LAUNCH LA is proud to present Atlas, a new exhibition by the internationally renowned Namaak Collective. Though the collective already boasts a significant American following, this exhibit will be the first time its works have been seen in the United States.
The Namaak Collective is not defined by one medium, perspective or nationality - but attempts instead, as a group, to address the new cultural habits that have evolved since the digital revolution. As access to art re-invents itself, so has the art itself. The featured artworks reflect the artists' diverse backgrounds, some examples being "Fred", the four Philippine artists who willingly live on the streets for the sake of an extended performance art spectacle, Curtis and Cole Durkee, the conjoined twins from Ohio, and hacker-turned-artist Blowmouse from Stockton. The remaining artists come from afar afield as Norway, South Africa, China, Japan and more.
Founded in 2009 by the late Jorg Hendrix of Amsterdam, the Namaak Collective has since performed and exhibited worldwide, receiving numerous awards and accolades. Their individual and group work are represented in many prestigious private and public collections. Projects include KunstKräm - Architectural Intervention, The Andy Glorhol Project, Projections of the Other, and Identity Thief - Opernwerkstätten in Berlin-Mitte.
Under the umbrella of Namaak, these artists pursue a stubbornly autonomous course through the art world and yet exert a level of influence that belies their "outsider" status. The stark cultural differences between the artists combined with their ease in today's info-sphere drift make for a heady and an invigorating experience. This first foray into the American art scene promises to extend the collective's considerable cult status.
NAMAAK Collective Artists:
Britt Ehringer - Oxnard, CA
While spending 10 years in a South Asian prison, Ehringer perfected his craft. Since his freedom, he has unleashed the "ultimate idiotropic opus," a tour de force into multiple dimensions of memory. Ehringer has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions, his works hang in the collections of many individuals and institutions, while he, himself, has been the featured subject in prestigious online and print publications.
Marischa Slusarski - Venice, CA
Slusarski's paintings examine conceptual constructs between the banal and the heavenly, merging themes about predation, genetic modification, infantilism, power dynamics, racial panic, gender ambiguity and human domination over the "natural." Her work has been exhibited worldwide and is represented in many private, public and institutional collections.
Pad Sander - Berlin, Germany
Pad Sander's Conclave Project began over two decades ago as a result of a studio fire which destroyed all his abstract, multi-media paintings. Now presenting large-scale photographs, his vision operates at the intersection of installation, theatre, and performance while it investigates questions of cultural control, democracy, freedom and social responsibility. This is his first show in the USA.
Blowmouse - Stockton, CA
Besides being a renowned hacker, Blowmouse possesses the ability to scan aerial maps and transform them by memory alone, into pixilated mosaics of digital detritus. These formulaic logistics self-assemble invisible circulation over the symbols of power and resistance, creating breathtaking juxtaposition between beauty and infrastructure.
Vibeke Thorkelson - Fredrikstad, Norway
Thorkelson is well-known in her native Norway for her ongoing Tyranny of Authorship, series in which she allows strangers to participate in the unknown beauty of fortunate mistakes thus opening space, now freed from the tyranny of history, in which lovely, mostly anonymous creations can be viewed on their own terms. Her works have been exhibited in many galleries from Europe to Asia.
Cha Cha Bibiana - São Paolo, Brazil
Originally from the favelas of São Paolo, Bibiana's focus confronts psychosocial dimensions of self, community, and "immaterial materiality," using the metaphor "thin skin." Her scarification paintings sing the mystical language of external and internal spheres, exposing the vicious fragility of life. In addition to exhibiting in galleries, Bibiana teaches Body Identity Politics at one of Brazil's largest universities.
Kgosi - Johannesburg, South Africa
Artist and musician Kgosi uses basic elements of voice, sound, and pigment (with a touch of magical realism) to create continuity-storytelling through a series of constructions/breakdowns, in which the work is simultaneously derivative and original. He is best known for his "Soundscrapes" - interactive sound art that seeks to banish preconceived notions of artistic divisions.
Tak Mufuni - Tokyo, Japan
Tak Mufuni's work is deliberately sexually elusive with a surf-cool vibe, a selective presentation that is meant to question predetermined patterns of thought protocol. Channeling the Tokyo Drift Aesthetic, the definition of Tak's poetic process hangs between the eccentric and colorful story of everyday life, and the necessity to mix human characteristics and geographies, cultures and situations. He is also the creator and star of the incredibly popular online show, "Mufuni Waves."
Mabel Huitzilihuitl - Guanajuato, Mexico
Huitzilihuitl shares a peculiar fascination with unstable phantasmagoria and old-school ectoplasm, vestiges of the past which she brings to her images. Huitzilihuitl celebrates life with her haunting tapestries in an attempt to encourage visits by the souls so they will hear the prayers and the comments of the living directed to them. This is her first time exhibiting her work.
Xiang Xong - Shanghai, China
Lenticular photographer Xiang Xong's work explores the ever-shifting human condition using digital "interlacing." Slicing through such themes such as post-colonial discourse, multi-culturalism and economic and environmental shifts, the power of Xong's work lies in its ability to confront any viewer with her own position concerning notions such as "nationality," "identity," and "ethnicity." She was recently awarded a residency program in New Guinea.
"Fred" - Manila, Philippines
"Fred" is a group of four young artists all named Fred, living on the streets, homeless by choice. Their wildly entertaining and improvisational performances are seen in all parts of the city. Best known for their guerrilla traffic cone sensor speakers, Fred defines art as anything where the word "creative" has been removed from the realm of achievement and applied to another realm entirely. For their Los Angeles show, they will be presenting their monument to the death of actor David Carridine.
Mitchell and Chamberlain - Reykjavik, Iceland
Mitchell and Chamberlain's well-known videos investigate the vague terrain between pre-programming and autonomy, between present development, randomness and boredom. What they deliver are surprising insights into the nature of non-teleological processes and a novel understanding of art as a form of prototyping. Their most recent video, Donut, was presented the Golden Column award at last year's Bienniel.
Curtis and Cole Durkee - Cleveland, Ohio
Conjoined twins, Curtis and Cole's physical celebrity short-circuits preconceived notions of authorship, and allows the viewer to explore issues concerning the authenticity of artistic creation and the value and utility of art and artistic formulations. "Shackled" together, the brothers present a bewitching opportunity to confront the polarization between the deconstruction and confirmation of collaboration. Their work simultaneously holds together the desire to believe and the desire to doubt.
LAUNCH would like to thank our 2013 partners Lagunitas Brewery, Olympia Medical Center, Tito's Handmade Vodka & AQUAhydrate.