Photo Gallery | Performance Event Alert: Nadim Abbas’ “Camoufleur”, VITRINE, London

VITRINE in London holds exhibition of work by Nadim Abbas, closing on 15 April 2017.

On Friday 14 and Saturday 15 April, Nadim Abbas will hold his last performances for his exhibition “Camoufleur” in London.

Nadim Abbas, "Camoufleur", 1 March - 15 April 2017, VITRINE, London. Installation view. Image courtesy VITRINE. Photographer: Jonathan Bassett.

Nadim Abbas, “Camoufleur”, 1 March – 15 April 2017, VITRINE, London. Installation view. Image courtesy VITRINE. Photographer: Jonathan Bassett.

“Camoufleur” was launched on 1 March 2017 at VITRINE in London, and showcases a new site-specific installation by Hong Kong artist Nadim Abbas. The work uses camouflage and the gallery’s panoramic positioning on the public square, to explore “how urban environments can influence and encourage our assimilation to the spaces we inhabit”.

Nadim Abbas’ practice is concerned with an interest in how modern urban living conditions produce specific social trends and subcultures. In his work, the artist always draws from technological advances and the effects of technology on our daily lives and social behaviour.

For “Camoufleur”, Abbas draws on the figure of the ‘Otaku’ or ‘Hikikomori’, both originating from Japan, and describing stereotypes of socially awkward, middle-aged males who isolate themselves in a world of manga and anime consumption, confined to the four walls of their homes. The fetishisation of the military, and therefore of camouflage attire, is an Otaku trend, evident in the popular violent video games and collections of war memorabilia.

Nadim Abbas, "Camoufleur", 1 March - 15 April 2017, VITRINE, London. Installation view. Image courtesy VITRINE. Photographer: Jonathan Bassett.

Nadim Abbas, “Camoufleur”, 1 March – 15 April 2017, VITRINE, London. Installation view. Image courtesy VITRINE. Photographer: Jonathan Bassett.

Abbas’ interest lies in the spaces that allow the formation of such characters, such as the cramped living environments typical of the Asian metropolises whose limited space and vertical urban development can only produce isolated locations that inspire “mental retreat” and social withdrawal. “Camoufleur” investigates the relationship between this scenario of domesticity and warfare, as VITRINE explains:

The term ‘camoufleur’ refers to the artists, zoologists and naturalists who were employed to design and implement military camouflage during World War I and II. The exhibition at VITRINE will revolve around a wallpaper pattern, a point of reference for everything that is subsequently placed in the space, straddling connotations of the domestic – wallpaper is commonly employed in interior design – and militarized as a backdrop against which to conceal, and be concealed.

For the duration of the show, Abbas has worked with a performer who has inhabited the exhibition space during selected periods of time. The performances aim to ‘camouflage’ the people in the space, as both present and invisible, assimilated in the space and therefore not immediately discernible to passers-by. The display and content has been varying each day, presenting new ways to inhabit the space, while the roles of the performer and the backdrop fluctuate over time, making the performer as an extension of the space, and the space as an extension of the performer.

The last performances before the closing of the exhibition will take place on:

  • Friday 14 April (6.15pm-7.15pm and 7.30pm-8.30pm)
  • Saturday 15 April (10.15am-11.15pm and 11.30-12.30pm)
Nadim Abbas, "Camoufleur", 1 March - 15 April 2017, VITRINE, London. Installation view. Image courtesy VITRINE. Photographer: Jonathan Bassett.

Nadim Abbas, “Camoufleur”, 1 March – 15 April 2017, VITRINE, London. Installation view. Image courtesy VITRINE. Photographer: Jonathan Bassett.

Nadim Abbas, "Camoufleur", 1 March - 15 April 2017, VITRINE, London. Installation view. Image courtesy VITRINE. Photographer: Jonathan Bassett.

Nadim Abbas, “Camoufleur”, 1 March – 15 April 2017, VITRINE, London. Installation view. Image courtesy VITRINE. Photographer: Jonathan Bassett.

Nadim Abbas, "Camoufleur", 1 March - 15 April 2017, VITRINE, London. Installation view. Image courtesy VITRINE. Photographer: Jonathan Bassett.

Nadim Abbas, “Camoufleur”, 1 March – 15 April 2017, VITRINE, London. Installation view. Image courtesy VITRINE. Photographer: Jonathan Bassett.

Nadim Abbas, "Camoufleur", 1 March - 15 April 2017, VITRINE, London. Installation view. Image courtesy VITRINE. Photographer: Jonathan Bassett.

Nadim Abbas, “Camoufleur”, 1 March – 15 April 2017, VITRINE, London. Installation view. Image courtesy VITRINE. Photographer: Jonathan Bassett.

Nadim Abbas, "Camoufleur", 1 March - 15 April 2017, VITRINE, London. Installation view. Image courtesy VITRINE. Photographer: Jonathan Bassett.

Nadim Abbas, “Camoufleur”, 1 March – 15 April 2017, VITRINE, London. Installation view. Image courtesy VITRINE. Photographer: Jonathan Bassett.

Nadim Abbas, "Camoufleur", 1 March - 15 April 2017, VITRINE, London. Installation view. Image courtesy VITRINE. Photographer: Jonathan Bassett.

Nadim Abbas, “Camoufleur”, 1 March – 15 April 2017, VITRINE, London. Installation view. Image courtesy VITRINE. Photographer: Jonathan Bassett.

 

“Camoufleur” runs from 1 March to 15 April 2017 at VITRINE, London, United Kingdom.

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Related Topics: Hong Kong artists, installation, performance, gallery shows, events in London

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