show together with Eva-Teréz Gölin
Steneby Konsthall, Dals Långed, Sweden, 2022
Consumer products, daily behaviours, and rituals. From take-away coffee to beauty products, they reflect a society-of-use in a hyper focused tempo of idealism and high-maintenance. It works in a linear way, always forward and upward, like a cliché graph growing.
Every day, every night, every day of the week, we are productive. Tracking our sleep, maintaining our image, responding to emails, and curating online personas.
Eva-Teréz Gölin’s work, Holy Grail (2017), inspired by classic portrait painting, presents people with to-go cups, the holy grail of our time. Used by hundreds of millions every day, these disposable coffee cups with their plastic lids give the bearer an aura of success. Though the faces are depersonalised by Google Street View’s automated face blur, those portrayed are recognisable as the successful people depicted daily in the media. Representatives of the life and higher status we, through consumption, aspire to be.
Tina Umer’s works Gone Clicking (2022) and Gone Clicking - Rugs (2021) are part of a larger framework of the Gone project, through which isolated objects deal with the culture of buying and consuming. They speak of the broken promises of daily self-improvement regimes, and the use and abuse of circulated images. Here, a segment of these objects stare out at us from a long scroll, hanging in the space. The source images are screenshots of beauty-related objects taken from the e-commerce giant ‘Wish'. On the walls hang rugs, commissioned and handwoven in Morocco without much interference from the artist. When placed in a traditional gallery, they appear as museum artefacts; a beauty mask becomes an ancient ritual mask with no apparent meaning.
An ecosystem presents itself in the exhibition - an economical system, that is. Starting with the production and consumption line of the scroll - a place of creation and craving - we move on to see ourselves as consumers, immortalised via the surveillance system of the Google eye and presented in the form of icons. Ultimately, the anti-objects turn into our heritage, they will outlive us and add another trace to the larger phenomenon of the Anthropocene.