Relate to the Matter As I Drop the Bomb
Opens Wed, 18 May - 7pm
Runs until 15 June, 2011
Traffic, Gallery I

With his new body of work Dubai-based artist UBIK examines the recent socio-political shift in the MENA region. He explores the optimism of the “new wave social media 9-5 weekday anarchists” who seem to promote a sense of idealism that is both convenient and skeptical. In his own words, "suddenly everyone's a political pundit in this new world diss-order! "UBIK fuses pop-culture with his usual dose of dark humour, urging viewers to explore their reactions and emotions, often in a cynical, sarcastic and humorous way. He uses the lenticular lens as his principle medium, playing on the idea that the medium is the message, with the power to influence how the message is perceived. Lenticular prints are used in advertising, which in UBIK’s view is one of most manipulative and subversive forms of communication.

The exhibition title ‘Relate to the Matter As I Drop the Bomb,’ is a lyric from the song "I'm Housin," by the American political rap metal group RATM (Rage Against the Machine). The title also refers to a piece of text written by UBIK that deals with the dystopian idealistic fever that has managed to capture the imagination of the MENA region. The exhibition touches on various themes relating to revolutions, from power and domination, to revolt, radicalism and anarchy, freedom and oppression, mass and social media, truth and fabrication.

On one level, UBIK deconstructs our obsession with new power, the media and the notion of viral truths. “We live in strange times, where revolutions are televised, Tweeted, Facebook-ed, glorified and merchandised. There seems to be no means to an end, just pure chaos, the sort of chaos that makes up for good gossip and "ear-candy.” Its the sort of chaos that is mobilized in chat rooms and measured by hash-tag trending in Twitter, the sort of chaos that manages to keep us entertained till the next fad comes along.” Needless to say, UBIK is confused and amused by the way people react to media in today's world when he feels the truth is so evidently sugarcoated.
UBIK’s work is heavily influenced by film, beatnik and gonzo literature, music, street art, anarchism and existentialist thought. “All matters aside, I am not an activist, nor will I take sides, I am content with being an outside observer.” - UBIK