October 26 – November 25, 2006
bitforms gallery, nyc
bitforms gallery, nyc is pleased to announce the second U.S. solo exhibition of Michael Najjar and the debut of his bionic angel photography series. On exhibit for the first time will be large-scale photographs: figura serpentina, laokoon, prometheus, danaë, cyrostat hssv 6-7 and bionic angel.
The new series bionic angel deals with the process of transformation and the future technological control of human evolution. Due to accelerated developments in the field of “G-R-I-N” technologies (genetics, robotics, information and nano-technologies), new post-human forms of existence are emerging. Everything that constitutes our human identity – our bodies, minds, memories and offspring – is changing into a post-human form of existence.
“G-R-I-N” technologies aim to enhance the physical body and “human performance”. Prenatal genetic determination even makes it possible to build children, and to use cloned bodies for ersatz organs. Developments in nano technology that manipulate the legacy atomic structure also enable the creation of new bodies which are more robust, elastic and durable. As the new bodies are adapted to the needs of the high-speed data networks, biological evolution may be steered to employ genetic algorithms and neural networks. The door to transformation of the human into a new and superior being is now wide open.
Deeply rooted are mankind’s aspirations for an ideal body and an immortal existence. The human body in the art and mythology of ancient Greece already showed an idealized view of human creation. Later artists of the Italian Renaissance took up these same ideas and expressed the radical changes taking place in the understanding of body, mind, religion and science.
Imagery from the bionic angel series merges contemporary forms of body modification with classical idealized human figures from antiquity and the renaissance. Taking inspiration from Greek mythology, especially Ovid’s Metamorphosis, creatures in the throes of transformation serve as a metaphor for the inevitable genetic self-creation and possible immortality of the human body. The moment of metamorphosis itself serves as the key metaphor for the technology driven transformation of the human body in its future life. As beautiful as they are complex, these photographs critically explore the struggle for immortality and the potential technological manipulations in human evolution.
Michael Najjar’s netropolis video and photography series, which also premiered at bitforms gallery in 2004, is currently on view at the Venice Biennale’s 10th Annual Architecture Exhibition, Cities, Architecture and Society September 10 – November 18.
Najjar’s work has been exhibited at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, the Kunsthalle Hamburg, the Museum für Kunst und Gestaltung in Hamburg, the Willy-Brandt-Haus in Berlin, the Goethe Institute in New York, the Museum Traphold in Denmark, the Danish Design Center in Copenhagen, Joan Miró-Foundation in Barcelona, the Science Museum in London, the National Museum of Science in Taiwan, the Designzentrum Nordrhein-Westfalen in Essen, the Gesellschaft für Technologische Zusammenarbeit in Frankfurt, the Sony Center in Berlin, the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, the 9th Biennale in Havanna, the Convergence-Biennale in Beijing, the Noorderlicht Photofestival in the Netherlands, PhotoEspaña in Madrid, ARCO Madrid, DiVa, DFoto, bitforms gallery in New York and Seoul, Galerie Guy Bärtschi, Geneva, Galería Fernando Silió in Santander, Galerie Lutz Teutloff in Cologne, C/O Galerie in Berlin, and the Lehman College Gallery in New York.
Michael Najjar’s works have been acquired by leading private collectors and museums including the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, the Internationales House of Photography, the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg, the Willy-Brandt-Haus in Berlin, the Coff-Foundation in San Sebastian, the Museum DA2.Domus Artium 2002 in Salamanca, and the Sammlung Teutloff in Germany.
Born in 1966, Michael Najjar is devoted to photography and new media art. His works explore the impact of advances in (digital) technology on contemporary society, and he creates visions and utopias of future forms of social existence driven in continual change by the influence of new technologies.
For more information visit: www.bitforms.com and www.michaelnajjar.com