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Discrete farms. The meat has to come from somewhere

Solo exhibition: Ute Hörner / Matthias Antlfinger
14 September 2012 - 25 November 2012
Opening: 13 September 2012, 19:00
Presstalk: 12 September 2012, 11:00

The EDITH RUSS HAUS for Media Art is taking an active stand in the field of current media art with the solo exhibition Discrete farms. The meat has to come from somewhere, by artist duo Hörner/Antlfinger. Their latest creation, factory≠farm (2011-2012), is logical continuation of their work: Since the 1990s, the artists have been discussing politically sensitive issues and offering critical perspectives on the mechanization of our everyday lives. Their entire oeuvre is highly communicative: Using such varied formats as 3-D animations, (virtual) dialogues, puppet show adaptations, sound sculptures and video works, the artist duo yields imaginative transformations of acute social problems.

In the upper level galleries, Hörner/ Antlfinger present their scholarship project factory≠farm, using the animal product industry of Lower Saxony as a local example of the delicate relationship between humans and nonhumans in the computer age. In their research, the artist duo examined the medial imagery and the absence of transparency in the food industry.

Then, Bauer Kybers Ops Room invites the visitor to sit on a comfy corner bench and observe the sophisticated graphic simulation of a factory farm with 50,000 chickens.

Next comes Kramfors, a natural-looking model of a calf wearing a new skin that was removed from a leather couch in a systematic dissection.

In the artists’ latest video, their alter egos – two activist rabbit puppets – engage in a dialog about alternative means of meat consumption. Hörner/ Antlfinger frequently use this form of communication as an artistic method to assist in the planning and carrying out of concepts and development of ideas. Instead of using shocking images of suffering animals, the artists – commenting ironically on their own didactic zeal – develop absurd images and installations, surreal juxtapositions of the idyllic rural farm with the reality of “black box“ factory farming that “creates” market-oriented meat products, like assembly line chicken breasts, in invisible processes of discrete production.

A “quicker breeder“ is also the basis of the installation Dream Water Wonderland (2010). In the 1970s, the so-called breeder reactor of the Kalkar nuclear energy plant on the Lower Rhine was considered the answer to Germany’s growing demands for electricity. But this high-tech dream was a flop, leaving behind an absurd testament to botched technology: the plant has been turned into an amusement park. Dream Water Wonderland uses this dissonant backdrop in an installation ensemble, accompanied by the tale of an energy-hungry species of bird that embodies a strange synthesis of the technical and biological.

Finally, the two-part room installation Contact Call (2008) is an auditory expression of similar overlappings of technological and natural spheres: The most effective “mating calls” of our day, namely cell-phone ringtones, emerge from the installation. Contact Call blends sound with sound-sculpture and beguilingly competes for the visitor’s attention. Only upon entering the installation does the visitor realize who is creating this noise, usually considered a disturbance in museums. An extensive program accompanying this exhibit complements the individual installations with the practice of a vegan lifestyle within Oldenburg, where the meat production factories in question are located.

The art education programm was developed by Barbara Loreck.

Events

22 September 2012, 18:00

04 October 2012, 15:30
Media Education Lounge
Exhibition tour / workshop with Barbara Loreck


Funded by

Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art, Katharinenstraße 23, D-26121 Oldenburg, Tel.: +49(0)441/235-3208, Fax.: +49(0)441/235-2161
Opening Hours: Tuesday - Friday 14:00 -18:00, Saturday - Sunday 11:00 - 18:00, Monday closed info@edith-russ-haus.de
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