Elizabeth Price: User Group Disco
9 Oct – 22 Nov 2015

The autumn season in the Darkroom at Turku Art Museum begins with User Group Disco (2009) by the Turner Prize winning British artist Elizabeth Price. The work is an independent episode in an ongoing series, New Ruined Institute, each episode presenting a “new room” in a fictional institute created by the artist. User Group Disco is set in the Hall of Sculptures, although according to the work itself there is nothing that would deserve the name of sculpture. However, the only thing we see in the following 15 minutes is a procession of banal, defunct objects spinning against a black background.

Price’s key focus is on collections, archives and the formation of the value and meaning of cultural artefacts. User Group Disco suggests that we view technological devices and industrially designed objects as a kind of collection of fantasies classified and controlled by a system of taxonomy. Far from being neutral, the system determines what knowledge is valuable and how things are distinguished from other things. Above all, it works only when the user group is unanimous about the functional principles of the system.

Within the dance-like procession of images, the objects appear as streamlined and sexy targets of status-conscious desire and consumption. You are mere appearance dreamt by another, the narrator states. In addition to slogans, Price’s machine aesthetics is articulated by an electronic soundscape composed by Jem Noble and A-Ha’s hit song Take On Me. Pop music plays a prominent part in Price’s art, and she uses it often as a way to return to her teenage years in England and the moods of those past decades.

Elizabeth Price (born 1966) graduated from the Royal College of Art in London in 1991. She lives and works in London. Price predominantly works in moving images by using the possibilities of digital media, 3D computer animation and sound. She is the 2012 winner of the Turner Prize, and of the 2013 Contemporary Art Society Annual Award. Price has most recently exhibited her work at the Stedelijk in Amsterdam, the New Museum in New York and the Whitechapel Gallery in London.



Turun taidemuseo, Aurakatu 26, 20100 Turku, Puh. 02 2627 100. © 2019