Gazelli Art House presents I Cyborg, curated by Will Corwin, a group exhibition featuring UK
and US based artists who are cognisant of the position of the human in relation to its new place as
an increasingly hybridised and unified entity and creating artwork about this transition. The days of
the Vitruvian Man are numbered and he has been replaced by a growing physical collaboration with
technology, architecture and the wider biological panorama.
The exhibition is not about new forms of art, but as these difficult and contradictory ideas about
humanity sink in, older forms such as sculpture, ceramics and painting are as quick to embrace and
consider the new world as performance, video and computer animation. Collaborative artist duo Roxy
Topia and Paddy Gould fashion lively ceramics and fabric works which employ a playful aesthetic
language of the grotesque utilising bodily functions and visceral or disquieting physical experiences.
Dustin Yellin collects, manipulates and constructs three dimensional collage pieces suspended within
a structure which both presents the clippings as sculptural objects and fragments of text and ideas,
they assume a cohesion based on unexpected coincidences as well as the artist’s careful collecting and
unconventional collation techniques. Aziz + Cucher’s new digital jacquard tapestry from their “Some
People” series represents human emotion and gesture within a landscape that has been devastated by
either misguided war or ongoing tribal and nationalistic conflict, alluding to the past, and referring to
the future, and evoking the senselessness and futility of these ongoing struggles and the anxiety of the
historical moment we all inhabit.
This exhibition includes works with a political angle as well: artists have always been the canaries
in the mineshaft in terms of social and cultural changes. The new technological and environmental
changes that are affecting our lives have inevitably seeped into the practices of the exhibiting artists
drawing inspiration from their surroundings—both physical and metaphysical. Roxy Paine’s diagrams
approximate and assess various processes—scientific, chemical, intellectual, and bemusedly offer an
“unbiased” opinion. James Ostrer’s new photographic series “The Ego System” draws inspiration from
his surroundings by means of the media, portraying grotesque portraits of characters such as Donald
Trump. Meanwhile, Recycle Group’s sculpture reflects on what our time will leave behind for future
generations, what artefacts archaeologists will find after we are gone, and whether these artefacts will
find their place in the cultural layer referencing technology and social media. Similarly fascinated by
the transformative quality of memory and time, Saad Qureshi’s drawings and sculpture probe issues of
contemporary cultural belonging.
I Cyborg is an exhibition about aesthetics as well—the body has always been a fascination for artists,
but how does one address a body that is linked to a greater consciousness and is itself transforming
physically through the addition of non-organic components as well as the intrusion of alternative genetic
material? Counterintuitively perhaps, both Elisabeth Kley and Will Corwin reach back into antiquity
in order to represent the body as a hybridised entity: Kley’s cinerary urns and sigils look at the figure in
reverse — anthropomorphising the object, while Corwin reassembles the body from found objects and architectural details. Kianja Strobert’s painting process makes direct reference to the body through the
parameters of the gesture vis a vis the dimensions of her figure as well as the act of mark making using
finger prints, scuffs and scratches.
I Cyborg is the antidote to humanism—it neither rejects nor glorifies the idea of the figure or the singular
human consciousness, instead envisioning a humanity embodied in multiplicity and the other.
Contemporary gallery Gazelli Art House supports a wide range of international artists, presenting a
broad and critically acclaimed programme of exhibitions to a diverse audience through global public
projects and exhibition spaces in London and Baku. Gazelli Art House was founded in 2003 in Baku,
Azerbaijan where it held exhibitions with Azeri artists. From 2010, having hosted conceptually interlinked
off-site exhibitions across London, Founder and Director Mila Askarova opened a permanent space on
Dover Street, London in March 2012. The same year, the Window Project was launched utilising the
frontage of the gallery as additional display platform. In 2015, the initiative was remodelled to solely
accommodate art school graduates through open call competitions three times a year. In 2015, the
gallery launched its Digital Art House www.gazell.io, an online residency for artists working in the digital
realm. As part of the gallery’s on-going commitment to art education, a series of events and talks are
organised to run alongside each exhibition.