The Biennale is dedicated to showcasing emerging artists under 35 years of age. This year, the Biennale’s fifth, has also established an initiative to include as many young professionals in its directorial team as possible. UK curator Nadim Samman, identified by Artsy as one of 10 Up and Coming Young Curators back in 2014, has used his new position to take on fresh social issues such as environmental crisis, conspiracies, encryptions, and the Internet, a theme entitled “Deep Inside”.
So it’s no wonder that speculative and progressive artist Paul Kneale is a much-anticipated London-based contributor to this year’s line-up. Kneale has been quoted in response to the term Post-Internet Art:
“My way of phrasing it is ‘Post-Art Internet’. The thing we call ‘art’ is a historical period, like ancient art — it has a vague beginning point that makes it a period, and also an end, which is usually marked by major changes in other areas of life. Quite possibly we’ve just witnessed this end.”
In frieze d/e magazine’s Dossier: The Abject, Kneale was recently featured in an examination of the evolution of abject conceptualisation in twentieth and twenty-first century art. Writer Kirsty Bell surveys the abject through the artistic usage of material debris, “Not only in the things washed up on the tidelines of daily life, but also the stuff floating around in the internet, digital memories detached from their subjects.”
In Kneale’s glitch aesthetics, translating digital memories into physical environments becomes a platform for social reflections. His “productive misuse” of machines and technologies (read ARTUNER’s interview with the artist here) takes the forms of paintings, videos, texts, sculptures, and performances. The artist’s metaphysical research projects invoke interrogations of consumerism and the global culture around the value of innovation.
Kneale’s interest in digital systems translates further into an exploration of the networked (and evidently short-circuited) human brain in The New Abject, an e-book available from his website, for which you are able to read an ARTUNER review here.
Frequently collaborating with other artists and emerging artist communities (such as Library+), Kneale’s work commonly invites interaction from an audience both in physical spaces and through online networks such as Twitter. He is a pioneer of the young art generation, which habitually seeks to exhibit the materiality of that which is largely considered immaterial, an analysis of the virtual/IRL divide.
For his contribution to the forthcoming Moscow Biennale, Kneale merges the material textures of Las Vegas’ urban sprawl with the emotionally vacuous uniformity of digital spaces. The artist’s integrated sculptural forms draw from a range of inspirations including Learning From Las Vegas (Venturi, Brown, & Izenour, 1972), which criticised the city’s grandiose architectural styles for the socio-economic and symbolic consequences. This inspiration is compounded with a current trend in narratives from the mainstream media that attempt to make sense of the 2008 economic collapse and recent housing crises. Specifically, Kneale focuses on the housing crisis that hit Las Vegas in 2007.
For the new works, the artist draws conceptual parallels between the virtual metaverse and the physical spaces of the city, whether in rows of identical foreclosed homes or perhaps at slot machines in casinos on the Strip. Using materials such as plastic, aluminium, wood, or a section of chain-link fencing, Kneale summons the tone of a digital image-world in a physical space of commonplace objects. In this on-going investigation of the ‘new abject’, that which is simultaneously archetypal and worthless becomes a reflection of an existential state of everyday being in contemporary society.
“The darkness at the edge of town is inside you, on at least your phone,” [sic] says Kneale on the theoretical underpinnings of the new artworks.
Other projects by Paul Kneale include:
The founders of the Biennale are the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, the Department of Culture of the City of Moscow, the National Centre for Contemporary Art (NCCA), and the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMoMA).
The 2016 Biennale runs from July 1 to August 10. Kneale’s work will appear alongside 92 other artists for a total of 87 artistic projects – full list below:
Ozan Atalan, Stacy Belevicheva, Matilde Benmayor, Julius von Bismarck, Pamela Breda, Vladislav Brut, Alisa Beketova, Ekaterina Burlyga, Olga Butenop, Martin Callanan, Noor Ali Chagani, Julian Charrière, Revital Cohen, Tuur van Balen, Juan Covelli, Chris Coy, María Dalberg, Jasmin Daryani, Petr Davydtchenko, Jonathan Doweck, Liat Elbling, Hüseyin Mert Erverdi, Karin Ferrari, Christian Fogarolli, Verena Friedrich, Veronika Geiger, Adam Gibney, Iuliana Golub, Florian Goldmann, Katharina Gruzei, Logi Leó Gunnarsson, Ali Jan Haider, Elisabeth Haust, Joey Holder, Marguerite Humeau, Marc Johnson, Graham Kelly, Daria Khlapova, Felix Kiessling, Paul Kneale, Fabian Knecht, Darya Koltsova, Lilia Kosyreva, Egor Kraft, Ksenia Kuleva, Joshua Leary (Evian Christ), David Rudnick, Juliana Cerqueira Leite, Ekaterina Lukoshkova, Eli Maria Lundgaard, Vlad Lunin, Steve Maher, Nadja Verena Marcin, Maxime Marion, Émilie Brout, Zoë Claire Miller, Alice Miceli, Marina Moskalenko, Tatiana Smirnova, Lee Nevo, Alisa Nikolaeva, Ismael Ogando, Tim Parchikov, Pau Pahana, Claire Paugam, Davide Quayola, Marina Ragozina, Martin Reiche, Rune Rasmussen, Farid Rasulov, Paul Rosero Contreras, Vesna Rohaček, Andrew Ranville, Jeremy Santiago-Horseman, Hadas Satt, Dagmar Schürrer, Julia Selin, Jura Shust, Rustan Söderling, Emmy Skensved, Grégoire Blunt, Joe Sobel, Wilf Speller, Yulia Spiridonova, Arya Sukapura Putra, Natalia Tikhonova, Alvaro Urbano, Ivar Veermäe, Martin Volman, Addie Wagenknecht, Beny Wagner, Andrew Norman Wilson, Helga Wretman.