THE LIFE AND DEATH OF THE 80’S
syntaxproject / LISBOA (Portugal)
05.05.2017 – 24.06.2017
Some people believe art develops in a backstitch manner, in a one step back, two steps forward fashion. Starting from one point, the needle leads the thread one point back in direction of sewing, creating a loop through the back of the fabric and getting out one point forward from where it started. This technique is repeated again and again and allows the stitching line to be filled from both sides and thus endure better.
I remember my 80s from the 90s. Radio City 93,7 FM played only the biggest hits of the past ten years. With complete disregard to temporality, Queen were beating Natalia Imbruglia in the annual hit parade of 1997. The same year the first episode of Moonlighting from 1985 was premiered on TV. Not understanding any English at all, I remember my surprise when encountering the ruins of Radio City in the original Planet of Apes movie. Only after I understood why there is actually not strictly “my” City Radio and only after that, that those ruins were actually ruins of a famous New York building. Having no knowledge of English at all, I would imitate the lyrics based on my understanding and in my very own non-existent language. This same year the television premiered the first episode of Moonlighting from 1985. Despite the fact that I didn’t know how to play baseball and never before seen a single game, the object I terribly desired was a baseball glove. Now that I think of it, maybe it was because of that or maybe because this is how I knew it from the movies.
This exhibition is about different temporalities and about catching up with them. It deals with nostalgia towards something that never really existed. Maybe the 80s were more the 90s. Or maybe it all took place some years back and now its all in the past.
In the 80s the West still had its charm for being the West and for actualy being in the West and well, not everywhere. The skyscrapers were illuminated somewhat brighten during the night. When I first came to New York and Chicago, the places I knew so well – places that I was looking for, I could not find. There was nothing.
Curated by Michal Novotný