March 29, 2020 - May 3, 2020
Eindhoven, Work in Progress
Time & location
March 29, 2020 - May 3, 2020 | Pennings Foundation
Opening exhibition: Sunday, March 29 from 15:00 to 17:00.
After Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Dordrecht, the Rotterdam artist duo J&B (Jacob and Bert) will now realize a project in a district in Eindhoven.
The theme is the influence of technology and automation on our job market and society. J&B sees Eindhoven, with its proud working population, its industrial traces, and its current leading development labs, as the ideal location and inspiration for this project.
The presentation at Pennings Foundation consists of a video installation that poetically shifts between the human environment of the street and the more abstract world of technology, such as algorithms and robotization.
With the help of characters and sculptural props, such as mirror glass masks, J&B asks whether technology is dehumanized. J&B represents the working person and places it in a different light. Does man put himself on the sidelines?
The starting point for the video installation is a work by Gilbert & George: Are you angry or are you boring?The work from 1977 is in the collection of the Van Abbemuseum. Are you angry or are you boring?shows busy street scenes that evoke associations with riots and activism. These hectic images contrast with the images of Gilbert and George, neat men in suits. In the context of contemporary society you can see a similar contrast between "boring" technicians and the unrest that their technologies and automation cause. Future phobia, or is the unrest justified?
This newest J&B video Work in Progressshows a day and a night in Eindhoven. A character with a mirror mask can be seen with his Boombox with rap music in various work situations in Eindhoven: in a robotized production line, doing the dishes in a restaurant, designing on a computer, street sweeping and more. The character and the rapping Boombox talk about work and the influence of this on our lives. Angry or boring?
The rap was specially made for this work by the Eindhoven rapper Miggs de Bruijn.
The installation consists of a combination of video work and white sculptures with stylish black compositions and engravings on it and carved in it. The sculptures are reminiscent of street furniture, such aswaste containers, shelters and piles. They are made from the disposable polystyrene material. The compositions on the sculptures are based on opinions and creative expressions of the street. The sculptures thus transform into totem poles full of symbolism. The video installation is shown over the sculptures. The viewer is also a passer-by.
The Rotterdam artist duo J&B is inspired by the street and uses found materials and opinions from the street. J&B believes in "street-wise": the creativity, memory and wisdom of the street. In 2018 J&B made the installation for New Dakota in Amsterdam: Noord, Staat van de Straat. As a starting point for the project, J&B documented all expressions on the street in Amsterdam Noord, such as stickers, posters and graffiti. In this way the social fabric of Noord was mapped, an archeology of the street. In the work of J&B, these street expressions, mixed with social issues, come to life. J&B allows society to comment on itself. The duo is indebted to Gilbert & George who for the series The Dirty Word Picturesused texts that they found on the street.
Jacob (The Hague, 1967) studied Physics at TU Delft. Bert Frings (Heerlen, 1972) studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and De Ateliers in Amsterdam. Since 2015 they form the artist duo J&B.