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On view in Brooklyn at Pioneer Works is “The CryptoFuturist and The New Tribal Labyrinth”—an exhibition of works by Dutch artist Josep Van Lieshout’s Atelier Van Lieshout (AVL), curated by Natalie Kovacs and Gabriel Florenz. Known for using his multidisciplinary practices to invent utopian methods for living (and pointing out their paths to extremism and violence), the artist presents both new and past works from two separate series. In scale, the exhibition is also AVL’s largest installation in the United States to date.
In the center of the gallery, viewers will undoubtedly see Blast Furnace, a grandiose system of pipes, towers, and pulleys, appearing right at home in the exposed brick and industrial stays of Pioneer Works. Evocative of furnaces used to make steel in the Industrial Revolution era, the 2013 work (originally central to the “New Tribal Labyrinth” series) also includes domestic details like sleeping quarters, a kitchen, and a toilet. Alluding to an innate need to return to the origins of Western culture, materials, products, and wealth, the pieces from the “New Tribal Labyrinth” series set the stage for the joining of humans and machines.
From the artist’s “CryptoFuturist” series, AVL highlights and uncanny parallel between today’s findings in genetics, robotics, and big data and the Italian Futurists (who glorified new technologies, cities, and war) through “inventions” that create solutions to fundamental issues—like a machine that turns waste into new food supplies. Additional new works on view include Mechanical Press and Pendulum—an enormous pendulum-powered clock, darkly ticking away the seconds until “the end of everything,” which will then lead to “the beginning of everything.”
“The CryptoFuturist and The New Tribal Labyrinth” is open through April 14.