‘They always dress like they’re going to the Warhol factory, covering supercharged, politically engaged brains inside their matching white crash helmet.’ This is one description of Pil and Galia Kollectiv, and while they have described themselves as “Reading Dada and the Bauhaus backwards through popular culture’, Kollectiv maintain that they way they dress has no bearing on their art. But it definitely adds to the intrigue.
Israeli born, London-based Pil and Galia follow in the footsteps of Gilbert and George and Tim and Sue, but without the main emphasis on their personal relationship. They also write and curate. A multi-venue exhibition based at the Showroom Gallery last year involved a group of dancers dressed as asparagus performing a routine based on Marx’s Das Kapital, with soundtrack by experimental Canadian trio Les Georges Leningrad. Think Kraftwerk’s cover for The Man-Machine doing the dance from New Order’s ‘Blue Monday’ video and you’re getting closer.
Their latest project, ‘The Institute of Psychoplasmics’, is a curated venture inspired by David Cronenberg’s film The Brood. The exhibition is set around the idea of cultic social groupings and how they ‘challenge the integrity of the social body by producing another within it’. For anyone who hasn’t seen Cronenberg’s film, the central character, Nola, is treated at the institute and subsequently gives birth to an embodied manifestation of her own anger. taking this as a starting point, the Kollectiv’s aim is to recreate the fictional institute within the institute of the Pump House Gallery. The show will include videos, paintings, sculpture, sound and object-based installations, and live work, all involving cults, brainwashing, war games, rituals and various explorations of the body politic as a metaphor for the social body. Participating artists include a.a.s/Insectiod, Diann Bauer, Amanda Beech, Mikko Canini, Seth Coston, Rod Dickinson, Pil and Galia Kollectiv, Tai Shani, Francis Upritchard and Roman Vasseur.
‘The Institute of Psychoplasmics’ is a the Pump House Gallery from 9 April to 25 May.