Robert Arndt Pursuit, Plunder & Fleece
May 9th – June 9th
Macaulay & Co Fine Art is thrilled to present a solo exhibition with Vancouver based artist Robert Arndt. ‘Pursuit, Plunder and Fleece’ is Arndt’s first exhibition with the gallery. The exhibition opens May 9th and runs through June 9th. A film will be on view in the small gallery, and in the main gallery an installation of photos and objects.
Robert Arndt’s short film ‘Pursuit, Plunder and Fleece’ tells the story of loss, sentimental attachments, greed, betrayal, stealing, hi-jacking, love, hope, desire, bewilderment and finally acceptance. Utilizing court documented testimonials about stolen objects Arndt wrote a script that reveals some of the multifaceted consequences of capitalism. These effects not only perpetuate a system of consumption but have opened up an underground economy counter current to the established market economy. Appropriating the style used in commercial advertising, the film presents the way in which objects are unveiled as merchandise and how they fill a new new role as stand-ins – documented “artifacts” stripped of their original use or/and value.
Once the beholder comes in the possession of objects, their meanings begin to shift. It doesn’t necessarily become just a thing of aesthetic value but starts to embody how we as consumers develop personalized relationships with it. Our tastes dictates our status, and can be markers of our self-worth. These things in and of the world socialize us and fulfill a utilitarian requirement or simply occupy space and time. When a thing goes missing our status maybe put into question and we may feel a sense of loss pending our attachment to the thing.
In the main space, a shelf spans the east and north wall of the gallery onto which photos and objects have been carefully placed. The photos use a central theme from ‘Pursuit Plunder & Fleece‘(deleted scenes) and one of the photographs is set-up as a promotional advertising image. The photos then span out from a central point in a style that is reminiscent of Saul Steinberg’s 1969 cover for the New Yorker. This arrangement of images evoke a stream of consciousness in the way they construct a non-linear narrative that is indicative of the manner in which we consume images and objects and also how we walk and engage within the city. This filmic gaze of viewing the city sets up a “long take” of how we pan across viewing a diversity of things, at a hyper-stimulated pace that is now of our times.
Robert Arndt currently lives and works in Vancouver, BC. His work has most recently been seen at The Jewish Museum, New York (2014); INOVA, The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (2014); Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver (2014); Artspeak, Vancouver (2011); Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver (2010).