Becoming Multitude: Noam Segal, Rothschild 69 art space, Tel Aviv

Expressions, moves, gestures, speech, mime, choreography of the discourse, of the gaze, body language, and acting techniques, have all become accepted currency. Various masks are marketed as authentic and adopted by us—masked facial expressions are familiar to us on TV, in commercials as well as in political speeches, on reality TV and in documentaries. Economics has appropriated the manner of discourse, the style of speech, and all markers of visual interpersonal communication. It is As if the market has created a type of “acting machine” through which every public or private speaker passes, when they are broadcasted or on screen. This is a machine which creates mannerisms according to various situations, and has received its inspiration from prevalent acting techniques, from Stanislavski’s Method to acting directions in front of the camera, to behavior instructions vis-a-vis the polygraph. It has become a filter for the human face creating itself through Global Economics. Various masks, uniforms, arrangements which create shapes, and even expressions that come "naturally" when we are in front of the camera, can all be examined as a cultural cover: commercialized, performative and market-oriented. This collection of works assumes that every expression has an agent, and is inspired by the Actor Network Theory, whereby objects have an agency as well.

Following this assumption, the exhibition also suggests that gestures, poses and mannerisms can be ascribed an independent agent assimilated through the laws of the market and economics. Expressions are also prone to deconstruction and separation, since under the economic system they are measured and purchased like actors with an agency and an independent interest.

This exhibition seeks to examine images, masks and gestures, and consider their abstraction. As proposed by Antonio Negri in his book Art and Multitude, the way to resist the various market forces and individualism defined through merchandise is via abstraction. Resistance grows from the visual abstraction of behaviors, from their becoming undifferentiated, until their final nullification and multiplication. The masses constitute groups that cannot be defined by one name; they area multitude of people which cannot be defined by unity, or a specified collection of a priori, ready-made expressions. The main characteristic of the masses is the indestructible uniqueness of each person included within them, and the differences between each individual.

This exhibition seeks to examine the expression as currency, and shed light on the metamorphoses of the expression as merchandise. It observes (presents the expression as an object in the process of becoming merchandise in front of the camera, and its ultimate shift towards abstraction. It attempts to construct the state of multiplicity as a form of resistance. The exhibition does not necessarily move linearly, but progresses in a manner, which highlights the margins of association and lateral connections and at times elucidates the subject more effectively thana direct examination would. The exhibited works are from different periods, the earliest was created in 1981, and the most recent is from the present day. They were created by a wide range of photographers using various photographic techniques.


Museum of Contemporary Photography

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