Jan 30, 2020
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Simon Denny merges politics and apparel in new exhibition

Jan 30, 2020

In a new exhibition at the Altman Siegel Gallery in San Francisco, California, a commentary on technology culture has taken the unlikely form of a Frankenstein's monster of tech-bro vests and the former accessories of Margaret Thatcher.

Simon Denny; Altman Siegel Gallery

The exhibition, entitled 'Security Through Obscurity', is the product of New Zealand-born, Berlin-based artist Simon Denny, and consists of a variety of new sculptures, wall reliefs and framed pieces.

Among the works, Denny created knock-off versions of Patagonia sleeping bags and Nano Puff vests -- the so-called uniform of the tech industry elite -- out of scarves acquired at an auction of the estate of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The symbolism of Thatcher, which Minnesota Street Project described as synonymous with the ever-contestable neoliberal agenda advocating free markets, deregulation and privatization, blends itself with the social impact of the tech industry and the interpretation of a sleeping bag -- as both a standard camping accessory and a representation of homelessness -- for a commentary on the intersection of technology, aesthetics and society. 

Other pieces in the exhibition include a series of tablecloths, produced in China and printed with Thatcher scarf motifs, that have been charged with static electricity by used British army blankets, as well as collage reliefs made from the patents of Salesforce.com Inc., San Francisco's largest employer, which has been accused of using patents to avoid taxes. 

Opened on January 14, the exhibition will run through February 22. Outside of Altman Siegel, Denny has presented solo exhibitions at New York's MoMA PS1, London's Serpentine Galleries, Los Angeles' Hammer Museum and Tasmania's Museum of Old and New Art, among others. 

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