Jonathan Callan’s (°1961 lives and works in London) single book pages, collages really, with shapes removed and other images placed into the resulting holes came from looking back at the pieces he made many years ago where different faces were looking out of the shape created by other heads. He became interested in imagining sculptures or installations in different landscapes/ interiors. He was also trying to find a way of making the new objects blend or camouflage themselves into the spaces they occupy. He wanted the viewer to be caught in a kind of trap where the shapes appear both natural and deeply suspicious. It’s very important that the process is one of simple cut outs and physical replacement. he would not be at all interested in doing it with Photoshop.
Julie Cockburn’s work (°1966 lives and works in London) revolves around found images; her source materials are familiar and often nostalgic. By manipulating a found photograph, it is re-appropriated and given a new significance. The images Cockburn uses are lost from their original meaning rendering them impotent and malleable. She contradicts the generic and mass-produced with a handmade craft and a painstaking attention to detail, not for its own sake, particularly, but to make these physically and intellectually worn objects precious again and weighted with a different value. The work addresses ideas about gender, the conflict between modernity and history, thought and process and the changing associations we have with photography in a digital age.
Katrien De Blauwer (°1969 lives and works in Antwerp) calls herself a "photographer without a camera". She collects and recycles pictures and photos from old magazines and papers. Her work is, at the same time, intimate, directly corresponding with our unconscious, and anonymous thanks to the use of found images and body parts that have been cut away. This way, her personal history becomes the history of everyone. The collage effects a kind of universalisation, emphasizing the impossibility to identify with a single individual, yet allowing to recognize oneself in the story. The artist becomes a neutral intermediary: without being the author of the photographs, she appropriates and integrates them into her own interior world, a world she’s revealing in third person.
She gives new meaning and life to what is residual, saving images from destruction and including them in a new narration that combines intimacy and anonymity. Her work therefore deals with memory, basically. Memory by accumulation rather than by substraction. Her work brings to mind the procedures of photomontage or film editing. The cut being used as a frame that marks the essential.
Karin Fisslthaler (°1981 lives and works in Linz and Vienna) main topic of her work is the human body, its nonverbal communication system, representation and identity construction. She is researching these aspects mostly in found images and carving out the process of collective and individual reflections of human behaviour in the media. She works with different kind of materials like film and video, music or found pictures. By means of collecting, cutting and reassembling she tries to open already defined views and creating voids with the objective of ambiguity of interpretation.
She uses recurring motifs in her work: hands, skin, the faces of stars distorted and concealed. These are interfaces for the body, points of contact. We use them to communicate without, beyond spoken and written words. Having the potential to be identified with, they also function like a mirror. Because we all have a body of our own at our disposal, and a face. We make casual gestures and physical contact, cast gazes at one another, or aim eyes at the camera, and experience tactile contact and exchanges with everyday things like money.
She attempts to dissect representations and reveal the structures and characteristics of the media conveying them. For her this is a way of reactivating them, enhancing any correspondences that emphasizes the ambiguity and complexities involved.
Belgian-born Noé Sendas (°1972 lives and works in Berlin) started a body of works the “Peeps”, which are based on vintage erotic postcard size images, intervened with direct, mostly single, geometrical shapes and re-printed in the same scale. The “Crystal Girl” and “Peep series result in black and white prints on rugged paper, facsimileing original photographs from the last century.
Incorporated in delicate frames and installed in balanced groups, the assemblages often induce a certain environment or atmosphere. Single and even more as a “field”, they perform as cores of recovered glamour, they operate like diaphanous retinas to an imagery full of taste, noble gesture, exclusive forms, cultural crosslinks and beneath all a deep unsettledness.
The almost dogmatic absence of any visible face - all of them are hidden, eroded or covered – even amplifies their vulnerable noblesse. Sendas points out: “All my manipulated photographs are faceless or, as I like to say, Nameless”–“as if they had just been found at the archaeology site of Glamour”.