Exhibition | Stine Deja 'There's Life Outside' | at Annka Kultys Gallery | London | Art Week

Stine Deja 'There's Life Outside'

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Date: 
Wednesday, 27 September 2017 to Saturday, 7 October 2017
Opening: 
Tuesday, 26 September 2017 -
6:00pm to 8:00pm

Opening Reception: Tuesday 26 September, 6-8 pm

Press preview in presence of the artist: Tuesday, 26 September, 5 pm

Annka Kultys Gallery is pleased to present recent video works and installations by the London-based artist Stine Deja marking the artist’s second solo show with the gallery.  The exhibition, titled There’s Life Outside, is intended as an exposé of our increasingly artificial world.

For the show, the gallery space has been transformed into a fragment of a living room, with the key archetypal elements of a living room used all being man-made and synthetic versions of a ‘real thing,’ such as the vinyl-clad recliner chairs for example.

Into this space Deja has placed two installations in the form of windows, complete with curtain rails and accompanying gauze curtain, which in the normal course of things would furnish the gallery goer with a view of the world beyond the gallery space, the word outside.  Yet in both, the anticipated view is obscured by rows of cans of Coca-Cola’s recent ‘Life’ brand of cola.  The installations highlight the ironies and contradictions within Coca-Cola’s marketing strategy for its Life sub-brand.  For example, having a multi-national global corporation name its latest product after that most organic of processes, i.e., life itself, only emphasises the contrast to the artificiality and lifelessness of the product.  The corporation claims the product is ’sweetened by natural sources’ and uses the colour green in the livery of the Life cans, the colour universally evocative of health and environmental awareness, in an arguably cynical attempt to associate the product with those same notions of health and well-being.  Yet by presenting the product as a somehow life-enhancing or life-affirming Coca-Cola cloaks the company’s real purpose of selling a mass-produced and mass-marketed sweetened cola drink.  The artist’s decision to use a product of the Coca-Cola company to probe the relationship between the genuine and the artificial is significant, given the company’s iconic marketing campaign of the early 1970s with its famous tag-line “It’s the Real Thing.”  Deja’s windows invite gallery visitors to dwell upon the extent to which global corporations are bringing us closer to or further from whatever it is that is connoted by the notion of life.

The windows are complemented in the gallery by two video pieces by the artist: The Perfect Human and Self-service.  Self-service features the computer-generated voice of an automated supermarket self-checkout, overlaying images of rose petals floating in air around a rotating shopping trolley.  The saccharine petals romanticise what has now become the anonymous and choreographed experience of contemporary grocery shopping, and simultaneously foster a nostalgia for a not forgotten near-past when buying groceries implied idle chit-chat with a real check-out operator.

Deja’s The Perfect Human is an ontological examination of what it means to be human.  It explores how we become who we are, how we process our experiences and how given roles affect us, through keen observation rather than by positing hard answers.  Drawing on an original 1967 video work by Danish filmmaker Jorgen Leth, The Perfect Human reworks and digitises his observations on what it means to be ‘perfectly’ human, employing an unseen commentator-observer to interrogate and analyse the video-subject’s human perfection.  Yet Deja’s version of the human is no longer a simple biological being inhabiting a clinical white room, but rather is suspended in the virtual reality of the computer screen – connected yet alone.

There’s Life Outside asks whether in our increasingly artificial world we risk losing what it means to be alive.

For all press inquires and to RVSP to the 26 September press preview contact Paola +44 (0) 20 3302 6070, press@annkakultys.com

472 Hackney Road | Unit 3, 1st Floor | London E2 9EQ | 
T +44 20 3302 6070 | office@annkakultys.com

Viewing Hours: Wed – Sat | 12 – 6 pm

Artist ( Name ):

Artist ( Description ): 

Using 3-D animation, digital surrogates, and narrative, Stine Deja’s videos explore how cyberspace affects our imagination and sense of intimacy. Recognising that technology has become an architect of emotion in the hybrid space of contemporary life, Deja’s work compels the viewer to consider him or herself through this self-reflective intertwining of humans and machines.

Deja’s lavish and sleek animations wash over the viewer, encapsulating the viewer’s consciousness in a bubble of highly stylised motifs and graphics; often supported by music. These microcosms are further punctuated with footage found in the public domain, integrating a sense of parody and the absurd within the narrative. Throughout Deja’s practice, the use of voice-over guides each viewer across the transient planes of her videos. Within this generated space, viewers inhabit digital surrogates that negotiate the malleable borders separating the ‘real’ and the ‘virtual.’ These entities feel an uncanny familiarity, with their responsive range stretching from comforting to ironic. Deja’s digital human proxies simultaneously probe both cyberspace and the viewer’s psyche, investigating the extent by which genuine emotional feeling within this virtual realm shapes us as social beings.

Stine Deja was born in Denmark in 1986 and currently lives and works in London. She received her MA in Visual Communication (Moving Image) from the Royal College of Art in 2015 and her BA in Interaction Design from Kolding School of Design in 2012.

In 2017, Annka Kultys Gallery is pleased to welcome Deja by hosting her first solo exhibition with the gallery featuring CYPHORIA, a virtual travel agency that explores the techno-social phenomenon of living concurrently outside/inside the machine. Deja is also collaborating with artist Marie Munk on a forthcoming project examining synthesised intimacy.

A select exhibition history of the artist includes shows at: Annka Kultys Gallery, London; Assembly Point, London; SixtyEight Art Institute, Copenhagen; Frieze, London; Concrete Lab, Copenhagen; Remisen, Copenhagen; Bargehouse, London; Hockney Gallery, London; Fringe Film Festival, London; Dansk Kvindesamfund, Copenhagen; and No Man’s Art Gallery, Copenhagen.

Telephone: 
+44 20 3302 6070

Venue ( Name ):

Venue ( Address ): 

472 Hackney Road, Unit 3, 1st Floor, London E2 9EQ

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