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Nathalie Rey & Enric Maurí

Oh dear! I shall be too late!

Exhibition from September 29th to October 20th, 2023


Curator: Ayça Okay

Nathalie Rey and Enric Maurí have forged a powerful alliance, embarking on a creative endeavor that transcends traditional boundaries in the contemporary art field. Their collaborative selection, aptly titled "Oh Dear! I shall be too late!" delves deep into the intricacies of our modern world, probing the multifaceted dimensions of neoliberalism's influence on economics, society, and culture. As an ideology, neoliberalism champions ideals of liberty, unadulterated conformity, and growth across the economic, social, and cultural spectrums. However, beneath the surface of these ideals lie events and consequences that starkly oppose the fundamental aspects of human nature, leading to restrictions and limitations. Even as individuals find themselves liberated by the array of choices before them, they are paradoxically entangled in the system's relentless push for homogeneity and standardization. This interplay between the design and the individual forms a complex dichotomy, one in which the existence of one relies intrinsically upon the other, creating a dynamic tension that shapes contemporary society.


In this selection, born from the collaboration of Nathalie Rey and Enric Maurí, we witness the duo approaching the act of creating art as activists. In the post-consumerist atmosphere of the human age, Maurí and Rey critique social stratification, ethics, and environmental conservation through a socio-political ideology. We observe familiar objects gathered from various scenes of the Berlin metropolis by Maurí, which they have conceived as a sanctuary within the exhibition space, stripped of their original contexts and rendered instrumental. Perhaps the explanation for arranging objects that have changed hands repeatedly as a sanctuary lies in this rapidly growing city, where a significant portion of the population consists of immigrants. As proposed by contemporary archaeologist Ian Hodder, objects and humans are intertwined. Over the years, humans have expanded and altered the utility of objects, assigning them different meanings. Some objects, much like humans, have become politicized.


At first, the representation field of Maurí's plastic surgery video and Rey's rabbit costume designed explicitly for her previously screened short film might symbolize disunity. Nonetheless, both works are scattered and polyphonic outcomes of the duo's practice. The selected container or symbol, meant to synthesize different levels of conceptual narrative, is represented as a pair of elements that can be combined in various ways while also alluding to infinity, repeated cycles, and the convergence of a random element within the realm of attraction and desire. The neon light symbol, situated on the side of the exhibition space facing the street, acts as a welcoming beacon, inviting the audience to explore the other symbols within the space. In the interior section, the pink rabbit costume is left in a way that implies it is looking for a person to wear and animate it realistically. The vaguely scattered, fragmented white toy rabbit among the scattered neon-colored toy animals no longer exists as what we saw in Rey's latest exhibitions—instead, residuals of a performance are put under the scope. With a phantasmagoric narrative reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland, the rabbit character signals that the reader knows that Alice is about to change worlds whenever it appears. Similarly, in David Lynch's film Inland Empire, humanoid rabbits occasionally appear, drawing attention to this change and indicating the narrative's shift towards the subconscious.


"Oh Dear! I shall be too late!" makes reference to the sense of urgency emanating from the attitude of the White Rabbit in Lewis Carroll's novel, both in its visual and conceptual narrative. The duo approaches the critique of the destructive economic materialism born from hedonism from a secular perspective. Contrary to the dynamics of human existence, pursuing happiness pumped by consumption brings attention to more significant issues such as planned obsolescence, overpopulation, climate change, and subthemes like dissatisfaction and loneliness."

Ayça Okay

Nathalie Rey is a French artist currently working between Barcelona and Berlin, and Enric Maurí is a Catalan artist living in Cardedeu (Barcelona). They both develop individual multidisciplinary practices that sometimes collide, resulting in collaborative projects that include installations, photography, video and performance. 

Environmental concerns, globalization processes and their impact on natural, social and cultural ecologies, the use of autobiographical references, humor and micro stories are some of the things both artists have in common. 

During their three years collaboration, several projects such as “Atlantis”, “The conspiratorial artist” or the feature film “Peau de vache” stand out.

Ayça Okay (b. 1991, Izmir) is an AICA Turkey (Association Internationale des Critiques d’Art) and CIMAM (International Committee of Museums and Collections of Modern Art) member independent curator, researcher and arts & culture professional working in between Istanbul and Berlin.

She gave strong emphasis to research-based curatorial projects by cultivating intellectual resources, sharing knowledge and creating sustainable support systems. 

She believes in the value of listening while collaborating with people, collectives and institutions. Okay aims to produce unique discourses on contemporary problems and go beyond the artificial limits of the contemporary art sphere via seeing art as the art as a bi-product of certain processes such as thoughts, ideas, texts, theories and experiments.

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