05 June 2015


Opening tomorrow, Saturday, June 6 at 1 pm slt at the Influence Art Gallery, is Metropolis by Gem Preiz. Known for his immense and complex fractal artworks, Gem displays nineteen in Metropolis — this time designed to reference something external to the images: the enormous spread and projected increase of humans living in urban centers around the world. To this end, the fractal images are displayed in a space that mimics a three-level city, including the silhouettes of hundreds of people hurrying about — talking on their cell phones, pulling luggage, walking hand in hand, hailing a cab — amid the enormous fractals that create the façades of buildings or spaces.

"At the end of 2015, the population of the world will reach 7.3 billions of human beings, among which more than 50% are in urban areas," Gem explains in the exhibition notes. "In 2050, UNO forecasts, as a central scenario, 9.6 billion of people, with 2/3 living in cities, which therefore will have to host 2.5 billion additional inhabitants in the next 35 years ... Today, we share all our information through internet, and our mobile phones can communicate in real time with anyone on the Earth. Invaded by worldwide brands, all shopping malls look alike and our TV programs become standardized, at the same pace as our equipments do ... The human race reaches scales which submerge the individual, made anonymous by the crowd of his(her) fellow men who swarm at the foot of the cathedrals of stone, glass and steel, raised as always to look for the salute towards the sky."

That context aside, each of the fractal images on it own is fascinatingly complex and worthy of investigation. It's possible to visit the various levels of the build through teleports installed throughout (or simply by flying, which might be the better option). Gem recommends using midnight for an environmental setting, and provides a link to a YouTube track that he recommends as background music. Each of the massive artworks is for sale for L$1,000 or less, and Gem tells me that purchasers should be able to successfully resize the images. Metropolis will remain on display for at least one month.

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