Jon Rafman
HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL II 15 oct.— 6 dec. 2014

Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran is proud to present the latest exhibition by Jon Rafman, HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL II. An explorer and archivist of Internet culture, Jon Rafman investigates the changing nature of the self under contemporary conditions as he navigates the boundaries between the virtual and the real, the historical and the personal. His body of digital and physical works traverses the found and the made, the still and the moving, incorporating video, installation, sculpture, printmaking and painting.

In his latest series, Manifolds, Rafman presents us with a radical new way of representing the human form. In an earlier series, New Age Demanded, altered classical Greek busts, totally strange yet somehow familiar, celebrated the human as they integrated the past with visions of alternative futures. Once more digitally conceived, Manifolds have now become full-bodied. Manifolds capture the unease and violence that accompanies the invisible yet irreversible ruptures imposed by extreme technological change. In a snapshot of the mutations brought about by technology, Rafman pauses upon this moment of man’s transformation, somehow revealing the beauty in this forceful moment of change. Although the sculptures are bent, cut, moved, pushed, crushed, twisted, squashed, folded, hacked, and tilted whilst being given durable material expression through three-dimensional printing, their intrinsic humanity is nonetheless immediately recognizable. A figure of a human stands alone: on the verge of becoming other, its abstracted form appears contemporary yet primordial, identifiable yet ambiguous.

In an accompanying installation, Rafman pulls from obscure online subculture and achieves the sublime in the abject – revealing both the possibilities and limitations of digital technologies. In entrusting the online to a greater historical archive, Jon Rafman’s work reveals his critical awareness of issues of duration and preservation.

Jon Rafman (b. 1981) lives and works in Montréal. His films and artworks have gained international exposure with his series The Nine Eyes of Google Street View. Rafman has exhibited at the New Museum (New York), Palais de Tokyo (Paris), Saatchi Gallery (London), the Contemporary Art Museum of Saint-Louis and the Power Plant (Toronto). He was nominated for the Sobey Art Award 2014 and the Future Generation Art Prize 2014 and will be participating in an upcoming exhibition at the Pinchuk Art Center in Kiev. In addition, he is preparing a solo exhibition at the Musée d’Art contemporain de Montréal in 2015. Jon Rafman’s works can be found in numerous public and private collections, including those of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, the MACRO (Rome), la Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Hydro-Québec, DeVos Art Museum (Michigan), and the Getty Trust (Los Angeles).