MOARG KIEL was a solo exhibition by Morag Keil at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, featuring a variety of works that included mixed media installations, digital prints, videos, sounds, paintings, and a website, supported by a detailed audio guide written by the artist.
The show attempted to explore contemporary themes, from digital and online culture to mass media and consumerism, all firmly rooted in the technologies and lifestyles we might easily recognise in our own lives today, reflecting my own efforts to tackle similar material in works like Archive Abstract, Neologic and Memory Cloud, though with different intentions and outcomes.
In You, Me and CCTV (2018/19), the artist created a path of digital prints that showcased collage posters shared on Instagram, which itself contained images that look like the kind of pictures anyone might have on their smartphone, alongside documented photos of windows from the outside looking in, together forming a palimpsest of seemingly familiar images from private domestic scenes and spaces.
This approach is echoed in other works, from Shopping (2019) which features a sound installation of recorded clips of ambient sound from public spaces mixed with found audio online, to Potpourri (2013) which presents an interactive personal desk computer station showing a video made from a mix of found and purpose-made footage.
Even the paintings, such as Georgia's Computer (2018), offered decidedly 21st century imagery that featured laptops, TVs, bedroom drawers, and cable wires situated in seemingly personal environments.
Many of the works were fresh iterations of previous works, sometimes changing details of a singular work to alter its context, add a new layer, or to respond to a space (Passive Aggressive, 2016), and other times mixing various elements from different works altogether to create something else entirely (Dizzy, 2019), methods that echo some of my own experiments in (re)using material from my personal accumulation of images, data and/or objects.
Overall, the exhibit clearly demonstrates the creative potential of dealing with contemporary tools and materials to explore ideas that reflect aspects of life today, as well as the possibilities in repurposing pre-existing materials beyond its origin.