Turner Prize-nominated artist explores communication in the digital age

British artist Michael Dean is holding his first solo exhibition, "Analogue LOL," at ShanghART Gallery until May 13.
Ti Gong

Turner Prize-nominated British artist Michael Dean is holding his first solo exhibition, entitled “Analogue LOL,” at ShanghART Gallery until May 13.

The exhibition, curated by Victor Wang, focuses on the recent proliferation and prominence of pictorial language and the text-based communication of emotion via digital devices.

Stepping into the exhibition hall, visitors will be surrounded by a vast white backdrop, from the ceiling to the floor, which unwittingly distinguishes Dean’s sculptures inside the environment.

The 41-year-old Newcastle-born artist, who was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2016, tries to explore the three-dimensional possibilities of language by “spelling out” his words through the alphabet of concrete sculptures, the contagion of stickers, dyed books, casts of fists and fingers that belong to him and his family.

Those ambiguous sculptures consist of the artist’s language, words and letters, which transform the layout of the exhibition into a page of a book, a fraction of a speech or the analogue of an online chat room on a white floor with slightly curved edges.

As a key visual component, these non-traditional sculptures, resemble the tensions of a family’s dynamic and the recording artist’s personal touch, such as the cast hands or fingers of his family, reflect traces of Dean’s restlessness of inner-city living and human emotions.

“The exhibition opens up a space between language, social space and the pictorial transformation of both, using the architecture of LOL and the visual field of construction to amass an unregulated gathering of speech and laughter, which both intrudes on and slows down the rapid abstracting of language and space,” said curator Wang.

Exhibition details

Date: Through May 13, 10am-7pm
Venue: ShanghART Gallery West Bund
Address: 2555-10 Longteng Ave

Ti Gong
Ti Gong
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