Cloud Point, 2022
Paradise Row Projects, London
Curated by Nicolas Bourriaud
With works by Nicolas Aguirre, Hicham Berrada, Marieke Bernard Berkel, Alice Channer, Pakui Hardware, Zarah Landes, Estrid Lutz, Tala Madani and Pamela Rosenkranz.
The term « cloud point » belongs to the vocabulary of fossil energies: a « cloud point extraction » turns solids into liquids, by temporarily modifying their temperature.
The artists presented in this exhibition belong to a generation for whom no material is « natural » anymore, humans being now present in every particle of the universe. Matter, in its totality, is both form and content, subject and object, nature and culture. In other words, there is no neutral « background » in today’s images, but streams and active forces.
« Cloud point » gathers artists who don’t consider objects, products or masses in their work, but the atomic structure of our surroundings, and theirs. They are particularly interested at the in-betweens — processes of liquefaction, moments of coagulation, condensation points… The emergence of this « molecular gaze » in contemporary art also reflects in theory and politics.
Politics goes molecular, as Felix Guattari already stated in the 1970’s, talking about a necessary « molecular revolution ». We see how gas, oil, bacterias, viruses or chemicals become the new agents of History. Zygmunt Bauman analyzed postmodern capitalism as a process of liquefaction of our institutions. Today Karen Barad describes matter, at its molecular stage, as pure « queerness ». And according to Rosa Braidotti, « Capital seeks and reduces body fluids to merchandise: the sweat and cheap blood of the labor force available throughout the Third World; but also the fluids of the desire of First World consumers who reduce their existence to a commodity by transforming it into a hyper-saturated state of confusion. »
Cloud Point opens, at Paradise Row, a new cycle of exhibitions to come in several venues, showing how today’s artists explore the world from its cells, from its material composition.