Art That’s Meant to Make You Anxious: Max de Esteban’s ‘Heads Will Roll’ Takes On Bio-Technology

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In a press release to promote Heads Will Roll, the fourth and final installment of Barcelona-based photographer Max de Esteban’s Propositions series, the series is described as “a long term and rigorous investigation of society’s embracement of technologies, in particular, the dawn of the bio-cybernetic era.” De Esteban’s latest works — photomontages that combine images, texts and found objects — certainly recalls the intense stream of media beamed to our brains via screen and satellite, often requiring closer inspection to make out individual images. But it’s the faces featured that are are the work’s most prominent and recognizable forms. The works in Heads Will Roll are dense and layered — and meant to make you anxious. In other words, they’re inherently human.

Heads Will Roll was previewed at the Association of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD) show in April 2015, and is on exhibit at the Klompching Gallery in DUMBO, Brooklyn, through October 30, 2015. It’s de Esteban’s second solo exhibition with the gallery. The exhibition will be paired with a monograph, Heads Will Roll (Hatje Cantz, 2015), with essays by the curator Carles Guerra and the author Bill Kouwenhoven. De Esteban’s new monograph, Propositions (La Fabrica, 2015)—which charts the entire four parts of the series—will be soft-launched during the exhibition, with an official release in October 2015.

“A Technological Construct of Totality” © Max de Esteban/Courtesy Klompching Gallery, New York

“Abstract Nature of the Real” 2013 © Max de Esteban/Courtesy Klompching Gallery, New York

“Defined by Catastrophe” 2013 © Max de Esteban/Courtesy Klompching Gallery, New York

“Defined by the Accident” 2013 © Max de Esteban/Courtesy Klompching Gallery, New York

“Enemies Without Armies” 2013 © Max de Esteban/Courtesy Klompching Gallery, New York

“Facelessness” 2013 © Max de Esteban/Courtesy Klompching Gallery, New York

“The Inadequacy of Any Sensible Standard” 2013 © Max de Esteban/Courtesy Klompching Gallery, New York

“Transforming the Labyrinth” 2013 © Max de Esteban/Courtesy Klompching Gallery, New York

“A Mediated Distribution of the Real and the Fictional” 2013 © Max de Esteban/Courtesy Klompching Gallery, New York