Opening reception: 6–8pm Thursday 23rd March 2023
Exhibition continues: Friday 24th March – Saturday 8th April 2023
Gallery open: 12–6pm, Thursday–Saturday
Pallas Projects/Studios are pleased to present Daniel Tuomey—Control Centre Charlois the first exhibition of our 2023 Artist-Initiated Projects programme.
For this exhibition Daniel Tuomey gathers a body of work which uneasily layers roleplaying games with the alienation of life under bureaucratic biometric capitalism. This layering is staged in Charlois, the neighbourhood in the south of Rotterdam where the artist has lived for the past seven years.
Charlois—an area traditionally occupied by dock workers, immigrants and squatters—is currently the target of a public-private gentrification project. Dutch government rezoning incentivises and supports the work of unscrupulous private housing developers. In game design terms: a process of weaponised worldbuilding.
The exhibition transforms Pallas into a remote operation station for the neighbourhood: a space flickering between harbour control centre and teen gamer’s bedroom, a traditionally gendered enclave in crisis, a desperate altar to the mastery of space.
The viewer enters this facility through a skeletal mainframe, the charred remains of a render farm, or a Rietveld structure. A series of glowing “monitors'' house drawings, texts, and other fragments, keeping track of an ongoing game of composition and juxtaposition. At its heart is the gloomy computer roleplaying game Is Registration Possible? which invites the viewer to control a digital fossil wandering through a glitchy reassembly of Charlois’s dataswept streets. This virtual Charlois is stitched together from publicly available geoinformation, and populated with a cast of jittery non-player characters. The player navigates both the virtual space and a series of recursive multiple choice conversations with these broken automatons, crumbling buildings, and bits of trash. The work’s title echoes the desperate refrain of anyone who has navigated the Dutch housing market in search of a permanent home, in a system where a legally registered address is both a scarce resource and a basic prerequisite to existing in society.
The installation summons the post-pandemic feeling of working from home and living at work, seeing screens reflected in windows and windows reflected in screens, squirming pinned in place by a bureaucratic dialectic of security and vulnerability, trudging through the endless death-cycle roleplaying game of statistical surveillance capitalism. However, its characters refuse to be fully subsumed by the rules of the game. The work nags at its own status as a document (or even a fossil) of the neighbourhood with which it is concerned. It grasps at what is unrepresentable through the speculative models and metrics it appropriates, the low thrum of life that resists registration and is beyond control.
Daniel Tuomey was born in Dublin, and currently lives and works in Rotterdam. His work stages the political and discursive consequences of formal gestures, exploring how hegemonic masculinity constructs itself through an attempted mastery of space and storytelling. He articulates points of crisis and vulnerability in this edifice, building fragile narrative installations with foundations in drawing, architecture and moving image.
Tuomey received his MFA from the Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam in 2017. He has exhibited internationally, with recent long term research projects exhibited in solo exhibitions in an other world (2022) and Available & the Rat (2021) (both Rotterdam). His work has featured in Y O U N G F O S S I L (IMMA, 2022), and The Corona (VISUAL Carlow, 2021), as well as online as part of the WET Film Collective’s screening programme (2021). The work of the Postpeople (his collaborative project with Tracy Hanna) has been featured on the online multimedia album Triple Pocket Napkin Fold (2022), and they regularly gig in Rotterdam, run electives at the Willem de Kooning Academie, Rotterdam (2019-present) and host a biweekly programme on Radio Worm (2021-present).
@danieltuomey | danieltuomey.info
Artist-Initiated Projects at Pallas Projects/Studios is an open-submission, annual gallery programme of 8 x 3-week exhibitions taking place from March-November 2023. This unique programme of funded, artist-initiated projects selected via open call is highly accessible to artists, with a focus on early career, emerging artists and recent graduates. Projects are supplemented with artists' talks, texts, workshops or performances, and gallery visits by colleges and local schools.
Pallas Projects/Studios is funded by The Arts Council
Image description: Multi layers of transparency. Foreground, a pixel art human warrior shape in olive green shades. Midlevel, deep dark red graffiti fading lines in a geometrical shape. Background, technical design thin light lines, partial sketches of planimetry, metal net becoming a natural shape, containers. Deeper layer: transparency, crossed lines, a sketch of 2 people talking and writing: Klachten? Testen en thuisbiijven. Zorg voor frisse luncht.
Audio description: soundbite.speechify