Mental! shows how mental slavery, and particularly, resistance to it, plays a role in the work of musicians and that of artists. In this exhibition music and clip-culture function as a mirror for the art work.
There are many different levels and forms of mental slavery. Consider, for example, the way our economy is organised, or how different social classes relate to one another, how we deal with differences of sex or gender, prevailing ideals of beauty, and the concepts of race and racism. Guest curator Raul Balai, sees mental slavery, as producing in us a kind of Stockholm Syndrome… allowing us to love the person, or in this case the thing, which is actually keeping one hostage.
Artists and rappers both regularly address this theme, and despite their differing approaches there are many similarities, although these are often not recognised. You could argue that the two disciplines, and their audiences, each group speaks a different language.
Curator and various other artists in the exhibition speak both of these languages, whether because they are enthusiasts or dabblers, or because they belong to both communities. Mental! brings them together in order to connect the disciplines and to create ways for the public and the makers to enter one another’s worlds.
curator: Raul Balai
exhibition design: Raul Balai
concept & research : Raul Balai
Marcel van den Berg
location: CBK-Zuidoost, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
on view: August 2019 – October 2019
Playlist of music videos included in the exhibition can be found here
Photo credits: Maarten Tromp & Les Adu