We are pleased to present the exhibition RURAL TECHNOLOGY by artist and filmmaker Mario Pfeifer at PYLON-Lab which will be on view until May 18th.
What does an indigenous community have in common with rappers in New York? What does the hunting of Yaghan people in the southern most urban environment on this planet share with the workshops of Defense Distributed in Austin, Texas (US)? How are the rights of self-determination, freedom of speech and the right to defend yourself become twisted in a digitized world?
Pfeifer’s work is based on the research of social-political backgrounds in specific cultural situations from Mumbai to São Paulo. He explores representational structures and conventions in the medium of film, resulting in multi-layered video works that cumulate both filmic and political, cross-cultural and historical references.
For his solo exhibition at PYLON-Lab, Pfeifer will exhibit the two multi-channel video installations – Approximation (2014/15) and #blacktivist (2015) – as well as soundtracks that include a reflection of Pfeifer’s approach on how technology can inflict or even conflict identity, culture and the course of their power at the same time.
Mario Pfeifer (*1981, Dresden) studied in Leipzig (HGB) and Berlin (UDK) and graduated from Willem de Rooij’s class at Städelschule Frankfurt am Main in 2008. He was a Fulbright fellow in Los Angeles (California Institute of the Arts) in artist in residence at ISCP New York, Gasworks London and Cité Internationales des Arts in Paris. He has had solo exhibitions at institutions including Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz, Germany (2018), Museum of Contemporary Art Leipzig – GfZK (2016); Ludlow38 New York (2015), Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland (2015); and Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Santiago de Chile (2014). His work was shown at Berlin Biennale (2018), Mercosul Biennale (2017), Montevideo Biennale (2016) and has been part of group exhibitions at venues including CCA – Center of Contemporary Art Lagos, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Museum of Art and Technology, Lisbon and MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main. Pfeifer is represented by KOW.
An additional screening of Pfeifer’s video work “Corporatists Fechado” (2016) will take place at the closing event of the exhibition on May 18th. Please see link below.
The exhibition is kindly supported by Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen.
For Approximation in the digital age to a humanity condemned to disappear, Pfeifer has worked on site on the island of Navarino, the southernmost tip of still-inhabited land in the Chilean part of Tierra del Fuego, which is home to the last descendants of the Yaghans. The three-channel video installation presents a new perspective on one of the world’s most ancient and remote indigenous people and their present everyday live. Pfeifer showed Yaghans digital copies of photographs of their ancestors taken by the German missionary and anthropologist Martin Gusinde around 1920; pictures they had never seen on an electronic device before. The video installation shows them swiping and zooming through the images on an iPad, identifying relatives and reconstructing lineages that dissolve in the soundtrack’s techno rhythms that smooths their transition into audiovisual immateriality.
By means of contemporary elements of technology and aesthetics, Pfeifer transfers the local culture of the Yaghan into a new context and frees it from the antiquated image of their cultural identity, which has been distorted by their submission to modern civilization.