‘Reject Modernity, Embrace Tradition II: I Have Been In This Place Before’ has been summoned by the libidinal energy of the internet and the memetic erotics of its images and folklore. In the quest to uncover the affective connections between Western art history and regressive, networked cultures, this exhibition presents tapestries full of anachronisms. Incels, Infowars and biblical allegories come together in this apocalyptic convergence of the computational logic of image production, dispersion and desire.

 

Accompanying text by Diego Ramírez

Photography by Jordan Halsall

The Expulsion of Manna, 2022, Jacquard woven tapestry, epoxy resin, bronze, 170 x 150cm

Corporeal Defiance, 2022, Jacquard woven tapestry, epoxy resin, bronze, 170 x 150cm

Salientia Sfortunati, 2022, Jacquard woven tapestry, epoxy resin, bronze, 170 x 150cm

Nice Meeting You In Person - Diego Ramírez

 

Hey there! I did not hear you come in. Sorry my room is so tidy. I am one of those people who clean to alleviate the chaos of their messy inner lives. I clean a lot.

 

Yes, I am only wearing white briefs but that is okay. You did not interrupt me when you walked in, please stay. I was playing Legend of Zelda because I enjoy playing sick hits on the Ocarina in my downtime. There is nothing juvenile about that.

 

Nice meeting you in person.

 

Dating apps are such a gamble but you look like your pictures. Phew, what a relief. I have a bowl cut, light brown skin, and a tiny sharp nose. You have red hair, white skin, and a tall frame. I am an artist and a ‘diaspora’ Latinx. Hola. This makes me a diversity artist. It means that everyone back home thinks I am basic.

 

On the chat, you told me that your friends threw you a Cheetos themed party on your birthday because you are a redhead. Imagine if someone did the same for me but with Doritos…like, really picture it. With every little detail. Now tell me what you see, very slowly. I have a thing for political incorrectness.

 

This is an extended monologue about me because in my deluded perception of the world, I believe this will make you like me. I am not a big deal at all, but you are a Computers Systems Administrator who does not know that. Exaggerating my achievements—to momentarily gaze at an inflated reflection of myself in the mirror of your eyes—makes me horny. Wait, did I say that aloud?

 

I have something to show you. Come near me, just shoo my ferret away, her name is Dorothy—she does not bite. Yes, that is why it stinks in here. My bedroom is pedantically tidy but unsanitary. The paradox keeps me awake at night.

 

Okay, check this out. This is a formaldehyde jar, it is preserving an important specimen.

 

Let me shake the jar. Shake, shake, shake. Can you see that thing with the shape a crescent moon? It is a protein called alpha-keratin. Otherwise known as a nail. I cut it from Satan’s feet during a séance, when I committed to a thousand years of servitude. That sound in the background is a passing siren, it conveys the emergency of my unstable mental state. Wee woo, wee woo.

 

 

Wait, where are young going? Did I say something wrong!?…