236 Pender St East,
T. +1 604.683.7395
16 October–25 January, 2020
Curated by: Denise Ryner
Hold On is an interactive multi-media installation that addresses two modes of language and their interplay: writing and speech. Writing, as the manipulation of matter to leave a trace, is intimately linked with the hand, while speech is connected to voice, rhythm and the act of listening. Both are linked by the materiality of the human body and brain, specifically the nervous system’s capacity for fine motor control and symbolic thought. In part responding to the omnipresent realty of the touch screen, Zett presents series of enigmatic bubble-like glass objects that invite viewers to grasp them, triggering an audio-visual meditation on the role of hands and voices on both a concrete and an abstract level.
Exploring the limits and symbolic meanings of tactility, a sensory experience often excluded from the gallery space, the exhibition continues Zett’s research into the operations of neurocapitaism – the process by which the self as a ‘unique’ individual is transformed into a site for resource extraction and profit – performed through self care, self improvement, and self branding. To get to know one’s brain ‘from the inside’ offers a subtle form of resistance. This will be Zett’s first exhibition in Canada.
The exhibition is accompanied by the launch of Zett’s first monograph, Artificial Gut Feeling, and a screening of her 2014 research drama, This Unwieldy Object. These distinct but conceptually related projects draw together Zett’s research into colonial histories, neuroscience, capitalist psychology, and the emotional and symbolic remnants of the German Democratic Republic.
This Unwieldy Object Screening and Artist Talk
Oct 17, 2019
Anna Zett is an artist, writer and filmmaker based in Berlin. Their multidisciplinary practice combines historical research and analytical perspective with a playful, interaction-oriented approach. Their work often focuses on the material remnants of language-based power and processes of sense making through symbol and contact.
Many of Zett’s works involve the voice as primary medium and they have written and directed two experimental radio plays for the German public radio. Zett has also hosted several participatory performances in which joint interpretation and the activation of the voice plays a crucial role. Zett’s work frequently addresses the theater of technology and the tragicomedy of science and in 2014, Zett produced, This Unwieldy Object and Dinosaur.Gif, two video works resulting from a body of research into the dinosaur as an emblem of the ideology of progress in the Euro-American imperial project.
Zett’s films have been screened widely, including at Serpentine Cinema (London), Whitney Museum (New York), CAC (Vilnius), Sonic Acts Festival, Rhizome.org, Human Resources (Los Angeles), and SALT (Istanbul). Zett’s first book, Artificial Gut Feeling, is a collection of semi-fictional texts on the problem of authority and resistance in verbal and nonverbal communication, published by Divided (2019).