In Absentia

Deliberating various imposed standards, Vermibus has built a recognizable oeuvre, which culminates with his project entitled “In Absentia”.

Works from the project unveil another introspective layer of Vermibus’ work, where macrocosms of consumerism intertwine with microcosms of the artist’s subjective journey into the depths of the self. The project began with the creation of 21 solvent-based posters, each of them bearing an individual inspiration and significance, hidden in the title. As a crown of the series, Vermibus produced an atmospheric video, an autonomous work of art, a clear step forward from the documentary short films he was creating to date. “In Absentia” video is a brooding visual tale about urban life, cleared of every and any distraction, including people, alluding to a plethora of issues the citizens face daily, from visual pollution to personal loneliness.

Inspired by one of the biggest subway systems in Europe, the Parisian Metro, the artist installed all the posters on the scene, where the video was shot as well. Asking some of the crucial questions about present reality in the post-truth world, “In Absentia” opened a possibility to observe Vermibus’ work in broader context, surpassing the realm of public urban art.

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Unveiling Beauty

As points of reference in the fashion industry, Fashion Weeks form and lay down specific standards of aesthetics and beauty, and market them via their advertising: just one more strategy in the globalisation of Western consumer culture.
The beauty-cult is as firmly established on the catwalks of every Fashion Week as it is in the advertising they generate. The fashion industry uses the body as a tool in order to sell products, sell consumerism. The image of the body in advert- isements limits and oppresses an individual’s true beauty, concealing it behind the false rhetoric of its own liberation.

In a new project, Unveiling Beauty, Vermibus will reflect on this use of the body, and on standards of beauty imposed from above, within the framework of the Fashion Week circuit, via a new series of public interventions.

Unveiling Beauty, as the name suggests, reveals the beauty that lies hidden behind the make-up and the retouching that are used within the fashion industry and also as it publicly stages itself through advertising.
Next September, Vermibus will follow the route of the most influential Fashion Weeks, travelling to New York, London, Milan and Paris. And he will analyse and reveal the true beauty that lies hidden behind the various campaigns that are forced upon the public spaces of these cities.

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Dissolving Europe

Dissolving Europe is the new public art work that stormed Europe this year from Vermibus. Using a dubious inter-rail ticket, Vermibus set out with a set of 90 keys and his pallet of solvents to physically and temporally highjack the western world of advertisements in the name of fine art.

Each site is carefully deliberated with its environment, from Rolex boutiques, to archaic museums. The system looks simple in movement: unlock and roll the advertising poster to create a huge blank gleaming white breath of fresh air in the urban environment. The advert then undertakes the process of counter action painting using a series of solvents and brushes, it is then replaced in another site, another city, another country.

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NO-AD Project


NO-AD is an anti-consumerism project organised by the artist Vermibus.
The goal of the project is to reduce the impact of advertisement citizens are exposed to, by removing the advertisment.
It is based on the project “Buy Nothing Day”, founded by the artist Ted Dave, in which participants abstain from buying anything during 24 hours.
Vermibus goes a step backwards in the consumption process. He reduces the advertisement impact by releasing the space intended to display it and leaving it empty.

The team, formed by two photographers and two video cameras, documented the whole ten-hour intervention, during which more than 30 posters were removed from the biggest consumer areas of Berlin. These spaces remained free of advertisement for several days due to the lack of stock of the advertiser “Wall Decaux”.

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Videos

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Selected Exhibitions

2017 · IN ABSENTIA (Solo Show) · OPEN WALLS Gallery · Berlin (Germany)
2017 · Artist talk and video release “In Absentia” – Moniker Art Fair – London (United Kingdom)
2017 · Unseen Art Fair (Solo Show) · OPEN WALLS Gallery & In4art · Amsterdam (Netherlands)
2017 · Artist talk – Bau Design University – Barcelona (Spain)
2017 · True Grit (Joint Show with Jordan Seiler) · OPEN WALLS Gallery · Berlin (Germany)
2017 · Artist Talk – Kunstskolen i Rogaland – Stavanger (Norway)
2017 · Nuart Festival · Stavanger (Norway)
2017 · Urban Art Biennale · Völklingen (Germany)
2017 · Street Art / Inventory (Group Show) · OPEN WALLS Gallery · Berlin (Germany)
2017 · Urvanity International New Contemporary Art Fair · OPEN WALLS Gallery · Madrid (Spain)

2016 – Art Fair Cologne (Group Show) – OPEN WALLS Gallery – Cologne (Germany)
2016 – The Poster Remediated (Group Show) – Poster Museum at Wilanów – Warsaw (Poland)
2016 – Unveiling Beauty (Solo Show) – OPEN WALLS Gallery – Berlin (Germany)
2016 – Art Marbella (Group Show) – Carles Taché Gallery – Marbella (Spain)
2016 – Vincularte · Observatorio de Arte Urbano · GGIIC – (Conference) – La Casa Encendida – Madrid (Spain)

2015 – Urbanart Biennale 2015 – Weltkulturerbe Völklinger Hütte – Völklingen (Germany)
2015 – Grand Opening (Group Show) – OPEN WALLS Gallery – Berlin (Germany)
2015 – Berliner Liste (Solo Show) – OPEN WALLS Gallery – Berlin (Germany)

2014 – Positions (Group Show) – OPEN WALLS Gallery – Berlin (Germany)
2014 – Moniker Art Fair (Solo Show) – OPEN WALLS Gallery – London (United Kingdom)
2014 – Carne y hueso (Solo Show) – Mazel Gallery – Brussels (Belgium)
2014 – La estética del dolor (Solo Show) – La Taché Gallery – Barcelona (Spain)

2013 – The Première of Vermibus video Dissolving Europe – Platoon Kunsthalle – Berlin (Germany)
2013 – Art Fair Cologne (Solo Show) – OPEN WALLS Gallery – Cologne (Germany)
2013 – Escape The Golden Cage (Group Show) – Palais Kinsky – Vienna (Austria)
2013 – Stroke#7 Art Fair – OPEN WALLS Gallery – Munich (Germany)
2013 – Dissidents (Group Show) – OPEN WALLS Gallery – Berlin (Germany)

2012 – Unmasking Kate (Solo Show) – Moniker Art Fair – London (United Kingdom)
2012 – Stroke#6 Art Fair – OPEN WALLS Gallery – Berlin (Germany)
2012 – Intervention – C/O Berlin – Berlin (Germany)
2012 – Showcase Reboot – Platoon Kunsthalle – Berlin (Germany)
2012 – Paris Zone Libre (Group Show) – OPEN WALLS Gallery – Paris (France)
2012 – Solo Show – Weinmeisterstrasse – Berlin (Germany)
2012 – Berlinale – Street Intervention – Berlin (Germany)
2012 – Solo Show – Görlitzer Bahnhof – Berlin (Germany)
2012 – Solo Show – U-bahn Schönleinstrasse – Berlin (Germany)

2011 – Bread & Butter – Street Intervention – Berlin (Germany)
2011 – Solo Show – U-bahn Leinestrasse – Berlin (Germany)

Biography

From the smoothing of facial skin, over the reduction of eye bags and wrinkles erasure, to enlargement of muscles and the slimming of waists, “photoshopping” the human body to perfection has become the norm in advertising. Through the presentation of this idealized view of the human body, advertisers seek to persuade customers to buy their products, essentially promising a better life. We must be beautiful in order to be happy, and rarely does an average person realize that this premise is completely false. A highly talented Berlin-based artist and activist Vermibus has developed a unique practice centered around the critique of contemporary beauty standards. He comments on the attempts of advertisement and consumer society in general that aim to take away individual identities only to replace them by the one of a certain brand. This artist bases his practice on targeting the depersonalizing effects of advertising, which he negates by exaggerating them. He removes official poster ads from the street and alters them in his studio by applying chemical solvents to the image. He dissolves the face and flesh of the models appearing in the posters, smudges and erases brand logos, and then returns the ads into their original place in public spaces. Vermibus further dehumanizes the figures that were already depersonalized, as a means of launching a sharp social critique of the advertising industry. The street is essential to the message of Vermibus’ work, and it is where his art begins and ends.

Selected Publications