24-31 March 2012
Nicolas Manenti's works confront us with the paradoxes of modern working environment. Integrating an aesthetic and humorous approach, he critically deals with the highly hierarchical and repressive control agents of bureaucratic work institutions and spaces, which are characteristic for the neoliberal information society. Recurrent everyday objects, such as office plants, desk lamps or images of employees of the month taken from the Internet, appear frequently in his works and establish the absurd and artificial orchestration of the office world. Winners of this pointless, but globalized and standardized universe are revealed as being the losers of modern competitive society. The result is a culturally pessimistic view of reality that Debord already defined in the 60s: “In societies where modern conditions of production prevail, all of life presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything that was directly lived has moved away into a representation.” (Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle, 1967). Nicolas' artificial arrangement of the work world and everyday human relationships reminds us of Baudrillard’s anti-media theory of the simulacrum: the images of reality circulating in modern mass media become more important and powerful than reality itself. Nicolas plays with both the underlying strength and unilateral power of imagery and the cultural standardization it creates, which announces the end of the history of our more and more immaterial societies.
( Text: Delphine Marinier, Peter Krilles )