The Hectic Flâneur
N.O. Concept Gallery
The pieces presented in the exhibition The Hectic Flâneur show two stages of the artist’s work. The first one, mostly abstract in its nature, aims to reflect on Zygmunt Bauman’s concept of the flâneur as the life pace of postmodernism[i]. As we live in a time of fast changes and short-term pleasures, the world is full of flâneurs that have lost the leisureliness implied by the role. Instead these flâneurs do continue to take on unexpected strolls, but ones filled with acceleration and haste. Zygmunt Bauman argues that this phenomenon owes its existence to the informational over-saturation that we are experiencing nowadays. Due to the ever increasing amount of information and influences, the flâneur finds it hard to follow a linear path, which leads to a mere disintegration and fragmentation of time. This work came about from a series called Marinetti Takes a Break which aims to mock the glorification of haste and speed idolized by the Italian Futurists.
However, it seems that painting, as a medium, defies the life strategy of The Hectic Flâneur as it is a medium that calls for lingering. A painting, as an object, represents the accumulation of the artist’s time and labor, which is present on the canvas due to the materiality of the medium itself. That time is visible and tangible on the surface of the painting because of the mere fact that the artist’s hand touched the surface. A painting, as such, aims to capture and tame the viewer’s gaze.
The second part of the exhibition came about during the artist’s residency in Barcelona’s Fabra i Coats. This work was influenced by found images of the intangible non-space of social media. The aforementioned, ever-increasing exposure to information is, nowadays, mostly present on social media such as Instagram. Most of the paintings came about from screen-shots of others’ Instagram Stories. Therefore, the image moves from being an intangible, digital image that lasts 24 hours onto a durable, traditional object - an oil painting.
[i] Bauman, Zygmunt. “From Pilgrim to Tourist – or a Short History of Identity.” Questions of Cultural Identity, edited by Paul Du Gay and Stuart Hall, SAGE Publications Ltd, 1995, pp. 18-36. SAGE Books