Martinka Bobrikova & Oscar de Carmen

17.07. – 09.08.15

Artistic duo Martinka Bobrikova & Oscar de Carmen’s exhibition SUPERFLUOUS IDENTITY III in Entrance Gallery is the third issue of an eponymous project the couple has been working on for a longer period of time. In the two previous editions, the first one in Klubovna Gallery in Brno and the second one in Prague’s Galerie Kin jídelna, the authors sensitively and metaphorically examined effects of the capitalist financial system and its impact on individuals and their social systems, particularly in relation to industrial production.

A single photograph of a rusted greenhouse becomes a metaphor for the exhibition, a vacant object accidentally found by the duo in a remote part of Prague’s suburb of Radotín. The greenhouse – with punched glass, bending to the ground, grown through with weeds, can in a shape of a single abandoned object incorporate several meanings at once – former strength and stability, but also decay and disintegration of something that is trying to sustain in its last race. Does it still have the strength to rise from the ashes, or inevitably plunges into a ruin? And what if directly out of these ruins, the new and yet unknown life will grow?

The symbol of the greenhouse, the memento of this vulnerability can refer to many things, in the eyes Bobrikova and de Carmen neverethless clearly points to the empty and crumbling double-edged logic of capitalism. The current dominant economic model has, particularly in the last decade, has proved to be a heavy-footed, exhausted juggernaut. Accompanied by a general crisis of nation states and global financial markets, economic exploitation of peripheries or maintaining global hierarchy through power and capital. Now industrialization as the flagship, and for several centuries as the driving force for this system is undergoing significant changes and points out to the weak points of the system.

Cacophonous heartbeat of industrial sounds, as well as positions and trajectories of the objects within the space of the gallery can be seen as a record of contradictory discontinuities between past and present currently in spasm, and the future we can not yet fully grasp. Although our position somewhere ‘inbetween’ is articulated through sounds referring to Czech industrial businesses, the interest of the artist duo is not limited to the local environment, but is linked to the above mentioned global situation. Sounds of factories, both the ones that are long gone and the ones that are still in operation, continuously appear in the work of Bobrikova and de Carmen as an often overlooked layer of our social and economic environments. And while evoking a certain uneasiness, the show provokes an unknown joy of what can happen once the king is dead.


Text by Zuzana Jakalová