AMBITUS has several diverse interpretations for the artist: ‘circular’, a musical term for the ‘range between the highest and lowest notes’, the English word “ambition” derives from it and, in addition, “Ambitus” was a term for buying votes for the senate and, as such, can be interpreted as a byword for political corruption and collusion. This ambiguity of the word AMBITUS well reflects the concepts behind and discussed within the exhibition.
The exhibition is divided into two parts:
AMBITUS I is a guerrilla style exhibition, in a small, hidden location. The exhibiting space introduces an alternative to an exhibition in a conventional gallery space. The show is constructed as a complex labyrinth, circling subjects suggested by two events which occurred in 1917. One was the closing of the Cabaret Voltaire and the advance of Dadaism around the world. The second event was the Bolshevik revolution and the subsequent spread of communist ideology.
The former was a rebellion by underprivileged dilettantes against the art establishment in general: its traditions, the academies and the dominant, conformist art doctrines. The latter was a rebellion by the underprivileged classes against the privileged. 100 years later, we celebrate those liberations: anyone as an Artist, anything as Art, with Dada’s ideas at the foundation of this new ‘Academy’.
The subsequent avant-garde movements in Art were adopted as the cultural identity of a newborn, post colonial, political model. All individual works in the exhibition, from the miniatures and small objects to the largest work, “Prince Albert’s Secret”, encompass this concept at their very heart . The central work in the exhibition being “Comintern Dollhouse”, around which the entire exhibition is built. The dollhouse itself representing a parody on conventional gallery space, with miniature paintings, objects and even the miniature price list with reflectively miniature prices.
AMBITUS II presents another alternative to an exhibition in a typical white cubed gallery space. Here works are of a larger scale and displayed against an opulent backdrop of a sophisticated private members club. One room will host a curated body of works selected from the artist’s popular ‘Remake’ series. Initiated in 2005 this series of work was inspired by the flood of fake dvds from China readily available on the streets of the artist’s home town of Macau. Poorly filmed, often in cinemas with audience members clearly visible in the foreground, and poorly translated subtitles, the resulting works are a collision of heavily distorted movie stills and jarring, out of place statements.
The second room will present a display of works from the more recent series “Aedificium” and “Deity of Doubt”. The subject matters of which delve into challenging current dominant art and political doctrines and perceptions. All the works in this room attempt to address the artist’s reflections on the complex subjects of indoctrination, bogus values, idolatry and, above all, the strife for individual freedoms in contemporary society.