Young Projects is pleased to present Loomer, Harm van den Dorpel's first solo show on the west coast. It will include a wide range of work including photo-based collages, Perspex sculptures, heat-shrink-wrap objects, videos and websites from the past five years.

Born 1981 in Zaandam, the Netherlands, van den Dorpel studied Interactive Design at Gerrit Rietveld Academy and Artificial Intelligence at Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, where he later taught New Media from 2008-2012. His work has been the subject of numerous solo shows at institutions such as the Abron Art Center in New York; the New Museum (NY); American Medium (NY); and The Moving Image fair in Istanbul. It has also been included in a number of important exhibitions of late including: Private Settings at the Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw (2014); Image Employment at MoMA PS1 (2013); Free (2010) at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; Collect the Wwworld at Link Art Centre, Brescia, Italy; and New Wave at the Internet Pavilion within the Venice Biennale, 2009. He currently lives and works in Berlin

In the artist's own words:

I am lying down in my bed, attempting to write texts about my upcoming solo exhibitions. The texts serve multiple purposes, of which the most important two are: a: provoke people to come see the show, write about it, buy the work, etc. and, b: help people understand what the exhibition is ‘about’.

Although I am writing the text myself, it is common to pretend to write it in the third person: ‘the artist’, ‘Van den Dorpel’, ‘he’, so it looks like I’m not exalting myself too much but appear humble, and to suggest that somebody else is writing it. An outsider perspective gives more authority, and protects the artist from explaining his own work - defence is so tempting.

I graduated art school in 2006, yet still hesitate to talk with people about what I do. At obligatory gatherings I rather tell that I’m a computer programmer, which is more tangible. Not that my work is not about something - I think it is about many things - but that what it is about, seems to run ahead of myself, and I will never quite catch up with it. (I suspect it is always about the same thing).

Often people approach explanations of my work in terms of ‘found imagery’, which is ‘culled’ from the internet. This emphasises the ‘as-found nature’ of my source material. Because these images are from the internet, and I make an object in space using them, I’m labeled ‘post internet’, but this is not sustainable. Using existing images from the internet is not saying much about the work at all. It’s 2015. Appropriation is a default. It is a meaningless gesture in itself.

Fragments of images, texts, thoughts, sequences I combine, with a faint belief, that the result could somehow be something new, or at least new enough to me. Or at least new enough to you. And every time, when I manage to give a conceptual explanation of the result of this enduring association-mining, I must divert, or it dies.

Making art compensates a melancholic desire. There is this romantic notion that every object of desire is unattainable, because once acquired, once understood, it disappears by morphing into the banal. Although having access to financial means greatly reduces worries, it makes me sad that I have become a professional now. It sort of spoils it. I should not have married my mistress.

Absolute potential: performance artists are not theatre actors, and sound artists are not musicians. What is to become of me if not a computer programmer anymore?


A solo exhibition by Harm van den Dorpel

Jan 23 - March 1, 2015