We live our lives amidst a multitude of images and narratives: experience and economy are the twin-engine of our culture. But what kind of stories do these images convey: what do they introduce and what do they contribute? Is retro a foxy do or a fusty don’t? Is local a wayward hot… or a backward not…? It would be a interesting idea to check this out and perhaps use it to our advantage.
Through suggested and captured weavings of object-scenarios Jim Ricks extracts symbolic bits and pieces of history and everyday life, destined to be re-worked, splintered and re-imagined. New narratives arise in which the economic globalisation of goods crosses paths with the rapid and ephemeral circulation of cultures and icons. Placed in a context of display, viewers are invited to devise their own connections between the objects on display: to play the cultural clash of the local and the global, the individual and the collective, and investigate new relations through identification.
Starting from a (possibly faulty) position as an American expat presently residing in Dublin, he has developed a sensitivity to the geographic import and export of images and narratives. By revaluing the popular and re-defining its elements, Jim Ricks endeavours to address our cultural knowledge with us. As admirers of his visual scrutiny Onomatopee invited Ricks to Eindhoven to share his insights with us. During an initial exploration of the city, Ricks has made inquiries into meaningful objects to engage our identification.
In conjunction with the resultant narrative of spatial objects, Onomatopee presents various other visual stories: a short film that shows Jim ruminating on visual culture with critic Max Bruinsma, as well as some other background information that we hope will be useful for those keen to put their views on their own visual culture to the test. By interrogating our experience of the visual culture we surround ourselves with, we might grasp the option to participate in an era of cultural populism. Hail to the populus!*
*In her book Pop or Populus Bettina Funcke defines populus as ‘…the totality of citizens of a state as a unified political body–as well as the lower classes of the poor, the dispossessed, the excluded, those not included in the conversation’.
Producer, curator and editor: Freek Lomme
Project assistance: Harvey Herman
Graphic design: Glamcult studio
Spatial design: PeLiDesign
Made possible with the support of the Mondriaan Fund and the municipality of Eindhoven
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