Alex Da Corte

20 Apr 2018
17 Jun 2018
Kölnischer Kunstverein
Hahnenstraße 6
Cologne, 50667

Alex Da Corte’s installations are what your parents imagine acid might be. Rooms are plunged into deep purple hues; vibrant neon crowns glare from smoky enclaves. Adidas Superstar trainers sit deconstructed, unlaced and five-feet tall; a vast, wailing baby floats above an art fair (its title: Free Money, 2016). For his exhibition at Kölnischer Kunstverein, ‘THE SUPƎRMAN’, Da Corte revives a many-faced character from his 2017 show at Josh Lilley, London: Eminem (a.k.a. Slim Shady; a.k.a. Marshall Mathers; a.k.a. B-Rabbit; a.k.a. a rapper who, we can all agree, should have called it a day in 2004). In the institution’s central hall, Da Corte will erect a large-scale stage on which to examine, via imitation, four iterations of the Detroit-born star – as pop-cultural icon; as social phenomenon; as a brand so sensationally vast that in 2017 the word ‘stan’ was added to the Oxford English Dictionary, its definition, in accordance with Eminem’s song of the same name: ‘an overzealous or obsessive fan of a particular celebrity’. Through this act, this invocation, this embodiment, which at Josh Lilley played out across three dystopian videos, Da Corte wants to assess another wild act of imitation: ‘[I want] to understand the character that he portrayed, the Slim Shady character, and try to understand and empathize with who that heteronormative, middle class white male is.’

- Harry Thorne