Exhibition

ELEVATOR GALLERY PRESENTS: PIERS JAMSON 'EMPIRE VIEW' PRIVATE VIEW 10/05/12

10 May 2012 – 3 Jun 2012

Event times

Private View 6:30 - 10:00

London, United Kingdom

Address

Travel Information

  • Buses: 26, N26, 30, 236, 276,308, 488, 388
  • Changeat Stratford underground to overground, one stop to Hackney Wick
  • Train: Hackney Wick

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ELEVATOR GALLERY PRESENTS: PIERS JAMSON 'EMPIRE VIEW'

About

Piers Jamson's photographs show interior spaces - places full of tension and redolent of some special but unknowable purpose. According to the artist his art is ‘anti-installation installation,' and the photographs are ‘almost the production stills from a film set.' Although meticulously made, his constructions, after beingphotographed, are destroyed in the incinerator outside his studio. This very fact adds to the tension we feel in pieces which have an almost jewel-like architectural intensity. The show consists of six large framed photographs, all new works. This will be the first time Jamson has shown so many photographs in one exhibition. It might be objected that it isn't installation at all, it'sphotography. Nevertheless Jamson creates a whole world (‘there is usually another area of the space which you cannot see') and in a sense creates it in reality -his ‘models' are on the way to being life size. ‘I try not to discuss the constructions too much' - after all, they are destined for destruction. ‘They are not always full size, but big enough for me to work inside them. They're made in sections and assembled elsewhere. So, bigger than my studio, put it that way.' The show takes its title from a range of popular postcards produced in Yorkshire by Jamson's great grandfather, who in the 1870s launched one of the first photographic studios - a fact which Jamson,curiously, only discovered recently. ‘So he was a professional photographer,' which is curious again because the taking of the final photograph - which becomes the artwork - is the one thing Jamson relies on someone else to do: he hires a commercial photographer and then directs them in the shoot of his interiors. ‘Making this work I have to be artist, architect and interior designer all at the same time.' The result is a little like Thomas Demand or James Casebere interpreted by Stanley Kubrick. ‘Well Kubrick certainly, but also Ken Adam, Production Designer for Kubrick and for many of the early Bond films, has been an important figure for me.' If the photographs evoke film sets, this could explain the idea that it is and isn't ‘installation'. The relationship of installation art and stage-sets is often traced back as far as Joseph Cornell, and then beyond. Jamson's structures, rooms, call them what you will, are enclosed and silent. They give off their own special kind of silence, as ice gives off vapour. And they are all - and this is where it begins to feel disturbing - ‘part of a much larger structure.' ‘I want them to be disorientating for other people; that's intentional. But I would be happy to live in them so I don't know what that says about me.' He is right when he says the works are not so easily defined as sci-fi. ‘They are visions of an alternative present or future.' Then he says, ‘I'm working in a middle ground. My present exists between the past I feel I belong to and the future I create with the interiors.' Because of the central viewpoint, the photographs often make the constructions look even flatter than they actually are. The perverseness of his method leaves a residue - just enough to tell the eye it is seeing more than it thinks it is. Probably his world is a (kind of real) psychological place, as opposed to a fantasy place. This would explain its weird intensity. ‘I am not at ease in the modern world,' he says. David Lillington

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