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'BASTARDS (NEVERLAND)' by Julian-Jakob Kneer at Shore, 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

There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all. The artist is the creator of beautiful things. To reveal art and conceal the artist is art’s aim. No artist desires to prove anything. [...] No artist has ethical sympathies. [...] The morality of art consists in the perfect use of an imperfect medium. Thought and language are to the artist instruments of an art. Vice and virtue are to the artist materials for an art. [...]
All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril. Those who read the symbol do so at their peril. It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors.
We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely. 
All art is quite useless.


No artist tolerates reality.

– Britney Spears quoting NIETZSCHE

I’ve forgotten how to fly. Yes, well... one does.
You know that place between sleep and awake? That place where you still remember dreaming? That’s where I’ll always love you…That’s where I’ll be waiting.
Never is an awfully long time.

– HOOK, 1991

3.2.23 — 4.3.23



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