MIKE GOLDBY : CORE EXPOSED / monCHERI, Bruxelles / April 23rd – June 6th, 2015 / Opening Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 – From 5pm to 9pm.

Close in on the individual. Catch up to one, and hear the human voice is fading. Its intensity is yielding to forces beyond itself. Other intensities are taking its place. The modern subject is under rule. We have surrendered to strategies disinterested in our inner life except for potential use-value. We have lost the struggle for our identities. We are created from the outside in, personality now a question of proper formatting in a cosmopolitan landscape of empty objects that attach themselves to us and cannot be shaken. We are exposed to the objective of globalized mass-consumerism and like a virus it penetrates us. It begins to reproduce itself from within. We adopt specific diets, physical regimes, treatments of the skin in lotion or fabric. Alien iconographies, created from market research statistics and discussed in boardrooms, become our definitions of the once-multivalent self: the fittest I, the best dressed I, the beautiful I. We are simultaneously the demographic at large and the individual in competition. The individual, dissolving and becoming, in a superficial system beyond his making. Submit if you want to continue.

These are the dispossessed subjects of a world at war, drowning in a system of global capitalism and kleptomania. Perfume, athletic, and skin care brands atomize the body and neutralize the potentiality within it. Stylish products and their strategic visual placement create aspirational images of lifestyles to be purchased, maintained, and achieved through sweat and pain. Runners dressed exclusively in Nike huddle after a two-hour run in Soho. They compare times and data on their Distance Tracking Apps. Self-esteem is defined by our surplus and deficit in a market currency of images, and always in relation to those around us. At Coachella teens drink cold-pressed juice and smoke menthols, wistful for a free love utopianism and eyeing each other suspiciously. Meanwhile, the fight for humanity’s survival bleeds through. Woeful youths stuffed in mechanized bodysuits must protect the broken remnants of society. The new regime of a superficial biopower makes impossible demands of us, and creates a product line to bridge the gap. We are lost in a transformative process; one unfulfilled and fueled by the desired pains and so-called pleasures of self-perfection. Subjection to this makes us functional and integrated.

But where are we? Where’s Earth?

Close in on the remains of our essential selves. A signal coming through collapsing endless waves. Hear the scrambled messages of our newfound subjectivities. These sets of images are variables. Specific translations in a new closed system of identity formation. They could be replaced with others. It’s all context and relevance. It’s all success or fall behind, but something pushes through untouched. The core survives this onslaught, and beneath its superficial carapace, it is struggling to make images of its own.

Text by Michael Pace

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