ANDREW BIRK
I AM
THE BODY
OF A HUMAN

Exhibition Dates:
21st October - 18th November 2017

Opening:
Saturday 21st October 19:00 - 21:00

I am the body of a human is a self-referential declaration spoken from the voice both of a cyborg and a caveman: the condensed self-awareness of an existentialist being, a self-aware physical device, and a biological entity, all at once. 

Andrew Birk presents a series of Life Shrouds, an exercise of dirt-on-denim pieces made with the imprint of his own body. Coming from a trajectory of painting, exploring materials in relation to their common use, Birk turns to the most primordial tool, subject and material - the body and what it is surrounded by, what it is made of. A body that is neither a medium, like a brush operating between the gesture and the image, nor a portrait of a subject. These paintings are multiple indexes of one same reference, a physicality in movement: each the unpredictable product of an alive, perfect machine. 

In the age of immateriality being the untraceable source of all images created, distributed, manipulated and consumed; where bodies are self-governed as brands; where truth only exists as an effect and nature as a concept - these imprints appear, much like X-rays do, as a deconstruction of content and form, a rejection of image making and identity masking. 

Dirt is pigment and denim is canvas; dirt is body and denim is labour. Stripping down art history’s canons and praising the unrefined, Birk uses wearable, industrial cloth, to cover himself covered in mud. As in a death shroud, body and dirt become one thing in a cycle of both scientific and religious undertones. Beyond the anthropocentric and constructed distinction between artificial and natural, human beings appear as an undivided species within a larger system of entities, living in a world of structures - biological, social, linguistic. Seen as accumulations of materials formed and solidified through time, historical narratives then become geological, and humans, made from synthetic processes and constantly provoking new ones, like rocks and plants and bacteria, become a planetary force. 

The organic body is a temporary coagulation in a current - birth captures a certain fraction of the current and death lets it go again when it is disintegrated by microorganisms into a range of new prima materia. Everything from the narratives of mankind formed in clay, to the technological extensions of its reach, is analogous - A.I. development imitates the strategies and patterns of primitive organisms, religious wars dictate migratory flows and with them, genetic mutation of societies and ecosystems. 
Andrew Birk’s imprints are made away from both the romanticization of Nature as the Other, and from the dynamics of capitalization of an ecological attitude. 

Apantles, Calderones, Tlalpan, Juantepec, Chipicas are the names of biographically relevant places, where the artist finds the dirt that he turns into paint, where he recovers mud from lakes or where he has his weight dragged onto the canvas across grassed fields. 
Andrew Birk’s Life Shrouds are one’s own size and one’s own vigour, as the sum of particles that constitute a mass is the potentiality of a Self, as the captured moment in time of an ever mutating anatomy; as the place where the implications of being human start and end. 

Sira Pizà Airas 

Andrew Birk
b. 1985 Portland, Oregon, USA
Lives and works in Mexico City

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2017
Strip down and breathe, LADRO?N, Mexico City (Upcoming)
2016
Callejero, Anonymous Gallery, Mexico City Reset, AMOR, Mexico City
2015
TRU AF, Johannes Vogt, New York City
2014
Hawaiian shirt and destroyed jeans, Welcome Screen, London
150% volume 3?4 Lifestyle, curated by Dorothee Dupuis, Trieze, Paris (2-person)
2013
More>Less, SaBuLee, Guatemala City
Shit talking, Bikini Wax, Mexico City
2012
In Observance of Humanity Transcending Humanity in Observance of Humanity, Black and Yellow, Vancouver B.C. Mausoleum, Fi Projects, Mexico City
2011
You are what you eat and all you eat is pussy, Preteen Gallery, Mexico City.
In nite Dust, Paci c Studios, Brooklyn.

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2017
Too absorbed by places we will see from our Bentleys, OFLUXO, Milan
2016
rheo-GRANDE, Anonymous Gallery, Mexico City
DAYADAHAHA, BEEFHOUSE, Dallas
HIGHER STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS, SE1, Paris
35 Works on Papers, Beers, London
Rheo-, SVA, NYC
Aujourd’hui je dis oui, Aujourd’hui, Lisbon Greater Chinatown, 67, NYC
Timeshare, BHQFU, NYC
Gates of Steel Vol. 1, The Nursery, Oklahoma City
2015
#BAE #AQN, Yautepec, Mexico City
S*W*I*M* (A day online irl), curated by Van Der Borght Bjornus
Im De Ruimte, Ghent The Negative Hand, Anonymous Gallery Mexico City
Primer Bienal Arte d’OXXO, 996, Guadalajara, Mexico DECLASSE, TBA, Bushwick,Brooklyn, New York
Episode 1: Desert Nursery, NG , Lima In ernos Arti ciales, Museo Universitario del Chopo. Mexico
PALOURDES CUITES, Christopher Crescent , Brussels
Free Things, STCFTHOTS , curated by Jack Fisher , Leeds Sunset Thumbprint, Papa John’s Project, online
2014
Cowboys and Indians, 984 Tulum Art Center , Tulum
Bouvy & Kirkeby, Christopher Crescent , Brussels Basel Mukwonago, Bahamas Biennale , Mukwonago
WI SHA BOOGIE BOP, Anonymous Gallery , NYC EDENunlimited/tbc.tbc, Berlin, Germany
Le Showroom, Les Atelier des Arques , Les Arques, France
One Bite, OTHER Projects , Berlin
Fitzcarraldo, Yautepec , Mexico City
M A G M A C R O W D E D, Magma , Antwerp
Executive producer, Museum of Contemporary Art (MACO). Curated by Oliver Marti?nez Kandt, Oaxaca. Mexico
Havisham, Sunday Project , Chicago
USBs, Lodos Contempora?neo , Mexico Doge, Curated by Rene Godinez Pozas , TOCA Galeria , Mexico
IS IT ART OR IS IT JUST, Curated by Romuald Demidenko , BWA Zelonia Go?ra , Zelonia Go?ra, Poland Homesickness, Curated by Bradford Kessler , Glasshouse , Brooklyn
2013
SOULDRONE/SUPERDEMO, Et Al Projects , Brooklyn SOULDRONE/SUPERDEMO, Adultcontemporary.us , Los Angeles BECAUSE WE CAN, NO SPACE , Mexico City
ISIT ART OR IS IT JUST, Het Plafond & NEW: ART CENTER , Rotterdam
SWEAT BABY SWEAT, Curated by Adam Stamp , Gildar Gallery , Los Angeles
AIR SHOW, Butcher Gallery , Toronto
SALO?N ACME No.1, Salo?n Acme , Mexico City
2012
SNAFU, OFG.XXX (formerly Oliver Francis Gallery), Dallas
GANG BANG, Box43 , Zurich