Kevin Space is pleased to announce Sitcom Architecture, the first solo exhibition by artist and writer Becket MWN in Austria. Through a site-specific installation of text-based audio, sculpture, and video, the exhibition expands on the artist’s interests in the relation between acts of speaking, media, and contemporary productions of subjectivity.
Unfolding from the specificities of the two almost identical rooms of Kevin Space, Sitcom Architecture explores the dimensions of the double on an architectural, medial, embodied, and psychological level, while reflecting on how narratives are constructed, and experiences of being present are mediated, through staging and the formative act of editing. Stage and backstage, on and off camera, interior and exterior constitute doubtful distinctions in the creation of ambiguous spaces and characters and serve the exploration of the fragmented domestic and political realms of the present.
Sitcom Architecture is conceived as an infrastructure that enables a continuous process of editing and the production of overlapping subjectivities. Within an implied setting of an abandoned TV studio, three figures—the writers, the editor, and the carpenter—constitute different protagonists that inhabit the production space and are embroiled in unlikely and catastrophic conversations, recorded in three audio pieces: The Writers, located under a seating tribune in the audience space off stage, pondering the dissolving domesticity of the sitcom architecture through the figure of the ‘dad’ barricading the front door and thus his realm of power-exertion; The Carpenter as the physical producer of the set silhouetted by the make-shift wall and a rolled out carpet to suggest a domestic sphere contemplating the material registers constituting contemporary image-based reality and subjecthood; The Editor in the third and back space––a storage with props arranged by the artist––takes on a central role in the creation of the sitcom architecture and authority on how the individual rooms interact with each other, and how experiences are manufactured.
While this threefold structure serves as a tool to break up and reflect upon the artist’s own process as a writer, editor, and sculptor, the format of the sitcom played out at Kevin Space serves as a metaphor for how both narrative and apparatus constitute and necessitate each other within given technical and economic constraints. Here, the framing of Kevin Space as both social space and exhibition venue echoes the space’s very own sitcom structures, made visible through a cast of collaborators and speakers who are part of the history of the art space.
Sitcom Architecture reflects the artist’s interest in the conditions and possibilities that are given to questions about embodiment, becoming, and subjectivation through the prism of the history of media and mediation of experiences over the past two decades. The artist introduces the house as a metaphor for the interiority of the self to investigate techniques of how subjectivities are created and constructed by economic and technological apparatuses and editing processes vis-a-vis the fiction of the coherent sitcom house. The employed figures thereby perform the disintegration of the structure, gaining autonomy in moments of collapse. Tracing the coinciding disintegration of social (such as the nuclear family) and political values from a post-political consensus to a post-truth politics, with processes of exteriorization and fragmentation as well as the simulation of presence through new technologies, Sitcom Architecture seeks to challenge operating fictions within contemporary culture.
Becket MWN (*1984) is a writer and artist based in Amsterdam. He received his MFA from the University of Southern California in 2014 and was a resident artist at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam from 2015 to 2017. He has recently exhibited at Kristina Kite Gallery, Los Angeles (2021), Mery Gates, New York (2021), Grazer Kunstverein, Graz (2021), Broadway, Amsterdam (2020), Motto Books, Berlin (2020), SculptureCenter, New York (2019), TG Gallery, Nottingham (2019), Kunstfort bij Vijfhuizen, Haarlem (2019), Root Canal, Amsterdam (2019), and Vleeshal, Middelburg (2018).
Special thanks for their contributions to Dora Budor, Parastu Gharabaghi, Temra Pavlovic, Michael Ray-Von, Renate Schwarzmüller, Miriam Stoney, and Angharad Williams.