Gabriel Lester & Jonas Lund
born 1972 in Amsterdam, Netherlands
lives in Amsterdam
born 1984 in Linköping, Sweden
lives in Berlin, Germany, and Amsterdam
Titled The Conditioning (2018), Lester’s site-specific installation for the Busan Biennale pursues a more sober but no less immersive critique of architectural space, and politics. This effort began with works like Cross Section (2006), Big Bang (2007), and Big Bang Pang (2013). In those pieces, viewers passed through multiple false walls inside the gallery, each excised with geometrically and organically shaped hollows, which drew attention around our often forgotten experience of space. With The Conditioning, Lester gives this method a political and softly institutional-critical function. Many falsewalls have been clustered near the entrances to the Busan Museum of Contemporary Art’s basement exhibition spaces—architecturally compressed obstacles through which viewers have to walk, back and forth. Each wall is covered in propagandist imagery, from Korea and across the world—yet the compressed space doesn’t allow for any panoramic viewpoint onto these images, leaving the viewer with haunting fragmentary glimpses of the Cold War era as they enter the exhibition space.
In collaboration with artist Jonas Lund, Lester is also realizing a web-based project which in real time, on the Biennale’s social media as well as website, creates a state of flux, of a shifting ongoing narrative, as a kind of play that performs different positions, to reflect on the current geo-political state of divisions, of binary oppositions in terms of territory and world-views, ideas and ideologies.