5×5: “SUBVERSIVE ENTITIES” by Olivia Gilmore

5×5 features five photographs by five photographers, usually curated around a specific subject matter, selected by a guest editor.

Olivia Gilmore is the Content Editor for Lint-roller’s 5×5. She is a Brooklyn based multimedia artist. You can see her work at oliviagilmore.net.

To exist at the present moment is to be commodified. Ideologies, objects, and lifestyles, are entities for sale.

The following artists have all dreamily subverted the culture of consumerism.

The animated gifs by Antonellis and Basler parallel the quintessential advertisement; they are flashing banners eliciting attention. The video-still by Deleón is an appropriation piece. It relies on: ubiquitous imagery, the proliferation of New York skyline post-cards, and the event of 9/11 and its iterations through media. This video recalls the symbology of the Twin Towers, and how the iconography has been commodified since. The image by Jang is a cell-phone image of a child, decked-out in pink; it’s a fashion image. And Scott’s image, sitting atop a gallery in Brussels, represents gentrifying cityscapes, swelling with luxury developments and marketing ploys.

This animated gif image is by Anthony Antonellis, “paint_bucket_landscape.gif was an animated GIF installed on a public LED billboard in Detroit, Michigan. The work was on display 28 May – 24 June 2012, as part of the Billboard Art Project. (Antonellis’ site, 2013)” As billboards are tools for advertising, this image functions to disenfranchise the billboard of its original meaning. Here the billboard has been converted back into a simple object, and the nonexistent advertisement is an ephemeral paint bucket rainbow.

A Gust of Wind“, 2012, is a video by Ian Deleón. The footage of the World Trade Center in construction plays consecutively as the Talking Heads’ song “Listening Wind,” also plays, karaoke style, with the words overlaying atop the footage. Whether or not the original video was propaganda, meant to indoctrinate the viewer with notions of the promise of a strong America, is arguable. Nonetheless, Deleón skillfully brings new meaning to the video footage and the song. It’s derisively fun and the Talking Heads never grow old.

Ian Deléon, A Gust of Wind, 2012

Connie Jang‘s “SS13,” 2013, captures an unaware subject and makes her a complicit participant. Ironically referencing NYC street fashion stories, such as “On the Street with Bill Cunningham”, or The Sartorialist’s blog, such observational photography begs the question from viewers, “Where’d you get that?”, or “How’d you get that look?”.  It also is referential to US Magazine’s “Stars Are Just Like Us.” Jang’s “Hand-Phone” images were recently featured on Lint-roller’s portfolio section and can be seen on her Tumblr.

Connie Jang, SS2013, 2013

Antonia Basler‘s image is of a car’s broken headlight, which has been repaired with tape. The flashing rainbow frame takes this seemingly unappealing object and makes it desirable. Basler’s image speaks to the proliferation images which exhibit commodities on display. Once they are given the spotlight on the Internet, in public domain, do people assume there is inherent value attached to these objects? The stamp of a nice aesthetic or a catchy title sells, even if what exists inside the frame is of little value. The same goes for self-advertising on social media sites–do people attach meaning out of attractively advertised images of people? Basler’s humor is reflected in this animation. She continues to make work with cheap objects. Her “Dollar Store Series”, 2011-2012, is another example of her skill at isolating futile objects in a garish, yet still palatable manner.

Peter Scott is the curator and director of Carriage Trade. In addition to curating, Scott also makes work. This piece, “Here Comes Your Neighborhood,” 2013, was part of his solo exhibition, “Picturing the City,” at Rectangle Gallery in Brussels, in Fall of 2013. This image depicts people on the High Line in Manhattan. Collectively the photographs from this series focus on the luxury developments, and their advertisements, displayed in the gentrifying neighborhoods of New York City. “…The staging areas of the High Line reconstitute a quite “walk in the park” into a more consumer oriented experience of high-end design and public display (Rectangle Gallery Press Release, 2013).” Seeing the billboard image nestled in between buildings, in a country far from America, is a disconcerting reality of global gentrification.

Peter Scott, Here Comes Your Neighborhood, 2013