Cécile B. Evans, What the Heart Wants, 2016, Video installation
Photo: Courtesy Cécile B. Evans/Andres Parody; Barbara Seiler, Zürich; Galerie Emanuel Layr, Wien
June 04 – September 18, 2016
Friday, 03. June 2016, 7–10 p.m.
Wed–Mon 11 am–7 pm, Thu 11 am–9 pm
Further venues of the 9th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art
Akademie der Künste
Pariser Platz 4, 10117 Berlin
ESMT European School of Management and Technology
Schlossplatz 1, 10178 Berlin
The Feuerle Collection
Hallesches Ufer 70, 10963 Berlin
Fahrgastschiff Blue-Star der Reederei Riedel
Blue-Star sightseeing boat of Reederei Riedel
Two-hour boat trip departing from Märkisches Ufer 34, 10179 Berlin
The 9th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, curated by DIS, opens on June 3, 2016. As part of the Biennale, the Schering Stiftung supports the new work, “What the Heart Wants,” by the Belgian-American artist Cécile B. Evans. Evans’ work unravels the value of emotions in contemporary society, the increasing influence of new technologies on how we feel and act, and the ways in which they circulate and influence the economy.
Born 1983 in Cleveland, USA, the London- and Berlin-based artist Cécile B. Evans employs installation, video, sculpture, performance, and online platforms to address how person-to-machine exchanges reflect the contemporary human condition. Evans’ recent video works, “AGNES” and “Hyperlinks or It Didn’t Happen” (both 2014), examine the lives of digital beings—via an interactive spambot and the digital resurrection of a Hollywood actor—by asking what they want for their “selves,” and how their desires relate to us.
Evans’ new work, “What the Heart Wants” (2016), is an exploration of the future of what it could mean to be human. Start-ups, politicians, and megacorporations all strive to get to the “real you,” often by wringing users through an experience of content described by a start-up spokesperson as an “emotional roller coaster.” Presented in an immersive installation which includes a room flooded with water, Evans’ work takes a look at the attempt to pass as a person in the digital age—juxtaposing this with the corporate, technological, institutional, social, and political machines that seem set to define the entity of the “self.” If “corporations are people too,” to quote the notion of corporate personhood, then “HYPER,” an ambiguous power and the narrator of “What the Heart Wants,” has achieved this ultimate goal. Appearing in female form, she demonstrates her labor and very best intentions.
The 9th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art seeks to materialize the digital condition and the paradoxes that increasingly make up the world in 2016: the virtual as the real, nations as brands, people as data, culture as capital, wellness as politics, happiness as GDP, and so on.
The Berlin Biennale is organized by KW Institute for Contemporary Art and funded by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation).
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