witty artists and installations

The exhibition ‘witty, lo-fi works with knotty thoughts’ shows works by Mounira Al Solh, Keren Cytter, Shana Moulton, Ola Vasiljeva, Emily Wardill and Nina Yuen. These young artists have a comparable manner of working, aesthetic and style and employ a similar ‘strategy’ for giving shape to their ideas. Among the similarities are that all are lo-fi, use humor in combination with tragedy and draw on performance. Moreover, this way of working is inseparably linked with the subject of the works.

Although there are certain thematic overlaps among the various works, in ‘witty, lo-fi works with knotty thoughts’ it is precisely the approach and aesthetic of the artists that is central. The exhibition evocatively places narrative works next to one another to make comparisons possible and illuminate differences. In what ways do the artists employ their lo-fi, tartly humorous, performative approach in their statements? And how does this strategy and aesthetic relate to the subject of their work?

Mounira Al Solh
A Double Burger and Two Metamorphoses
Multi-disciplinary artist Mounira Al Solh (Lebanon, b. 1978) presents a new video installation entitled 'A Double Burger and Two Metamorphoses'. It is a fictitious experiment in which Al Solh enters into a dialogue with animals that she herself plays. The complex relation this Lebanese artist has with The Netherlands emerges from the installation.

Keren Cytter
Four Seasons
Keren Cytter (Israel, b. 1977) is screening one of her latest videos, called 'Four Seasons'. In it the artist makes use of lo-fi elements such as 'homemade aesthetic', lo-fi Hollywood glamor, lo-fi special effects and wobbly camera-work. 'Four Seasons' is an homage to everything that is fake.

Shana Moulton
Whispering Pines
In the ninth part of 'Whispering Pines' Shana Moulton (USA, b. 1976) once again employs her alter ego Cynthia in a quest for the history of the American southwest. The main character Cynthia enters into relationships and connections with (digital) domestic objects, the lower part of her digital body and the digital environment.

Hayley Silverman
Mortal Wounded
The image-making of Hayley Silverman (USA, 1986) crosses through sculpture, painting and video. In her videos she digitally manipulates her own lo-fi footage. Her videos seek to ground an experience of memory in history by evincing a wandering through mediums, time, and space. In her paintings, prints and sculptures, she mixes digital manipulation with classical analogue forms.

Ola Vasiljeva
Le Bateau
Balancing on the edges of culture, new media and conceptual art, in her work  (Latvia, b. 1981) responds to contemporary culture. The manipulation of existing material from pop and subcultures or more classic sources of inspiration is characteristic of this artist's approach. The installations have a lo-fi character and evoke a strange, surrealistic and uprooted feeling.

Emily Wardill
Sick Serena and Dregs and Wreck and Wreck
In the 16 mm film 'Sick Serena and Dregs and Wreck and Wreck' Emily Wardill (UK, b. 1977) mixes close-ups of English stained glass panels with imaginary tales on universal themes. The episodes have a theatrical, almost carnivalesque sense to them and the humorous, exaggerated actions create perplexity. The work examines the historic power of images and stories.

Nina Yuen
Nina Yuen (Hawaii, b. 1981) produces playful and associative video works that are a combination of performance and collage. 'David' is an adaptation of a text by Carmen Delzell in which a woman enters into a pact with the devil and becomes eternally indebted to him. In the video Yuen performs a number of magic rituals. The following fragment comes from Delzell's story: "It was beginning to get chilly. Money would really be tight when it got too cold to sell on the street, so I decided to go to a fortune teller. She lived and worked in a storefront in Chinatown. She was fat and sneaky-looking and had only one breast. But it turned out she was right about everything to come and she gave me three wishes. I wished for an apartment, a man, and an antique store...”