Beam Me Up, Osx: Biosfera Peluche / Biosphere Plush By Ad Minoliti At The Baltic, Gateshead
Updated: Aug 5
A psychedelically decorated 70's New York loft apartment or fourth floor of radical and esteemed Newcastle upon Tyne modern gallery, Baltic Centre For Contemporary Art? Submergence in copious amounts of colour, dizzying energy and detachment from self disguises reality in Ad Minoliti's cutting edge brilliance Biosfera Peluche / Biosphere Plush as they respond to the world's largest Earth science experiment, Biosphere 2, agilely tying in with the recent controversy of the bonkers billionaire space race.
Argentinian Minoliti studied painting, engrossed in geometric abstraction located historically in Latin America, aiding the observer to shroud themselves in their art from every conceivable angle. On Level 4, the use and strength of fearless colour generate a three-dimensional quality, where no surface appears flat as if a giant UFO spotlight is shining down, casting rigid shadows and areas of shade; quite phenomenal. Sci-fi, architecture and queer feminism are several elements challenging the 'norm', especially the 'narrow-minded' norm, zigzagged around the space.
Living organisms of flowers and butterflies are depicted through machine and hand in a collection of squared canvases for the Fable series. Adopting Vivien Kubbos' gentile and ever-busy character Sarah Kay's kind and loving outlook, an obscure, fierce approach from Minoliti breaks moulds that society can place upon anyone who is not, in their opinion, 'typical'. In the Space Playset series, four united portrayals of toys produced and marketed for either girls or boys highlighting the outdatedness of this engrained tradition. Looking through windows, galaxies hold potential for all beings.
Curiously, as if despairing at components of our globe's population and building a platform for voiceless species with differing yet valid intentions, this is the third major show on 4 in succession that has promoted animalistic qualities hinting at their superiority, humanity, wisdom and inability to be judgemental of any person.
Three adult-sized mannequins command the room: a relation of Daft Punk's lovable anthropomorphic dog, Charles', named Osx - modelling the trendiest sweater by Lam Hoi Sin, a wolf you dare not mess with called Zorrx and a sleek cat going by the name of Gati, a gender-neutral trio of mutants restoring a child-like unawareness of predetermined clothing, which are enveloped in Ad's designs.
As if rejecting Biosphere 2: Oil tycoon Ed Bass funded a study concerning whether humans could create and sustain life in a synthetic environment, there is no ego, no amount of wealth for entry required, no colonising of this community space, but the rules are you learn with an open and non-assuming conscious. Comfy beanbags are scattered around to encourage all ages to engage in thought.
Ongoing project The Feminist School Of Painting rests at the back in the vessel of a classroom operating twice a week to dissect landscape painting from a feminist perspective bundled in a zine displayed on a bookcase within the exhibition. In Biosfera Peluche / Biosphere Plush, we have a mind-blowing delicacy, an eye-opener, hallucinogenic in effect, purposeful in meaning, the future in a spacecraft of all things forward-thinking from Ad Minoliti stationed on our very own Level 4.
Biosfera Peluche / Biosphere Plush is a collaboration with Centre de Création Contemporaine Olivier Debré, Tours, France where Ad Minoliti will present a solo exhibition October 2021 – March 2022.
A new monograph will be published in the Autumn in collaboration with CCCOD, Tours; Galerie Crêvecoeur, Paris; Galería Agustina Ferreyra, Puerto Rico; and Peres Projects, Berlin.
Article by Beverley Knight