In their duo-exhibition at MOCA, Paul Abbott and Alex Roberts present “What Hat am I Wearing Today?”, a multi-media installation exploring the non-stable identity-reality of our daily experience of living and working in the second decade of the 21st century.
The install offers images of the everyday and passed by spectacle alongside fragments of intimate disclosure. The slogan on an ice cream van: often licked, never beaten; a cakedmake up commuter caught in the glass of the S-Bahn; someone singing in the shower; a London resident’s narration of his dreams and strategy for survival.
In the setting of MOCA, its materiality, one that is transparent, industrial yet domestic, modern yet historical, with its position in the community- local and global in scope, Abbott and Roberts aim to consider the transient authorship and durability of the individual amid current political fluxes. As persons spanning two cities, London and Berlin, where their multi-occupation, multi-nation existence may reflect the several hats we often wear as individuals to survive and sustain our identities, the artists have found an apt setting for the work.
As artists working primarily in paint and translucence (Roberts), video and sculpture (Abbott) they are excited how their separate agencies may merge in the specificity of MOCA for this project. How authorship may be frustrated, how narrative threads may be made and broken; how blind alleys may corrupt a message; how a mirror can be held to the theatrical space of the installation – its performativity – implicating the spectator in the conversation.