Eat The Rich, 2021

Solo exhibition at Project Room - Space Sono of Galerie Sono, 91 Rue Saint-Honoré, 75001 Paris, France, 19th November - 3rd December 2021.

Bob Bicknell-Knight (b. Suffolk, UK) is a multidisciplinary artist, curator and writer,  working primarily in painting, sculpture, video, installation and digital media. His work is influenced by surveillance capitalism and responds to the hyper consumerism of the internet, exploring ideas surrounding the automation of work, global power structures and technocratic authoritarianism, as well as critically examining contemporary technologies. He is also the director and creator of the platform isthisit?, which since 2016 has exhibited over 800 artists. Through his artistic practice, Bicknell-Knight leads us to rethink the notion of image.


"Eat the rich", behind this slogan, which seems to be an assertion, hides a famous quote attributed to Jean-Jacques Rousseau: "Rousseau was also a people, and he said: When the people will have nothing left to eat, they will eat the rich". EAT THE RICH, a slogan supposedly uttered on 14 October 1793 during the period of La Terreur. A period that seems to resonate with our own. Through this slogan, the artist invites us to reconsider and rethink our relationship to society. In a world where inequality is king, how can we conceive of such gaps in wealth without seeing in them a real form of predation? This predation is at the heart of Bicknell-Knight's exhibition at Space Sono.


Trophy hunting is the act of hunting animals for sport. The trophy is traditionally the head of the animal, stuffed and displayed above the fireplace. In Eat The Rich, Bicknell-Knight seizes on this process by portraying 24 of the richest people in the world as trophy hunters. 


By portraying multi-billionaire tech and corporate executives as trophy hunters, Bicknell-Knight confronts and asks us to question our relationship to these otherworldly figures. Who do these billionaires really prey upon, and who do they really want to consume or make consumable?


In the digital age and the age of data tracking, our personal information and tastes are measured, studied and sold to companies, making every connected being a potential prey, a consumable connected body.


The paintings depicting these billionaires are highly fabricated, truncated, even sabotaged. Their origin and form are contradicted and our appreciation of it is uncertain. Very quickly, the question of their original qualities arises. Where do they come from? How are they made? Printed? Painted? They carry a form of hybridity. In trying to understand the image, the viewer is quickly confused and questions what it is they are seeing. Trying to grasp its origin, Bicknell-Knight's work always inexplicably escapes us.


This notion of origin would imply that the viewer has a precise idea, a source, but this is not the case here. The origin of the Image is unclear, similar to "a whirlpool in a river" to quote Walter Benjamin. It originates in a medium that has neither beginning nor end. It is caught in a continuous flow that touches on its pre- and post-history. It is an image born of the Internet. Its origin as much as its making blurs our reference points and our certainty about the work. A feeling of "distance" manifests itself against this autonomous image that resists us. An image thrown  onto a canvas from a frame, a network, where its autonomy unfolds.


Alongside these hybrid paintings are a series of 3D printed sculptures of the heads of several billionaires, decapitated from their bodies and attacked by a variety of used archery arrows.


Also included is a short looping video, featuring the decapitated head of Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, in the House of Commons in the UK, the de facto primary chamber of the Parliament of the UK, alongside a series of objects commonly found in the chamber, including a water jug, mic and mace. The House of Commons can only operate lawfully when the royal mace, dating from the reign of Charles II, is present.


The final artwork in the exhibition is an editioned deck of playing cards in a 3D printed frame. The work presents the 54 wealthiest people in the world depicted as trophy hunters. Each playing card is unique and features a different billionaire, accompanied by their job title and accrued wealth, as was recorded on the 20th October 2021.


Hybrid, polysemic and curious, Bicknell-Knight's works question as much as they speak about us and our society.

Eat The Rich Installation view

1_Eat The Rich_Installation View_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

Rob’s First, 2021

Ink and acrylic on canvas

40 x 30 cm

Unique

1_Rob's First_2021_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

Jim's First, 2021

Ink and acrylic on canvas

40 x 30 cm

Unique

2_Jim's First_2021_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

Alice’s First, 2021

Ink and acrylic on canvas

40 x 30 cm

Unique

3_Alice's First_2021_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

Sergey’s First, 2021

Ink and acrylic on canvas

40 x 30 cm

Unique

4_Sergey's First_2021_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

Larry's First, 2021

Ink and acrylic on canvas

40 x 30 cm

Unique

5_Larry's First_2021_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

Eat The Rich Installation view

6_Eat The Rich_Installation View_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

The Hunt (Mark), 2021

3D printed marble PLA plastic, fiberglass arrows

85 x 29 x 26 cm

Ed 3 + 1 AP

16_The Hunt_Mark_2021_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

The Hunt (Mark), 2021

3D printed marble PLA plastic, fiberglass arrows

85 x 29 x 26 cm

Ed 3 + 1 AP

17_The Hunt_Mark_2021_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

Eat The Rich Installation view

9_Eat The Rich_Installation View_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

Mark's Sixteenth, 2020

Ink and acrylic on canvas

40 x 30 cm

Unique

10_Mark's Sixteenth_2020_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

Larry's Third, 2021

Ink and acrylic on canvas

40 x 30 cm

Unique

11_Larry's Third_2021_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

Jeff's Dead, 2021

Single channel 4K video

4 min 0 sec

Ed 3 + 2 AP

12_Jeff's Dead_2021_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

Jeff's Dead, 2021

Single channel 4K video

4 min 0 sec

Ed 3 + 2 AP

 

MacKenzie’s Second, 2021

Ink and acrylic on canvas

40 x 30 cm

Unique

13_MacKenzie's Second_2021_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

 

 Jeff’s First, 2020

Ink and acrylic on canvas

40 x 30 cm

Unique

14_Jeff's First_2020_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

Eat The Rich Installation view

15_Eat The Rich_Installation View_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

The Hunt (Jeff), 2021

3D printed marble PLA plastic, fiberglass arrows

87 x 26 x 28 cm

Ed 3 + 1 AP

7_The Hunt_Jeff_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

The Hunt (Jeff), 2021

3D printed marble PLA plastic, fiberglass arrows

87 x 26 x 28 cm

Ed 3 + 1 AP

8_The Hunt_Jeff_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

The Hunt (Bernard), 2021

3D printed marble PLA plastic, fiberglass arrows

80 x 27 x 30 cm

Ed 3 + 1 AP

18_The Hunt_Bernard_2021_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

The Hunt (Bernard), 2021

3D printed marble PLA plastic, fiberglass arrows

80 x 27 x 30 cm

Ed 3 + 1 AP

19_The Hunt_Bernard_2021_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

Eat The Rich Installation view

20_Eat The Rich_Installation View_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

 

Ma’s Second, 2021

Ink and acrylic on canvas

40 x 30 cm

Unique

21_Ma's Second_2021_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

 

Jack's Second, 2021

Ink and acrylic on canvas

40 x 30 cm

Unique

22_Jack's Second_2021_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

Bernard's First, 2021

Ink and acrylic on canvas

40 x 30 cm

Unique

23_Bernard's First_2021_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

Amancio's First, 2021

Ink and acrylic on canvas

40 x 30 cm

Unique

24_Amancio's First_2021_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

Francoise's First, 2021

Ink and acrylic on canvas

40 x 30 cm

Unique

25_Francoise's First_2021_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

Eat The Rich Installation view

26_Eat The Rich_Installation View_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

The Hunt (Bill), 2021

3D printed marble PLA plastic, fiberglass arrows

66 x 31 x 28 cm

Ed 3 + 1 AP

26_The Hunt_Bill_2021_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

The Hunt (Bill), 2021

3D printed marble PLA plastic, fiberglass arrows

66 x 31 x 28 cm

Ed 3 + 1 AP

27_The Hunt_Bill_2021_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

The Hunt (Elon), 2021

3D printed marble PLA plastic, fiberglass arrows

85 x 27 x 31 cm

Ed 3 + 1 AP

28_The Hunt_Bill_2021_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

The Hunt (Elon), 2021

3D printed marble PLA plastic, fiberglass arrows

85 x 27 x 31 cm

Ed 3 + 1 AP

29_The Hunt_Bill_2021_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

Bill's Second, 2021

Ink and acrylic on canvas

40 x 30 cm

Unique

30_Bill's Second_2021_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

Elon's First, 2019

Ink and acrylic on canvas

40 x 30 cm

Unique

31_Elon's First_2019_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

Colin's First, 2021

Ink and acrylic on canvas

40 x 30 cm

Unique

32_Colin's First_2021_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

Carlos' First, 2021

Ink and acrylic on canvas

40 x 30 cm

Unique

33_Carlos' First_2021_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

Steve's Second, 2021

Ink and acrylic on canvas

40 x 30 cm

Unique

34_Steve's Second_2021_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

Mukesh’s First, 2021

Ink and acrylic on canvas

40 x 30 cm

Unique

35_Mukesh's First_2021_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

Eat The Rich Installation view

36_Eat The Rich_Installation View_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

The Hunt (Warren), 2021

3D printed marble PLA plastic, fiberglass arrows

98 x 31 x 42 cm

Ed 3 + 1 AP

37_The Hunt_Warren_2021_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

The Hunt (Warren), 2021

3D printed marble PLA plastic, fiberglass arrows

98 x 31 x 42 cm

Ed 3 + 1 AP

38_The Hunt_Warren_2021_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

Warren's First, 2021

Ink and acrylic on canvas

40 x 30 cm

Unique

39_Warren's First_2021_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

Zhong's First, 2021

Ink and acrylic on canvas

40 x 30 cm

Unique

40_Zhong's First_2021_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

Most Wanted, 2021

Card deck, 3D printed marble PLA plastic

14.7 x 7.2 cm x 3 cm (framed)

Edition of 100

41_Most Wanted_2021_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

Most Wanted, 2021

Card deck, 3D printed marble PLA plastic

14.7 x 7.2 cm x 3 cm (framed)

Edition of 100

42_Most Wanted_2021_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg

Most Wanted, 2021

Card deck, 3D printed marble PLA plastic

14.7 x 7.2 cm x 3 cm (framed)

Edition of 100

43_Most Wanted_2021_Bob Bicknell-Knight.jpg