Tag Archives: digital

Antoine Catala, Cat, Pizza, Ass and Car, Most Popular Internet Image Searches

Antoine Catala, Image Families, 2013

Antoine Catala’s solo show at Peep-Hole, titled “Heavy Words,” had a playful space-age feel, offering a holographic E.T., inflatable screens and flying drones. However, the work ultimately revealed more about our present—a world invaded by digital images—than any imagined future. The exhibition, produced in conjunction with FRAC Champagne-Ardenne and curated by its director, Florence Derieux, united three projects from 2013 that the French artist has shown separately but considers a trilogy. Each occupied its own room.

Located in the first gallery, Il était une fois (Once Upon a Time), which was presented at last year’s Lyon Biennale, is an installation using various technological devices (such as holograms and fog machines) to construct vignettes whose verbal counterparts form a rebus of the title. In the next gallery, Image Families consists of large prints on latex featuring subjects that fit into one of four categories—“cat,” “pizza,” “ass” and “car”—symbolically representing the most popular Internet image searches. The prints were mounted one per side on four tall, kiosklike structures, which concealed pump systems that made the latex surfaces expand and contract, as if the pictures were breathing. Several computer-controlled toy airplanes, referred to as “drones” by the artist, flew around the room. They would pause in front of various images, seeming to analyze their contents, while electronic voices announced the names of the objects at intervals. In addition, two large holograms—one of a cat, the other a car—inside black aluminum frames were complicated by moving images projected onto them. This installation metaphorically describes a common process in our digitized era of the production and consumption of images: you need only type a word into a search engine to conjure myriad images representing that word. The artist considers technological devices such as computers, smart phones and augmented reality tools as prostheses of the human body, and he has renamed them “machine-images.” Paraphrasing Baudrillard, real objects disappear, to be replaced by simulacra.

For Abracadabra, the artist used a 3-D printer to create sculptures of emoticons. Two works on the floor depict the symbols of a broken heart ((///)< ). Next to them a large aluminum structure supported a multicolored, silicone rubber butterfly; a 3-D pictogram recalling the shape of a butterfly; and an inflatable latex surface with the image of the butterfly pictogram against a cloudy sky. With this piece, as the title of the show announces, language loses its lightness and acquires material solidity. Any word indeed, thanks to computers and 3-D printers, can be translated into a real object.

As the artist explained to me, the three installations are intended to illustrate, in an allegorical manner, the equivalence between words, images and things that distinguishes our Internet age. The distinction between two and three dimensions—as the holograms in Image Families and the butterfly-shape sculptures in Abracadabra reveal, for instance—becomes malleable, while language takes on the power to mold a brand-new cosmos. Catala, through a bizarre and cryptic visual vocabulary, offers viewers an original semiological adventure.

Source: Contemporary Art Daily.
Text: Federico Florian, http://www.artinamericamagazine.com/reviews/antoine-catala/.
All images belongs to the respective artist and management.

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Artist: Jordan Wolfson

jordan-wolfson-artistJordan Wolfson Artist

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Jordan Wolfs, Female Figure, 2014 and Colored Sculpture, 2016, Installation View

In a recent interview Jordan Wolfson artist traced a cycle of works produced since 2009 back to a moment of eye-contact: “It is something that became clear to me in Your Napoleon (2009) […]. For that work, I kept trying to figure out how to cut and paste these mock conversations about string theory and pop culture, and it felt like an ad-lib […]. I didn’t come up with the term formal bridge until I basically asked the actors to just read the script and look directly into my eyes, stare deep into my eyes” [Jordan Wolfson and Aram Moshayedi, “Tell a Poser,” in Ecce Homo / le Poseur, Walther König, Cologne, 2013, p. 92].If eye contact is both the semblance of a “truthful” connection and in the right hands a mask for falsity, Wolfson has pursued this “formal bridge” into a realm of heightened artifice and discomforting disclosure. His sophisticated animated constructions have achieved an unerring capacity to meld the giddy “anything goes” of computer-generated imagery with the telling fetish of the pop-cultural meme.

In his first solo exhibition for David Zwirner in New York in 2014, comprising a projected film, an installation and a number of digitally printed reliefs, instances of engineered eye contact between an artwork’s protagonist and the viewer anchored the show. The looped film Raspberry Poser (2012) featured a medley of animated forms layered against stock-image backgrounds and tastefully shot locations, set to a soundtrack of Beyoncé and Mazzy Star. Bouncing HIV virus particles and ethereal floating condoms emitting cascades of love hearts roved the streets and luxury lifestyle boutiques of New York’s SoHo. Meanwhile a generic cartoon boy gleefully strangled and self-eviscerated himself, as if to prove his immortal otherworldliness. Intercut with these characters, a series of live-action sequences showed Wolfson dressed as an archetypal punk on a “dérive” through a Parisian park. A close-up shot sees him turn to the camera and hold the prolonged gaze of the lens, an insouciant smile flickering across his face. The camera, of course, mediates the connection between Wolfson and the viewer. But the intentionality and persistence behind “the look” is unnerving. It holds both an arrogant knowingness and something of the contorted power play of a fashion model’s stare into the camera.

Female Figure 2014 is an almost absurdist endgame for discourse around the theatrics of the sculptural object and the tendency towards stagecraft within the contemporary art exhibition. While the robot’s routine was scripted, programmed and seamlessly looped — not unlike Raspberry Poser playing nearby — the physical nature of the encounter was heightened through the restriction to one or two people entering the room at any time. This conceit, a gesture towards an individualized performance, allowed for the singular experience of being “seen” by “her,” a phenomenon made possible by the use of advanced facial recognition and motion-sensing technology. The robot is the distant figure in the park in Jean Paul Sartre’s Being and Nothingness (1943). Thought of as a puppet, its relation to the objects around it is purely additive; it creates no new relations in the world of the viewer. In its locking of sight-lines, however, the viewer is momentarily yet disconcertingly aware of becoming an object in the eyes of the automaton.

In many regards, Jordan Wolfson artist work embodies the internalized contradictions of a generation whose teenage years spanned the twin poles of a burgeoning hyper-sexualized cultural economy and the media-stoked specter of sexually transmitted disease. In conjuring up a social imaginary around HIV and AIDS activism, Raspberry Poser echoes a young adult asking: “What does it mean about me?” — what writer Sarah Schulman has described as a “suburban narcissism in which one is able to ‘identify’ in order to internalize value”[Sarah Schulman, The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination, University of California Press, Oakland CA, 2012, p. 7]. The “place of distortion” Wolfson moves toward is undoubtedly agonistic, as it rests on a neurotic self-identification that appropriates positions of sexuality, gender, race and class — positions that themselves are present in the work only through inflated, vulgarized stereotypes. “Do you think I’m homosexual? Do you think I’m rich? Will you tell them what it’s like to be with me?” The artist’s needy voice is caught within the performance of a hyperbolized role, a meta-dialogue with the viewer that challenges their presumptions of identity and the “honest” disclosure of inner angst. While Wolfson is evidently not himself the loose-skinned, tired man of the poetic monologue in Female Figure 2014, the psycho-sexual inner world of the creator of the Bellmer-esque robot-as-sex-object looms large as an involuntary fiction.

There is a clear sense in which the artist’s work from 2009 onward has rejected a reliance on acquired methods and signifiers of artistic validity and rectitude. The complex cycle of works that culminates in the twin gazes of the female automaton and the languid punk instead offers witness to an unadorned self-image at odds with the governing techniques of the self-enterprising individual. Wolfson’s adoption of animation and animatronics locates this externalization within structural ambivalence; the ability to warp, inflate, distort and fantasize offers a fitting testimony to the splitting of contemporary subjecthood.

Source: Kunstforum International, June July 2016 Issue.
Text: Richard Birkett, Flashartonline.com.
All images belongs to the respective artist and management.

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Artist: Mark Leckey

Mark Leckey Artist
mark leckey artist, See We assemblemark leckey artist, See We assemble

Mark Leckey, From the Exhibition, See We Assemble, 2013

Mark Leckeyis a British artist, working with collage art, music and video. His found art and found footage pieces span several videos, most notably Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore (1999) and Industrial Lights and Magic (2008), for which he won the 2008 Turner Prize.

Through a multi-disciplinary practice that encompasses sculpture, sound, film, and performance, British artist Mark Leckey explores the potential of the human imagination to appropriate and to animate a concept, an object, or an environment. Drawing on his personal experiences as a London-based artist, who spent his formative years in the north of England, Leckey returns frequently to ideas of personal history, desire and transformation in his work.

Leckey was born in Birkenhead, near Liverpool, in 1964. In a 2008 interview in The Guardian, he described how he grew up in a working-class family and became a ‘casual’ in his youth. He left school at 16 with one O Level, in art, and at 19 became obsessed with learning about ancient civilizations. In the Guardian interview he described himself as an autodidact, “That’s why I use bigger words than I should. It’s a classic sign.” Following a conversation with his stepfather he took his A Levels and went to an art college in Newcastle, but didn’t enjoy it: “It was the early 1990s, when critical theory had swept the nation. The place was full of hippies from down south who were reading Mervyn Peake and Tolkien, and suddenly they were made to read Barthes and Derrida. It was like a Maoist year zero. I became very suspicious of the merits of critical theory…”

Mark Leckey’s video work has as its subject the “tawdry but somehow romantic elegance of certain aspects of British culture.”He likes the idea of letting “culture use you as an instrument.” but adds that the pretentiousness that artists sometimes fall into is destructive to the artistic process: “What gets in the way is being too clever, or worrying about how something is going to function, or where it’s going to be. When you start thinking of something as art, you’re fucked: you’re never going to advance.” Matthew Higgs has described his work as “possess[ing] a strange nonartlike quality, operating, as it does, on the knife’s edge where art and life meet”.

On Pleasure Bent is a body of work in which Leckey attempts to form a kaleidoscopic memoir, assembling his past from the imagery that he believes conditioned him. The exhibition will include all new works, several being exhibited publicly for the first time. Objects will include LED screens featuring looped animations, animated screens made up of highly-magnified computer screens silk screened with images, as well as cinema lobby style ’standees’ and a trailer for a new video.

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