Location: Cemeti – Institute for Art and Society
Date: March 6 – 20, 2018
Hours: 10:00 – 17:00
A project initiated by Auto Italia South East
In collaborate with Marianne Forrest, Edward Gillman, Pablo Jones Soler, Friend in French (a.k.a. Ahmi Kim), Natasha Tontey, and more collaborators T.B.C
Tuesday, March 6, 2018, 19.00
Artist Talk with Auto Italia
Wednesday, March 7, 2018, 15.30
MASS is a new project initiated by UK based collective Auto Italia South East, resulting from their one-month research residency at Cemeti in collaboration with British Council Indonesia. The exhibition of new artwork by Auto Italia serves to launch a collaboratively produced fanzine which will be published later in the year.
MASS seeks to explore ideas of fandom amidst a growing trend for “survivalism” within Western cultural production and entertainment industries. These forms of media are increasingly producing post-apocalyptic aesthetics, narratives and tropes and using them as tools by which to gain a new generation of fans. MASS will adopt the format of a “fanzine” as a way to explore the political potential of being a fan. While creating fandoms is a tool used widely in consumer capitalism, MASS aims to seek out the other possibilities; those where becoming a fan can enable disruption and effect change. For this fanzine, which will be produced later in the year, Auto Italia will take the role of a guest editor, inviting collaborators from Jogja and their network in the UK to submit creative responses that experiment with the idea of “fans” or “characters” as subversive and powerful, as well as a force by which to replicate and emulate.
Although clearly operating within a space defined by neoliberal capitalism through the associated brand value and capital that the objects of a fan’s affection holds, there is nevertheless something transcending in the action of becoming a fan –seeking affinity with others, forming relationships, embracing escapism and desire. As artists, designers and cultural producers appear increasingly drawn towards the aesthetics, cultural figures, and narrative tropes of “survival” not only as means within themselves, but also through which to embody gestures of protest, we see the consumer body –or fandom– frequently cast with political and protest potential, not merely as groups embracing and purchasing escapism. Adopting the shape of the fanzine not only in its production and distribution, but in its refusal to demand professionalisation, expertise, or accreditation, MASS seeks a layered approach to sharing research, references, and ideas, positioning the “fan” as a body with an endless set of potentials, both latent and obvious.
The exhibition at Cemeti uses the visual strategies of a brand launch, giving an identity to the as yet unrealised fanzine with the “face” and style of the brand developed through a collaboration between Marianne Forrest, Edward Gillman and Pablo Jones Soler, a logo and brand identity by Natasha Tontey, and a soundtrack by Friend in French (a.k.a. Ahmi Kim). For this first public moment, MASS offers a visual assemblage that presents an idea of what the object of the fans’ desire and the character of its fandom might become. MASS presents, MASS represents, MASS becomes, MASS can be, what is MASS, MASS is, or is it, MASS is coming soon.
Auto Italia South East (London, England) is an artist-run project and studio based in London that commissions and produces new work –collaborating directly with emerging artists. Founded in 2007 from a foundation of grassroots organising, Auto Italia is dedicated to experimental research and practice.
This exhibition is the fifth of Cemeti’s Berbagi series of exhibitions, running until June 2018 and consisting of projects experimenting with different forms of collaborative practice. Berbagi marks the second draft of our current Maintenance Works programme (January 2017-June 2018).