Conglomerate in conversation with
We have been very attracted to the fresh energy, humour and generosity that presides in the work Conglomerate. These are also the significant features of the wáy they work, as they give a platform to many other artists utilizing the organizational structure and output format of “television” and conceiving the overall project as a Gesamtkunstwerk.
The deliberate use of home-made aesthetics allow for a spontaneity and directness in their practice that together with the sarcastic tongue-in-cheek humor comment on the culture and language of mass media and commercial advertisements. Through irony, exaggeration, and ridicule Conglomerate exposes and criticizes the habits and conventions in the socio-political structure that govern both private and public life, using a visual pleasure that keeps the viewer attached to the screen as children to their favorite TV show.
For their exhibition at 1646 Conglomerate created sets to film a new TV Show based on a insomniac “family drama” in which lingering tensions, traumas and resentments are brought to the surface leading to full blown deliriums as sleepless nights tally up during a holiday gathering.
The basic plot set up presents itself during holiday times. As family members arrive, “mother” Paule rushes out to the news station where she works as a night-time weather anchor. Penn, “the father”, is very excited to have the whole family back under one roof, though he tries to hide his distress about Paule’s absence. While Paule has rebelled and subsequently escaped her long-time role of mother and is forging her own life, Penn meanwhile is obsessed with his own trauma from a supposed alien abduction which is passed down to and affecting all male members of the family over several generations.
The project was realized by a core team of five artists and filmmakers: Sol Calero, Ethan Hayes-Chute, Derek Howard, Christopher Kline and Dafna Maimon.