The Philip Feldman Gallery + Project Space at Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) presents Breaking Banality: The Dysfunction of Remediation, an exhibition by Eva and Franco Mattes, opening with a reception on First Thursday, November 6, 2014 and running through January 10, 2015. The Brooklyn-based Italian duo will present ten reiterations of one performance from their series “BEFNOED – By Everyone, For No One, Every Day,” for which they commission anonymous workers to realize webcam performances. The Mattes’ hire performers through online crowdsourcing services and post the resulting videos to many of the more obscure social networks around the world. The artists regularly post links to new videos at befnoed.tumblr.com. These works are in the lineage of Fluxus event scores and more recently Hans Ulrich Obrist’s instruction-based project, “Do It.” For this exhibition, to view the videos, visitors will be forced in awkward positions, becoming themselves, if just for a few seconds, performers, and underlying how the act of viewing is in itself performative.
Eva and Franco Mattes (1976) (a.k.a. 0100101110101101.ORG) are an artist duo originally from Italy, working in New York. Their medium is a combination of performance, video and the Internet, for which they are perhaps best known. Their work explores ethical and moral issues when people interact at distance, especially through social media, creating situations where it is difficult to distinguish reality from a simulation.
Melissa Gronlund, editor of Afterall Magazine, described Mattes’ work as follows: “Whether by obscuring the name of the author, hiding information from the public or presenting false information to (often unwitting) participants in the works they create, the Mattes set up situations in which the viewer’s mistaken assumptions and actions create the form of the work itself”.
Mattes’ work has been exhibited at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (2013); Site Santa Fe (2012); Sundance Film Festival (2012); PS1, New York (2009); Performa, New York (2007, 2009); ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum (2009); National Art Museum of China, Beijing (2008); The New Museum, New York (2005) and Manifesta 4, Frankfurt (2002). In 2001 they were among the youngest artists ever included in the Venice Bienniale.
They have also held conferences at universities, festivals and museums, including Columbia University, New York; RISD, Providence; New York University; Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh; College Art Association, New York; Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid; MAXXI, Rome and Musee d’Art Moderne, Paris.
They are founders and co-directors of the international festival The Influencers, held annually at the CCCB, Barcelona, Spain (2004-ongoing).
The Mattes have received grants from the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Roskilde; ICC, Tokyo, and were awarded the New York Prize 2006 from the Italian Academy at Columbia University.
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