Emilie Duval and Kathi Schulz
Life’s a Glitch and Then You Die
May 26, 2022 - August 30, 2022
Office Space is proud to present a two-person exhibition, both physical and virtual, of complementary video artworks by a pair of feminist, technology-based artists at the Office Space Salt Lake City location. The show features two works, one entitled Industrial Consciousness by Emilie Duval and the other called limbo aesthetics by Kathi Schulz; these pieces question the primacy of a traditional Western aesthetic approach to how both architectural and digital frameworks infiltrate our everyday ontology of public spaces.
Jean Baudrillard states that “The futility of everything that comes to us from the media is the inescapable consequence of the absolute inability of that particular stage to remain silent. Music, commercial breaks, news flashes, adverts, news broadcasts, movies, presenters—there is no alternative but to fill the screen; otherwise there would be an irremediable void.... That’s why the slightest technical hitch, the slightest slip on the part of the presenter becomes so exciting, for it reveals the depth of the emptiness squinting out at us through this little window.” Duval and Schulz reexamine within their respective pieces how hybrids of digital and analog media become a forced intervention into an ever growing chasm into our increasingly emptied worlds; thus the artists’ introduction of glitches into their own systems become a reminder of our own humanity as the concept of imperfection within a matrix-like system that demands regularity and conformity within our post-Fordist economy.
Duval’s video becomes a dialogue between her painting studio practice which involves digital ruination within broken architectural forms often incorporating structures from Greek temples to office buildings and her video praxis that animates surreal machines of the retrofuture into quivering planes and vectors of mathematical forms. The viewers experience in the excerpts of the artist’s videos the digital flickering of positional coordinates within parenthesis or the rubber band abstract forms which swing back and forth to distort the machines over the picture plane. The evocation of the fantastical machine in the vocabulary of her ever shifting archive of industrial forms remind one of Duchamp’s variants on his chocolate grinder.
As a contrast, Schulz’s playful and dangerously subversive video deconstructs an Instagram-like Kathi-based persona into a self-projected fantasy that grows into a demonic nightmare as the video progresses. Invoking the notion of Catholic limbo within an unstable digital space, she pokes fun at this liminal area by adding in crazy elements such a spinning bunny model caught within a spherical cage or screenshots from her own iPhone as a painting tool; like a mesmerizing hypnosis session, the video becomes a looped permutation of sliding iPhone screens pasted with random emojis of palm trees or a red shaded shadow of human fingers touching its rubber mirror equivalent. The confusion between visual pleasure as a form of mental numbing and digital pain in form of disembodied selves and endless chanting about a hellish day that peters out into a flaming ending like a Hollywood film vanishing into thin air.
What does feminism mean in the digital era? Both Duval and Schulz offer two very different perspectives on the transmutation of this philosophical movement within our post-truth era with startling visual themes and digital visions that do not resemble each other at all. However, both are exciting in their own ways, whether sober or playful, tenuous or everlasting. After all, the feminist viewpoint is not always overtly political and tied to issues such as child care or abortion or wage equity; one could argue that feminism is a lens that can be subtle and a method for invoking an ever shifting negotiation between digitalized play and well-crafted architectonics.
Emilie Duval is a French/American multi-disciplinary visual artist. Her work is defined by research and observation to acknowledge the functionality of our societies. She focuses her interest on a wide range of contemporary matters. She translates them into an artistic metaphoric vision to extract the very sense of our societies' structural balance. She aims to lead people to a new observation of their surroundings by triggering a questioning reflection. Her work is to transform the words into a pictorial representation of societal's future tremors by developing intellectual and visual connections with people.
She was exhibited at the Holocaust Museum in Houston in 2016. She was previously featured in New American Paintings (West Issue, #72). In 2017 Duval’s work was shown at Aqua Art Basel, Miami, and in a solo show "Order From Chaos" at the Cindy Lisica Gallery in Montrose. In 2019, she had solo shows at the Heidi Vaughan Fine Art Gallery in Houston, the FWCAC in Fort Worth, and made an art talk about my creative process in visual art at Rice University. In 2021, she had a solo show in Houston at HVFA, “The Order of the Simulation” and in 2022, she had a solo in Canada at Patrick Mikhail, “Computational Dust of Existence.”
Kathi Schulz is a German painter and new media artist. She holds an MFA and Meisterschülerin-Award from Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and is currently an MFA candidate in Art and Technology and Integrated Media at the California Institute of the Arts.
Her work investigates the interdependence between our bodies/minds and digital technologies. Schulz works in media ranging from Artiﬁcial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, painting, installation, video, and sound.
Schulz was a panelist and taught workshops at Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf and NRW-Forum, Düsseldorf. Her work has been exhibited internationally in New York, San Francisco, and Germany; and has been shown at Kunsthalle Düsseldorf/Germany, K21 Kunstsammlung Düsseldorf/ Germany, ARS ELECTRONICA, Linz/Austria, and Museum Kunstpalast Düsseldorf/Germany. Schulz lives and works in Los Angeles.
CHECKLIST OF WORKS
Emilie Duval, Industrial Consciousness, 2020
digital video, 2 minutes 24 seconds
Emilie Duval, Industrial Consciousness (exhibition walkthrough), 2020
digital video, 9 seconds
Kathi Schulz, limbo aesthetics, 2022
digital video, 15 minutes 7 seconds