You, Me and Every Thing In Between

2nd March 2015

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Artists: Burak Delier, Guy Ben-Ner and Hito Steyerl
Curator: Simona Nastac
The exhibition is presented by Intact Cultural Foundation, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
When: 6 March – 22 May 2015
Private View: Thursday 5 March, 6:00 pm
Where: SPATIU INTACT, Paintbrush Factory, Cluj-Napoca
You, Me and Every Thing In Between brings together works by critically acclaimed artists Burak Delier, Guy Ben-Ner and Hito Steyerl, that examine the underlying economies of our material existence and art production in the 21st century, highlighting unresolved issues of freedom and social cohesion in an increasingly interconnected world, shaped by systems that erode the very human values they were supposed to emancipate.

In recent years, the critiques of the dominant narrative of market fundamentalism, widely known as neoliberalism, have been doubled in critical contemporary art by examinations of the ways in which the commodity and its cycles of production, exchange and consumption activate us. Hyper-consumption and the fetishism of commodities empty things of meaning, concealing the real social relations invested in them through human labour; as a result, imaginary, ideological, and symbolic social relations are instilled into the construction of meaning instead.

It is not only commodity goods, however, but all forms of mediated culture which are now entirely bounded by the demands of capital. The world is no longer the sum of the goods produced, as Marx thought, but the sum of everything that could be a commodity: every horizon of life, hope and belief. How does art respond to these pervasive forces, in the context of an unprecedented market boom that determines what kind of art is made and sold and, eventually, controls its future? Has art been corrupted and become a thing, a commodity insensitive to the manifold forces that have influenced how it came to be and to the values it aspired to project? How do artists and ourselves resist, conform to, or try to change the forces that push us to be possessed?

In Collector’s Wish (2012), Burak Delier explores the uneasy relationship artists have with influential patrons and the money they offer, undermining the myth of creative freedom and autonomous critique in the market-driven art world of today. By employing the strategies of the very neoliberal systems with which he disagrees, the artist exposes the dynamics of an economic system in which the wealthy impose their own critique as the ultimate sign of their social superiority

Shot without permission in IKEA stores across the world, Guy Ben-Ner’s video Stealing Beauty (2008) focuses on private property as the source of an all-embracing concept of civilization. His wife and two children appear inhabiting IKEA’s various domestic settings as if they were in their own home. The iconography of modernity and material comfort, in a film made virtually with no money, establishes an aesthetic and political position by bringing the public closer to a sensitive understanding of the conditions that shape our existence today.

Hito Steyerl’s video In Free Fall (2010) recounts the history of a particular Boeing 707 jet, stored in an aeroplane scrapyard in California’s Mojave Desert after the 2008 financial crash. The artist shows us that even a symbol of global capitalism as real as the jumbo jet can be subject to the same shifting of meaning as less material commodities. Reference points for her approach are to be found in the politicised, avant-garde film essays of Chris Marker and Jean-Luc Godard, as well as in Harun Farocki’s Inextinguishable Fire (1968). 21 May, 18:00

21 May 2015, 6:00 pm | Artist Talk & Screening: Burak Delier
Exhibiting artist Burak Delier will discuss his practice and present two recent films: Notes from My Mobile (2012), revealing some of his personal anxieties in the form of short video-diary entries, and Crisis and Control (2013), a kind of absurdist theatre crossed with an essay film about white-collar Turkish workers' discontents in the market-driven economy.
Artist and curator biographies
Burak Delier is an Istanbul-based artist who explores the relationship between capitalism and contemporary artistic practices. He uses guerrilla art tactics and absurdist humour, frequently producing his art with others, whether through performances or through the research carried before the production. Delier has had solo exhibitions in London (INIVA) and Istanbul (PILOT and OUTLET) and has taken part in group exhibitions across Europe. His work was also shown at the Taipei Biennial (2008 and 2010) and the Istanbul Biennial (2005, 2007 and 2013).

Guy Ben-Ner has exhibited internationally and in 2005 represented Israel at the Venice Biennale. Since the early 90s, Ben-Ner has filmed a series of videos starring himself and his family, focusing on the complex relationship we create with the environments we inhabit. The videos wittily mix the a wide range of philosophical and art historical references. Ben-Ner had solo exhibitions at the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati; Center for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv; and Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. His work has also been exhibited at Manifesta 10 in St Petersburg, MOMA New York; P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York; and the Shanghai Biennale. He lives and works in Tel Aviv.

Hito Steyerl is one of the most critically acclaimed artists working in the field of video today. She takes the digital image as a point of departure for entering a world of war, capital flows, digital detritus and class warfare, which has shifted from the virtual to an unknown reality that we are only beginning to understand. Steyerl participates regularly in major exhibitions such as Documenta, Manifesta, as well as biennials in Venice, Taipei, Istanbul and Gwangju. Her solo exhibitions have been hosted by the Art Institute of Chicago, the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, the ICA in London and many others. She teaches at the University of Art (UDK) in Berlin.

Simona Nastac is an independent curator and critic based in London. She is committed to socio-critical art and context responsive practices, forever looking for unexpected outcomes able to shake the world. In a gentle way. She has curated high-level exhibitions for biennials, festivals and galleries in London, New York, Prague, Shanghai and Bucharest. From 2006 to 2013, she was Head of Arts at the Romanian Cultural Institute in London, where she managed a wide range of art, fashion, architecture, design and film projects, in collaboration with Tate Modern, Victoria and Albert Museum and the Royal Academy of Arts.

Intact Cultural Foundation is a non-profit contemporary art platform promoting a wide range of artistic practices, from painting to installation, and from art residencies to educational programs. During its activity of more than ten years, the foundation has also presented theatre and music performances. Since 2012, SPATIU INTACT gallery has been frequently presenting leading international and Romanian contemporary artists such as Douglas Gordon, Allora & Calzadilla, Guy Ben-Ner, Ciprian Muresan, Iosif Kiraly and subREAL.

Images: Hito Steyerl, In Free Fall, 2010. Video HDV, 32', single channel, sound, colour. Image courtesy of the artist and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York
For further information please contact Georgiana But:
+4 (0) 743 130 023 |