Introduction

DISCLOSURES by ATT POOMTANGON – PRIVATEOFFSPACE, Frankfurt 20 May – 30 June, 2017

DISCLOSURES showcasing for the first time in Frankfurt the impressive series Occupy by Att Poomtangon. The Occupy series consists of 100 pieces in mixed media technique, which the artist created during his stay in New York in 2011, indirectly influenced by the Occupy movement. The protests spread worldwide, occupying significant public spaces as a form of objection against the contemporary social inequality and its consequences. Poomtangon examines the current world situation from a wider point of view, that of the inseparable relationship between human, nature and technological progress. He appropriates materials from newspapers and magazines and intervenes on them by painting, drawing, collaging and finally reversing them in computer, obtaining new complex images. Like through a security scanner Poomtangon’s images reveal what the surface conceals, disclosing another reality between facts and fiction. DISCLOSURES presents 26 pieces of the series taking over the rooms of the Privateoffspace. The viewer is invited to choose its own itinerary in creating an individual storyline about the current state of the world. Poomtangon creates a peculiar mise-en-scène in each image by combining elements that often contrast each other and still result in perfect composition. Each image conceals its own story and all together create a multifaceted unity resembling the complexity of the current globalized world and the interdependency of occurrences and developments. At the same time the works offer us an inside into the artist mind, disclosing his interests, concerns and appreciations. Nature plays an important role in his oeuvre composing the foundation of his believes, references and inspiration. Animals are introduced as characters constituting the allegorical nature of his works, while natural materials like water, wood and vegetables are almost inseparable materials of his installations. Poomtangon can be considered a silent character and this is indeed his strength. He does not use social media, he does not have a website and for over one year in New York he didn’t use a mobile phone. He explored the city by walking for extended hours, floating and drowning invisibly in the strangest places and situation, becoming part of those realities. He collected all sorts of visual materials from packages, newspapers to commercials, which he sorted in boxes that would later serve to him to create a new image. In his studio he spend many hours carefully matching pieces together, accurately choosing each element, adding by intervening with painting, drawing and etching component from his imagination. Only than the images were scanned and inverted in negatives. Poomtangon is a skilled technical executer but in all of his works technique served a specific concept and not the other way around. Att Poomtangon is internationally known for his playful, conceptual and socially critical works and installations. By creating powerful and playful fictive narratives where animals, humans and technology interact, Poomtangon invites the viewer to think critically about the present without moralizing. Indeed his practice reinforces the particular role that art can carry in making visible things that we all know but tend to forget. As Boris Groys puts it in Politics of Installation: “The goal of art, after all, is not to change things – things are changing by themselves all the time anyway. Art´s function is rather to show, to make visible the realities that are generally overlooked.”

Adela Demetja – Curator and Writer