The Cat Street Gallery presents a very exciting new show in November, bringing the mysterious British duo the Connor Brothers with their first solo show SAINTS + SINNERS in Hong Kong. After the Connor Brothers have had sell-out shows in London, Los Angeles and Sydney, the time has come for this intriguing and provocative exhibition at one of Hong Kong’s most prominent contemporary art spaces. Their work reflects popular culture, cynically presenting contemporary societies' obsession with wealth, fame as well as the exaggerated advertising and sale of love ideals and relationship goals.
The Connor Brothers is the pseudonym of artists Mike Snelle & James Golding, but the surrounding story of twin brothers Franklyn and Brendan Connor brought up within controversial cult known as “The Family” - is far more interesting. The story of Connor Brothers began in late sixties, when “The Family” - the extreme Christian commune had been founded by David Berg. This strange community raises children without any access to the information from the outside world, including media, body of knowledge or new technologies, and followers has been taught to believe in only one truth – The System. When the Connor twins were sixteen years old, somehow they manage to escape the Family and leave it all behind, heading to Brooklyn, New York. Hungry for knowledge and the information, the twins were delighted and curious so they developed remarkable thirst for life long learning. As they are inseparably connected from the prenatal stadiums, they share a series of personal records on the new world. These cognitive processes of “learning the outside world” soon transformed into collaborative practice. In their own words, the Connor Brothers are just “trying to make sense of the world” but their findings are both anthropological and humorous notions on the history and contemporary western society, its continuities and ruptures.
Unlike the real brothers River and Joaquin Phoenix survived the cult, the Connor Brothers are artistic construct made to explore and stretch the boundaries between truth and fiction. Their work deals with the process of the construction of identity, judgments and thought only from one own's experience. This experimental reality of twin brothers thrown into the world, through their rethinking the everyday practices, religious or moral values, love and other affects, clearly shows the blind spots of our own concepts of reality, proving its unstable and relative character. Working with illusions and fiction, Connor Brothers are bringing the world of infinite possibilities to re-construct perception of reality, dominant knowledge and societal norms within the contemporaneity. In media of vintage paperback, silkscreen print or paintings, Connors depict retro visions combined with bold and cynical everyday statements in accordance to the 1950s posters aesthetics. No wonder their sarcastic and deeply penetrating view on present societies been positioned alongside Banksy and Damien Hirst, also included in numerous important private collections, print editions and news, as well as the Victoria and Albert Museum and The Penguin Books art collection.
In past ten years, The Cat Street Gallery built its renommé byexhibiting and representing the contemporary Australian artistic scene, but also day to day collaboration with artists, exhibiting the most important and exciting works from all over the world. Connor Brothers’s show SAINTS + SINNERS is something definitely not to be missed and it runs from 2nd November until 4th December 2016 at Cat Street Gallery, 50 Tung Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong. The glamorous opening cocktail is set on Wednesday 2nd November 6pm-9pm.
Featured image: The Connor Brothers –SAINTS + SINNERS poster, 2016. All images courtesy of the artists.
Hong Kong, Hong Kong