Simon Denny: Scrutiny through Obscurity
At Altman Siegel
Altman Siegel presents an exhibition of new sculptures, wall reliefs and framed works by the New Zealand born, Berlin based artist Simon Denny. This will be the artist’s first solo show in San Francisco. Addressing the intersection of technology, society and aesthetics, Denny sources the material for his work from within the objects, documents, and images produced by technology companies and states.
In preparation for this exhibition, Denny acquired a collection of scarves from an auction of the estate of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. A towering figure in the former British colony of New Zealand during Denny’s formative years, Thatcher is synonymous with the neoliberal agenda advocating free markets, deregulation and privatization that is under increasing scrutiny as signs of rampant economic inequality become ever more visible on the streets of our globally connected cities.
Denny repurposes Thatcher’s scarves as a sculptural material to create knock-off, bespoke Patagonia, Inc. sleeping bags and Nano Puff “power” vests. These socio-politically loaded forms designed for individual insulation have become the de facto uniform of tech and finance culture, while the sleeping bag has simultaneously moved from the camping kit to the homeless encampment. The quilted forms are constructed from secondhand down filling, extracted and upcycled from used sleeping bags and garments sourced around San Francisco.