Hold On
Anna Zett
Thursday, October 17 — Saturday, January 11, 2020
Reception Wednesday October 16, 7pm

Berlin based artist Anna Zett presents Hold On, an interactive multi-media installation addressing symbolic language as a sensual process involving the whole body in a present environment. A series of handmade glass objects invite viewers to hold them, triggering an audio-visual meditation on dialog as a physical practice. Sometimes this embodied dialog takes place between people, sometimes it occurs between a person and a more abstract correspondent from the world of mineral matter, such as the Berlin Wall or a heap of gravel. Exploring the dangers and possibilities of tactility, a sensory experience otherwise mostly excluded from the gallery space, the exhibition continues Zett’s research into social apparatuses of virtuality after cinema and after the smartphone, or in spite of both.

Zett’s first exhibition in Canada is accompanied by the launch of their first monograph, Artificial Gut Feeling, a collection of personal science fiction reflecting on resistance as a physical event that involves the body’s locomotory, nervous and digestive systems. Zett’s artist talk is accompanied by a screening of their film This Unwieldy Object (2014), a ‘research drama’ probing the colonial myth of the dinosaur in the USA. These distinct but conceptually related projects draw together Zett’s transdisciplinary inquiry into the embodied practice of storytelling, linking personal and political narratives about (post-) socialism, capitalism and the earth.

This Unwieldy Object Screening and Artist Talk
Thursday October 17, 6-8pm
At Or Gallery, 236 East Pender Street.
Please note this is a venue change from the Roundhouse Art & Recreation Center

This Unwieldy Object is a research drama and personal investigation into the colonial myth of the dinosaur. On a road trip through the dusty heart of the USA, a researcher intends to make physical contact with a phantasy, traversing a mythical non-place between East and West, masculine and feminine, material and projection, past and future. Meetings with various paleontologists, fossil hunters, sculptors, and scientists on both sides of the American Frontier trace diverse interpretations of the past. Narratives of natural history and progress intermingle and digress as the reconstructed bodies of dinosaurs become less and less comical in the background of the brutal history of European settlement in indigenous territories. The story ends in the middle, in Rapid City, South Dakota, at the foot of an imported Berlin Wall fragment from the researcher’s home country, but the journey continues.

Artificial Gut Feeling book signing
Sunday October 20, 12-2pm
At the Vancouver Art Book Fair 2019, Emily Carr University.

Artificial Gut Feeling explores the traces left in the body by power systems, showing the interrelation between feeling, memory and authority. In search of the most effective self-defense technology, Anna Zett rehearses resistance as a physical practice involving arms, legs, cortex, core and voice in this collection of personal science fiction. Zett’s voice appears in several textual guises, addressing authority, resistance, trauma and the physicality of language that traverse the borders between monologue, dialogue, and personal narrative. Dedicated to the feminist revolution, the post-socialist subject of Artificial Gut Feeling questions logocentric and capitalist beliefs about the economy of meaning. This book gathers fists, guts and brains to gain a deeper understanding of the non-verbal roots of dialogue and asks: what belief system supports life in this body?

Artist Biography
Anna Zett is an artist, writer and filmmaker based in Berlin. Their multidisciplinary practice combines historical research and analytical perspective with a playful, interaction-oriented approach. Their work often focuses on the material remnants of language-based power and processes of sense making through symbol and contact. Many of Zett’s works involve the voice as primary medium and they have written and directed two experimental radio plays for the German public radio. Zett has also hosted several participatory performances in which joint interpretation and the activation of the voice plays a crucial role. Zett’s work frequently addresses the theater of technology and the tragicomedy of science and in 2014, Zett produced, This Unwieldy Object and Dinosaur.Gif, two video works resulting from a body of research into the dinosaur as an emblem of the ideology of progress in the Euro-American imperial project. Zett’s films have been screened widely, including at Serpentine Cinema (London), Whitney Museum (New York), CAC (Vilnius), Sonic Acts Festival, Rhizome.org, Human Resources (Los Angeles), and SALT (Istanbul).

The Or Gallery acknowledges its presence on unceded xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) territories.

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Or Gallery

236 E Pender St.
Vancouver, BC
Canada V6A 1T7

T. +1 604.683.7395
E. or @ orgallery.org

Gallery hours 12 - 5PM
Tuesday - Saturday

Free Admission