To Klingon Or Not To Klingon
Friday, 7 March 2014 - Wednesday, 26 March 2014
To Klingon Or Not To Klingon: Artists from Los Angeles, London and Other Parts of the Universe
Opening: Friday 7th March, 8—10pm
Exhibition runs: 8th–26th March
Aaron Dadacay (L.A./Manila)
Ichiro Irie (L.A./Tokyo)
Susanne Melanie Berry (L.A.)
Max Presneill (L.A./London)
Dallas Seitz (London)
Mimei Thompson (London/Japan)
Lena Wolek (L.A./Siberia)
To Klingon Or Not To Klingon: Artists From Los Angeles, London and Other Parts of the Universe
“To Klingon Or Not To Klingon: Artists From Los Angeles, London and Other Parts of the Universe”, is about aliens. Not space aliens, but earth aliens. The show attempts to deconstruct this very notion of city and national identity, and suggest that we are in some respects, all aliens to each other, and in this age of globalization and advanced communications, on the other hand, we are perhaps not very foreign to each other after all.
“To Klingon Or Not To Klingon”, aside from being an obvious reference to Star Trek (Los Angeles) and Hamlet (London), is inspired by the changing perception of the Klingons through the decades. First depicted as quasi-Asian looking arch-enemies to the Star Trek protagonists, and reflecting the Cold War sentiment towords the Soviet Union, they have increasingly become portrayed as friendly allies to the “Federation” throughout the franchise's existence. The exhibition, however, has very little to do with science fiction or Shakespeare per se.
Instead, the show attempts to explore sorts of practices and strategies an artist should or could embrace when exhibiting on an international stage? If you favor tradition, regional cannons and promoting cultural identity, you are in the danger of being perceived as antiquated, reactionary or exploiting the exoticism of the so-called “Other”. If you favor a more international aesthetic, you are in danger of being perceived of making generic and fully assimilated work. If you choose to ignore, and “do your own thing”, you are in the danger of being perceived of making ingenuous or irrelevant work. If you choose to make work that deals with these very issues, you are in danger of being perceived as being overly self-referential.
As the organizer of this exhibition, I do not lament this condition. On the contrary, I find these challenges the very elements that make for a compelling work of art. It is through this lens that visitors, I hope, will examine the works on display.