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Ed Young – The motherfucker

Ed Young 
“The Motherfucker”
10 – 30.11.2022

Suburbia Contemporary presents three works by South African artist Ed Young, produced over the past eight years. The works interrogate, in a manner, current-day speculative thinking and physical re-positioning of real-time daily efforts at existence. Abstractly, the pieces create an arcane fly-on-the-wall glimpse at numerous versions of the age-old mantra, “How did we even get here?” – the post-bilateral dilemma of an amoeba to fish, fish to frog, frog to mammal, mammal to Dutch East Indies passage to the Great Trek to Anglo-Boer War concentration camps to apartheid oppressor to South African democracy to post-COVID/Crypto angst coupled with a minor but looming global economic recession combined with worldwide historical reckoning. Collectively, the films provide irrational and impolite interpretations as an attempt to redefine difficult spectrums of current-day thinking.

Call Your Mother is a video work that stems from a wall painting project in downtown Johannesburg. The project aims to communicate a standard daily message, but one the artist could repurpose with impolite and unintentional subtexts. The work is designed as a beacon for a not-too-distant dystopian scenario predicted at the height of global decay. When most buildings have fallen, this solitary front-face brick elevation is hoped to remain.

The Motherfucker is a text piece that engages post-truth in a neo-existential era of thought. The Motherfucker is a fictional being resembling a small rodent with human-like qualities who is generally recognized for having very good answers. It is commonly accepted that he was unintentionally birthed as a Twitter glitch, and when he dies, he will take with him all pragmatic thinking imagined throughout the story of the world.

Little shows two human, adult-like babies observed in a scuffle. The protagonists are wrestling in the Company’s Garden, South Africa’s oldest park created by the Dutch East India Company to provide fresh produce to incoming settlers and passing ships on trade routes to Asia. The work had previously been associated with recent violent moments of South African opposition parties and the pendulous relationship of partisan America but more sincerely reflects on a predominant undertone reverberating through current-day South Africa. The babies are seen skipping into the sunset.

Ed Young (b.1978) lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa. Spanning almost twenty years, Young’s cross-disciplinary practice can broadly be defined as conceptual and ranges from painting, sculpture and installation to video, performance and writing.

Recent solo exhibitions include HERO (2019) at Open 24hrs, Cape Town, Bad Gallerist(2018) and CASH OR CARD (2017) at SMAC Gallery, Cape Town and Johannesburg respectively. He has presented special solo projects at the Armory Show in New York (ALL SO FUCKING AFRICAN, 2016) and at the Cape Town Art Fair (Bad Taste, 2019). His work has been featured on local and international group exhibitions, most recently NO SHOW MUSEUM: From Dada to Nada at the Helmhaus Zürich in 2019. In 2018 and 2019 respectively, Young participated in the INDEX: Freiraum-Stipendium and 25 Hours Hotel residencies, both in Zürich.

His work is represented in various private and public collections, including the Iziko South African National Gallery (Cape Town), Ilham Gallery (Kuala Lumpur), Fondazione Imago Mundi (Treviso), Southern African Foundation for Contemporary Art (South Africa), NO SHOW MUSEUM (Zurich) and A4 Arts Foundation (Cape Town).

 

http://edyoungwork.com