Continuing through July 30, 2016
Neil Beloufa’s “Democracy” is a study in contrasts. The French-Algerian artist gives viewers his perspective on the global tensions of today’s world, exposing our illusions of freedom and power. Beloufa mixes elements of filmmaking, sculpture and installation to create emotionally interactive pieces. The exhibition features two separate sculptural environments, “Data for Desire,” and “World Domination.” The former includes resin and rebar objects, a fireplace hearth, a wardrobe and other home-based objects crowded along the gallery walls, creating the landscape of home for the positioning of his video installation “Data for Desire.” The video depicts youthful partiers in a resort, and French researchers who are observing them, using an algorithm to predict how compatible each might be with their cohorts. Looking beneath our SnapChat, Facebook and Instagram-driven culture, the artist expresses the disconnect between where we live in our private reality, and how we appear — a commodity to be studied — when in the public eye.
The environment of “World Domination” includes a dinosaur, a lampshade and a kinetic sculpture of steel and fiberglass. Playful and ambiguous, the artist who once wanted to make cartoons has created a vastly entertaining work that belies the weighty subject of the video installed here. The video offers a glance into wartime situation rooms, as non-professional actors portraying our leaders behave like bullying children, declaring war on one another. Their precarious, outmoded methods make them dinosaurs. A pitch-perfect, thought-provoking exhibition, “Democracy” provides a layer of whimsical fun while sparking recognition of much darker themes.
Published Courtesy of ArtSceneCal ©2016