AboutArtists Anonymous will have their debut UK gallery exhibition, 'Image After-Image', a series of original paintings, photographs and films, at Riflemaker from 21 September.
The exhibition comprises of three major new works arranged in the format of a ceiling-height âopen book': painting on the left, photograph (after-image) on the right and a film running down the centre.
Artists Anonymous are a collective of three painters, photographers and filmmakers. They describe themselves as primarily painters but all three media are used in their installations. Often the time-based media of performance and film are utilised in the same way as other artists plan and develop projects through drawing.
The artists themselves always appear in their work but as a collective they forego their individual identities to collaborate on a permanent basis. They operate within agreed rules established when they first met at art school in Berlin in 2001. Agreeing at that time no individual would ever work independently of the group. They would always operate as Artists Anonymous.
âWe're anonymous not because we want to be anonymous as artists or people but because we want the work we create to be anonymous and free from assumptions that viewers might make from meeting anyone of us individually.'
For the performance element, each member of the group develops a character over a period of time either acted out or improvised, alone or with others, often in elaborate costume. By taking on a new persona in this way they draw out ideas which are then translated into painting.
For the Apocalyptic Warriors series (2007-08), the artists invented characters whose personalities related to their own. Each member of the group took on a temporary alter ego, like the pairings of Clark Kent and Superman or Bruce Wayne and Batman, roles played out across a period of three days resulting in a selection of videos and photographs.
As with an artist who has sketched out their ideas in graphite or oil, Artists Anonymous performance and film work leads to the making of an original painting that is then photographed as a negative version of the original. The group consider that every work has another within it, therefore it is a natural progression to paint an image and then create one or more âafter-images'.
Artists Anonymous are featured in many museum and private collections worldwide. Recent exhibitions include Hamburger Bahnhof and the Liverpool Biennale.