Palms Palms Palms
Revital Cohen & Tuur Van Balen
Z33 presents Palms Palms Palms – the first major survey exhibition of London-based artists Revital Cohen (1981, UK) and Tuur Van Balen (1981, BE). 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 addition, the artist duo are creating a new work co-commissioned by the house.
The artists’ oeuvre considers production processes as cultural, personal and political practices. In recent years they have produced work in Chinese factories, a Japanese fish laboratory, a horse hospital and a Coltan mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Within these situations they create video, sculpture, performances and processes that aim to reflect on their own becoming.Their current body of work considers gambling as a contemporary condition, exploring the geopolitical, cultural and irrational practices within global ecologies of production and circulation.
In the new exhibition wing of Z33, works from 2008 until the present are brought together. 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 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.
Curator Christina Li