AboutCarlos Franklin today announces the launch of a new range of works and the dates of his new show entitled Representing the Invisible. Franklin's focus for this work is the invention of the Torpedo at the World's first Torpedo Factory in Rijeka, Croatia.
In 1850 the inventor Robert Whitehead moved to Rijeka, a strategic and influential city on the south coast of the Austro-Hungarian empire (nowadays Croatia). There he met Mr Giovanni Biagio Luppis, a frigate captain, and created a device to attack underwater: the coast guard, explosive boat, explosive fish, mine-ship that from 1900 became known as the torpedo.
With the ongoing threat of war everywhere there were obvious requirements for modern weapons but the constrains were considerable from a scientific and logistical perspective. Whitehead developed a way to impulse and give direction to torpedoes once launched, invented a way to see in total blindness and to propel these large underwater bullets faster than sound. It was all about trying to represent the invisible, what the naked eye was incapable of seeing. Design improvements and changes came rapidly one after another, and with them clients that saw in this new war device had a unique advantage. By the beginning of the 20th Century the beginning of the century, North and South America (USA Chile and Argentina), Europe (Germany, U.K., France, Norway, Denmark), Russia and Japan had all become regular buyers. After its continuing success during World War II the factory lost its competitive advantage with the launching platform closing in 1966 when the building fell into ruin.
Carlos Franklin takes this building and its history as basis for his first solo exhibition in London. This is the axel that articulates multiple layers and subjects and caught the artist's attention. First, because of his fascination for modern building ruins, which he considers as traces, or even urban scars, of the failure of modernism. Second, because this ruin where this unique technology was developed that somehow enable you to see the invisible, means that it can be used to illustrate the strategies that conceptual or documental art convey whilst building art experiences.
Visibility is a distinction that alters with time and now, in a time when we have an excess of transparency and are able to see almost too much information and data, we are only able to perceive the traces.
The exhibit includes 2 polyptychs, 1 dyptych, 4 medium size drawings and a group of small ones, that correspond to the archives of the city of Rijeka. These are a new experiment that the artist undertook sanding paper. The drawings are revealed by the light behind them. We can see how Franklin brings into drawing the way images are produced in digital and analog media (video and photography), where the light makes the picture happen.
Special thanks to Museum of Rijeka, especially to MA Jelena Dunato and prof. Dinko Zoroviàâ¡.