Gated Commune envelops its viewer in the porous zones, ecological shift, and haunting phenomenon of a future in transition. Bathed in a soft but inquisitive narratorial voice, two imaginaries interweave throughout the video. A hypothetical account of the Neoprimitives and the Futurists explore contrasting future tendencies in architecture and social behavior that the built environment generates and reinforces. While the Neoprimitives modify outdated structures and paradigms for hope and promise, the Futurists gesture to postcatastrophe as a mode of endurance. The artists draw the video’s fast-moving, syncopatic footage from their archive of still and moving images which are harvested from online sources while carrying the haunting residue of fractured material and futuristic revisions. Throughout its practice, Camel Collective dwells artistically on the language of sustainable development, global metabolic processes, and the planning of the built environment. How to build physical and mental environments in the Age of the Anthropocene when futurities are uncertain? Gated Commune allows us to consider what the artists call “the human tendency to ‘innovate’ our way out of trouble, and to remind ourselves of the political underdetermination of emerging technologies, the politics of which can only be born out imperfectly and through practice.”
Camel Collective (United States)
Anthony Graves (b. 1975, South Bend, IN) and Carla Herrera-Prats (b. 1973–d. 2019, Mexico City) have worked together as Camel Collective since 2010. Graves and Herrera-Prats’ projects are motivated by research on social production and human labor, marginal histories, and critical pedagogies. Camel’s work in video, sculpture, performance, and photography think through the contradictions of contemporary labor and the myths of cultural production, bringing together collaborators from a variety of professions and disciplinary backgrounds.
Camel Collective has exhibited and performed at museums and galleries including Landmarks, UT Austin, Texas (2020) The Queens International 2018: Volumes, NYC (2018); MUAC, Mexico City (2017); REDCAT Gallery, Los Angeles (2016); Trienal de Artes Frestas, Sesc, Sorocaba, Brazil (2015); Bard Hessel Museum, Annendale-on-Hudson, New York (2014); Casa del Lago, Mexico City (2013); Trienal Poli/Gráfica de San Juan, Puerto Rico (2012); Mass MoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts (2011); and Aarhus Kunsthalle, Denmark (2010). Camel has also exhibited at Ulterior Gallery, Black Ball Projects, and Parque Galería, Artist’s Space, Art in General, and Exit Art among other venues.
Camel Collective has held residencies at Smack Mellon (2019–2020), Casa Wabi (2018), Pioneer Works (2017) and Fieldwork Marfa (2013), and received numerous grants and awards including Fundacíon Jumex, Queens Council for the Arts, Rema Hort Mann ACE Award, and the Danish International Visual Artists Award and Residency (DIVA). Camel is represented in New York by Ulterior Gallery.