Force Majeure is a solo exhibition by Amsterdam-based artist Aaron McLaughlin. The work is an immersive VR installation that assesses the implications of cultural imperialism through the narrational vortex of the ‘hustlepreneur’.
An arc of carbon fibre and aluminium describes a length of four and a half metres, a length that costs nearly €200,000. This arc is perfect; the perfect fusion of technology and design, reads the copy. Sat within the Lamborghini Hurácan, auto glass and sunken race car seats constrain one’s field of vision. In Force Majeure vision it has been expanded, or restricted, depending on your perspective. An Oculus headset simulates the 800-square-metre room in which a supercar is parked.
A young child’s voice tells you what to do. You should listen: the naïveté imagined as belonging to children is an intelligence that exceeds that of capitalism’s truest believers. Hustling is not an action but a mode of being, gnostic in its grandiosity, protestant in its performance. Performance means (1) the efficient ability to perform, (2) a mere carrying out, the adherence to terms and (3) a rendition, a role played. Crisis actors—who populate this vision—are, per Wikipedia, “actors [who] take on the role of mock victims and simulate specific injuries from a disaster to add life-like realism to an emergency exercise.” What happens when one begins to believe their delusions: to embrace life- likeness is to rise to the occasion of commerce’s constant emergency by becoming an entrepreneur of identity, a corporate clairvoyant—a self true like money is true, like value is what it isn’t. This series embodies authentic design and state-of-the-art mechanical technology, the car’s Itanglese copy purrs. Realism is not reality but its trickiest double. The only thing better than taking in this beauty from a distance is actually touching it. This is neither eros nor pornography. The car you see through the headset is the same you sit in to an extent, but the limits of that extent highlight the gap between what is possible and what is proposed: the failure inherent to success. That is, fiction.