BALTIC 39 | FIGURE FOUR is an opportunity for artists to test works and ideas, or to develop works in progress within a public context. The 10 exhibitions are to be held in the project space at BALTIC 39 from Wednesday 18 January – Sunday 19 February 2017.
Week Five: Wednesday 15 – Sunday 19 February 2017
Jacob Dwyer and Mike Pratt
Curiosities and queries about the artists’ practice that arose during a show the duo completed for Amsterdam Art Weekend 2015 will be explored in this exhibition. Dwyer and Pratt intend to use BALTIC 39 as a stage on which to push their conflicting vocabularies in a process that aims to free both works and roles of the artist from their familiar realms. Dwyer’s new film DAT LIKWID LAND will be transplanted from the cinema, into a gallery space designed and filled by Pratt and conceived in the first instance without collaboration. Both set and film will then come together with simultaneous activity and cyclical duration, creating an installation that examines the encounter with the works both in an ‘on’ and ‘off’ state.
During the break-up of Yugoslavia in the 1990s a new music genre and party culture, named turbo-folk, emerged. The rhythm is catchy and the eroticised bodies of female singers sparkle and glisten. Its provocative celebration among arms and piles of money dominated the media space while Serbia was not only financially and politically troubled, but also facing a deep identity crisis. Beat the worries by partying! explores the visual, musical and lyrical aspects of the turbo-folk scene. A confusing mix of sexism and violence, patriarchal values and eroticism, MTV aesthetics and Orthodox tradition, which preaches nationalism and stages the Balkan soul as suffering and passionate. Is it a political propaganda tool, a numbing medicament, a survival strategy, or a disturbing combination?