All photos courtesy of the artist
February 26, 2010
Whether it’s finding out too late that your cell phone hasn’t been receiving calls or fretting over whether it’s okay to respond to a Facebook message with a text, we all know that technology makes communication both limitless and painfully complicated. Annie Abrahams is exploring these fragile relations via a series of networked performance pieces in her solo exhibition, If Not You Not Me at the HTTP gallery in London. The show highlights her idea that “communication guided by machines doesn’t go by the same rules, nor uses the same abilities as “normal” communication.”
The central piece of the exhibition is Shared Still Life, a live broadcast between two galleries, HTTP and Kawenga media arts space in Montpellier, France. A still life is set up in each of these galleries and is projected by live broadcast in the other. The interactive exhibit allows visitors to the gallery to rearrange the still life and send messages to visitors at the other location.
Aside from the cheeky take on the most traditional of subject matters, for Abrahams, using the Internet is not just about updating art to contemporary times. The artist explains. “I always talked about the Internet as a ‘public space of solitude.’ Even if today the Internet is also a place for collaboration, I still think that this expression tells a lot about its nature. It’s a place where people can experiment multiple sides of their personality, where they can act their imagination and fantasies, so opening up a whole new area for human behaviour.”
Perhaps this focus on human behavior explains why collaboration is also an important theme for the Dutch native. She has worked with a number of other artists on the other video performances in the show, which all navigate the field of telematic communication and the sensitivities of interpersonal interaction.
If Not You Not Me is on view through March 20 at
Unit A2, Arena Design Centre
71 Ashfield Road
London N4 1N4