The term ‘cloud point’ belongs to the vocabulary of fossil fuel energies: a ‘cloud point extraction’ turns solids into liquids by temporarily modifying their temperature.
The artists presented in this exhibition belong to a generation for whom no material is natural anymore. Matter, in its totality, is both form and content, subject and object, nature and culture. In other words, there is no neutral background in today’s images, but streams and active forces.
Cloud Point gathers artists who don’t consider objects, products or masses in their work, but rather the atomic structure of our surroundings, and theirs. They are particularly interested in the in-betweens — processes of liquefaction, moments of coagulation, condensation points… The emergence of this molecular gaze in contemporary art also reflects in theory and politics.
Politics goes molecular as Felix Guattari had already stated, in the 1970’s, talking about a necessary ‘molecular revolution’. We see how gas, oil, bacterias, viruses or chemicals become the new agents of History. Zygmunt Bauman analysed postmodern capitalism as a process of liquefaction of our institutions. Today Karen Barad describes matter, at its molecular stage, as pure ‘queerness’. And according to Rosa Braidotti, ‘Capital seeks and reduces body fluids to merchandise: the sweat and cheap blood of the labor force available throughout the Third World; but also the fluids of the desire of First World consumers who reduce their existence to a commodity by transforming it into a hyper-saturated state of confusion.’
Marieke Bernard Berkel
Cloud Point is the last exhibition in Paradise Row’s one-year, pop-up curatorial programme staged in Mayfair.
NGO donation: In an act repeated across its year-long programme, Paradise Row Projects has invited the curator to select the NGO that will benefit financially from the show. Accordingly, Cloud Point will raise funds for Palianytsia, a Ukrainian charity based in Lviv, Ukraine, dedicated to providing humanitarian aid to refugees and war victims.Participating artists and Paradise Row Projects will donate 20% of the income of all sales to the NGO.