Artists: Max Brand, Genoveva Filipovic, Veit Laurent Kurz, Laura Langer, Julien Nguyen, Ellie de Verdier
Venue: What Pipeline, Detroit
Exhibition Title: S.O.A.P.Y. III
Date: June 13 – July 12, 2014
Full gallery of video, images, press release and link available after the jump.
Max Brand & Ellie de Verdier, Frogs, 2014. Wood, Polyurethane, Watercolor, Enamel, Fabric. 5’4’’.
Images courtesy of What Pipeline, Detroit
What Pipeline is pleased to present S.O.A.P.Y. Stage III: Detroit.
Servants Order ov Ancient Psychik Youth (S.O.A.P.Y.) is a group, its current incarnation consisting of Max Brand, Genoveva Filipo- vic, Veit Laurent Kurz, Laura Langer, Julien Nguyen and Ellie de Verdier, hailing mainly from Frankfurt am Main and Berlin.
S.O.A.P.Y is a cluster of individuals that have discovered certain properties as useful escapes from an anguished history. Defined technically, it is an occult initiatory school in which varying degrees of expertise, experience, and comprehension of ur-metaphysics are recognized among members. They are disciples of “Magick”, a term which comes from the ancient struggle between Greece and Persia, where Paranoid Apollonian Gods came face to face with an obscure chaos ready to shatter their virginal statues. Magick is, has always been, and always will be the enemy of a sterile planet with its ascetic ideals.
S.O.A.P.Y. is an ongoing series of exhibitions first realized as Stage I at Neue Alte Brücke in Frankfurt am Main during October, 2013. It then continued as Stage II in London at Vilma Gold during November, 2013. An appendix, Vetjylien Ngyrz, took place at Neue Alte Brücke in February 2014. Stage III seeks to revisit Detroit (some members of S.O.A.P.Y. having previously spent time here in 2011), to imbue their concoctions with the potency of local discoveries, and to pull this thread of unravelling thoughts across the Atlantic.
Stage III. DETROIT
A NORMAL HEART IN A LOW COST PARADISE UNDERNEATH RICH DIRT
“A wise man once said: ‘A solid ground is the common stage for action. These figures seem to turn their back on action, though. They are self-absorbed and perhaps the ground is becoming something like a mirror or a container of memories, which otherwise have to be repressed to keep the ground solid.’
Tell me, Children, what memories are these? These are memories of the murder of those you did not want to kill. Embrace the sad, quiet heart within you for It is all you have left.”
– Vetjylien N’gyrz
In Albion’s Perfidious Kapital, the magicians were undone. They faced unholy mechanisms far stronger than they had anticipated. The Gilded Garage had been a trap.
Caught up in their fiction, and in their spells, they could not see the world burning around them. The reality of chains. Their minds were infected by heresy, and into old, dirty boats they crawled. In psychedelic stupor, they made a long journey west. First, to the great cities of The New World, where they found much the same as in the old–Hegemony, but with a more insidious twist. Things seemed more fun here, yes, more alive, but it was hard to party when one arm is missing, severed from its socket as a toll to pay the rent-man. Only if you paid him could you go this club, drink his drink, and eat his medicine.
Someone tried to show them a colony where possibilities still existed, but our intelligent children scoffed once they saw the space. Them? No, that was a puppet, his strings being pulled by a great steam engine with long spindly legs and a top-hatted monocle. On his back one could clearly see the UBS logo. A money laundering scheme, N. suspected. The rest of the Kids thought he was maybe a little paranoid, had maybe had a little too much to smoke, but generally they agreed with him. Sometimes it was a rent-lady who pat- ted you on the back, gave you some cash and some words of encouragement, but still, you’d be working in her garment factory in no time your fingers gnawed to bits by the threshing machine.
Dancing to the tune of the beat, their heresy producing strange visions and an unearthly giddiness. Through this child-like behaviour, the innocence of a bit and bloody lip, they elided capture by these patriarchs of excess, and wandered further west, through forest and rolling blue mountains.They had no shoes, only dirty white socks, but regardless, they wandered forwards, so happy and free. The Thief had stolen them some armour–it was thin stuff, but it breathed wonderfully, was made of leather, and stamped with the seal of a Monseigneur with real dignity. He was gone now, but they remembered his kindness and took his spirit to heart. If you’re going down, you might as well do it with style.
So on they went, finally arriving at a collection of lakes, and then, a bit further still, an immense burnt-out carapace of a city. Here was where they once made automobiles. Taking some more drugs, they breathed it in.
One of them remembered it well, a single tear turning slowly down his cheek, his mind a curious mix of nostalgia and fear–nostalgia for the expansive horizon, the never-ending caves of curiosities left by a far more noble race. Fear he felt from what waste their curi- osities left behind: contaminants seeping into the earth, dolls which bled unholy substances and corrupted his sight. In the past, he had felt suffocated by it, he had felt the earth turn purple and crack beneath his feet into a cloud of carcinogens.
Now, though, after a long journey and much hesitation, he was calm. He remembered the old sage, Vetjylien N’gyrz, who had will- ingly died in his own lab, giving birth to these Children of Wonder.
“Let them fight.” They had read in a well-worn copy of the Two-Man’s texts. “The arrogance of man is thinking nature is in his con- trol, and not the other way around.”
They had been in a haze of repression, of golden trophies, like mirages, just out of reach. Love was unnatural to them as much as sus- picion was their first instinct. Men of authority wheeled around in endless circles, their joints making harsh, electrical noises as their eyes glowed an unnatural blue. They smiled at the children, sure, but only in a creepy way. Other times they attempted to pretend they were Children themselves, while calling the true children adults.
It was lonely, and they cried.
Now they were here, and here, with nothing else to do, they began to dig a hole.
A tunnel through the new world.