STAY AT HOME #05
Infowars Made Me Hardcore, 2020
[The art happens here]
Annka Kultys Gallery’s online platform dedicated to the showcasing of digital art in its natural habitat, so to speak. The creation in 2020 of [The art happens here] provides a natural extension to the gallery’s offline programme which has as one of its strengths the presentation of “digital natives” or artists making art that engages with technology and the internet.
Annka Kultys is pleased to stream a collaborative AV Collage from Allan Gardner & Michael Sangster’s, Infowars Made Me Hardcore (2020) comprise the fifth instalment of the gallery’s online exhibition Stay at home, a presentation of new digital works produced by artists in response to the coronavirus pandemic. On every Sunday of the lockdown during Stay at home, a new artist will be showcased on AKG’s recently launched online platform [The art happens here]. Gardner’s video are on show for the fifth week of Stay at home, following on from James Knott Crisis Du Jour series. Episode 1 Eggs (2019) and Episode 2 Beans in Isolation (2020) , Jillian Mayer’s You’ll Be Okay, Adad Hannah’s Social Distancing Video Portraits, and the opening show, James Irwin’s Surface Collider (23032020).
AKG is also announcing all gallery benefits (i.e., profits after the artist has been compensated in the usual manner) from featured digital works sold via [The art happens here] will be donated to the National Emergencies Trust. The purchasers’ generosity will help to financially support the featured artists during this unprecedented period when non-essential shops are closed, including art museums and commercial galleries, leading to postponed exhibitions for artists, and ensuring at least part of artists’ incomes can be maintained.
Infowars Made Me Hardcore is a new collaborative AV Collage from Allan Gardner & Michael Sangster. Produced under the COVID19 Government Lockdown, the piece looks more broadly at contemporary relationships to threat, distraction and chaos. The materials weave between pop culture, memetic and art historical references creating a rapid-fire tour of cultural artefacts designed to be read independently by the viewer. In doing so, individualised relationships to contemporary popular culture establishes the tone and narrative of the work.
Infowars Made Me Hardcore is a reaction to a seemingly inexorable societal death drive, our unalterable course towards the impending apocalypse. Crises are shovelled into the 24-hour news cycle, economic collapse coupled with the rapid decline of a terminally ill planet are pitched in concurrence with the rise of populist politics and an increasingly fragmented left. As the endless cycle of outrage reaches terminal velocity, we become saturated, bloated by constant feeding.
The work addresses the pace with which we’re confronted by mixed messages, the devaluation of media blending panic with indifference to create a new anxiety for the 2020s. In a post-facts society, how can words be worth anything? IWMMHC focuses on our changing relationship to media, the notion that this creates a barrier between the viewer and reality in which a cultural agnosticism renders resolution impossible. It explores a sense of powerlessness, a nihilistic world-view previously considered taboo but rapidly becoming a reality under increased police powers, economic downturn and an endemic inability to hold people in power accountable for their actions.
The primary inspiration for Gardner’s recent work is fear; the contemporary experience of living in fear and anxiety, the way that this inspires hopelessness and a sense of nihilistic misanthropy, a distrust of one another that separates us from our community, our peers and our sense of self. The source imagery primarily comes from film stills: Documentaries about the extremities of human experience – addiction, degradation, violence, fetish, sexuality, compulsion, something of an obsession for the artist. Authenticity is maintained by only working with images from contemporary reality– even if it becomes abstracted through the production of a painting. In place of inserting his own ideologies into the imagery, Gardner utilises the production of artworks as a space for self-exploration through the act of making.
Allan Gardner is an artist and writer from Scotland, he studied at Leeds College of Art and the Royal College of Art. He has published essays with Mousse, Dazed, SLEEK, The Quietus, American Suburb X, CLOT and more. Michael Sangster is an artist and composer from Scotland, he studied at Leeds College of Art. He performs under the name HAAR.
Allan Gardner was born in 1992 in Glasgow and lives and works in London.