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Canadian multimedia artist Chloe Wise’s first institutional solo exhibition combines both old and new works that highlights her continuous investigation into the bonds that underpin human interactions.
Focusing on our individual craving for inclusion, and the simultaneous desire for acknowledgment of our own particularities, Wise presents a body of work that takes into perspective individuality in a time where relations are as performative as they are real. A constant bombardment of input pushes aesthetics, ideas and social status and creates a vortex of needs; needs that are not necessarily our own or indeed real, although they are presented as such.
At the core, we are all social animals seeking both to preserve our individualism, and, at the same time, form bonds and social relations that confirm our own notion of identity, while including us in larger communities. Yet, these interactions also present glaring issues; namely that any inclusion also involves an exclusion of something or someone else. Everything becomes a guesswork in the desperate search for a space where being one’s self is possible, though a self that is appreciated and acknowledged by society. Seeking to be singular within a multitude can’t help but produce a form of essential solitude, even when in good company.
Ultimately these mechanisms seem counterproductive in their continuous strive upwards, as they rely on a supplanting of that or those who already occupy the spaces we desire to be part of. In this sense, it also points towards the notion that the categorization of everything is more of a tool for those seeking to control and manage individuals, rather than a force for good. Because just as a cat will always be more than just a cat, a person is also always more than the sum of however many categories are placed onto them.
Wise utilizes mirrored surfaces, multifunctional sculptures and videos that are impossible to take in fully at once. These activate the mirror as both a reflective surface, where we can see ourselves, but also as a stage where we perform our identity and face our solitude – despite someone looking back at us. Within the same line of thought, Wise’s group paintings push the discomfort of social dynamics between people or within social settings, as experienced through our natural tendency to identify one person as a solitary focal point within a group, or feeling the impact of furniture and environments that constantly barrage us with mixed signals.
The four individual spaces Wise has created for the exhibition combine to form a rallying call to reassess the ways we interact, the ways we view ourselves and others, the ways we navigate this time of ours. Most importantly, it questions the nature of truths, that beyond logic, truths are as much a construct and a belief as anything else.
Kilde: HEART – Herning Museum of Contemporary Art
Bitten & Aage Damgaards Plads 2
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