With Friendship, Oa4s continues a trajectory of inquiry into the mechanics of collaboration. They consider the form and function of friendship as such: as a symbiotic process and tactic of non-familial alliance. The exhibition centers around a short play starring a two-person camel in a desert oasis. This deploys collage, portraiture and light sculpture to frame friendship’s character as a stage for the artists to practice synchronicity.
Friendship in this exhibition serves as a method and figure to challenge taught categories of thought and experience of bounded individualism. The camel slowly moves through the space, drinking water, dancing, falling asleep and dreaming to a soundtrack channeled through the audience’s phones via a live video stream to form a collective soundscape. The abstract video’s color palette playing on the individual phones is made of found footage and ranges from sunrise to darkness. In this multimedia opera, the single entity attempts to maintain itself by synchronizing two bodies and minds, which corresponds to the collaborative’s ongoing methodology. The artists borrow from strategies of improvisation theater which include making requests but not demands and underlie not only the performance but all works of the installation.
The backdrop to this scene is a collage of colorful transparents, images and objects that imbue the space with ephemeral reflections. And, like the video, move from daylight to black night. Mounted to a top corner, an epoxy coated corner of a box, or an abstracted stand in for a wasp nest, houses a laser pointer to be refracted and smeared onto the wall through a glass bell across the room on the floor. The nest is the result of imagining a bunch of wasps getting hold of a laser pointer out of a community intent. The laser presents a metaphor for the dialogic nature and continuous, even contagious, unfolding and becoming that characterize friendship and collaboration, and reveals the exploding complexity compressed within a seemingly simple cause-and-effect. A sequence of black and white portraits capture the varying poses of a duo of steel fabricators, Eligio and Charly, who helped on the production for Oa4s’ previous exhibition in Mexico City. These images honor and reveal the ongoing nature of collaborative and dialogic work, existing throughout time, and its value productions that are invisible to the bare eye.
Oa4s (On all fours) is composed of Temra Pavlović and Michael Ray-Von, and has been active since 2013. They are based in Amsterdam and Mexico City. Recent solo-exhibitions include “Special Features”, Lodos, Mexico City, (2014), “Laugh now, laugh later”, Lock-up International, Los Angeles, “True butterfly”, Chin’s Push, Los Angeles, “The Fencer And The Beekeeper...”, 1847, Oslo, “Temra and David in 4 parts”, Sorbus gallery, Helsinki (all 2016) and “Spirit Butterfly X” at Lodos, Mexico City (2018).