The title of the exhibition—”A Shrewdness of Apes”—stems from an old practice rooted in the English language, where groups of animals are called by different names depending on their species. This tradition dates back to the 15th Century and is linked to the English writer and prioress, Juliana Berners. An “unkindness” of ravens, a “murder” of crows, a “pride” of lions, and a “troubling” of goldfish are a few collective nouns attributed to her. A congregation of apes is called a “troop”, or a “shrewdness”.
Brud is an atmosphere surrounding the camera. Brud’s artwork consists of multiple intricate and overlapping automata that unfold over varying scales of space and time. It is an erudite practice that draws from knowledge systems of different areas and historical periods. The screen and the stage are imperative to Brud, and for this exhibition, the White Cube of the Contemporary Art Centre turns into a “Dark Room” (literally, a camera obscura) borrowed from sex clubs, photo labs, and black box theater. Like Desmond Morris described human beings in The Naked Ape, Brud views the Camera as a new species of intelligent life.
Brud are represented by Benevolent Dictator Aditya Mandayam and Éminence Grise Emilia Zalewska. The goal of Brud is to replace Brud with better Brud.