NEW WORKS BY GABE BC
AN INTERNATIONAL GROUP EXHIBITION
NEW WORKS BY GABE BC
AN INTERNATIONAL GROUP EXHIBITION
ORIT BEN SHITRIT
MERAV KAMEL & HALIL BALABIN
ABED ELMAJID SHALABI
Thursday, July 27 – Thursday, October 5, 2023
Opening Reception: July 27: 6-8 pm
Artist Talks: July 29: 4 pm
Open Gallery Night: Sep. 7: 6-8pm
Artist Talk with Gabe BC: Sep. 14: 6:30pm
Conflicted Artist Walkthrough in collaboration with Artis: Sep. 28: 6:30pm
We are thrilled to announce the opening of Purgatory, New Works by Gabe BC (Gabriel Barcia-Colombo) and Conflicted, an international group exhibition featuring work by Hadas Amster, Orit Ben Shitrit, Jude Griebel, Merav Kamel & Halil Balabin, David Krippendorff, Cal Lane, İrfan Önürmen, Ruth Patir, Alexander Polzin, Viktor Popović, Abed Elmajid Shalabi, and Patricia Waller, representing Canada, Chile, Croatia, England, Germany, Israel, Italy, Morocco, Palestine, and Turkey. This pair of exhibitions poses numerous questions about life during a time of escalating global tensions amidst the rapid growth of new and unpredictable technologies.
The opening reception will take place on Thursday, July 27th, 6:00-8:00pm. On Saturday, July 29th, at 4:00pm, we’ll hold the first of several exhibition walk-throughs, this one with Hadas Amster, Orit Ben Shitrit, Jude Griebel, and Abed Elmajid Shalabi. Both events are free and open to the public.
This exhibition is Gabe BC’s first solo exhibition at C24 Gallery. Purgatory is an exploration of humanity through the lens of a machine, via Artificial Intelligence-generated images and our interactions with them. AI imagery is now everywhere, and the speed at which the images are generated is mind boggling. Amidst the relative infancy of this relentlessly evolving technology, many questions arise. Where is this going? How will this ability be used, and by whom? How do we know anymore what is real and what is machine generated? And what will be the legacy of these new capabilities?
Since 2005, Gabe BC has been creating interactive and time-based, multi-media sculptures. His work focuses on our ubiquitous relationship to media and technology, in the form of video sculptures, public video installations, and AI oracles. Exploring the dynamics of memorialization, digital preservation, and the capturing and collecting of personal memories as data, he has developed a body of work that simultaneously reaches back to his own cultural legacy while incorporating groundbreaking tools of digital communication.
Purgatory, for BC, is a kind of vigil or memorial for humanity. From a literal vigil composed of nine screens attempting to encapsulate all of humanity in symbols, to a prophetic slot machine oracle that gives advice for the end of the world, his newest collection probes the dynamics of co-creation between human and machine. Working in collaboration with artificial intelligence to carefully generate images for this show, he asks the question, “What does it mean to be human in a world where machines are evolving, learning and living beside us?” The answers are both prescient and cautionary.
This exhibition of artwork from around the world meditates on the many layers of internal and external conflict. At a time when differing viewpoints can be enough to put us at complete odds with one another, what does it mean to hold conflicting truths, and how do we navigate the discomfort of these differences? How do we resist the urge to see things in terms of simple opposition? How do we manage to move through conflict and remain wholly intact? This selection of work will address these centuries old questions through a variety of voices mirroring contemporary culture. Collectively, they represent a multifaceted dialogue opening up possibilities for exploring challenging topics in a more nuanced fashion.
In her 2016-17 performance and photography series, If my father had three sons, Hadas Amster went undercover as a man into highly segregated Hasidic spaces in Mount Meron and the Western Wall in Israel, to participate in the mystical rituals that are traditionally denied to women. As a way of commemorating this meaningful experience, she has produced a new video documentation of her odyssey. This film will enjoy its world premier during the exhibition, along with a number of symbolic objects that will be on display, some of them also newly created.
Orit Ben Shitrit investigates body and underlying memory through film, video, photography, painting, ceramic and drawing. Her new painting, Hermaphrodite on Mars, is a speculative scenario in a futuristic moment. It depicts a self-reproducing interspecies being, overlooking a cratered terrain. The painting transcends conventional categories of gender and imagines a time post-climate extinction.
Jude Griebel’s childhood growing up on a farm in Canada has informed his investigation of our relationship to land, how we treat it, and how that, in turn, affects us as humans. His darkly humorous sculptures and drawings transform elements of human and animal bodies, landscapes and architecture into compositions that address the challenging realities of species and habit collapse and climate change.
Merav Kamel and Halil Balabin have been collaborating for the last 11 years to create fantastical hybrid figures that combine elements of humans, animals and plants, incorporating hand sewing with numerous sculptural techniques. Their work, at times surrealistic and folkloric, embodies their ongoing, creative dialogue around human society and modern culture.
David Krippendorff’s black and white pastel drawings are based on stills from the Kansas scenes in The Wizard of Oz minus the characters. These bleak, rural landscapes reflect the darkness of 1939, the year in which the film was made and World War II started, a time when a huge wave of refugees fled Europe for the US. They also bring to mind the current climate breakdown that the world is experiencing today.
In one of her signature sculptures, Panty Chain, Cal Lane has created a large chain out of steel links, each one plasma-cut into the shape of panties. Through the juxtaposition of a traditionally masculine material with a pattern typically thought of as feminine, Lane’s work adds layers of paradox and humor to the exploration of gender and its continuing grip on the collective psyche.
The sculptural works by İrfan Önürmen featured in this exhibition are made from layered tulle and newspaper. Their soft materiality contrasts with the hard realities of warfare and the related atrocities they depict—symbolic elements such as airplanes, gas masks and the type of hoods used in torturing prisoners of war or suspected terrorists.
Ruth Patir’s investigations into ancient, prehistoric statues of female deities coupled with her immersion in the modern technologies of digital animation and 3-D printing have resulted in a body of work that is at once historical and futuristic. In her 3-D printed sculpture, Self Portrait as a Fertility Goddess, Patir depicts herself with syringes poking into points all over her body, highlighting the paradoxically powerful yet invasive nature of modern reproductive technology.
Alexander Polzin’s Homage a Freud posits, “Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength.” The bronze sculpture, through its use of positive and negative space, presents a graphic representation of the human struggle to balance the inner dialogue between power and doubt.
Viktor Popović has created a series of silkscreen prints commemorating the mass destruction of monuments erected after World War II in Croatia, works that were originally created to preserve the memory of traumatic war experiences. An archival photograph of the destroyed Monument to the 1st Split Partisan Unit by Vuko Bombardelli is used as a visual for printing using paint obtained from gunpowder, which in this case takes on the role of pigment.
Abed Elmajid Shalabi’s sculptures transform ubiquitous objects into charged symbols of displacement and loss of identity. A child’s car seat made of concrete becomes a militant object, representing the Palestinian struggle through the history of farmers being forced to work in the construction industry. Street signs emblazoned with both English and Arabic lettering in iconic fonts trigger a wide range of unconscious associations.
Fiber artist Patricia Waller creates figures reminiscent of dolls, juxtaposing the softness and comfort of wool against the horrors she illustrates through graphic depictions of violence. The works we’ve chosen for this exhibition allude to the rampant child abuse perpetrated in Christian religious institutions, and how innocent children are affected by the terror of war.
Join us for the opening reception on Thursday, July 27th, 6:00-8:00pm and the exhibition walk-through on Saturday, July 29th, at 4:00pm with Hadas Amster, Orit Ben Shitrit, Jude Griebel, and Abed Elmajid Shalabi.