Ayala Artist Space 2016
ABOUT — Keb Cerda’s latest intervention to images of war and violence takes the form of presenting military hardware in the context of food and beverage processing, transforming them into enticing mass-produced goods that appeal to one’s appetite. Weapons, battle gears, and an army become incorporated into assembly lines where machines cap bottles or layer sweets with luscious and creamy coating, to name but a few. Life-threatening and potentially destructive objects turn into mouth-watering and delectable treats for the consuming public to enjoy. This blurring of the distinction between food and weapon and exploring their intersections through the language of manufacturing and mass production offers a gamut of reflections on necessity, human nature, culture of consumption, and the art of warfare. The interplay between taste and pleasure on the one hand, and aggression on the other, satirizes the enduring occurrence of armed conflicts and atrocities, perpetuated by humanity like an insatiable craving that needs to be constantly satisfied. It may also allude to how consumer products such as processed food have become weapons in themselves for hegemonic economies to gain power and control, to infiltrate weaker markets and secure relations of dependency. The titles make further parody of brands and labels, referencing packaging and the marketing of commodities.
Experimenting with new media, Cerda taps mobile technology in this solo exhibition as a platform to provide new dimensions in experiencing and constructing meaning in art. The fusion of food processing and war imagery is revealed through a mobile application called Omniscope, which animates the paintings into video clips and brings each frame into action. Such mediation is a key ingredient in capturing food’s appealing qualities: delightful, tasty and appetizing. Here, the still picture and the moving image merge to enhance the technologically-savvy audience’s engagement with art, allowing the painted canvas to gain presence in today’s highly digital and virtual world.