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Artistic duo Ruiz Stephinson exhibit at Galerie Nuke
In Hand, 2014.

By: Sabrina Tarasoff

PARIS.- BABBLE is an homage to the digital world, made physical in the real world. Four towers, FROM THE TOWER OF BABEL TO THE ENDLESS COLUMN, reference our digital vertical newsfeeds, the flow of information that we endlessly consume, on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter... These towers circle the fountain piece OPEN SOURCE in the centre of the space. BABBLE is surrounded by Plexiglas POPUPS in toxic colours that project words on the walls mirroring our post-internet situation, touched by the reflections of the neon hands. They remind us of the omnipotent hand of man, evoking our primal emotive state.

Aware of the contemporary situation they find themselves in, Coralie Ruiz and Anthony Stephinson introduce their first exhibition at Galerie Nuke, Babble. Here, what the title evokes is a world that rambles on without cease; one that is particularly vocal in cultural contexts, where endless expressions as such are consecrated daily in towering structures of visuality and meaning. The practice of Ruiz Stephinson, notably structured around open-source ideologies and experimentations with digital platforms, allows us to envision these structures as best represented by the accumulative space of the Internet: an endless column built on the expressive and emotive exchanges of people, notably in evermore deconstructed linguistic forms.

The visual language of Ruiz Stephinson thus presents itself in subtle egalitarianism, as the gallery space is divided amongst symmetrical towers of lightly glazed ceramic pots standing stoically around. Here, the visual language of the Internet is brought to its final iteration: the sculptures appear like consecrated aetiologies—or overgrown monuments—for the narrative of exchange that has pervaded the 21st century. At that, the relation to modernism is not left unnoticed: the works are as much architectural elements as they are monuments, demarcating our pervasive engagement with the immaterial, and the complexity of its conversation. Similarly, fragments of broken code and file, printed on toxically coloured plexiglas, signal towards the apotheosis of modern times; their fragmented portions of language are designated as the total sum of our achievements, an immaterial jumble that is the fall-out of our generation. At that, the neon hand glowing out of a window, suggests that the helping hand extended by digitalization may one day become obsolete. Ultimately, if it lies within the works to point out the possible meltdown of the Internet’s infrastructure, and the consequences of our reliance on it, it is also the intent of Ruiz and Stephinson to offer a counter-solution. Atop the objects, cookies are offered for consumption, each bearing within a strange and evasive prompt, a fortune for post-digital times. Placed atop some of the shorter columns in the space, the gesture is undeniably optimistic, with the focus shifting from a pervasive sense of finality to something more open-ended.

This, in its own course, brings the work into an even closer proximity to the endless columns of Brancusi: the continuous and indiscriminate babble of our Twitter-feeds, search engines and browser histories declares its ultimate materiality in our consumption of its offerings, suggesting that the system that underlies it, is a result of our own making. By understanding this complicity, we are given the capacity to disambiguate our narrative entanglement in digital spheres, suggesting in a tongueand-cheek way, for idle critics to eat their own words.

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Artistic duo Ruiz Stephinson exhibit at Galerie Nuke

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