29 May 2009 – 18 Jul 2009
Laura Bartlett Gallery is pleased to present Green Light, an exhibition featuring work by Andreas Bunte, Aleana Egan, Haris Epaminonda, Cyprien Gaillard and Raphaël Zarka.
The title of the exhibition is taken from the poem by Kenneth Fearing from 1929 that depicts an oblique, offbeat experience of the urban landscape. Lacking subjects, the poem forces readers to revise their understanding about what is being depicted: the poem is fragmented, vernacular and immediate.
This exhibition explores a dislocation between object and context, a spatial or temporal gap in connection to Max Ernst’s definition of collage as “the meeting of two distant realities on a plane foreign to them both.” As in Fearings poem, the works in the exhibition do not allude to a total reality but rather several fictions, simultaneously held in play.
Andreas Bunte’s (b.1970, Mettman) film, Der Garten des M. Leretnac, 2008 is shot in Muskau Park, a piece of parkland crossing Poland and Germany inherited by Count Hermann Pückler-Muskau in 1816. Pückler spent the years that followed radically transforming the land – changing the course of rivers, raising villages to create lakes or transporting entire forests. This landscape appears, in Bunte’s film, as static shots onto which a catalogue of strange machines emerge. The scenes are made from footage of Muskau Park combined with images from the pages of popular 19th Century science magazines, through a process of exposing the film in stages to build up layers of visual information. “The footage becomes a patchwork of moving images and its incongruous articulation disrupts the authenticity usually ascribed to film. The image is not so much a chronology of events recorded in duration as a collage: a fiction stitched together from disparate realities loosened from their anchorage in space and time.” (Si Non Rogas Intelligo, Michelle Cotton, 2009)
The new series of work by Cyprien Gaillard (b.1980, Paris) employ an archive of snapshot photographs – personal records of diverse locations such as Kiev, Glasgow, Sheffield or the Ukraine. Gaillard’s understanding of the fractured and subjective nature of archaeology is pronounced with these works. In this series, beer labels, all of German origin, layer the landscape as a seal, partly concealing the site to suggest an alternate fiction, a consumption of place or a tourists tokenism.
Raphaël Zarka’s (b. 1977, Montpelier) works also employ a migration of cultural forms. “His work resides in a collection of forms haunted by historical, scientific and cultural resonances – a collection conceived in terms of a temporal collage, ranging from skateboard ramps embodying concrete waves to Platonic bodies, modernist sculpture and Galileo’s scientific apparatusus.” (Elodie Royer/Yoann Gourmel, Kaleidoscope, Issue 1, 2009). The sculpture Deduction de Sharp (2), 2008 consists of A glossy black surface from which shapes have been cut away – geometric forms appropriated from the drawings of astronomer Abraham Sharp in the book Geometry Improved found in the Bodlean Library in Oxford.
Aleana Egan’s (b.1979, Dublin) work addresses the extra-linguistic qualities of place and memory. The abstract line sculpture Standing Invitations to Arrive & Remain, 2008, consists of a single green strap hanging from a metal bar that cuts across a corner of the gallery. Egan’s sculptures trace paired-down forms to evoke a sense of the objects or sites that have inspired them while intimating the artist’s own inner musings about these sources.
The collages of Haris Epaminonda (b. 1980, Nicosia) are composed of cut aways and layers that intervene with the existing source material, to create a suspension of time and place. Her fragile compositions are based on formal and aesthetic considerations. Here, Epaminonda’s incisions become demarcations onto the classical landscape. The works are concerned with the tension created by associating individual elements and issues of perspective and space onto a single plane.
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