Spinello Projects is pleased to present #tags, the Miami debut solo exhibition from Berlin-based artist Marc Bijl.
The hashtag has become a prime method of organization in our contemporary media environment. It’s technology is indecipherable to some, but it’s utility is simple. The power of one character (#) can isolate any word or phrase, removing it from its context, creating a powerful infrastructure space of words and images across social media platforms.
For #tags, Bijl has isolated a series of six words, directly sourced from his own life and global news headlines. Words like Anarchist, Family Man, Demagogue and Terrorist radiate in bright lettering on a suite of powder coated aluminum sheets. Each word stacked neatly, their letters in three rows of three. Removed from their original narrative, our brains are conditioned to fill in the gaps.
There’s a danger in these infrastructures, as they carry the power to persuade through minimal language and labeling. By decontextualizing these words, they create new meanings and new identities. Of course, there’s a risk of manipulation or polarization, but they also have the power to activate global political mobilization. We’ve witnessed this through movements like #Occupy and #BlackLivesMatter. Bijl leaves these words without context, a true definition of a hashtag. The likelihood is that these images will be recycled back into the machine by the viewer, eternally networked with new narratives, new associations, and new hashtags.
Marc Bijl (b. 1970 Netherlands) lives and works in Berlin. Solo shows include: “Family Man” at Kunstverein Heppenheim, Germany (2015); Urban Gothic, Groninger Museum, Groningen, The Netherlands (2012); Bite The Beef, Kunstverein Artitude, Berlin, Germany (2010); The simple complexity of it all, Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel (2009); Arrested Development, DA2 Salamanca, Spain (2009), Afterhours, curated by Roel Arkesteijn Gem Museum, The Hague, The Netherlands (2005); A passion play, curated by Anouk van Heesch , Museum Valkhof, Nijmegen, The Netherlands (2004); Marc Bijl, Giorgio De Chirico Art Center, Volos, Greece (2004); PORN, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (2002).
Selected group exhibitions include: Trinkets for the Rich, Nationalmuseum, Berlin Hausbesetzung, Nassauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden, Germany curated by Elke Gruhn and Dominik Fink ; Restless Empathy, Aspen Art Museum, aspen, Colorado; The end of the world as we know it, Kunsthalle Mulhouse, curated by Bettina Steinbrügge; Crop Rotation, Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York, curated by Clarissa Dalrymple; Existencias, works from the MUSAC collection, MUSAC museo de arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, León Aggression, Kunsthalle Winterthur, Zurich; Destroy Athens, 1st Athens Biennial, Athens, curated by Xenia Kalpaktsoglou, Poka Yio, Augustine Zenakos; Body politicx, Witte de With centre for contemporary art, Rotterdam, curated by Florian Waldvogel and Thomas Edlinger; Memorial to the Iraq War, ICA, London, curated by Mark Sladen and Claire Jackson; Pictograms – The Loneliness of Signs, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart Foundation, curated by Dr. Marion Ackermann and Pirkko Rathgeber, Stuttgart;Breaking the rules, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Dorothea-von-Stetten-preis, Kunstmuseum Bonn; Youth of Today, Schirn Kunsthalle; Frankfurt dark, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, curated by Jan Grosfeld and Rein Wolfs; Low Intensity Conflict, Swiss Institute, New York; Emergencies, MUSAC Museo de arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, León; Populism, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt; Populism, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.
Works by Marc Bijl are included in prominent institutional and private collections including the collections of MUSAC in Spain, Groninger Museum in Netherlands, D. Daskalopoulos collection in Athens, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, FRAC Nord Pas de Calais, Rabobank Collection, KPN Collection, ING Collection, KRC Collection.