The Decelerator is an exhibition which had its first public initiation in 2011. At that time, it was shown simultaneously in three different cities at the same time. Conceptually ahead of its time in many ways, the exhibition was a direct response to the then predictions made in the Mayan Calendar and the then approach of 2012. Featuring the work of eight international artists who all work or who have worked in the video format, The Decelerator, was a force and visual treat for an urban audience who were surrounded by large than life screens and vivid, dynamic projections. At the time, now two years ago, the exhibit as a whole functioned as a reflection, a reminder to slow down and hold on to every moment in a fast paced society and an ever approaching future. There was an ominous even existential quality to each selected work in response to what the Mayans deemed to be the end of the world. While catastrophic in nature and prophecy, rather than frighten, The Decelerator presented an offering, a diagnostic solution to the frenetic energy of everyday life.
Now in its fifth incarnation and the first time it is being shown in Italy, The Decelerator has passed through New York, Berlin, Budapest (the three original cities of its inception), Munich and now Portici. The video works are also accompanied by a soundtrack by Alexander Hacke of the famed Einstürzende Neubauten. From curator Leo Kuelbs:
“The most powerful thought I had during the creation of the concepts behind ‘The Decelerator’ was of time as we know it being pulled ever more quickly into a black hole,” says lead Curator Leo Kuelbs. “Somehow on the other side was a new reality, 2012 was the threshold, and 2013 the beginning of the creation of new communal, universal fabric. The fact that ‘The Decelerator’ returns again leads to thoughts of societies moving into the hole at different speeds. It’s fascinating to think of the world as a larger single entity, moving through reality, with a very, very long tail.”
KATY DIAMOND HAMER: In thinking about the original time-based intention and now being shown a few years later, post Mayan calendar predictions, the intention now rather than focus on a moment leading up to something appears to a be reflection and reminder of the importance, specifically in the internet age to once again, slow down. Can you talk a little bit about this new territory and spatial exploration through an exhibition?
LEO KUELBS: The show is actually in Portici, which is right across from the city of Pompeii and Vesuvius, so there are many visual references of history/time/living being frozen. [These elements of life] slowed down notations in the landscape that are also interesting. It could be [perceived or implied] that the Italians are experiencing time in a different way, at a different speed than we do in NYC. I like the idea of time with a long tail. The Western culture is a little younger, so maybe it moves faster, as it is not as deep, thus it moves faster through the ‘black hole,’ while Italians move more slowly and are now just getting to it….
The Decelerator will be on view at Sudlab opening December 13th, 2013. Artists included in the exhibition include Danielle de Picciotto, Tomas Eller, Richard Jochum, Denis Salivanov, Vadim Schaeffler, Gabor Toth, aka tgnoise, Ryan Uzilevsky and Joao Vasco Paiva. Curated by Leo Kuelbs, Adam Nankervis, Zsolt Kozma with Amelie Zadeh. Presented by the Leo Kuelbs Collection.