Posthuman (Michal Rovner) Evolution

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Michal Rover’s latest show at Pace, Evolution, is hardcore posthuman. Viewed from the chilly distance of a desert, the human is seen reproduced and submerged in a collective mass of de-realized figures on the move going nowhere, submerged in technology, across indiscrete and wild electronic surfaces, across and over the skin of a jackal whose body slowly twists and then turns on the video monitor, emerging out of the night. You can read an interview with and comments with the artist here. In Evolution, the only face belongs to the jackal. Between abstraction and animality, what remains of the human there are is in the rough contour, the reminder of a physical frame patterned together with others of its kind. For readers of Deleuze, all of this should look familiar –wolf-packs, nomadic lines of flight, difference and repetition, becoming animal, becoming machine.

From the press release issued by the gallery is this comment by Yoram Verete: “Across the works in the exhibition, Rovner presents us with the evolution of these hieroglyphic-like, narrative-less ‘texts.’ At first they are much more representative, clearer, relatively stable; then they become more rapid, fleeting, hard to grasp, ambiguous, alluding to the intensity and communication overload of a reality that allows us to see everything, from the electronic innards of a computer to brain synapses, a reality of barcodes, control panels, matrix charts, microchips, and the like. While the lines of text still invariably feature human figures, human signs and gestures; reading them is becoming harder and harder. In the end, only the writing remains, as a signifier without the signified, striving to be seen, to sparkle, flash, stand out, as if the ultimate representation of human consciousness is signaling for help.”

Apart from the coldness, the problem with this body of work is when the art itself becomes redundant. Are these all clones, as suggested by the press release which you can read here)?

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish though and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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