War Pickles


Bill Hayden
Mathieu Malouf
Sam Pulitzer
Antek Walczak

Press release:
English





Installation Views

War Pickles vinyl cut, 2013
260 x 180 cm
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Pallet Sculpture, 2013
100 x 100 x 100 cm
75 large pickle jars
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Gaga Arte Contemporáneo is pleased to present "War Pickles," a collaborative group exhibition involving the respective efforts of Bill Hayden, Mathieu Malouf, Sam Pulitzer and Antek Walczak. Integrated into the con- ventional group exhibition format and its value-generative tracings—namely social networks tied to particular localities of epoch and place, the creative affinity of 4 men from New York City—are two additional contextual uses. One is evident and very much on display, the other latent like an ASCII graphic inauspiciously inscribed onto a gallery website's source code to compliment the individually authored works on display.

The clear use, evidenced by the exhibition title, is a pickle shop. On offer are a variety of pickled goods priced to compete with locally-sourced, artisan-quality food retailers catering to neo-bourgeois tastes. This is not to avoid the wealth of potential meaning these goods hold when deprived of use and offered instead as objects of aesthetic reflection (the notion of preservation through a process of fermentation is certainly fecund with analogies that can criss cross art and ecology like a child curator learning to tie its shoes). Much like the brine poured into each of these jars, such connotative whimsy only deepens the flavor of what is on sale. However it is the co-mingling of the aesthetic object with a pickle's subsistent character (a subsistence that when pushed to an extreme becomes a survivance), its nutritious crunch, its glut of enzymes, its quaint organicity and so on that marks a hermeneutic horizon for this collaborative project, a deliberate conflation of the artistic and the artisanal within the stanchions of the contemporary. Until artistic worth fails to subsist the lives of those willful souls produced by the present constellation of the global, the necessity of these pickles' existence will remain a pleasant aesthetic problem. But if and when the policeable organization of creative wealth(i) crumbles alongside the tenuous world on which it is brokered, these pickles will rise like cryogenic beings from their jars as a reminder to one's stomach the all too real object of its desire—hunger and the life that springs from its pangs.
Shelf 1, 2013
160 x 150 x 35 cm
Scrap metal, construction rebar and 100 small pickle jars
Shelf 2, 2013
160 x 150 x 35 cm
Scrap metal, construction rebar and 100 small pickle jars
Shelf 3, 2013
160 x 150 x 35 cm
Scrap metal, construction rebar and 100 small pickle jars
Prep Bar
El principio del fin, 2013
112 x 465 x 48 cm
15 cm tile bar, 90 small pickle jars, 10 large pickle jars, 42’’ plasma screen and 45 minute video
more installation views
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The second, latent use is Party fundraising, an attempt to extract resources from the interest generated by the global siting of these careers to the tune of the contemporary (like chips beside a roulette wheel) toward resilient social organizing that is simply not possible within the operative discourses that bring art to the market while sending artists home to, say, the collected works of Thomas Bernhard.

(i) On the DIY punk culture aspects of the show. It’s been a long-given assumption that, as separated fragmented beings reduced to harsh economic roles in a private sphere enriched with liberal freedoms, we experience in a secondhand, corrupted way any of the inherited forms of socio-existential rebellion from the last part of the Occident’s 20th century, including among others, DIY hardcore punk, vegan home economics and nutrition, skateboarding, bohemian low rent drug use and non-productive attitudes. That all these and so much more are merely positions of self-valuation in a hyper-competitive social field where everything is put to work, reducing former currents of resistance to today's terms of lifestyle choice, and thus supposedly testify to capitalism’s iron grip over what is and what is not political, all the while extending its nay onto the reality of all life itself.
War Pickles silkscreen poster, 2013
84 x 59 cm
Ed. of 100
All this transpires under a leftist cultural mindset deeply steeped in classical politics, a mindset that needs to be liquidated along with its politics precisely because it adheres to the rules of an unattainable specialist governance worthy of your father, or your professor. When someone else, not your father, nor your art professor, says that “henceforth, what is economical is political and vice versa,” they are hinting at the buried eggs in the neoliberal existential matrix, at a kind of survivance propounded by Aby Warburg (Nachleben) to explain the occurrence of dead motifs re-emerging and in fact coming to define the coming eras with the intact preservation of their latent accumulating and organizing forces.

To continue raping the dead horse of Warburg studies (only relevant to a French art historical audience, as he is not studied in English and who knows what the fuck post-Nazi modern Germans study these days, Chantal Mouffe? Joseph Vogl?), the brutal nihilist puckish venomous aesthetic of “War Pickles” pokes its anachronistic head up out from the butt of the corpse, like the hidden horsemeat % in a hamburger. Rather than appealing to a low threshold Vice magazine polarity of coolness, retro-engineering the Guyton\Walker boom years artifact to arrive at some morbid subcultural referent like Assück: we can begin to understand it through the workings of Warburg’s survivance in his conception of “pathos-in-formula” (Pathosformel), where thought-out aesthetic deliberations of the image can modulate these intensities in an instructive and even progenitive way (as opposed to the usual reactionary critical stance that speaks of art squashing and neutralizing intensities, turning them into frozen hedge fund product for Frieze art fair speculation, all across networks, natch). Take for example, the exhibition's largest collaborative work, the long ceramic tile pickle preparation counter-bar-piece-cum-video sculpture of “Principio del Fin” which expresses the weaponizing of the private individual atomic dweller of a city like New York, with its Brooklyn. Through a long march of jump-cut pickles on screen and a howled polemic that trudges label by label, jar by jar, toward an affirmative re-education of this pickled transbohemian into an intes- tinating sensitivity worthy to face the beyond identity, beyond difference of a messianic neoliberalism spectral to the organic skirmish that is digestion.
Yesterday, just another Bedford avenue skinny hipster bitch wearing Maker’s Mark on his breath, dimly aware of a Neverending war on Terror that produces boring “best pictures” at each years Oscars. Today—because of the real impact of catastrophic climate change and the increased tolerance to rampage on the streets thanks to the Arab Revolts and their Occidental repercussions (and after a successful gender reassignment) —she is a kind of more sober prepper-survivalist nerd, eager to eat food out of cans, down to make love barefoot and bruised after a cold bath by candlelight, tomorrow rappelling down the side of the building to try and rescue a baby from a submerged SUV, the next day trying to figure out how to rectify the carb shortage in this months food supply for her neighborhood block (time to plan a raid on Chelsea!), while scheduling time in her iCal to pitch-in on the unified public blockade of the city’s airports over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Bill Hayden


Conceptual Tentacles, 2013
68 x 53 cm
digital c-print and charcoal on paper
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Phone is missing computer was stolen, 2013
68 x 53 cm
charcoal, digital c-print and ink on paper
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Far Rockaway February 2013, 2013
34 x 28 cm
charcoal, digital c-print and ink on paper
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Consent, 2013
68 x 53 cm
pencil on paper on print
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Mathieu Malouf


(War Pickles as Inner Experience, Chapter 1)—Omens of a Coming War: Speer’s Electric Brine Lamp, 2013
71 x 61 cm
oil and acrylic on canvas and wooden frame
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War Pickles as Inner Experience, Chapter 2)—Blood of the Barbarian, 2013
71 x 61 cm
oil and silkscreen on canvas and wooden frame
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(War Pickles as Inner Experience, Chapter 3)—Pickle has no Smell, 2013
71 x 61 cm
oil and acrylic on canvas and wooden frame
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(War Pickles as Inner Experience, Chapter 4)—The Green Grave, 2013
71 x 61 cm
wheatgrass, mushrooms on canvas and wooden frame
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(War Pickles as Inner Experience, Chapter 5)—Eros: Waging War on the Middle Class, 2013
71 x 61 cm
oil, acrylic and silkscreen on canvas and wooden frame
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(War Pickles as Inner Experience, Chapter 6)—Peace in Frankurt, 2013
71 x 61 cm
oil, acrylic and silkscreen on canvas and wooden frame
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(War Pickles as Inner Experience, Chapter 7)— The Police Lays a Bold Young American Egg, 2013
71 x 61 cm
oil and hot glue on canvas and wooden frame
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(War Pickles as Inner Experience, Chapter 8)—The Mercenary’s Production (as it lays), 2013
71 x 61 cm
oil, spraypaint, glue, eggs and spikes on canvas and wooden frame
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(War Pickles as Inner Experience, Chapter 9)—Contrast, 2013
71 x 61 cm
spriulina, mushrooms and oil on canvas and wooden frame
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(War Pickles as Inner Experience, Chapter 10)— Fire: The Battle for Brooklyn, 2013
71 x 61 cm
oil and silkscreen on canvas and wooden frame
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War Pickles as Inner Experience, Chapter 11)—The Brooklyn Commune, 2013
71 x 61 cm
oil, watercolors, crayons, polymer resin on canvas and wooden frame
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(War Pickles as Inner Experience, Chapter 12)—Angst, 2013
71 x 61 cm
oil, acrylic and silkscreen on canvas and wooden frame
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(War Pickles as Inner Experience, Chapter 13)—Gruesome Humans, 2013
71 x 61 cm
oil on canvas and wooden frame
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War Pickles as Inner Experience, Chapter 14)—Vintage Rioter as Seen at a Travelling Exhibition at the Met on the Internet and Adapted to 2011 Semiocapitalism via 1986 Jokes, 2013
71 x 61 cm
oil, acrylic, watercolor, resin and mushrooms on canvas and wooden frame
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Sam Pulitzer


Same Program, Different Circuitry, 2013
37 x 29.5 cm
ink and acrylic on paper
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Untitled, 2013
37 x 29.5 cm
ink and acrylic on paper
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The Sickle on the Bitch Goddess, 2013
37 x 29.5 cm
ink and acrylic on paper
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No photos, 2013
37 x 29.5 cm
ink and acrylic on paper
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Untitled, 2013
37 x 29.5 cm
ink and acrylic on paper
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Untitled, 2013
37 x 29.5 cm
ink and acrylic on paper
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Untitled, 2013
37 x 29.5 cm
ink and acrylic on paper
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Untitled, 2013
37 x 29.5 cm
ink and acrylic on paper
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Gwai-lo at the lip club, 2013
37 x 29.5 cm
ink and acrylic on paper
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Untitled, 2013
37 x 29.5 cm
ink and acrylic on paper
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O.k., 2013
68 x 52 cm
ink and acrylic on paper
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Antek Walczak


Das Blut d’Artiste, 2013
34 x 12 x 12 cm
electroplated boots click on image to see more

Das Blut d’Artiste, 2013
34 x 12 x 12 cm
electroplated boots click on image to see more

Hurricane Bree, 2013
101 x 86 cm
pencil, silkscreen and kumamoto oysters on paper and bamboo
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System-vidual, 2013
101 x 86 cm
pencil, silkscreen and kumamoto oysters on paper and bamboo
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Hurricane Kitty, 2013
101 x 86 cm
pencil, silkscreen and kumamoto oysters on paper and bamboo
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Hurricane Vin, 2013
101 x 86 cm
pencil, silkscreen and kumamoto oysters on paper and bamboo
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Hurricane Duane, 2013
101 x 86 cm
pencil, silkscreen and kumamoto oysters on paper and bamboo
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