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Brain Slave

Brian Kenny & Slava Mogutin aka SUPERM
SUPERM (Brian Kenny and Slava Mogutin), That’s How We Roll, 2008, C-Print, 41 x 51 cm
12.07. – 24.08.2024

Schöneberger Ufer 71
10785 Berlin

SETAREH is pleased to present Brain Slave by SUPERM, the dynamic duo of New York based artists Brian Kenny and Slava Mogutin.

Inspired by Nietzsche’s concept of the Übermensch and infused with their shared queer experiences, SUPERM has emerged as a powerful insurgent force at the intersection of art, politics and pop culture, pushing the boundaries of identity, sexuality, and morality. Their work has been showcased in galleries and museums worldwide, including New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Berlin, Paris, Madrid, Ottawa, Oslo, Bergen, and Moscow. Their last Berlin show was New York Underground in collaboration with Rainer Fetting (2005).
Brain Slave features works spanning two decades of their collaboration, including photography, collage, painting, sculpture, and video. This exhibition explores various facets of their oeuvre, both individual and collaborative, capturing the essence of their long-term artistic conversation. Central to their work is the theme of found communality, both actual and imagined. For instance, Mogutin‘s renowned photographic series Suddenly Last Summer (2010), which references Tennessee Williams‘ acclaimed play about homosexuality, lobotomy and cannibalism, captures Kenny and their friends in the wild through saturated double exposures. This series recalls the innovative spirit of Russian avant-garde artists like Alexander Rodchenko and El Lissitzky, who also sought new utopian and futuristic ways of seeing and capturing the world. Another significant piece is their collaborative portfolio Entropy Parade (2011), which serves as a stage for their community of queer protagonists in fantastical and provocative tableaus. Boys dressed in playful costumes are further embellished with collage, graffitied poetry, and comic characters, creating a world where fantasy and reality intertwine.
Slava Mogutin

John and Louis, 2021

Photo print on transparent silk
145 x 200 cm | 57 x 78 3/4 in
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John and Louis, 2021
Photo print on transparent silk
145 x 200 cm | 57 x 78 3/4 in
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Slava Mogutin

Lukasz, 2021

Photo print on transparent silk
145 x 200 cm | 57 x 78 3/4 in
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Lukasz, 2021
Photo print on transparent silk
145 x 200 cm | 57 x 78 3/4 in
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Brian Kenny

Brain Slave, 2015

Fabric collage
147.32 x 71.12 cm | 58 x 28 in
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Brain Slave, 2015
Fabric collage
147.32 x 71.12 cm | 58 x 28 in
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SUPERM

SUPERM 69, 2014

Fabric collage
170.18 x 71.12 cm | 67 x 28 in
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SUPERM 69, 2014
Fabric collage
170.18 x 71.12 cm | 67 x 28 in
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Recent works by SUPERM continue this exploration of community and expression, particularly in the face of the current politicization and weaponization of gender and sexual identities. Sports motifs often appear in their work, symbolizing another collective space ripe for creative invention. Kenny’s fabric banners, made from recycled sports jerseys, feature bold queer statements and graphic compositions. These updates on classic Pop imagery use stark color contrasts and numerical signs, transforming popular culture into a platform for graphic expression. Sporty themes also permeate their videos, drawings, photo transfers, and fabric banners, with helmets and jockstraps signifying a playful competition. Displayed alongside sketchbooks and ephemera, this survey of their work incorporates a sense of play and community, envisioning worlds of freedom and solidarity against social stigmatization. The exhibition will also debut new work created specifically for this presentation.
Slava Mogutin

Masked (Gio), Southampton, 2011

Archival optic C-Print
51 x 51 cm | 20 x 20 in
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Masked (Gio), Southampton, 2011
‍Archival optic C-Print
51 x 51 cm | 20 x 20 in
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Slava Mogutin

Stretch (Leo), New York City, 2012

Archival optic C-Print
51 x 51 cm | 20 x 20 in
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Stretch (Leo), New York City, 2012
‍Archival optic C-Print
51 x 51 cm | 20 x 20 in
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Slava Mogutin

Paradise Superm (Brian reaching), Costa Rica, 2011

Archival optic C-Print
51 x 51 cm | 20 x 20 in
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Paradise Superm (Brian reaching), Costa Rica, 2011
‍Archival optic C-Print
51 x 51 cm | 20 x 20 in
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Slava Mogutin

Grasshopper (Chaz), New York City, 2010

Archival optic C-Print
51 x 51 cm | 20 x 20 in
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Grasshopper (Chaz), New York City, 2010
‍Archival optic C-Print
51 x 51 cm | 20 x 20 in
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Slava Mogutin

Sticks and Stoned (Brian), Pheonicia, New York, 2010

Archival optic C-Print
51 x 51 cm | 20 x 20 in
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Sticks and Stoned (Brian), Pheonicia, New York, 2010
‍Archival optic C-Print
51 x 51 cm | 20 x 20 in
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Slava Mogutin

Red Hump (Josh), Denver, 2011

Archival optic C-Print
51 x 51 cm | 20 x 20 in
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Red Hump (Josh), Denver, 2011
‍Archival optic C-Print
51 x 51 cm | 20 x 20 in
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Slava Mogutin

Backyard Bull (Brian), East Hampton, 2012

Archival optic C-Print
51 x 51 cm | 20 x 20 in
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Backyard Bull (Brian), East Hampton, 2012
‍Archival optic C-Print
51 x 51 cm | 20 x 20 in
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Slava Mogutin

Patriotic Jock (Brian), High Falls, Catskills, 2012

Archival optic C-Print
51 x 51 cm | 20 x 20 in
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Patriotic Jock (Brian), High Falls, Catskills, 2012
‍Archival optic C-Print
51 x 51 cm | 20 x 20 in
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Slava Mogutin

Shiva (Marko), New York City, 2010

Archival optic C-Print
51 x 51 cm | 20 x 20 in
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Shiva (Marko), New York City, 2010
‍Archival optic C-Print
51 x 51 cm | 20 x 20 in
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Slava Mogutin

Sunny Side (Brian), Pheonicia, 2011

Archival optic C-Print
51 x 51 cm | 20 x 20 in
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Sunny Side (Brian), Pheonicia, 2011
‍Archival optic C-Print
51 x 51 cm | 20 x 20 in
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SUPERM

Family Company

Acrylic and marker pen on canvas board panels
each 38 x 76 cm | 15 x 30 in
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Family Company
Acrylic and marker pen on canvas board panels
each 38 x 76 cm | 15 x 30 in
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Brian Kenny

Homeboy, 2024

Oil on canvas
25.4 x 25.4 cm | 10 x 10 in
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Homeboy, 2024
Oil on canvas
25.4 x 25.4 cm | 10 x 10 in
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Brian Kenny

Party Boy, 2024

Oil on canvas
25.4 x 25.4 cm | 10 x 10 in
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Party Boy, 2024
Oil on canvas
25.4 x 25.4 cm | 10 x 10 in
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Slava Mogutin, born in Siberia, is a Russian-American multimedia artist, author, and activist exiled from Russia for his outspoken queer writing and activism. A third-generation writer and self-taught photographer, Mogutin was the first Russian granted political asylum in the US on the grounds of homophobic persecution. Mogutin’s work explores displacement, identity, pride, shame, devotion, disaffection, love, and hate. He has authored seven books in Russian, two illustrated poetry collections in English, and five photography monographs published in the US, UK and Germany. Mogutin has been honored with the Andrei Bely Prize for poetry and the Tom of Finland Foundation Award for artistic achievement.
Slava Mogutin

Shake Shame Shade Shape, 2018

Oil pastel and ink on paper
56 x 71 cm | 22 x 28 in
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Shake Shame Shade Shape, 2018
Oil pastel and ink on paper
56 x 71 cm | 22 x 28 in
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Slava Mogutin

Make it Fast Make it Last, 2018

Oil pastel and ink on paper
56 x 71 cm | 22 x 28 in
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Make it Fast Make it Last, 2018
Oil pastel and ink on paper
56 x 71 cm | 22 x 28 in
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Slava Mogutin

Post Punk Past Fuck, 2018

Oil pastel and ink on paper
56 x 71 cm | 22 x 28 in
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Post Punk Past Fuck, 2018
Oil pastel and ink on paper
56 x 71 cm | 22 x 28 in
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Brian Kenny

Scores, 2022

Textile banner
68.58 x 157.48 cm | 27 x 62 in
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Scores, 2022
Textile banner
68.58 x 157.48 cm | 27 x 62 in
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Brian Kenny

INTO, 2018

Mixed media textile banner
180.34 x 104.14 cm | 71 x 41 in
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INTO, 2018
Mixed media textile banner
180.34 x 104.14 cm | 71 x 41 in
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Brian Kenny

Kris Krossing, 2022

Mixed media textile banner
142.24 x 74.3 cm | 56 x 29 1/4 in
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Kris Krossing, 2022
Mixed media textile banner
142.24 x 74.3 cm | 56 x 29 1/4 in
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Brian Kenny

IC ON/OFF, 2010

Ink on vintage American shooting target paper
57 x 86.5 cm

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IC ON/OFF, 2010
Ink on vintage American shooting target paper
57 x 86.5 cm
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Brian Kenny

Pop Up, 2014

Mixed media on vintage American shooting target paper
57 x 86.5 cm

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Pop Up, 2014
Mixed media on vintage American shooting target paper
57 x 86.5 cm
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Brian Kenny

Impractical Comrade, 2024

Ink on vintage American shooting target paper
86 x 57 cm | 33 3/4 x 22 1/2 in

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Impractical Comrade, 2024
Ink on vintage American shooting target paper86 x 57 cm | 33 3/4 x 22 1/2 in
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Brian Kenny

Shoot Thong, 2009

Ink on vintage American shooting target paper
51 x 74 cm

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Shoot Thong, 2009
Ink on vintage American shooting target paper
51 x 74 cm
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Brian Kenny

Black Trans Lives Matter, 2020

Found sports textile banner
185.42 x 96.52 cm | 73 x 38 in
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Black Trans Lives Matter, 2020
Found sports textile banner
185.42 x 96.52 cm | 73 x 38 in
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SUPERM

Pink Narcissus, 2011

Digital collage C-Print
61 x 51 cm | 24 x 20 in
Edition of 10

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Pink Narcissus, 2011
Digital collage C-Print
61 x 51 cm | 24 x 20 in
Edition of 10
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SUPERM

Ignition Sequence, 2011

Digital collage C-Print
61 x 51 cm | 24 x 20 in
Edition of 10

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Ignition Sequence, 2011
Digital collage C-Print
61 x 51 cm | 24 x 20 in
Edition of 10
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SUPERM

Leprechaun King, 2011

Digital collage C-Print
61 x 51 cm | 24 x 20 in
Edition of 10

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Leprechaun King, 2011
Digital collage C-Print
61 x 51 cm | 24 x 20 in
Edition of 10
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Brian Kenny, born on the US military base in Heidelberg, Germany, is an American multidisciplinary artist and muralist. In 2004, Brian began his ongoing collaboration with Slava Mogutin as SUPERM. Using a variety of mediums, Brian’s artwork is vividly expressionistic and often autobiographical, reflecting personal themes such as queer identity, shifting societal perceptions of gender, sexuality, politics, urban living, and creative experimentation. Brian’s work in fashion includes collaborations with Christian Lacroix, J. Crew, Onitsuka Tiger and Walter Van Beirendonck.
Brian Kenny

Two Headed Monster, 2022

Mixed media textile banner
322.58 x 177.8 cm | 127 x 70 in
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Two Headed Monster, 2022
Mixed media textile banner
322.58 x 177.8 cm | 127 x 70 in
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Brian Kenny

Toro, 2024

Oil and gesso on woodpanel
15 x 10 x 2 cm | 6 x 4 x 3/4 in

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Toro, 2024
Oil and gesso on woodpanel
15 x 10 x 2 cm | 6 x 4 x 3/4 in
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Brian Kenny

Rush Black, 2024

Oil and gesso on woodpanel
15 x 10 x 2 cm | 6 x 4 x 3/4 in

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Rush Black, 2024
Oil and gesso on woodpanel
15 x 10 x 2 cm | 6 x 4 x 3/4 in
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Brian Kenny

Jungle Juice Gold Label, 2024

Oil and gesso on woodpanel
15 x 10 x 2 cm | 6 x 4 x 3/4 in

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Jungle Juice Gold Label, 2024
Oil and gesso on woodpanel
15 x 10 x 2 cm | 6 x 4 x 3/4 in
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Brian Kenny

Velvet Rage, 2024

Velvet and thread flag
152 x 92 cm | 59 3/4 x 36 1/4 in

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Velvet Rage, 2024
Velvet and thread flag
152 x 92 cm | 59 3/4 x 36 1/4 in
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Slava Mogutin

Foot Heaven, 2015

C-Print
60 x 50 cm | 23 2/3 x 19 2/3 in
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Foot Heaven, 2015
C-Print
60 x 50 cm | 23 2/3 x 19 2/3 in
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SUPERM

That's How We Roll, 2008

C-Print
50 x 60 cm | 19 1/5 x 23 1/5 in
Edition of 5

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That's How We Roll, 2008
C-Print
50 x 60 cm | 19 1/5 x 23 1/5 in
Edition of 5
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