Alessandro Balteo Yazbeck (born 1972 in Caracas, Venezuela; lives and works in Berlin, Germany).
1242 custom-made slotted cards, silk thread with metal fixtures, 5 framed vintage magazine ads, three narrative wall labels, vinyl wall lettering, glass and wood platform; installation dimensions variable.
“The ideological apparatus of the state works in mysterious ways. Sometimes it is overt, as when Charles and Ray Eames were commissioned to produce a film Glimpses of the USA for the first US- USSR cultural exchange in 1959. The film depicted a day in the life of the United States: automobiles, gleaming urbanity, breathtaking natural vistas, suburbia, and loving families. Later, IBM would commission the Eameses to produce Computer House of Cards for their pavilion at the 1970 World’s Fair in Osaka. It was a continuation of a long-standing IBM-Eames collaboration, which first began in 1957. It is referenced in Balteo Yazbeck’s installation Eames-Derivative, produced in collaboration with art historian Media Farzin, which features remakes of these now obsolete slotted cards. They are paired with a chronology of the rise and fall of the monetary gold standard, intertwined with banks’ increasing adoption of computers in global finance and Eames’ collaborations with IBM and the US Department of State. The result is a sculptural house of cards—at once both a monument to the present day hegemony of the US military-industrial complex, and a reminder of the fragility of the global financial system that underwrites it.”
—Review of “Alessandro Ballet Yazbeck: Modern Entanglements,” Green Art Gallery, Dubai, My Art Guides.
“Other installations examine longer durations and larger constellations of power. The sculptural component of Eames-Derivative, an installation produced in collaboration with art historian Media Farzin, is comprised of custom-made slotted cards that depict now outmoded computer technology. The cards are a ‘remake’ of the Computer House of Cards, produced by the Eames office in 1970 for IBM’s pavilion at the Osaka World’s Fair. Much of the Eames’ work for IBM was intended to promote a friendly image of computers, working to establish the omnipresence of digital technology that defines today’s increasingly complex global society. The sculptural house of cards created in Eames-Derivative portrays the dominant influence of modern technology and the fragility of the financial systems that keep the world going.”
—Press release of “Alessandro Ballet Yazbeck: Modern Entanglements,” Henrique Faria Fine Art, New York, 2013.