von ammon co.
16 november 2019 -
11 january 2020
Diane Severin Nguyen
Naoki Sutter Shudo
Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo)
Washington DC: FOCUS GROUP: an exhibition of eighteen artists who use a range of approaches—including readymade, post-consumer objects, and media content—to investigate our highly networked, deterritorialized society of control.
The exhibition takes its name from the studies conducted by marketers to assess the public’s opinion on new products, services, or ideologies. The modern focus group was first seen during World War II as a means to study the effectiveness of propaganda on groups of selected individuals. While providing valuable insight into the consumer’s needs and desires, the early groups depended on elective participation from limited subject pools. Technological development has seen the concept of the focus group metastasize into all modes of human behavior, from web search histories to real-time geo-coordinates and even biological data, sharpening the focus of corporations and political bodies to assess when to advertise what to whom.
While the marketing and public relations tactics of the 20th century could be seen as a conspiracy against the consumer, those of the 21st century see the conspiracy being devised by the very consumers which it targets. This feedback loop produces forms with consequently uncanny and suspicious attributes. The readymade thus begins to resemble the consumer whom it targets as its shape is coaxed into being by millions of points of data feedback. Early readymades embodied spaces of containment like public restrooms (Fountain) or hospitals (Air de Paris). But due to efficient global supply and distribution chains, the objects surrounding today’s consumer exude familiarity but have no discernable provenance—not unlike the collective figment of the extraterrestrial who visits from an unknown realm but possesses humanoid features.
This exhibition will be emblematic of the greater mission of the gallery, which is to mainly exhibit artists with a shared affinity for experimental media and a criticality towards capitalist structures in the late 20th and early 21st century. FOCUS GROUP will serve as the syllabus for upcoming programming.
von ammon co. is a contemporary art gallery located in Georgetown, Washington D.C. It is open Tuesday through Saturday, 12pm to 6pm and by appointment. For images or further information on the artists, please call +1 917 658 5444 or email .