(Eva and Franco Mattes)
United We Stand
A media performance and urban installation in which 0100101110101101.ORG's fake movie hits the streets of your city ...and your mind
One tactic is not to present something that we all recognize as shocking, but to present the shocking aspect of what is comfortably familiar
-Jean Fisher, Documenta 11
Postmasters Gallery is pleased to announce the exhibition "United We Stand", a new project by 0100101110101101.ORG (Eva and Franco Mattes) and their first solo show in New York. The show will open December 10 and will be on view until January 21, 2006 (gallery will close for holidays December 24 - January 2).
The opening reception will take place Saturday, December 10, 2005 between 6 and 8 pm.
"United We Stand. Europe has a mission" is the title of the non-existent, fully EU-produced Hollywood-style blockbuster: "A brilliant mix of espionage and sci-fi political stereotypes in which Europe, not the US, saves the world from impending doom". The project that convincingly invents and promotes this movie is disseminated into public spaces and media realm all over the world through city-scale urban installations and viral communication tactics.
The streets of Berlin, Brussels, Barcelona and, now, New York have been plastered with thousands of posters perfectly mimicking the iconography and the rhetoric of Hollywood-style visual propaganda. This is the first stage of a long-term communication strategy that began in late 2005 and will gradually cover the whole media spectrum from blogs to magazines and TV. Full page United We Stand ads have been spotted all over Europe, in magazines devoted to art, youth culture and life styles. More are to come.
United We Stand touches on themes of subliminal art, cultural propaganda and European identity, clashing against expectations and exploding cultural stereotypes. Like Mattes' previous large-scale work Nike Ground, United We Stand provokes an unexpected wave of collective hallucination where over-identification, falsehood and consequent disclosure are key elements that foster critical thinking.
While the the advertising campaign exists publicly, it is simultaneously presented (revealed) as as an artwork of 0100101110101101.ORG. Postmasters Gallery will be the first art venue to host the disclosed side of the United We Stand project. The light boxes and a billboard with the movie poster, a comprehensive collection of photographs of the United We Stand campaign so far, including urban installations in key locations of Berlin, Brussels, Barcelona and New York, the website www.UnitedWeStandMovie.com devoted to the film, and framed magazines with the ads, will all be on view.
The gallery exhibition will also feature a site specific "bridge" installation with live images from a hidden webcam capturing the passerbys reactions to the poster. «We are working simultaneously on this double track, the fictional and the real - explains Franco Mattes - in this sense, spectators in the gallery who are aware of the multiple layers are passive voyeurs, while the unaware public, is actually a part of the artwork».
The site specific installation is realized with assistance of the New York University, the poster campaign in New York is carried out within 0100101110101101.ORG's residency at The Thing.
Eva and Franco Mattes - internationally known as 0100101110101101.ORG - are a couple of restless European con-artists who use non-conventional communication tactics to obtain the largest visibility with the minimum effort.
Born in 1976, they live and work in situ.
In the last decade they have been devoted to what they define as "media actionism", where truth and falsehood become indistinguishable. They invented and promoted a nonexistent artist; spread a computer virus as a work of art; challenged and defeated Nike Corporation in a legal battle for a fake advertisement campaign.They have been called media scammers, myth-makers and extremists as well as Internet stars, info-dandies or, simply, geniuses.
Their works have been shown internationally including: Lentos Museum of Modern Art, Linz; New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; ICC, Tokyo; Manifesta, Frankfurt; Venice Biennale, ZKM, Karlsruhe; Generali Foundation, Vienna; Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.
Postmasters Gallery, located in Chelsea at 459 West 19th Street
(corner of 10th Avenue), is open Tuesday through Saturday to 11 - 6 pm.
Please contact Magdalena Sawon at 212-727-3323 with any questions or image requests. e-mail: email@example.com