The Meredith Rosen Gallery’s “Continental Breakfast” show by Anna Uddenberg explores utility, control, and autonomy. Uddenberg’s twisted, hyper-functional sculptures question our assumptions about the body as an asset to change and manipulate to provide autonomy to user-friendly technologies.
The exhibition’s title, “Continental Breakfast,” relates to European hotels’ light breakfasts. Uddenberg says that aspirational values are projected onto inexpensive, substandard cuisine like aeroplane meals. Uddenberg’s quasi-functional objects of financial dominance allow performers to relinquish their bodily autonomy as they succumb to a controlled setting.
“Continental Breakfast” sculptures exhibit hyper-functionality that is unavailable to humans, dissolving the barrier between object and human. Uddenberg’s work combines digital and medical body modification with touch displays, organic forms, and ergonomic design to humanise industrial design.
Uddenberg’s sexualized pseudo-functional sculptures question our seduction by algorithms in a data-driven society. She asks us to explore how functionality might be used to manipulate us, altering our selfhood on the cyclic dopamine drip of updates, notifications, and information overflow.
Uddenberg’s hotel symbolises comfort and convenience. The artist examines how the hotel, a solitary domino in the sequence of events in cities increasingly hostile to everyone save the ultra-wealthy, provides a regulated space in which the body in travel strives to correct its authority.
Uddenberg combines symbolic values of real estate textures, skins, veneer, and the gloss of steel crowd control blockades into sculptural materiality, implying a relationship between luxury and financial dominance. Uddenberg’s challenging and thought-provoking works challenge our relationships to technology, power, and luxury.
In “Continental Breakfast,” Uddenberg questions our views of the body, technology, and control. Uddenberg’s sculptures indicate we gladly give up our autonomy to user-friendly devices. The exhibition examines technology, control, and the human body in our data-driven society.
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