For the 2022 edition of Art Basel Unlimited, P·P·O·W and Annely Juda Fine Art are pleased to present Suzanne Treister’s SURVIVOR (F), 2016-2019, a multifaceted project exploring manifestations of a fictional survivor of the human race in a future reality in undetermined time and space. A vision of a post-futuristic sublime mapped in abstract time frames, SURVIVOR (F) presents existential imagery of a mystical, apocalyptic universe. While this project has taken multiple forms for various exhibitions, this Art Basel Unlimited presentation marks the first comprehensive installation to be sold as one artwork, which will include a unique painting, 86 never-before exhibited original watercolors and drawings, a large-scale wallpaper, two video works, an audio work and nine digital prints.
Since the late-1980s, Treister has been a pioneer in the digital, new media, and web-based media art. Engaged with emerging technologies and their relationship to society, alternative belief systems and structures that bind power, identity, and knowledge, Treister’s work is made in elaborate, years-long series and utilizes diverse media. Questioning given taxonomies and histories, Treister examines the existence of covert, unseen forces at work in the world, whether technological, corporate, military, or paranormal.
Treister’s series SURVIVOR (F) is a hallucinogenic exploration of a post-apocalyptic reality. Through the viewpoint of a fictional sole survivor of the human race whether on earth, in space, on a new planet, a parallel universe, or an artificial superintelligence, SURVIVOR (F) presents a vision of a possible future of a surviving psychedelic consciousness. Envisioned as a post-futuristic hallucinatory utopia, Treister references the psychedelic new age, before the internet, when countercultures believed that utopias were attainable. Through this, Treister shows us the darker side of the human imagination, unleashed by the “information age” in which we currently exist.
Borrowing from ‘outsider art’, Tarot, zeitgeist hashtags, the magnetic field spectrum, and Hollywood sci-fi CGI to create its surreal aesthetic, SURVIVOR (F) is about provoking change by unleashing thought-experiments into the world, coated in luminous otherworldly dream vision colors to reveal our current modes of perception and representation as inadequate mechanisms for imagining post human sentience. It asks what world would be revealed if the algorithms were left to their own generative cybernetic devices, ultimately underpinning Treister’s radical questioning of how we imagine and manifest reality.
Various elements of the SURVIVOR (F) project have been exhibited in solo or group exhibitions at Museum für Kommunikation, Berlin, Germany, 2021; 7th Athens Biennale, Athens, Greece, 2021; Yerevan Biennial, Yerevan, Armenia, 2021; WUK/Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna, Austria, 2020; Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden, 2020; iMAL, Brussels, Belgium, 2020; Annely Juda Fine Art, London, UK, 2019; Nicodim Gallery, Los Angeles, US, 2019; CCCB, Barcelona, Spain, 2019,; Hartware MedienKunstVerein (HMKV), Dortmund, Germany, 2019; Site Gallery, Sheffield, UK, 2019; CAPC musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux, France, 2018; Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia (EKKM), Tallinn, Estonia, 2018; Hayward Gallery Battersea Power Station, London, UK, 2018; and IMT Gallery, London, England, 2017, among others.
Suzanne Treister (b. 1958) studied at St. Martin’s School of Art, London (1978-1981) and Chelsea College of Art and Design, London (1981-1982) and currently lives and works in London. Recent solo exhibitions include The Escapist BHST (Black Hole Spacetime), an ongoing digital work at the Serpentine Galleries, London; HFT The Gardener/Outsider artworks, OEGGK, Vienna, Austria; SURVIVOR (F) to The Escapist BHST (Back Hole Spacetime), Annely Juda Fine Art, London, UK. In 2018, Treister was honored with the Collide International Award, organized by CERN, Geneva, in collaboration with the UK’s Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT). Her work is in private and public collections including the Tate Britain, London, UK; Centre Pompidou, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris, France; Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia; British Council, London, UK; Kadist Collection, Paris, France; Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz, Poland; and the Science Museum, London, UK, among others.