Brillantine

A set of instructions:

“Scoop marble­-sized dollop, warm it with your palms. Run fingers through hair, over the waves, the kinks, the frizzies, flyaways, unruliness. It is important to work it in from root to tip, lest the pomade sits on top of the surface. Then go over it with a fine toothed comb.”
[Excerpt from the label of Brillantine Pomade for its 1900 Parisian debut]

Lies overheard from impostors in the room:

“You’re confident and
you’re handsome and funny
Feel better tonight”
[Excerpted from the mouth of Mary B. Kay at an opening]

A beautiful piece of meat on a table, something served:

“Is it good?”
“Who cares, let’s eat!”
[The cracking of a shell]

Chin, chin on the fine china, a confidence trick:

“Truly, this is the Beautiful Era
– La Dolce Vita, it caught us like a flu!
May we sniffle and sneeze forever.”
[Achoo-ed by Mister Modern Man, gesturing the décor]

The spirit of a transitioning age embodies the object to affirm its vision, and the gimmick continues to proliferate under pearly surfaces, building its folklore. As a tool of artistic production, the gimmick evades public scrutiny and gains trust to affirm what needs to be believed. It smooths itself over the pervasive dissonance, discord, and doubt and our own sincerest naiveté towards a most unclear future. The trick self-exposed, Brillantine deals with displays of power and vulnerability, occurring simultaneously in a discomforting scene of failure and grace.

Text: Kate Brown

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Brillantine, Installation View, Or Gallery curated by Ashley Berlin, 2015. Photo: Hans-Georg Gaul

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Brillantine, Installation View, Or Gallery curated by Ashley Berlin, 2015. Photo: Hans-Georg Gaul

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Brillantine, Installation View, Or Gallery curated by Ashley Berlin, 2015. Photo: Hans-Georg Gaul

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Mary B. Kay, Pickle Redemption, 2015, Installation View, Or Gallery curated by Ashley Berlin, 2015. Photo: Hans-Georg Gaul

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Charlotte Dualé, Piece n* 9 from the series Tableau de chasse, 2014, Installation View, Or Gallery curated by Ashley Berlin, 2015. Photo: Hans-Georg Gaul

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Charlotte Dualé, Piece n* 9 from the series Tableau de chasse, 2014, Installation View, Or Gallery curated by Ashley Berlin, 2015. Photo: Hans-Georg Gaul

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Charlotte Dualé, The outsiders, 2014, Or Gallery curated by Ashley Berlin, 2015. Photo: Hans-Georg Gaul

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Okka Esther-Hungerbühler, Raster Painting 2, 2015, Or Gallery curated by Ashley Berlin, 2015. Photo: Hans-Georg Gaul

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Mary B. Kay, Uh huh uh huh uh huh huh huh huh ∞, 2015, Or Gallery curated by Ashley Berlin, 2015. Photo: Hans-Georg Gaul

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Ian Edmonds, Our Tired Gods (Plinth), 2015, Installation View, Or Gallery curated by Ashley Berlin, 2015. Photo: Hans-Georg Gaul

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Okka Esther-Hungerbühler, Three Extra Shitty Sculptures, 2015. Or Gallery curated by Ashley Berlin, 2015.

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Mary B. Kay, Pickle Redemption, 2015, Installation View, Or Gallery curated by Ashley Berlin, 2015. Photo: Hans-Georg Gaul

Curated by Ashley Berlin
Or Gallery Berlin
Oranienstrasse 37
10999 Berlin