February 2023
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Hello Darkness

In Breuning’s new installation, Hello Darkness, the viewer is faced with the chaos of a destroyed library, clouds of smoke, a hypnotic tunnel of light, and an atmospheric soundtrack. We encounter an axe-wielding sex doll and enter a new world cast out of the realm of knowledge and abstract ideas. Purchased over the Internet, the Real Doll – not just any old sex doll, but the most exclusive on the planet – represents the ultimate in artifice. In placing the Real Doll in the context of an art installation, Breuning not only exposes her artificiality, but also shakes up our trust in the supposed reality of the art world. His unsettling coupling of Internet sexuality with aggression, set against the foundations of the historical world, is nevertheless seductive. A speculation on life, sex and death and the extremes of Internet shopping, Hello Darkness plays with ideas of artifice and luxury by remixing cultural codes, aesthetics and attitudes and contrasting them with the supposed ‘high culture’ found in books and art. The reality and availability of such extravagant items is what interests Breuning: ‘I deliberately keep very close to media sources,’ he says, ‘so-called media reality is a presence that’s almost everywhere you look today ... I’m tempted to cut the concept of reality out of my vocabulary.’ Catherine Gibson

Project Credits Courtesy the artist and Swiss Institute, New York With support from: Pro Helvetia – The Arts Council of Switzerland. With thanks to: Ars Futura, Zurich and Swiss Institute, New York


14 September – 24 November 2002


School Lane
L1 3BX