I am the Empire in the last of its decline,
That sees the tall, fair-haired Barbarians pass, the while
Composing indolent acrostics, in a style
Of gold, with languid sunshine dancing in each line.
The solitary soul is heart-sick with a vile
Ennui. Down yon, they say, War's torches bloody shine.
Alas, to be so faint of will, one must resign
The chance of brave adventure in the splendid file,
Of death, perchance! Alas, so lagging in desire!
Ah, all is drunk! Bathyllus, hast done laughing, pray?
Ah, all is drunk, all eaten! Nothing more to say!
Alone, a vapid verse one tosses in the fire;
Alone, a somewhat thievish slave neglecting one;
Alone, a vague disgust of all beneath the sun!
HERO is proud to present 'Give up the Ghost', Thomas van Linge’s first solo show at the gallery.
In 'Give up the Ghost', van Linge turns the gallery into an immersive, narrative installation in which he presents a body of new floor and wall-based works. In act of willful regression, he strips the space of its gallery-like qualities and restores it to the vacant warehouse it once was.
The warehouse is now the venue for an epic party, a rave that, judging from the look of the works and the general ambiance, is almost over. We are, perhaps, in the last moments of the after party. Everyone has been partying all night. They’re still having fun, chasing it all till the break of dawn and beyond. But slowly, almost unnoticed, a faint note of unease has crept into the party’s collective consciousness. It is an intimation that at some point the party must come to an end. So it is that we have arrived at that rare and fleeting moment of equilibrium between energy and exhaustion, between hope and doubt, pleasure and regret. But for the moment the music is still pumping…
An abject gesamtkunstwerk 'Give up the Ghost' is complex, being at once fresh, direct, fun, knowing and pessimistic. Its psychic setting is the industrialized hedonism of entertainment-driven, late Capitalism. Overall, the installation, can be read as a metaphor for this uncertain moment in our history. On a more immediate level, the sculptures are the product of a joyously critical engagement with the material culture of this world, especially through the lens of club and entertainment culture. One series comprises gratified urinals, their shallow bowls filed with toxically chromatic liquids in which float the generic detritus of a party – plastic cups, straws and pills. Another series is made up of wall-based, cabinets that suggest but frustrate a sense of functionality. Instead they are manufactured composites of smooth, contemporary surface; bright plastics, metal and processed wood, onto which images, stickers, logos and other ephemera are printed or casually stuck on. A tire sits uselessly in a slick, hyper-fashionable container. Bits of orphaned plumbing protrude from walls, their transparent pipes full of commercial flotsam and jetsam. The surfaces of a set of punky light boxes are half covered in reflective spray paint, re. Once slick, the objects are definitely still cool but a little tired, like aging DJ’s or Rock Stars.
Standing in its midst, the viewer is implicated in the party’s seductive, intoxicating but degraded excess. Outside and tomorrow, reality remorselessly reasserts itself. Time is running out, for the party and for us. The mounting costs of this way of life must soon be paid. Perhaps now a question begins to form: How many times has the world ended?
Knowing, allusive and insidious, 'Give Up the Ghost' skewers our uncertain, troubled times.
Thomas van Linge (1989)
Born in Haarlem, lives and works in London and Amsterdam.
Thomas van Linge is a London based artist that works within media ranging from sculpture to video, music and found objects. Van Linge draws his inspiration from a wide spectrum of cultural phenomena such as the ethos and visual heritage of electronic music, pop aesthetics, industrial production, digital iconography, the effects of technology and commodification. Van Linge has recently graduated from the Royal College of Art in London and has shown in solo and group exhibitions throughout Europe and recently in institutions such as Somerset House, J Hammond Projects in London and Paradise Works in Manchester. Later this year Van Linge will start a residency at Kunstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin with support from the Mondriaan Fonds.
He consecutively curates a bi-weekly podcast called Rubber Tijd and two record labels called BAKK and RUBBER that focus on releasing experimental dance records and distributes to a world-wide audience. Van Linge also performs and produces under his music moniker Randstad and frequently hosts radio shows on Red Light Radio.