The photograph, since its invention, has intimidated and challenged visual arts. Today, the photo -the image- has penetrated virtually every aspect of life. The artists in this exhibition have each explored photographic renditions of their surroundings, subjects, landscapes, and imagination in a way where the photo itself is a part of that intermediacy.
These works provide a range of artistic practice where viewers experience them in their entirety. In this collection, the photo is not objective but an object; It repeats itself in the works (Joe Hall), it’s used to make an object (Cyril Le Van), to manipulate reality (Brian Oldham), to observe and materialize fleeting situations (Anders Birger), and to amplify unseen elements in our existence (Michel Pincaut).
Anders Birger’s curiosity has taken him to many unknown places in his career, and more recently to Syria. His Arabia Felix Polaroid series have all been shot in there (2012-2013), and relate to the ongoing conflict. The photos have been exposed and composed correctly, but Birger never removed the photographic paper. And right after the moment of exposure, he gave the photo back to his subject with a pen and no instructions. The result is what you see in this show. Birger’s photojournalistic background informs the boundaries in which he sets his eyes and the camera, yet he offers more than just a witness-report. He brings a footprint of the situation he was in. Birger has a BA of Photojournalism from the Danish School of Journalism, and an MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography from the London College of Communication.
Joe Hall reinvents the parameters of photography by introducing a playful world between reality and fiction. For him the camera is an integral part of his practice, acting as a tool and a stage, it not only captures his interventions but allows the viewer to examine the making of the image. In the series exhibited in the show, he intends “to challenge our perceptions of the real and the organic within the natural landscape.” Hall has recently graduated from Camberwell College of Arts with a BA in Fine Art Photography. Based in London, he has exhibited several times in the UK.
If photos are everywhere around us, then Cyril Le Van brings them even closer. His crafty reconfiguration of images into objects that are as large and primal as shelters and small and artificial as brand-name shoes, comment on the veritable nature of reality. Society’s aesthetic obsession and the materiality of the image-culture are all buoyantly incorporated into 3D versions of a 2D art-form. Le Van is a self-taught artist, born into an artist family, and based in Toulouse, France. His photographic sculptures have an unexpectedly pop-like quality to them, and he’s been widely exhibited and collected by galleries and designers.
For Brian Oldham, the real world is merely the raw material, which he transforms into his own reality. His breathtaking surreal compositions and meticulous technique make this alternate universe ever more believable. “I’m interested in creating work that exists somewhere between the waking world and dreaming” he says. These new narratives could be read in multiple ways, and Oldham’s symbolism and aesthetic leave room for a much broader, individual interpretation. At 20 years old, Oldham is a self-taught American artist based near Los Angeles. His conceptual and imaginative photos are internationally acclaimed.
Michel Pincaut’s works show another reality, or a hidden reality. “The studio and my camera are metaphors of the caves while the colors and light are metaphors of life,” he says of his work. Based in Clichy, France, Pincaut was educated in art history before taking some time off to focus on his writing and publishing his work. He returned to photography in 2005, and since then has been exhibiting his works internationally. This sense of emergence and re-emergence run through his life as well as artistic practice. But when it comes to history, Pincaut is not concerned with the past or nostalgia. Rather, he wants the jubilation of his photos, their colours and vibrant compositions, to hit the audience immediately.
Private view will take place on November 7th, 7-9pm.
Curated by Tara Aghdashloo.
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