Julian-Jakob Kneer “BASTARDS (NEVERLAND)” at Shore Gallery, Vienna

“BASTARDS (NEVERLAND)” is the second solo exhibition by Julian-Jakob Kneer at Shore Gallery. The artist is premiering a new series of wall works, drawing on themes established throughout his practice.

Seven monochrome printed silver mirrors are framed in galvanized aluminum and hung in a simple grid. Each one features a layered collage of three seemingly random movie titles.

Under the polished surfaces, “BASTARDS (NEVERLAND)” thus proves a murky basin of pop culture references that is almost too laden with association to wade through at ease.
Through crossbreeding ready-made opposing narratives, Kneer’s “BASTARDS” riff on themes of morality and the narcissistic self. In the reflection of the shimmering muck, stars are born, identities are lost, witches are burned by barbies, and ecstasy seamlessly blends into terror.

Sifting contemporary zeitgeist artifacts through the lens of ancient lore, and inexorably returning to the foundational principles of human psychology, Kneer’s work digs up the foundations of supposed socio-cultural binaries and confronts our conceptions of right/wrong, beautiful/ugly, low/high culture. The artist breaks them down into their constituent parts, and releases them for recasting in a value-free space.

This exhibition marks the first chapter of “BASTARDS,” with upcoming presentations in Berlin, New York, Zurich and Milan.

Nele Ruckelshausen

at Shore Gallery, Vienna
until March 4, 2023

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