New UAE art gallery space by Galloire opens with inaugural exhibition <I’M NOT A ROBOT>, pushing the boundaries between digital and physical art. Following its successful launch in 2021, contemporary art gallery and platform Galloire has opened a new physical space at City Walk, Dubai. Its first show in the new location is the group exhibition <I’M NOT A ROBOT>, featuring a collection of renowned international artists whose work explores human connection in a digital age, especially relevant given our reliance on technology to maintain communication throughout the pandemic.
The exhibition, (January 31 until February 28, 2022), includes works by Daniel Canogar, Anne Spalter, Xavi Sole Mora, Jonathan Monaghan, Jonas Lund and Addie Wagenknecht. These artists are pioneers in their field, working at the frontier of digital art and its intersection with traditional art. Works on display range from physical paintings created collaboratively with AI programmed robots through to a selection of digital works made available as NFTs [Non-Fungible Tokens].
Speaking about the exhibition and her body of work, featured artist Addie Wagenknecht, said: “In a time where meme-based cryptocurrency is using up the world’s grid and art is being slashed from every major budget line in exchange for border walls and tax cuts, artists who are in discussion with technology, but more specifically are able to contextualise where our bodies belong in the future of art and tech, and how we engage with consumption.
“For me, so often being a woman online is simply about having the right to be visible, having a right to exist in a space. The implications of that visibility mean always knowing the context: where your body is, how it is presented, and who is looking at it and who is following you, wanted and unwanted. There is a balance of visibility and fear. How do we translate this into something beautiful and how do technology and algorithms translate this, or do they expose it?”
<I’M NOT A ROBOT> marks the first time the works from most of the artists have been shown in Dubai, while some have drawn attention at previous regional exhibitions. In Dubai currently, Daniel Canogar’s site-specific art installation Dynamo is showcased at Expo 2020 Dubai as a centrepiece of the Spanish pavilion and this follows on from his recent showing at the Noor festival in Riyadh. Canogar said: “My artwork is an attempt to materialise the digital, to give it a face, as a way of helping me wrap my mind around the intangibility and ever-expanding depths of the electronic realm we are now so surrounded by.
“Through generative processes that use real-time data, the artworks behave in unpredictable ways which never repeat. By referencing everything from historical art process to manual weaving techniques, the data is then reformed and merged into its own work of art. Through that process, these living pieces enable us to visualise our algorithmic reality.“
The exploration of the digital is at the core of Galloire as a platform and gallery. Its first show was presented in full photo-realistic virtual reality and also allowed viewers, using leading-edge augmented reality technology, to bring the works into their home to view on their own walls. Edward Gallagher, Galloire’s founder explained why <I’M NOT A ROBOT> is their first in-gallery show, “With an exhibition which explores the balance between online and real life, between the physical and the digital, it seemed a great opportuinity to allow that work to manifest in a new physical space.”
“We’re extremely pleased to bring the work of these incredible artists to the Middle East and to have a selection of works which ask such a powerful, topical question. It’s something I feel acutely, as I think I’ve changed personally as a result of the pandemic and, if you ask yourself, you also probably feel you have changed somehow too. This exhibition invites our audience to ask themselves if we need to go back to how we were and can we? Have we numbed ourselves so much we need to remind ourselves what deep human connection feels like and how we achieve it without an electronic device?”