Joseph Popper is an exciting young artist with an original way of working. He examines space travel and other forms of human exploration and technological endeavour through film, design and architecture. Taking inspiration from cinematic special effects his works transform found locations and everyday objects to simulate speculative scenarios and fictional experiences. They include The One Way Ticket(shown at the V&A in 2013 and at the Baltic in 2014) and Holiday Snaps (part of the Folkestone Triennial 2011).
For HOUSE 2015, he will present The Same Face, a 1:1 scale set of a drone command centre that plays upon the uneasy similarities between an enthusiast’s homemade flight simulator and an actual drone command centre, removed from the reality of destruction. Inside, among the wall monitors, control panels and headsets, a labour of love and an act of war share the same face. Films simulating on-board camera footage will illuminate the room. The Same Face will reimagine the 1983 IRA bombing of the Grand Hotel in Brighton as if viewed from a drone, reflecting on the new reality of terrorism at home.
The associated imagery will further explore how modern warfare is rendered as if in a video game, where the edges of the real and the virtual blur in the transmission of animated pixels.
HOUSE is a contemporary visual arts festival that takes place in Brighton and Hove every May, as part of Brighton Festival. Popper’s The Same Face will be one of four new works commissioned for the festival on this year’s theme of Edge and Shift. This year’s Invited Artist is the Turner-prize shortlisted artist Nathan Coley, who also focuses on the bombing of The Grand Hotel in creating new exhibition Portraits of Dissension at the Regency Town House, a co-commission with Brighton Festival.
Lighthouse artistic director Juha van ‘t Zelfde says: “We are very happy with the selection of Joseph for this year’s festival. Having met him right after his graduation in 2012, I became an immediate fan of his ability to make films that are presented in their own architecture. His precise and profound practice has stayed with me ever since, and I really look forward to working with him in Brighton.”
Title: The Same Face
Dates: 2 – 24 May 2015
Times: noon – 6pm, Wednesday to Sunday
Location: The Kitchen, The Basement, 10, Brunswick Square, Hove, BN3 1EG