27 May, 2006

art games & reality - amsterdam


Next Level - Art, Games & Reality

10.03.06 - 18.06.06
Stedelijk Museum
Post CS Building

Work by artists and designers who make the vocabulary of games their own, and provide us with their personal reflection on it.

Click below for an impression of the exhibition:

Windows Mediaplayer Video>>


Sometimes reality and fiction can hardly be separated, and games provide us with a contemporary variant of Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass. The artists and designers of ‘Next Level’ pick up on this element and allow the visitor, in part through interactive elements, to see reality as this can be experienced in a game. The exhibition includes work by Persijn Broersen and Margit Lukacs, Brody Condon, Joes Koppers, Geert Jan Mulder and the GameKings (in cooperation with Guerilla Games).

Born in Mexico and presently living in the United States, Brody Condon is one of the most important artists who in his work is reacting to the content and graphics of video games.

His Suicide Solution shows images from more than fifty ‘first person shooter’ games. Each time he shows the moment at which the player – the first person shooter – gets hit. The effect is both hilarious and eye-opening. The title of the work refers to the song of the same title by Ozzie Osbourne, who in 1984 was accused of being responsible for the suicide of an American teenager.

Brody Condon, Need for Speed (Cargo Cult), 2005

In the work Karma Physics Elvis he refers once again to the movements that are used in games. We see a floating Elvis Presley, gilding through space in slow motion like a curdled Barbie doll, making spasmodic movements.

Condon’s Lamborghini Diabolo is based on the ‘Need for Speed’ games. The work shows a model of a sports car and is constructed as a skeleton of cast polyester elements. Brody Condon has shown at a number of museums including the Whitney in New York, and, in early 2006, at the Pace Wildenstein Gallery (New York). The authoritative art magazine Artforum has also devoted attention to his work.

The Sandberg Hall of Stedelijk Museum CS is being rebuilt into a game lounge especially for the exhibition ‘Next Level: Art, Games & Reality’. Various educational projects will be taking place there.


follow the links for the english text
Australian viewers could be excused for mistaking Condon's car for an Ian Gentle Sculpture.

It uses the same technique of jointed natural timber that Gentle has perfected over the past couple of decades. What differs is that Condon's car is manufactured into another state by being cast into polyester components.
The video above shows the works installed in the museum and gives a good visual summary of the exhibition. Condon's work stood out.

The suicide video was entertaining. He used saved clips from fifty different games, so the viewer is presented with the game of 'spotting' which games were featured. The central character dies repeatedly in a montage of virtual suicides. The viewer begins to compare the performances, raising the question of which game gives the best death experience. The death of an inexpert character is a frequently repeated event in videogaming. How well we die, and how annoying the repetition are aspects of game design that require consideration.
Condon's website

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