RENAISSANCE MAN II

 

Renaissance Man is a mechanised figure, with casts of the artist’s face, hands and feet, assembled around an aluminium trough with moving limbs. I imagine himself metamorphosed into a mechanised animal, on all fours, locked in a single repetitive movement. This version was commissioned in 2017 by Greene Naftali gallery as part of the exhibition Exo Emo.

As with other kinetic works my aim was to develop a compulsive aesthetic, one that would challenge both a contemplative mode of artistic spectatorship, and to eschew a professionally slick and conceptually refined type of contemporary art whose surfaces exclude material slippage. In this respect horror, humour and ‘idiocy’ were employed to produce something weird, crude and unnerving.

I also wished to undermine the idealized, humanist model of intellectual progress, represented by the male modern artist, with his technical prowess and creative assertion of selfhood, and in its place to assert something more abject, compulsive and machinic, closer to the decentred subject put forward by psychoanalysis. The artistically debased genre of kinetic art enabled a method of production whereby I could relinquished control over an array of compositional effects, focusing on getting the mechanism moving in an interesting way rather than on formal concerns.

'It's the most offensive work in the show' - Dan Graham

 

 

Renaissance Man, mixed media kinetic sculpture, 2017. Courtesy of the artist and Greene Naftali, New York

Renaissance Man Dean Kenning

 

Renaissance Man, mixed media kinetic sculpture, 2017. Courtesy of the artist and Greene Naftali, New York

Renaissance Man Dean Kenning 

 

Renaissance Man, mixed media kinetic sculpture, 2017. Courtesy of the artist and Greene Naftali, New York

Renaissance Man Greene Naftali Dean Kenning

 

Exo Emo at Greene Naftali