Mar 13, 2021 -
Apr 21, 2021
Lawrence Lek AIDOL
Nik Kosmas BodyHunter Perspective Expand
Tim Crowley Ballerina Moon
Address：Building 2, Lane 298 Anfu Road, Shanghai, 200031
Lawrence Lek "AIDOL"
The willow tree shall weep
The willow tree shall whine
Wish I was in my A.I.’s mind
Who stole the heart of mine
When I was in my prime
- In My Prime
BANK is proud to present AIDOL, artist Lawrence Lek’s latest feature film. AIDOL tells the story of Diva, a former superstar making her comeback at the eSport Olympic finale, and ‘Farsight’, a mega-conglomerate. In a highly automated alternate universe, not so distant from our own, the systemic tension between humans and Artificial Intelligence plays out. In this epic work, Lek ponders the possibility that the artist’s role might be completely replaced by artificial intelligence and questions the authenticity of so-called ‘human creativity’, imagining if it’s possible to break through the binary distinction between humans and artificial intelligence.
Set in Genting, Malaysia, in the year 2065, AIDOL is a heterotopia – a global entertainment hub, and home to the Farsight Corporation headquarters. We are introduced to characters such as ‘Guanyin’, a drone with sentient abilities, an A.I. Geomancer aspiring to become an artist, and finally, the protagonist Diva, who often finds herself questioning the ‘authenticity’ of mankind. In AIDOL, the romanticized discourse on human and machine spirituality not only echoes our incessant pursuit of perfection, precision and immortality throughout history, but also speculates a future where machines struggle to recognize desires, loneliness and the inaccessibility of human fragility and beauty.
Scripted and scored by the artist, the film is made possible by the latest technology in 3D rendering, game engines, and motion capture. The original soundtrack album of AIDOL, which plays a major role in the film, will be available in vinyl along with the exhibition.
Nik Kosmas "BodyHunter Perspective Expand"
Nothing thicker than a knife's blade separates happiness from melancholy.
——Virginia Woolf, Orlando
After a brief hiatus in the arts, during which Nik Kosmas turned to contact sport fighting and underground club culture, he returns to the gallery with a series of works that posits the human figure as a vehicle for examining the fine boundary between Ecstasy/Agony; Despair/Happiness; Pain/Pleasure; Battling/Teaching; Sex/Healing; and Freedom/ Entrapment.
BodyHunter is a science-fiction world created as a setting for Kosmas’ works to co-exist while Perspective Expand refers to the particular content of this exhibition and covers different mediums such as sculpture, furniture and fashion items. Kosmas’ virtual paradigm is grounded in anthropotechnics, a set of rules with both machine and human properties that tame, teach, and train ourselves. These rules aren’t meant to set limits but instead open possibilities as limitless as human desires.
Kosmas achieves this by underscoring society’s pervasive worship of science/technology which regard bodies, no longer as products of natural selection, but as discrete parts with specific functions connected to each other that are open to manipulation. Technology activates humankind’s desire to transcend flesh in pursuit of immortality, perfection and invulnerability. However, at the same time, technology has an uncompromising hold on the human experience, limiting it as well as expanding it. Kosmas’ illuminates this paradox by presenting his bodies suspended in a state of rapture, tension or alienation; and focusing on the subtle shift of energy that converts pain to dopamine; speed to stasis, the flesh to spirit.
Tim Crowley "Ballerina Moon"
Advertising has undoubtedly penetrated all aspects of modern life. All one has to do is turn their head in any direction or switch on their phone and they are bound to be confronted with an advertisement of some sort. The art world is no exception to this.
Exhibition publicity is most likely the first way we experience the event of art before, or instead of getting there. By attempting to encapsulate the attitude and concept of the show, the exhibition advertisement functions as a surrogate to the exhibition itself via the simple means of text and image. It is a testing ground for art to do what we expect of it- communicate to us. Art Forum and Frieze, the bibles of contemporary art, which seem to offer its readers more exhibition ads than editorial content, are the foremost platforms for the global art world to survey exhibitions past, present and future through clever, nonchalant ads. The magazine also lays down, through its sequencing, the market politics of the art industry (Ads for big galleries first, medium sized ones second, then institutions and NFP last). In this body of work Tim Crowley investigates the formats of publicity in contemporary art through an almost diaristic narrative of his own experiences. Crowley made his choice to be an artist at a very young age and has worked as artist as well as art magazine photo editor, in galleries, institutions, as a curator and documenter of the world of art. Having traversed the full gamut of art industry roles and geographical centers, Crowley, from an insider’s perspective looking out, anticipates exhibitions of the far future and in far off places with an absurd and often comic flare.
Conflating, on the surface, random and unrelated artists with images, sometimes pulled from the artists’ previous series, and quirky exhibition titles, Crowley playfully fetishises, critiques, exaggerates, celebrates and satirises the interesting conceits and contradictions of contemporary art and its attendant billboards.