XenoClassic

20 January —
22 April 2017
Sam Basu & Liz Murray, Prophet Royal Robertson, Daniel Vorthuys

XenoClassic begins with commitment to neurodiversity and to a wider idea of authentic mental conditions. It couples this with a commitment to the Project of Art, with all the predetermined significance of the human removed. It is committed to the work of building a counter hegemony and to the defining of ideals along with our capacity for ‘carriance’, exquisite care and response-ability, yet still being on the side of paranoia (after Dali’s méthode paranoïaque-critique) and expected alienation.

We fell to earth to live inside David Bowie who is playing Thomas Jerome Newton who is playing a human. Remote planets are in danger, but in the meantime we survive by selling diamonds and impossible technology for hotel rooms and drinks. We are in the business of medical transplants; not transplants between the same species; not allotransplantation (from the Other), but xenotransplantation (from the strange), beyond species. We are indebted to xenoplastic constitutions from the cyborg, the parasite, the possessed, to the enthralled.

We are a strange host.

The exhibition XenoClassic is a collaboration between Sam Basu and Liz Murray who will bring along and include drawings of the late Prophet Royal Robertson(1936–1997) from their personal collection. On the invitation of Sam Basu, Daniel Vorthuys completes the exhibition and will open the show with a newly commissioned performance to be recorded and included in the exhibition.

Prophet Royal Robertson (21 October 1936–5 July 1997, Louisiana, US)
Despite recurring misogynist themes in Robertson’s work, he is most notable for synthesising experiences of alienation and exclusion with aspirations for a utopic future. He depicts apocalyptic destruction as well as futuristic cities and dwellings, taking on the mantle of prophetic visionary as well as betrayed and excluded victim. Robertson suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and though his oeuvre can not be fully reconstructed under the more positive aspects of Afrofuturism, the violence of his experience is tangible, and unmediated.

Daniel Vorthuys (1990, The Hague, NL)
Working in the interstice between the plastic arts and poetry, Vorthuys ungrounded the western classical tradition to explore its various metamorphoses of the human form. In his work this human form appears constructible and capable of extreme change. He presents this post-man without resort to the idea of crisis but rather explores its erotic, lyric dimension. For XenoClassic, Vorthuys will present a new work/performance.

Sam Basu & Liz Murray (1967 & 1955, London, UK)
Over the past year Basu & Murray have fused their practices as artist and designer/fabricator for a series of exhibition projects. They present drawings and sculpture that imagines the dramatic performance of alienation as a necessity in any emancipatory script. Their recent work has looked at aspects of counterculture, fantasy community, and architecture, which they navigate through models, diagrams and spontaneous philosophy as well as collaborative art-working.

Supported by Gemeente Rotterdam and MYA Culture Funds.

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