Synthetic Baby  Biljana Popovic    Exhibition Preview: Wednesday 26 September, 5.30pm    Exhibition Runs: 27 September – 28 October 2018    Saturday 29 September, 2pm: Exhibition Talk with Biljana Popovic and Jamie Hanton     View  Something Entirely Natural online:       What do you think about when you are driving? For the cybernetic subject, deep thinking happens on the skin. The car is not an object to be fetishised, but a mediated lens, a transformative and existential machine with which humans have a reciprocal relationship. The car transforms how we know the world, and how the world is.  Using two pieces of recent technology—The Fortwo Smartcar and the Samsung Gear 360 camera,  Synthetic Baby  opens up a historical moment—namely the early 21st century—via a dance. This dance concerns the cultural role of technology, and it takes place between two sensibilities: romantic naturalism and technophilia.   Synthetic Baby  is a multimedia installation that operates as a prop-opera where cyberfeminism, pop phenomenology, and theories of embodiment come together in a period piece set in the near-past. Building from previous work, Biljana Popovic explores the relationship between identity and the designed environment through the production of new socio-spatial contexts.  Tech industries do not expand in proportion to each other; digital technology is taking over the marketplace at such a rate that older tech trades like automechanics and architecture are starting to look like blacksmithery and stonemasonry. The technophile claims it is not enough to use tools, it is the love of technology that fuels innovation—and considers technophilia to be an equally legitimate position to romantic naturalism, equally capable of fighting for social justice and earthly survival.  What does freedom to identify mean in a period of sexual revolution, pumped up bodies, the metrosexual and the ‘Can I speak to the manager haircut’? Identity is losing its grip as an organising force of the body/environment/technology/politics assemblage. The feeling that washes over is a collapse between the natural and the artificial. We were always already artificial.   Something Entirely Natural  includes sound design by Claire Duncan and water dance performed by Ruby Read.   Synthetic Baby  has been generously supported by the  Chartwell Trust .  --   Biljana Popovic  (b. 1990 Loznica, Serbia), is a New Zealand artist currently based in Berlin, Germany. She graduated from Elam School of Fine Arts with a BFa Hons in 2012. She is the next recipient of the Creative New Zealand Berlin Artist Residency program, October 2018 - October 2019. Recent shows include  Thing Persuasions , a collaborative exhibition with Sam Beca at Veronica gallery, Amsterdam 2018 and  Andromoeda , a collaborative installation with Juliet Carpenter for  Shout! Whisper! Wail!  The 2017 Chartwell Show, Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tamaki.   Public Programme:   Emerging technologies and alternatives to Capitalism: a talk by Sionainn Byrnes Wednesday 24 October 5.30pm-6.30pm   Living Pulse , Julia Harvie: a performance response to  Synthetic Baby  Saturday 27 October 2pm-3pm  --   Selected Readings:    Barthes, Roland "The New Citroen." In  Mythologies  . London: J. Cape, 1987.   Haraway, Donna. "A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century." In  Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature . Routledge, 1991.    Eglash, Ron. "Oppositional Technophilia."  Social Epistemology  23. no. 1 (2009):   79-86.    Landström, Catharina. “A Gendered Economy of Pleasure: Representations of Cars and Humans in Motoring Magazines.”  Science Studies  2, (2006): 26-48.    Currier, Dianne. “Feminist technological futures: Deleuze and body/technology assemblages.”  Feminist Theory  4. no. 3 (2003): 321-38.    Law, John. “Machinic Pleasures and Interpellations.” Centre for Science Studies Lancaster University. 2003. 1-17.    O’Doherty, Brian. “From the Archives: Highway to Las Vegas.” Art in America Magazine. 1972.    Dant, Tim. “The Driver-car.” Theory Culture & Society 21, (2004):263-2764.    Jean Baudrillard interviewed by Nicholas Zurbrugg in: Morton, Nicola. 2016. “Take Me To Another Strange World // Stupid Boring Internet.” Master of Fine Arts, Sydney College of the Arts: University of Sydney.      Supported by:    Chartwell Trust
   Biljana Popovic,   Andromoeda 2017,  graphic vinyl on Paylite, laser-cut timber, MDF, custom-turned veranda posts, stained cedar roof shingles, vinyl flooring and LED lighting.    Juliet Carpenter,   Cast out of Heaven 2017,  HD video and animation, sound, colour (5.45min).   Commissioned by Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tamaki, 2017. Supported by the Chartwell Trust and the Jan Waburton Trust.   Shout Whisper Wail! The 2017 Chartwell Show at Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tamaki   19 May -  15 October 2017
   Biljana Popovic,   Morgana Rise,  Mixed Media   STANDARD ERROR   Bilijana Popovic, Juliet Carpenter & Gregory Kan with ZK Steiner-Fox     8 – 17 September 2016     Biljana Popovic is an Auckland based artist interested in identity, agency, relationality, sexuality and technology. Her practice explores the poetics and politics imbued in designed objects.  Gregory Kan is a writer based in Auckland. His work has been featured in literary journals and magazines such as brief, Hue & Cry, Landfall, the Listener, Minarets, otoliths, Percutio, SPORT and Turbine. His writing has also featured in various contemporary art exhibitions, journals and catalogues, for institutions such as the Adam Art Gallery, Artspace, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, RM, Te Tuhi and The Physics Room. His first book, This Paper Boat, was published by Auckland University Press in 2016. An earlier incarnation of This Paper Boat was shortlisted for the Kathleen Grattan Poetry Prize in 2013.  Juliet Carpenter is an Auckland based artist. Her work is concerned with dramaturgy of selfhood within film, technology and language. Recent exhibitions include ‘Inhabiting Space’, curated by Stephen Cleland, Adam Art Gallery, Wellington (group), ‘summer of supine’, Blue Oyster Gallery, Dunedin (solo) and ‘The Shadow of the dome of pleasure’, curated by Henry Davidson, Artspace, Auckland (group).  ZK Steiner-Fox is an Auckland/Brooklyn based artist.
  Amelia,  Strandboard, Black vinyl, Stainless steel sink, automotive paint, graphic vinyl, perspex.   SIRENS   Solo show     3 November - 9 December 2016
  I Don't Have To Sell My Soul / You're Already In Me   Installation view from bed.   Spring 1883 is an exciting new art fair that draws on the traditions of the Gramercy Park Fair, New York and presents the best of contemporary art practice from Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the United States.   Spring 1883 sees twenty galleries each exhibiting in a suite at The Windsor, Melbourne’s oldest and most cherished grand hotel. Providing a boutique site for dialogue and interaction between galleries, artists and collectors, the fair will create a new energy for the contemporary art market in Australia. Conceived by galleries for galleries, participation in Spring 1883 is through personal invitation only, thus allowing the project to evolve out of shared conceptual engagements and ensuring a high calibre event.  Press:
  Biljana Popovic,   'Liquid Ovation'  PVC strip with red vinyl.  Juliet Carpenter   'Sunburn Breakup',  and  'Steady Racerback'  cyanotype prints.
  Biljana Popovic  ; 'Kissing Ramona Flowers'  (PVC curtain) ,   Juliet Carpenter   'Half Bianca'  (Video).          Campaign Furniture     Juliet Carpenter, Biljana Popovic, Sorawit Sonsatya    Currated by Henry Davidson    23rd April - 23rd June 2014    Dunedin Public Art Gallery          Taking the Dunedin Public Art Gallery’s Decorative Arts Collection as a departure point,  Campaign Furniture  invites you to consider the nature of the decorative arts through new, contemporary artworks by a group of emerging artists. Decorative art is a term for the design and manufacture of functional objects, often categorised in opposition to the ‘fine arts’, which might be characterised as having no function other than to be seen.  Campaign Furniture  explores how decorative objects are also imbued with a redundancy while maintaining a use value that is fluid. The works in this exhibition consider how, like bodies, decorative objects are sites where gender is constructed and performed.   Campaign Furniture  also questions how decorativeness manifests in a digital era. In 2014 the decorative arts might be better understood as interior design or seen in the devices and interfaces that help us access the internet or create digital images.                    Eclectic and expansive, the decorative arts collection at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery is a unique component of the gallery’s permanent holdings. More like a museum than a gallery collection, it includes clothes, textiles, furniture, ceramics, glass, metal, wood and stoneware.  The title of this show refers to a type of furniture made for travel during military campaigns in the 18th and 19th centuries.   By its nature campaign furniture needed to be sturdy, portable and efficient in its breakdown and because of this it gradually gave rise to ‘good’ design in general.   In time (and at certain points of time) the ‘look’ of campaign furniture became aesthetically popular.                     In this sense campaign furniture might be seen as an analogy for the movement of ideas between different worlds. The distinction between decorative and fine arts has essentially risen from the post-Renaissance art of the West. It is much less meaningful when applied to the art of other cultures and periods, where the most highly regarded works often include those in ‘decorative’ media or all works are in such media. However assumptions about and attitudes between the decorative and fine arts continue to inform our relations to objects and our ways of seeing.                     The artists in this show resist the common association of the decorative with the feminine by tracing masculinities and male bodies into their works. Juliet Carpenter’s video explores ‘sagging’, a practice where young men wear their trousers in a manner that partially exposes their underwear. Online, ‘saggers’ upload self-made videos to be shared on YouTube. In  Half Bianca  the layers of fabric that both reveal and conceal denote bodies as decorative sites themselves, as objects to be adorned. Contrasting gruffly spoken script with soulful music the soundtrack helps to divide the work into two distinct sequences. Carpenter obfuscates the differences between historic and contemporary video production by shooting with high definition technology during ‘civil dusk’ when the light is naturally most vivid. Her sun print hanging on the wall further draws out the blue and ultra violet hues that persist throughout the video.                     Biljana Popovic’s promotional video of a boy and his dog in a duvet set for the homeware brand HIS directs the exhibition towards a possible target market: the young man. Custom printed with the blue and orange New Zealand Police car pattern the linens in  His Turn Now  present everyday banal objects as ornamentation. Similarly her PVC curtain alludes to how the industrial is appropriated by interior design and how the aesthetics of mass production are reified. Along with her exit signs positioned on the floor in a surrealist gesture, the curtain toys with the ways in which the status and purpose of objects can change. In this sense the works in  Campaign Furniture  explore how objects might be imbued with an agency of their own: an ability to do sorts of ‘work’ on behalf of us and perhaps for themselves too.                     In Sorawit Songsataya's work objects are made and live online as well as IRL (In Real Life). In  Cobalt Sun  Staffordshire ceramics from the gallery’s collection have been digitised, appearing as hyperreal versions of themselves, advertisements almost, for the collection. Created using an iPad app, his 3D printed vases show how digital technology can give individuals the ability to mass-produce. Acting like screens, the vases host collages of images that seem to be almost streaming content. Placed on display structures on top of display structures, they are both still and moving, inorganic but also alive: smart. Recurring across the pieces are images of men taking ‘selfies.’ Like many of the works in this show, image making in the form of video is presented as a contemporary form of ornamentation. The light that allows videography to take place as well as the eye to function takes centre stage as the most subtle yet most keen example of the decorative arts today.     - Text by Henry Davidson
  Billie Popovic  , Untitled,  Installation view    Pure Bloom    Group Exhibition at Gloria Knight  Billy Apple, Dan Arps, James Bowen, Zhoe Granger, Billie Popovic  6th - 22nd December 2012
  Biljana Popovic ,  Personal Hero , Reception and waiting room, open view         Personal Hero   16 May - 1 June 2014  12pm - 8pm Tuesday - Sunday  PLAZA     'Personal Hero' is a participatory art experience.  Upon arriving at reception, visitors are invited to make a selection from an ambience menu. Afterwards they are ushered from the waiting area into the cinema room, where they can enjoy a private 15 minute workout set to virtual-walk through videos and spectacular soundtracks.      Press:
 Installation view        Billie Popovic and Rachel Manning  3rd - 16th September 2012   Kidzcorner   Kidzcorner was a space within Elam School of Fine Arts in Auckland, that ran from March - December 2012.  2012 Elam Honours students Emil Dryburugh, Ophelia King, and Liam Pram (now all directors of Fuzzy Vibes on Karangahape Road) made Kidzcorner, a student run for fellow honours students to exhibit work.   The gallery was located within the shared studio space on the ground floor of the Main Building (431).   Rachel and I were invited to do a two week exhibition. At the time, we were both researching mid-century interiors by Richard Neutra and other Architects.  We became interested in creating a space that was programatically open, or that had an ambiguous program.   This work consists of a reconstruction of the gallery space and a treatment of architectural interiors.   The title of the show comes from  'Believe...' was an island in a sea of high-energy studio space. Many people used it as a reading room and as a space to sit and think. Several editions of 'Gimmie Brains' (a student led discussion group) were held within the re-fabricated space. Performances happened here, as well as many informal installations of student work into and over the top of the existing exhibition.   After much discussion and critical consideration, 'Believe...' was incorporated into the gallery infrastructure. Kidzcorner currators invited subsequent artists to exhibit their work within the new interior established by 'Believe...'; to respond to it spatially, conceptually, aesthetically etc.  Documentation of the exhibitions that followed can be viewed on the Kidzcorner website.