San Francisco, CA. January 18, 2011. Cain Schulte Contemporary Art San Francisco is pleased to present the West Coast debut of the New York-based, internationally known video and performance artists Eva and Franco Mattes, aka 0100101110101101.ORG, with their solo exhibition Colorless, Odorless, Tasteless, on view from February 25 to April 2, 2011.
For their first solo exhibition in San Francisco, Eva and Franco Mattes will create an interacting installation/performance with an arcade video game. The title Colorless, Odorless, Tasteless refers to the properties of carbon monoxide produced by their arcade video game, rigged with a real car engine that turns on when played. The audience will decide the amount of pollution released in the atmosphere by their playing the game, and creating unexpected outcomes by their actions. The main focus of this installation/performance is online performances, the video game industry, and environmentalism, but his latest piece, as common in the Matteses work, contains also a great element of reversal of roles.
The players will turn into spectacle. The drama will happen on this side of the monitors...
The show will also include a selection of their latest new media projects, mostly connected to online performances and video game works. "No Fun", 2010, an online performance in which Franco Mattes simulated committing suicide in a public webcam-based chat room. Thousands of random people watched while he was hanging from the ceiling, swinging slowly, for hours. The video documentation of the performance, which was banned from YouTube, is an unbelievable, at times very disconcerting, sequence of reactions: some laugh, some are completely unmoved, some insult the supposed corpse, some take pictures with their mobiles. Notably, out of several thousand people, only one called the police.
In "Freedom" we are faced with a live performance set within the popular first-person shooter videogame "Counter Strike". Here the artist, Eva Mattes, is refusing to accomplish the basic role of the game: kill the enemy. She instead tries to convince the other players to save her because she is "trying to make an artwork". The result is the performer being endlessly and brutally killed and abused by the other players.
Another very recent installation, "My Generation", 2010, Video collage with broken computer, is a found footages video collage of kids freaking out while playing videogames displayed in a broken computer installation, and portrays involuntary performances of gamers. This disturbing work examines the reversal of roles between player and character, reality and fiction. It exposes the paroxysmal degree of addiction and mental alienation unchained by technology and social disconnection. Like many of the Matteses' works, "My Generation" starkly portrays a Humanity that abandoned reality to live in front of screens, hoping to be the protagonist of this spectacle.
Eva and Franco Mattes are the Brooklyn based artist-provocateurs behind the infamous website0100101110101101.ORG. Among the pioneers of the Net Art movement, they have manipulated video games, Internet technologies, feature films and street advertising to reveal truths concealed by contemporary society.
The New York-based Matteses have been working for years using different identities and names in their artworks, impersonating the Vatican, Nike Corporation or Hollywood movie producers. They invented the life and work of an artist who was then invited to participate in the Venice Biennale. They remixed works of other Internet artists, stole parts of many dozens of different art masterpieces, from a Kandinsky to a Warhol, in a performance that lasted two years, and created a fake Maurizio Cattelan's sculpture
Their art has been featured at the Venice Biennale (2001), the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2001), Manifesta, Frankfurt (2002) and in various venues worldwide, including the New Museum, New York (2005), Collection Lambert, Avignon (2006) and Performa, New York (2007 and 2009).
Opening reception: Friday, February 25, from 2011, 5:30 to 7:30 pm. The artists will be present.
High-resolution images available on request.