Soft Sell

3.02.11 - 02.12.2017

Aline Bouvy / Clémence de la Tour du Pin / Julius Heinemann / Omsk Social Club / Harry Sanderson / Maximilian Schmoetzer

Soft Sell is a group exhibition that looks at the role of architecture in determining certain subject positions. Contemporary architecture, as it is employed within commercial and museum settings, places an emphasis on surface, image and display so as to seduce and distract. It has been argued such spaces render us passive consumers and impotent political agents. Center, which was originally designed as a commercial shop with large floor to ceiling windows, is the perfect setting in which to examine this postmodern emphasis on surface and symbols.

Soft Sell, like soft power, is about transforming and managing perception. It is also a pleasing word play, recalling the name of the 80s British New Wave band Soft Cell. The name suggests a padded cell and by extension the panoptic gaze of the state or the institution. Today the surveillance state is firmly aligned with corporate interests making the all-encompassing gaze of technology and commerce inseparable from the controlling gaze of state and institution. Benjamin H. Bratton's account of the reverse panopticon effect as 'exhibitionism in bad faith’ whereby 'you know you are being watched but act as if you aren’t,' echoes the Freudian account of the exhibitionist as the voyeur in disguise who acts out their own imagined viewing.

Photos: Frank Sperling

  1. Installation shot: Aline Bouvy, Julius Heinemann.

  2. Istallation shot: Aline Bouvy, Julius Heinemann.

  3. Julius Heinmemann,edge, 2016-17. Acrylic, spray paint, crayon, graphite on MDF 114 x 86 x 2 cm

  4. Harry Sanderson, Solid State Sunlight, 1 – 2, 2016. HD Video 61’

  5. Installation shot: Clemence de la Tour du Pin, Harry Sanderson.

  6. Clémence de la Tour du Pin, PWF aconite / PWF venom / PWF phlegm / PWF mother of pearl / PWF ambergris / PWF slaver, 2017.Wall fan case, chain, latex, paint. Dimensions variable.

  7. Aline Bouvy, Empathy III, 2015.Thermoformed Plexiglass, bronze eel casts.198 x 114 x 40 cm.

  8. Aline Bouvy, Empathy III, 2015 (Detail)

  9. Omsk Social Club feat. Candy Blissett, Data Asphyxiation, 2017. Audio 16’32” Link

  10. Exterior shot.

  11. Exteroir shot: Aline Bouvy, Clémence de la Tour du Pin.

  12. Aline Bouvy,Entropy Reloaded, 2016. Metal, plastic, bleach.57 x 80.5 x 70.5 cm.

  13. Maximilian Schmoetzer, RAM, 2017.Brass, tin, privacy filter, glass, neon light. 76 x 89 x 3 cm.

  14. Aline Bouvy,Entropy Reloaded, 2016.(Detail)