Opening: Dickheads – In control

26 January 2018, 6–9pm
Guy Bar Amotz


“I have two stage names: Pinchas and William, Pini and Willie.”

Dickheads. In control, a new work by the London-based artist Guy Bar Amotz (1967), is the latest iteration of an evolving musical theatre installation that takes the legendary band The Dickheads (San Francisco 1976–80) as its starting point. It is a story of servitude unsuccessfully disguised as male potency. Richard the Robot is the chosen leader of the band. The people wearing the robot masks are not part of the band. It is a story of collective male child mutilation, painting, girls, senseless manhood. Of Jewish soil, golem servants, Pinocchio, Discobolus, Orpheus, Richard the Robot, dickheadedness and extended family. Of being a father, brit milah, becoming a phallus, a mutilated dick. Of Saint Paulus, the Jew-Christian, Pini and Willie, Pinchas and William, Shmolokovich, “most women call me by my real name though”. The mythology of having a new girl after every gig.

For his exhibition at Rib, Bar Amotz will create an immersive audiovisual experience with his performing and talking robotic sculptures and paintings. These works are operated by powerful software written in collaboration with programmer Piers O’Hanlon and musician Peter Zwingli Hall (a.k.a. Dear Earth). Bar Amotz has been developing this software for several years, enabling him and others to program robots in various ways. The result is similar to user-orientated sound and video editing technology, allowing the artists to work in a very freehanded way without forcing the user into disciplines that are programming based. Through this technology, Bar Amotz’s objects are connected to the internet and can be controlled—or even hacked—by a network of users outside the physical space of their presentation and from anywhere in the world, situating the work within the realm of the ‘The Internet of Things’. From here, Bar Amotz’s work is a non-utilitarian take on this phenomenon of ‘The Internet of Things’, where emotion and inevitable physical and mental decomposition loom.

Guy Bar Amotz (1967) has lived and worked in London, UK since 1996. In 1997, he graduated from the Master of Fine Arts course at Goldsmith’s College, London. During 1998–9 he participated in the two-years residency programme at the Rijksakademie Van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Bar Amotz’s projects have been commissioned by art spaces, such as Tate Britain (London, UK), CCA (Geneva, CH), Project (Dublin, IE), Stedelijk Museum Bureau (Amsterdam, NL), Gwangju Biennale (KR), the Biennale of Sydney 1998 (AU), Ikon Gallery (Birmingham, UK), Fuori Uso (IT), Museum of Modern Art (Saitama, JP), Trade Apartment and the APT (London, UK), W139 (Amsterdam, NL), Fashion House W<’s Show Room (Antwerp, BE), and Transport for London’s Platform for Art (London, UK). Bar Amotz collaborates with London-based choreographer Jasmin Vardimon; including video, media and set design for Jasmin Vardimon Dance Company’s most successful projects: Lullaby, Park, Justitia, Yesterday, 7734 and Freedom. Bar Amotz is currently associate director and dramaturg for the Company. He has been profiled in books, publications, and magazines, such as FlashArt (IT) and Artforum (US), Contemporary (UK), i-D (UK), TimeOut (London, UK). In 2004, Bar Amotz was selected by Artforum as the Artist to Watch for the year ahead, and in 2010 he was honored with the Lottery Award for Excellency in Art, a prestigious prize for the arts. Guy Bar Amotz is represented by Petra Rinck Galerie in Düsseldorf.

With the financial support of Gemeente Rotterdam and Mondriaan Fund.