The Cannibal's Muse (Gstaad)

The Cannibal's Muse (Gstaad)

Saturday, June 19, 2010Sunday, August 8, 2010


Gstaad, Switzerland

The Cannibal's Muse
curated by Max Henry

19.06.2010 – 08.08.2010

Amy Bessone, Bendix Harms, Christoph Ruckhäberle, Daniel Silver, Eddie Martinez, Francesca DiMattio, Huma Bhabha, Jonas Wood, Jules de Balincourt, Nathalie Djurberg, Stefan Rinck

The references in this show are a reflection of the polyglotism (not pastiche or eclecticism) going on in contemporary art. Craft, folk, outsider, non-western, decorative, applied art, pop, are synthesized through an art historical knowing.

An intertwining of traditions and integrity of materials encompass a harmonized heterogeneity and vitality of expression. The strength of the artists lies in their formal clarity rather than naturalism. Many of the ideas of primitivism and modernity from a hundred years ago can also be found in this early 21st century. Along these lines, the paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, and animations in “The Cannibal’s Muse” owe their frames of aesthetic references to a conjugation of histories.

Through the artist’s self-aware strategies and precedents, a formal trans-coding of each fragment occurs allowing for a new plasticity. Within this decentralized cultural referential field, linear history is no longer the supreme measure to classify and rank artistic signifier’s. One code to another code is a translation of one big idea.

In its overtly ritualistic double consciousness (JUNG) a broken and sparkling fracture in the gaps of media are made whole; their separate distinctions are now closer together. The artist, priest, and artisan have become one; the master narrative is dead.

There are no poetic implications, only an impulse to breath tuth into outmoded ideologies. The works are not ambiguous, clear decisions are made by the artist’s hand, and significant forms articulated. Because the dead master narrative is overtly subversive it feeds itself the useful cognitive associations and discards the useless loose ends. Its mysterium is its own enthronement, not because of homogeneity but despite it. It is not fractured but made whole by fractious calculation. There are no servant narratives so much as there is one big overarching idea. Since there is only one big idea art thus quantifies the value of that one big idea in immortal ways.

At this critical juncture in history the new or neo-modernity circa 2010 and beyond, is where the archaic and antiquity come to the fore. What is ancient or primitive is very much contemporary. standing out amidst the decentralized, collectivist, cultural signpost’s is an iconic individualism.

Due to the virtual interface what used to be canonized is now cannibalized through an overlap with the eclipsed 20th century canon. Still the muse must be conjured, and reconnect us to the relics of antiquity.