Nunu Fine Art, Taipei
The quest for gold has been a powerful driving force in history, such as during the Age of Exploration and the ensuing centuries of Western colonialism and expansionism that swept the non-Western world. It likewise provided an impetus for modern states during the Second World War to engage in armed conflict. Tales of gold seizures, looting and laundering abound in accounts of this war and of its aftermath. We hear stories, for instance, about the Nazi transferring gold to foreign banks during its height of power. Thus, gold is very much interwoven in the history of human aggression and violence, a prized metal stained with bloodshed.
This inextricable link between gold, war, politics and economy is translated into a collection of works by Keb Cerda, who both paints and animates war scene photographs to revisit the past and at the same time give it presence in this highly technologically-driven era. This new set of works by the artist is another iteration of his intervention with warfare imagery archived through the lens of the camera.
Inserting icons and figures from digital technology and popular culture, he transforms visual documents of the past into a kind of editorial cartoon or political commentary — confronting challenging themes and issues but invigorated by wit and humor. The use of the artist-self-developed app named “Omniscope” reveals new figures and images invisible when viewing the works through the naked eye, allowing the seemingly faithful reproductions of photographs to transform into interventions that offer a wide range of commentaries about politics, culture, and economy. Thus, an animated scene displays on viewers’ mobile devices, whereas a whole “artwork” is carried out in the process of application usage.