Never Crew: Ordering Machine – Grenoble 2016

Two whales are suspended from a clothing hanger as if dangling inside “an infinite closet” say Christian and Pablo, the guys who comprise Nevercrew. The glorious intelligent sensitive and graceful beasts of the seas are reduced to mere commodity, just two more options for humans to buy, sell, trade, consume, destroy. Nevercrew are themselves dangling from a basket high atop a cherry picker here in Grenoble for a street art festival in the southeastern French town at the foot of the French Alps.


Never Crew for Grenoble Festival 2016. France. CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE (photo © Never Crew)

A sea life animal – a polar bear or whale, for example – is often the central character of the composition for these guys, a majestic free animal that is acted upon instead of in concert with. “This work is called ‘Ordering Machine’ and it focuses on the human attitude regarding the privatizing of natural resources,” Christian says.

“The project was developed around the position of mankind as it is related to nature, where on one side there are our needs and on the other side there are our behavior of consumption and attitude of appropriation.”


Never Crew for Grenoble Festival 2016. France. (photo © Never Crew)

In their surreal conceptualizations and development of a visual language that is understood principally to the two Swiss nationals, the viewer may benefit from suspending the purely rational and instead allowing for an alternate universe that they have been creating over 20 years of painting together.

Here animal life is majestic and awe-inspiring, perhaps representing the potential for so much more, but at the least something to be revered. Often the protagonist is anchored or overseen by a smaller complex engine or circuit board that seems to be of steam-punkian vintage, silly in its self-importance, only hoping to be useful in the shadow of a natural miracle.


Never Crew for Grenoble Festival 2016. France. (photo © Never Crew)

In “Ordering Machine” the clothes hanger and red-striped fabric is the low-tech constriction device, trapping these beasts like a couple of blocks of cheese. “The hanger is also the support of the entire composition,” according to Nevercrew, reminding us about balancing need with greed as well.

“The arrogant use of nature for economic purposes and for the claim of superiority,” says Pablo, “is a view held by those whose same hands could choose to raise a social awareness and to promote environmental good for everyone.”


Never Crew for Grenoble Festival 2016. France. (photo © Never Crew)


Never Crew for Grenoble Festival 2016. France. (photo © Never Crew)


Never Crew for Grenoble Festival 2016. France. (photo © Never Crew)