, 2015 (detail)

YA05_4 Alex Ito Detail

Alex Ito, The Principles of Hope, 2015 (detail)

YA05_5 Alex Ito Detail Alex Ito

Alex Ito, The Principles of Hope, 2015 (detail)

YA05_6 Alex Ito Detail

Alex Ito, The Principles of Hope, 2015 (detail)

YA05_7 Alex Ito Detail

Alex Ito, The Principles of Hope, 2015 (detail)

YA05_8 Alex Ito Detail

Alex Ito, The Principles of Hope, 2015 (detail)

YA06_1 Kaari Upson

YA06_2 Kaari Upson

Kaari Upson, Variation 1, 2015, Variation 2, 2015, Variation 3, 2015

YA07_1 Petra Cortright

Petra Cortright, sssss//////^^^^^^^, 2011

YA08_1 Ryan Trecartin

Ryan Trecartin, CENTER JENNY, 2013

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