PaceWildenstein is pleased to present Breaking and Entering: Art and the Video Game, an exhibition of work by seven artists working at the forefront of the digital medium. The digital, increasingly the medium of our everyday lives, is redefining the way we interact with and perceive the world around us in much the same way as the railroad redefined our geographical and cultural landscape at the end of the nineteenth century. The works in this exhibition map a new visual terrain, a terrain grounded not in material reality but in numerical sequences of which the visual is just one of many possible expressions. The digital is a realm that has only just begun to be explored and the artists represented here are the first to have broken into this new space. Treating the video game as a primary visual expression of the digital, they make use of the skills they honed as players to disrupt, reorganize and rewrite the visual surface in novel ways. For each artist and group, breaking becomes a way of entering.
Comprised of large-scale installations and projections, the exhibition space will be transformed into an inhabitable gamespace. Here, observers become players and video games an entryway into the ever-expanding domain of the digital.
Included in the exhibition will be a new multi-channel installation by Cory Arcangel as well as Bomb Iraq, a found game piece that marks a departure in his work. JODI, true innovators of the medium, will present a life-size quad screen installation celebrating the chaos and beauty of play as process. Brody Condon’s ethereal projection traps multiple figures of Elvis in a pink-hued death dance and Eddo Stern’s Deathstar, a narrative contrived of internet games in which various acts of violence are committed against Osama bin Laden, offers a haunting display of the violent underpinnings of nationalism. The entire series of Jon Haddock’s seminal Screenshots will be on display as will a new work by RSG, mapping the player’s impossible path through the terrain of World of Warfare. An installation by the collective Paper Rad, peopled with characters grabbed from sprite sheets, will allow viewers entry into a free-standing funhouse wallpapered with moving images and posters.
Patricia Hughes, Assistant Curator at the gallery, organized the show and wrote the accompanying catalog essay. In it, she remarks, “...we migrate between worlds that borrow nothing from one another. The digital realm, grounded in sequences of 0s and 1s, remains materially distinct from the real trees-and-roots space in which it has been implanted. These artists, conditioned by video games to act upon their environments, find ways to reassert the self in this new world....Products of a generation whose cultural habits and memory have been very much formed by interactive experience, they construct their own reality out of the detritus of imagination.”
A public opening will be held on December 9 from 7-10 pm which will be followed by a night of performances, scheduled to take place in January 2006. Please refer to our website as more information becomes available.
Additional material on Breaking & Entering: Art and the Video Game is available upon request by contacting Jennifer Benz Joy, Public Relations Associate, at 212.421.3292 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.