Secular Icons in an Age of Moral Uncertainty

Borrowing its title from a series of light boxes by Nathan Coley, Secular Icons in an Age of Moral Uncertainty gathered contemporary abstract works looking at the connection between gaze, object and belief. The show was a guest curation for parafin gallery and opened in December 2017.

Participating artists: Nathan Coley, Mimosa Echard, Simon Fujiwara, Sara Naim, and Indrė Šerpytytė. 

At a time when the notion of belief is particularly fraught, Secular Icons in an Age of Moral Uncertainty examines contemporary takes on some of the objects we turn to for meaning or solace. Pictures, screens, movies, and commodities are filtered here through formally abstract conceptual propositions, linked by a sense of indeterminacy. Taking its title from Nathan Coley’s eponymous grids of fairground lights, the exhibition brings together forms of image-making which – while redolent of an art history spanning from Byzantine icon painting to 20th-century avant-gardes – decidedly engage with the now.

The new icons presented here don’t gesture towards the spiritual: they send us back to today’s world in all its brilliant and brutal reality. The now they address is multifarious; it encompasses the lure of entertainment, of luxury and gore, as well as the grisly spectacle of terrorism, and the untapped riches of technological obsolescence. More than these subjects themselves, though, what’s under scrutiny in Secular Icons is the act of looking, and the very idea of art as a system of belief, articulated around objects whose aura both depends on and transcends their materiality.

Download the exhibition catalogue here.

TECHNOSTALGIA

Evan Roth, A Tribute to Heather, blimp-on-deepskyblue.com (2013), collection of Hampus Lindwall - courtesy the artist and Carroll / Fletcher, London

Technostalgia explored the aesthetics of early digital technologies, their legacy and impact, as well as their fetishization and appropriation in a contemporary artistic context. Launched in March 2017, it inaugurated the Moving Museum Online Anthologies series. 

“The purpose of this anthology isn’t to go back to the first chapters in the history of digital art or net.art, but to investigate the longing for the aesthetic of that era. Technostalgia functions on two levels. On a personal level, it brings us back to memories of learning and play during a more innocent period of our lives. On a collective level, it reminds us of a more candid age – a time when the spread of domestic computers and the arrival of the Internet opened up immense fields of possibilities few knew exactly what to do with."

Participating artists: Cory Arcangel, Constant Dullaart, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Peter Luining, Lorna Mills, Paper Rad, Mark Richards, Gustavo Romano, Evan Roth, Paul Slocum, Thomson & Craighead, and Ubermorgen.

ZINEB SEDIRA, LES RÊVES N'ONT PAS DE TITRE

Zineb Sedira, Framing the View IV, 2006 - courtesy the artist

Les Rêves n’ont pas de titre was the first mid-career retrospective of the work of the London-based, French-Algerian artist Zineb Sedira. This large-scale exhibition, held at the [mac] Musée d’art Contemporain in Marseille, France, was the outcome of a three-year research project into the artist’s multi-media production, the history of French colonization in Algeria­ and the subsequent war of independence, as well as the impact this history has on present-day France.

The exhibition gathered over twenty artworks, including 9 videos and film installations. It ran for five months between November 2010 and March 2011, and was among the [mac]’s most popular exhibitions in recent years. An extensive essay on Sedira’s practice, informed by Coline's family experience of the war and its aftermath, was published in the monograph Zineb Sedira, Beneath the Surface, produced by the artist’s Paris gallery kamel mennour in 2011.

 

CATALOGUE.NET

Catalogue, issue 6, screenshot

Published between 2009 and 2011, Catalogue was the very first contemporary art magazine designed to act as a platform for interaction between the English and French-speaking artworlds–the UK, France, and a host of other territories internationally.

This quarterly, web-based publication aimed to play a part in the reinvention of art writing online. Working with contributors including Lisa LeFeuvre, Chris Sharp, Theresa Gleadowe and Guillaume Désanges, Catalogue’s editors commissioned written portraits, interviews, monographic essays and thematic reportage for each issue. The magazine also featured a curated showcase of artists’ portfolios and a selection of exhibitions.

Supported by the British Council and the Institut Français in London, Catalogue was conceived and edited in close collaboration with Paris-based curator Florence Ostende, and the magazine quickly built a loyal readership in Europe and beyond. Catalogue remains accessible through ‘Archive’ section of its website.

 

OTHER CURATED EXHIBITIONS

Toby Christian, Stagehands

Toby Christian, Finger VI, 2012 - courtesy the artist

The first solo exhibition of artist Toby Christian, held at Fold Gallery, London in May 2009. The show was accompanied by the publication New and Used Pianos, for which Coline contributed the essay "Display Case."

 

 

After Dark

Tobias Collier, Biscopic Cosmographica, 2008 - courtesy the artist

A group show looking at ideas of nightmare and the occult, held at Eleven Gallery, London, in June 2008. Artists: Cecilia Bonilla, Tobias Collier, Jorge de la Garza, Stephen Dunne, Rachel Goodyear and Franck Rezzak.