BERLIN—Grafted fleshy biomorphic forms set an unsettling tone in Pakui Hardware’s exhibition On Demand at EXILE Gallery (July 1 – July 15, 2017). It’s a complex collection of warped sculptural images suspended in plexiglass, which begs visitors to reflect on how human forms are becoming increasingly defined and subjugated by technology.
Pakui Hardware, a Lithuanian artist duo formed by Neringa Černiauskaitė and Ugnius Gelguda, Berlin Art Link writes, is interested in exploring the semiotic relationship between technology and economy, and how our capitalist obsession with technological efficiency prosperity and automation alters our physical reality.
The work is subtle in its message, presenting ambiguous imagery that could be either human forms, sea creatures, or an extra-terrestrial species.
Minimal and even sterile, Pakui Hardware’s mysterious blue lagoons of fluid specimens, discarded metallic, ceramic waste (pictured below) and their lifeless representations of the exploited human body “are clamped and suffocated into clinical displays, as if they are being offered up for consumption.”
The abstract fleshy forms were created in the duo’s previous exhibition Hesitant Hands, in which large robotic arms manufactured their synthetic tissue. No longer retaining the autonomy and agency over their physical selves, the forms are reduced to mere meat—subjugated, perpetuating the consumerist paradigm.
Berlin Art Link writes the installation could easily be mistaken for an alternate reality rather than our own.
At first, the sculptures seem otherworldly and detached from any commentary on human experience. In both of the two exhibiting rooms, you are presented with sculptures constructed from UV prints on PVC Pentaprint film, showing images taken from NASA. Statically contorted as if frozen in perpetual squirms against their subjugation, these sculptures seem to gesture towards science fiction. On closer inspection, the patterns of the NASA images appear more like microscopic images of skin bacteria or cell forms.
Through Pakui Hardware’s purposeful ambiguation of natural and unnatural realms, their art as social commentary becomes aimed directly at our current reality of human existence under science and technological advancement, Berlin Art Link adds.
This took a while to uncover, but holding this ambiguity in suspense is what makes the work so effective. One experiences unease by looking at these sculptures, mostly because they seem to pivot between anthropomorphism and inhuman entities. It is hard to know how we as humans should relate to these forms.
Images copyright and courtesy the artists and EXILE.
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