Opening: Friday, 11th September, 6 p.m.
Exhibition Dates: 11th September - 24th October
Hamish Morrison Galerie is pleased to present "Diktatur", its second solo exhibition by the Berlin-based Dutch painter Ronald de Bloeme (*1971).
With an army of billboard-sized works of equal dimensions (220 x 350 cm) de Bloeme questions media strategies and the content of the information found in contemporary visual sign systems, as used in advertising and the packaging industry, reflecting on the absolutism of today`s communication processes.
In an era in which imagery is increasingly superseding language, de Bloeme analyses the origin of signals and the components of their persuasiveness. How do producers of visual language manage to manipulate neutral form and colour in a way that they induce a subconscious process of identification for the largest possible number of individuals of a specifically defined target group? To what extent does red next to white evoke a flag or the packaging of a chocolate bar?
Through appropriation, deconstruction and manipulation using a computer Ronald de Bloeme transforms image templates of our consumer society. He censors existing text and eliminates any figurative references, creating a pure geometric language, which he again combines and distorts into arresting compositions. These are then transferred to canvas with competing colourful layers of high-gloss and matt enamel paint. The resultant expansive surfaces capture our attention through the combination of colour and use of various techniques, with a suggestive impact analogous to the original advertising medium's intention.
„The viewer often doesn´t know what is more enjoyable - the mastery with which the artist gives a new unity to a whole range of elements, or the remaining fine imperfections that are a sign of the handiwork."(1)
Through the collaging of everyday consumer goods that we are constantly exposed to, de Bloeme´s body of work creates a heterogeneous field of forces, of tensions and contradictions, certainties and uncertainties. The original context is not maintained as such, rather the work recalls memories of perception or of consensus of knowledge; the information, retained only as codes, has an effect on us but we cannot explain why. Are we not merely carriers of internalised decoding systems, controlled by the ever-extending propagandistic sign-systems of the dictatorship of consumerism?
Whilst de Bloeme´s colour combinations can be identified as codes, at the same time samples of other contextual systems of signs unfold. In doing so the artist brings the relativity of information into an innovative game. In his painting Ironie he mixes a military code system with the aesthetics of a paper napkin; in Extract he replaces in a more radical manner all relevant core information with constantly oxidizing gold pigments.
With his contra-manipulation de Bloeme asks us to determine how complex the structures behind communications strategies for consumer goods really are and how much impact they have on our subconscious and to what extent they control our everyday life.
From 1992 until 1996 Ronald de Bloeme studied painting at Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam. In 2000 he received a scholarship to Künstlerhaus Bethanien Berlin. He lives and works in Berlin. De Bloeme received the Vattenfall Kunstpreis Energie for 2007. Recent solo exhibitions include Berlinische Galerie Museum, Pharos Centre for Contemporary Art, Cyprus, and Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, NL, as well as in group shows at Substitut Berlin, Raum 2810 Bonn and Kunstsammlung Gera.
(1) Christoph Tannert: Visual Nervous Conductors, in: Vattenfall Europe Mining et al. (Hrsg.): Ronald de Bloeme. Piracy, Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg 2008.
With the kind support of the Royal Dutch Embassy