WILDE Gallery is pleased to announce the exhibition EXHUMATION by Kenno Apatrida, his first solo show as a gallery artist. Kenno Apatrida's works were recently displayed at SCOPE New York, gaining great report and attention from the international collector community and art institutional world.
Artistic productions in our age tell us about the absence of ability to engage with originality and authenticity and we are often faced with the reminder that everything has already been said and done, often so better than we can express it ourselves. So one is forced to subordinate under the samplings of others. This is a condition of loss and it is of course nothing new.
It is a condition that has shaped philosophical, political and creative thought throughout modernity, through two World Wars, but really has come to form the practices of post-1968 generations and the threat of popular culture's colonization of all things original and sincere.
As artists such as Kenno Apatrida continue to perform the act of loss, we as spectators are made aware that art is no longer just a visual signal, but this act of loss reminds us also of our responsibility as mourners.
Kenno Apatrida, originally from South America, has been exiled in Berlin for the past two decades and has been part of the city's radical transformation. His works, which go against the tide of aloof postmodernity, are phantasmagorical, spiritual and transcendental, humorous and at times painfully genuine. Apatrida's practice refers to philosophical precursors ranging from shamanistic rituals to the nightmares of William Blake and Henry Füseli, William Burroughs, Kali Uga, political junk from the former GDR and Zen Buddhism.
Collected over the past two decades from various squats and abandoned flats in Berlin, the objects Kenno Apatrida uses to create his collages, sculptures, paintings and installations include dolls and puppets, defunct technical devices like phonographs and cameras, antique ceramic tiles, political magazines and other propaganda from the Third Reich, old stamps, vintage family photographs, and a deluge of what the artist terms "cultural detritus."
Once adopted by the artist, these materials undergo a continual process of transformation and perpetual renewal-- the mundane and the profane become the sacred and the sardonic, gods and iconoclasts are juxtaposed and superimposed among a pantheon of theological motifs, repositioned to form a divine contemporary altar of metaphysical expression and meditation.
In the processes of re-inscribing meaning, the works of the artist go through an alchemical process and the results are returned to us as icons of a spirituality specific to our modern age. These are pieces that are transformed into shrines of fallen empires, ancient mythology, cultural constructs and the many ghosts of the past that continue to both enrich and enslave the present.