From Sept 25 – Feb 14, Ballroom Marfa presents the group exhibition “Äppärät” featuring Dutch artist Marlie Mul.
“Äppärät,” curated by Tom Morton, is a show about the mammalian hand and the tools it touches, holds, and uses. The name “Äppärät” is taken from the novel “Super Sad True Love Story,” by author Gary Shteyngart, which features a fictional post-iPhone device called an äppärät. The exhibition “Äppärät” is about labor and play, and the uncertain zones that exist between the two. It tries to make visitors aware of the neglected history of touch and tools but also of how this history might help us arrive at what Roland Berger termed “a certain philosophy of the object,” in his 1964 essay “The Plates of the Encyclopedia.”
Marlie Mul is a Dutch-born artist based in Berlin. Her work often focuses on themes of communication and technology, but also on form and function and how these two aspects of objects and art influence each other. Mul’s sculptures often simulate everyday outdoor objects that refer to human interaction such as air vents used as ashtrays, snow heaps with stubbed out cigarette butts, or rain puddles littered with bits of trash. The situations present an invisible presence of a virtual population or crowd. In “Äppärät” visitors will encounter Mul’s creation of steel grills stuffed with spent cigarette butts.
Founded in 2003 by Virginia Lebermann and Fairfax Dorn, Ballroom Marfa is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and a dynamic, contemporary cultural arts space where varied perspectives and issues are explored through visual arts, film, music, and performance. The gallery is housed in a converted dancehall that dates to 1927. Ballroom Marfa’s mission is to serve international, national, regional, and local arts communities and support the work of both emerging and recognized artists working in all media. Ballroom Marfa is particularly interested in helping artists and curators achieve projects that have significant cultural impact but would be impossible to realize in a traditional gallery or museum setting.