Discipula - STREAM CONTROL RESISTANCE
Thu, 30/04/2015 to Sun, 14/06/2015
Potent and abrupt, penetrating and straightforward, images are among the most effective means of contemporary communication: a universal language through which meanings and emotions are continually conveyed, behaviors are suggested, desires induced, models of consumption diffused. Combined in increasingly rapid and pervasive flows, and regulated by more and more sophisticated transmission devices, they pervade our daily lives and even shape reality itself. Where do such flows originate from, how do they work, and how can we handle their overwhelming intensity? It is precisely around such interrogatives that the whole research carried out by Discipula revolves. The collective, based in London and Italy, at the Stream Control Resistance exhibition will showcase a selection of recent works that are a reflection on the theme of advertising as a means of communication and on visual communication tout court.
Like in many other works by Discipula, the installation Efficacy Testing Stream (2015), on show for the first time, stems from an appropriative gesture: a series of food stock images purchased on eBay are mounted as a single magmatic flow in which the layering of visual levels removes the neatness and, as a result, the effectiveness of the photographs. Created to sell edibles, the images, now on the verge of illegibility, become a disturbing visual backdrop for a voice-over that, simulating hypnosis techniques, delivers a long list of articles and essays on ethic and political issues related to food. By subverting the mechanisms that regulate the elements of communication in advertising, Discipula upset its function, turning the installation into an open invitation to information-gathering and conscious food consumption, seen as a cultural and political element in human life, as well as its nourishment.
The Dead Commercials (2015), also shown for the first time, focus too on existing images: in particular, the installation was built starting from a 35-mm film containing six commercials found by accident on the pavement in Milan. Stripped of their primary function –that is, building desire to induce consumption– the film clips form on the gallery’s wall the words “The more voices there are, the more spin there is”, taken from the script of the film “Diary of the Dead”, in which George A. Romero reflects on the role of the media within society through the clichés of horror movies. Uttered by the male lead, who is seen collecting stories on how to survive the zombie epidemic, as the entire mainstream communication circuit has crashed down, those same words displayed inside the gallery seem to outline an ironic parallelism between consumers and the living dead, suggesting once again that the hope for salvation lies in an active and direct awakening of consciousness on the part of ordinary people.
Realized as a chapter of a previous work (The Looking Game, 2013-2014) the Black Diagrams (2014) are displayed at the gallery for the first time as independent works. Although in this case the image is stripped down and summarized through lines and dots engraved on black Plexiglas, it still remains the undisputed key element of the series: the diagrams are actually graphic visualizations of the mechanisms that regulate its production, use and manipulation of meaning.
To showcase the publishing activity carried out by Discipula since its inception in 2013, a limited-edition series of a poster expressly created for the exhibition will be presented and handed out at the gallery.