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BEAST OF KANDAHAR.


NEW ART CLUB11 Press text, (12/09/2014)

New art club is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Arthur Röing Baer. This will be the gallery’s first solo exhibition with the Berlin based artist.

In the exhibited work Arthur Röing Baer explores the virtual and physical re- constructions of the RQ170 UAV drone subsequently following its crash in Iran, December 4, 2011.22 CNN, “Obama says U.S. has asked Iran to return drone aircraft” (2011) The drone that is claimed to been taken down by Iranian GPS hacking was long known as The Beast of Kandahar and was, apart from sporadically leaked blurry photos, invisible to the public.

During his research Röing Baer started exploring the reconstructions of the shape of the downed drone, singling out two processes, one by the online community of Wikimedia Commons 33, “File:RQ-170 Wiki contributor 3Dartist.png#filehistory” and similar 3d archives and the other by the Iranian state through its intermediary representative, the Aaye art group.

Where the digital copies carried out by the open source intelligence fanboys who unintentionally fetishise the shape, exaggerating its slickness and sharp details by filling the visual information blanks with their own fantasies connected to the mysticism surrounding the “Beast”. The reconstructions by the Aaye art group have a different approach; here aestheticisation is used as tactics, degrading the symbol of the drone by colouring it pink & shaming it through ornament or attaching it to a keychain to be carried around like a trophy.44 Arthur Röing Baer, “Beast of Kandahar UNBOXING” (Jan 23, 2014)

The exhibition consists of a number of works around the theme of demystification via reduction of the drone to its pure shape, showing the different stages of development towards the final shape. Acknowledging that there is not one, but different shapes and changing materialities between digital and physical and changes made by each instance in this tale. Röing Baer here combines these different approaches of reconstruction always aestheticising the drone & defunctionalising it—turning it’s shape into a tangible sculpture.

1 Press text, (12/09/2014) 2 CNN, “Obama says U.S. has asked Iran to return drone aircraft” (2011) 3, “File:RQ-170 Wiki contributor 3Dartist.png#filehistory” 4 Arthur Röing Baer, “Beast of Kandahar UNBOXING” (Jan 23, 2014)