Adel Abdessemed, Marina Abramović, Omar Ba, Daniel Canogar, Mathieu Dafflon, Wim Delvoye, Arguiñe Escandón, Mounir Fatmi, Vidya Gastaldon, Yann Gross, Fabrice Gygi, Khaled Jarrar, Clare Kenny, Fabian Marti, Andrea Mastrovito, Marie Matusz, Cornelia Parker, Carmen Perrin, Dorian Sari, Simone Steinegger, Cassidy Toner
Wilde presents Supper Club, a group exhibition aiming to create discourse in a landscape of discord and find innovative ways to come together when we’re meant to isolate. The unconscionable acts of those in power face a reckoning, as do we, by calling one another to action. As sensational as it sounds, silence is indeed a form of violence.
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Supper Club developed from creating safe spaces for open dialogue and canceling cancel culture to give people the chance to grow. It’s about believing people have good intentions, and may not have the same level of “woke-ness,” but “woke-ness” isn’t a competition. Instead, it is about devoting one’s entire being to the search for knowledge and truth and protecting freedoms of the oppressed.
The works featured in the exhibition address these issues, either literally or symbolically. For example, Loom (2020) by Daniel Canogar showcases abstract animations developed with data from real-time Google trends. Stripped from headlines, graphic imagery, and statistics, each phrase inspires a contemplative experience, offering a chance for viewers to ruminate on what is streaming through the collective consciousness at any given time. History of Hostility (2019) by Andrea Mastrovito deploys the famous duo Foottit and Chocolat, figures symptomatic of a dominant/dominated duality between a white clown and an august black man. The action takes place against a backdrop of silhouettes of victims of the Ku Klux Klan, with the 2015 Baltimore riots in response to the death of the young Freddie Gray in the foreground. With this work, Mastrovito denounces the racial underpinnings of police violence. Adel Abdessemed based his series Lampedusa, which depicts refugees on boats on found media images. The title refers to the island near Sicily, a frequent point of arrival for migrants crossing from North Africa. Numerous shipwrecks have occurred in the waters off Lampedusa, as the migrants’ makeshift crafts have floundered, and their captains abandoned them. Abdessemed will continue making this series until the international community finds a permanent solution to support all refugees.
Several works in the exhibition imbue the audience with positive energy, to combat the endless influx of negative information. Marina Abramović’s carved and polished pillow-shaped headrests are made of snowflake obsidian, a crystal known to prevent nightmares and balance energies. Visitors are invited to rest their heads momentarily and assume meditative states to absorb the crystal’s vibrations and healing powers. The coyote in Cassidy Toner’s Wile E. Coyote will try anything to ‘heal’ himself at this point (2019) is partially based on Mark Twain’s description of the animal in his book Roughing It: “The coyote is a living, breathing allegory of Want. He is always hungry.” According to Toner, Wile E. Coyote is much like her; he has an insatiable appetite and is never satisfied. Perhaps traits which, for better or worst, we all share.
all images © the gallery and the artist(s)