Art Will We Be Obsolete As The Nokia 3310?

Will We Be Obsolete As The Nokia 3310?

Giorgia Massari

Accustomed to moving from white cube galleries to industrial locations with super-wow setups, the Sides Of A Coin exhibition currently running at London’s Split Gallery struck us as devising a hybrid version of these two completely opposite modes. While art-world purists do not conceive of setups other than clean ones with white walls and well-placed lights, the counter-trend of exhibitions in disused spaces is increasingly catching on. Split Gallery with a bipersonal exhibition by German artists Miriam Beichert and Camille Theodet manages to wink at both. A white cube but with walls daubed with a spray can and ventilation pipes prominently displayed on the ceiling. All the work of the two very young artists who reflect on our age, the post-digital age, and its strong ambiguous component. In particular, it is Beichert’s works that make us think about the concept of the obsolete, which, while they look at the ever-changing objects of our everyday life, also make us wonder when we too will be obsolete?

Faded objects like our memories

In the works of Miriam Beichert (Stuttgart, 1999) the familiar meets the nostalgic. All seen through the lens of consumerism, to which we are blatantly enslaved. Nokia cell phones, BIC lighters, CASIO watches, Adidas sweatshirts. The subjects of Miriam’s canvas works belong to our past, although some are back in a big way like the acetate suit. Beyond this detail, the artist’s intention is to focus mainly on technology and our digital culture, investigating the transformations it is bringing to human connections.

Take for example the iconic Nokia 3310, which went from an object of desire to trash in a very few years. The technique with which Miriam Beichert creates it looks like that of a street artist on a street wall, but it is actually acrylic on canvas, reinforcing even more the ambiguity of the exposure. Moreover, the blurred effect is meant to emphasize a feeling of faded memories that increasingly belong to us. Just as the objects of our present, which we quickly forget, so we do with the moments of our lives, faded and bland because they are not fully experienced, with eyes, brain and heart divided between a screen and the reality around us. Are we, therefore, also obsolete – human beings – for the world that was originally created? Do we need an upgrade? If everything is transient, if everything can be forgotten, can we be too? These are the questions that Miriam’s works raise, inviting us to reflect on our own relationship with the modern world.

Courtesy Split Gallery and the artists

Written by Giorgia Massari
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