artist / participant
Revital Cohen & Tuur Van Balen
Palms Palms Palms
Z33 presents Palms Palms Palms, the first major survey exhibition of London-based artists Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen. More than ten years of work come together in the new exhibition wing of the House for Contemporary Art, Design & Architecture in Hasselt (Belgium).
In their work, Cohen and Van Balen interrogate infrastructures of globalized production and supply chains through the prisms of culture, personal histories, and geopolitics. The show displays objects, installations, and films produced in factories and workshops in China, biochemical laboratories in Japan, hospitals in England and Belgium, and coltan mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Their latest body of work considers gambling as a contemporary condition and investigates its political and cultural dimension within the frameworks of labour and neoliberalism. Through the layered narratives, the collection of video and sculptural elements establishes links between actual, albeit distant, charged realities on a geopolitical stage.
A selection of works at Z33
Palms Palms Palms arranges works and research from 2008 until the present in constellations allowing for new relationships to emerge. The Immortal (2012) is an installation composed of life support machines connected to each other, while 75 Watt (2013) revolves around an object whose sole purpose is to choreograph the movements of its own assembly. For Sterile (2014), the artists worked with a Japanese biologist to create a goldfish without reproductive organs. A collection of prints and sculptures titled Heart Lines (2016) are derived from X-ray images of taxidermy animals from the Africa Museum in Tervuren. A series of works culminating in the film Trapped in the Dream of the Other (2017) revolve around Congolese minerals, gunpowder and conflict geologies. The recent video work on gambling, The Odds (part 1), weaves together racehorses anaesthetised and collapsed on ketamine in a knockdown box, showgirls from a casino in Macau belonging to the world's largest political donor and Steve Ignorant from anarcho-punk band Crass performing in a bingo hall originally built as a cinema designed to look like a church. Made specifically for a large LED screen, the footage is overlaid with pulsating light formations inspired by Vegas techniques of visual seduction.
About the artists
Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen (b.1981, based in London) work across objects, installation and film to explore processes of production as cultural, personal and political practices. Their work was exhibited at Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Philadelphia Museum of Art; The Renaissance Society, Chicago; Serpentine Cinema, London; Mu.Zee, Ostend; Fotomuseum Winterthur; Para Site, Hong Kong; Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo and Congo International Film Festival, Goma. It is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York and M+ Museum, Hong Kong.
Curator: Christina Li