Dennis J.Reinmüller’s Echo Chamber may appear to be blatantly self promotional and self indulgent upon first glance.
Using several types of media, step into the darkness of Reinmüller’s mind where a life sized printed version of him greets you. The retro styled wallpaper pattern bears his bearded face whilst also making multiple appearances in the psychedelic and trippy video (which randomly reminds me of Mugatu’s video in Zoolander – just me then?)
Perhaps Reinmüller is using the Catlin Art Prize to literally get his face out there? Not quite. Curator Justin Hammond explains:
Echo chamber is about our conscious rejection of emphemerality (lasting for a short period of time). It’s about eternal nostalgia; our endorsement of reboot culture and reluctance to accept tragedy (just press ‘restart’ or commission a sequel).
Echo Chamber does make you feel stuck in the past with its 60’s/70’s wallpaper and propaganda-esque video, not to mention both holding the characteristics of repetition. There is also nostalgic memorabilia in the form of a rotary dial phone. A life sized cartoon version of Reinmüller takes a Matrix like stance; unable to avoid being stunned by a phaser set to eternal happiness.
But the notion is best portrayed with a video game presented on a Nexus Android tablet as you walk out of the Echo Chamber. The beloved 90’s Nokia classic Snake makes a return with, you guessed it, Reinmüller’s face manifesting itself in pixel form forever escaping the green snake. Never losing, tap Onward as much as you like, the snake never catches up. In a constant state of loop, the piece brilliantly marries new technology with a past favourite. Despite the vast development in the field of software and hardware, we are still drawn to the past.
We all have an echo chamber in us all. A happy place where we store good memories. Somewhere we can hold on to things that remind us of being younger; anything we can do so we don’t have to look forward. What’s in your echo chamber?
*Note. If you are able to visit the exhibition, the phone and number actually work – a direct line straight to Reinmüller himself. Past chats have included Danish liquorice and complimenting a stranger on his very very pleasant voice. If you really enjoy your conversation, you’re in luck. For the princely sum of £1,000, you can be one of three people to have you’re very own direct line to talk to him whenever you want – this contract expires when the artist does.
Interactive, humorous and thought provoking, Echo Chamber gets my vote for the Catlin Art Prize 2014 – you can vote for him here.
The free exhibition at Londonewcasstle Project Space runs until the 24 May.
Watch the below interview with Dennis J. Reinmuller
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