Artwork // I Know Kung Fu
The Matrix is a system
Bake your noodle
As artificial as the matrix
Fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony
I know kung fu
Ignorance is bliss
It seems you have been living two lives
We need guns, lots of guns
This is my world
Rob Birch is an artist from Hythe in Kent, United Kingdom who has an MA in ‘Drawing As Process’ from Kingston University and a BA in Fine Art, Painting from Norwich School of Art. The series of
work included here under the title, ‘I Know Kung Fu’, reflect and have been shaped by the Frenetic encounters of everyday life. Rob describes his work and the influence behind it as follows:
‘We now live in a Post Truth world. For many these times seem fearful and full of uncertainty with little respite from the social and political assault from those who we would seek guidance and leadership from. In the UK, our continuing Brexit (mis)adventure has heightened a breakdown in our ability to construct the requisite social narratives required to be part of any cogent, functional and vibrant society. Our leaders now use democracy as an exercise in nostalgia with the political imagination paralyzed and its future cancelled indefinitely. As a result the identity project is in need of constant updating, yet the effort required to make these changes precludes any change from actually taking place. A crisis ensues.
‘What lies beneath the veneer of representation is a crisis in identity. In rejecting the idea of identity being found solely through a physical likeness my work engages and articulates the nature of this crisis and tackles ways in which it can be addressed. The works propose the notion that identity is a series of separate narratives that coexist alongside each other to express new experiences. It is predicated upon the knowledge that it any expression of subjectivity is reliant upon context, experience and courage, and that art is not made but found.
‘We live in complex and complicated times. For many people these times seem fearful and full of confusion. As an artist and researcher this situation is excellent. Now is not the time to lose courage.’
On the influence and motivation behind ‘I Know Kung Fu’, Rob has made the following statement:
‘Nothing is real. We live to serve the machine world. In this world I know Kung Fu.
‘Today we find our societies riven with indifference and uncertainties. Fear and anxiety about how we are going to live in this world drive this matrix. Our lives are a series of frenetic encounters, with little respite from an ever accelerating way of life that always seem out of our control and just beyond our understanding. A post capitalist agenda ensures the continued allegiance of the masses to the Neo-Liberal matrix, trapping the majority of people through unattainable aspirations, indentured labour and wage slavery.
‘A world based upon these illusion and falsehoods (the Matrix) is now well established and uses the masses as the “batteries” to drive forward their need for exponential growth and wealth.
‘In the series "I know Kung Fu" I investigate the effect of this matrix upon our experiences of self