Jul 8 - Oct 7
11:00 - 17:00
With Supersublime Giant gallery continues to challenge the idea that contemporary art is made up of disparate individuals by pointing to the trends and directions that echo the themes of our times. This exhibition draws together works that point to how artists use symbolic tropes to show us how our perception of the familiar mutates with advances in technology and changes vectors in society. In essence, how an anthropocentric understanding of the world manifests as a form of Romanticism, an idealism that reconfigures unknown futures into the ‘allure of nostalgia’. Curated by Theo Ellison the works of Samuel Capps, Simon Denny, Theo Ellison, Joe Moss, Sofia Albina Novikoff Unger, Damien Roach, Sophie Rogers, Jennifer Steinkamp, Theo Triantafyllidis, Jordan Wolfson, Guan Xiao, and 00 Zhang highlight an electrified world led by yesterday’s desires played forward with speculative, humorous, and uncanny results. The sublime aspect of this relationship is that ‘who we are’ is reflected back to us in ways that both extend and other us. Like Dr Frankenstein the gap between creations made in the image of our ideals and results of our imperfect self knowledge are monstrous, but also compelling and perhaps instructional.
Exhibition notes: Supersublime
GIANT presents Supersublime, a group exhibition that explores how Romanticism continues to shape the digital age. Riffing off cinema’s perfected CGI landscapes, our anxiety over the emergence of AI and the undelivered promise of cryptocurrency, the show digs into the uneasy relationship between technology, nature and nostalgia. Curated by Theo Ellison, Supersublime runs from 8 July to 7 October 2023.
Romanticism continues to define our aesthetic. Against the backdrop of the Industrial Revolution, it looked to reverse scientific logic in favour of a ‘return to nature’ and a focus on imagination and subjectivity. Nature over artifice; passion over reason; idealism over reality; nostalgia over progress.
The modern world can still be understood as swinging between the cool detachment of scientific rationalism on the one hand, and a desire for transcendent experience on the other. Kitsch vestiges of Casper David Friedrich and William Wordsworth may remain, but Romanticism has evolved.
This exhibition taps into the enduring influence of Romanticism and how it maps onto current sociopolitical and visual culture. The cult of the artist, populism, postmodernism, post-truth, social media aesthetics, deep-fake videos, augmented reality and computer-generated imagery. Against its own instincts, Romanticism has embraced, responded to and influenced the digital information age. The more disconnected we feel and the more anxiety arises about emergent technologies, the greater the appeal of Romanticism; a digital sublime.
The artworks in this show approach these elements in differing ways, and interactions emerge through the common threads running across them: the absurdity of digital interaction; the saturation of postmodern irony; the seductiveness of computer-generated imagery; the moral ambiguity of AI technology; the allure of nostalgia.
Bringing together emerging artists with more established names, and ranging across video, sculpture, sound and print, Supersublime features works by: Samuel Capps; Simon Denny; Theo Ellison; Joe Moss; Sofia Albina Novikoff Unger; Damien Roach; Sophie Rogers; Jennifer Steinkamp; Theo Triantafyllidis; Jordan Wolfson; Guan Xiao; and 00 Zhang.
GIANT, a 15,000 square foot gallery in Bournemouth, opened in Summer 2021. The largest artist-led space in the UK, it is situated within a historic building in the heart of the town centre and has already featured important works by major international artists including Turner Prize Winner Jeremy Deller, British photographer Martin Parr, artist-activist Kacey Wong, installation artist Jim Lambie and YBAs Jake and Dinos Chapman, Gavin Turk and most recently Michael Simpson. GIANT’s exhibitions to date have remained true to its promise to be accessible, entertaining, exciting, challenging and open; bringing many of the world’s greatest contemporary artists to Bournemouth for the first time they have garnered visitor figures that rival some of London’s most loved institutions.
Founded by British contemporary artist Stuart Semple, GIANT is programmed to feature works by some of the best-known international artists and new pieces by inspiring yet largely unknown creators from around the globe, aiming to start dialogues across hierarchies, histories and cultures. It is hoped that a conversation around the opportunity to integrate art into life in new ways might emerge. Or, at the very least, a recognition of art’s vital role in our connection with one another, our communities and our future.