Open 15 May – 19 May, 11 am – 7 pm
Opening: 15 May
Deadhouse, Somerset House, London WC2R 1LA
As part of Photo London’s 2019 Public Programme, ARTUNER will present ‘Crossing the Borders of Photography’, a group exhibition featuring Des Lawrence, Tabor Robak, Paul Kneale and Ana Elisa Egreja which explores how the medium of photography is constantly being reinvented, challenged, and reworked into contemporary artistic expressions.
The introduction of photography in the realm of fine art in the late 1800s represented a watershed moment: it changed forever the trajectory of painting and introduced a new way of conceptualising ‘medium’ in the world of art.
In a similar way today the fast paced advancement of image-making equipment has led to the introduction of numerous technologies that do not only arguably surpass traditional analogue photography in accuracy, but also constantly challenge it and push the boundaries of what it means to photographically capture a fleeting moment.
Far from suggesting that the medium of photography is becoming obsolete, we propose to explore the boundaries where digital technologies are expanding and enriching the photographic realm, where contemporary artists are finding a field of enquiry that is engaging and speaks deeply to the core of contemporaneous society.
Drawing upon media photographs as his main theme and principal subject, Des Lawrence questions our image-saturated culture. From the newspaper obituary column, he seeks out images that through a loose relationship of aesthetic or historical association can encapsulate one of the recently deceased notables. Lawrence explores how we receive photographic images, how we place them in networks with each other and with contextual information. In his enamel portraits, at times an object, a brand, or an architectural structure is asked to stand in for the subject’s bodily features, thus begging the questions: What are we leaving behind once we die?; What will we be remembered by, if at all?
Using computer generated imagery to create videos of an invented reality, Tabor Robak seeks to isolate and explore a secondary, digital reality. In doing so he disrupts the expected relationship between the digital photographic image and our ‘analogue’ reality. Even a digital camera has an indexicality to reality, reproducing it precisely and instantaneously on the screen in front of us. Robak manufactures digital images that are independent from reality and exist in solely in digital space, calling attention to the fact that all such images (whether photographic or invented) are abstracted from our analogue world in this way.
Paul Kneale employs the scanner to create non-figurative paintings in a way that mirrors the photographic process, in that he exposes and captures light. However, the absence of the camera and the represented object puts the focus squarely on the technological and mechanical aspects of photography. Kneale questions its techniques, blurring the boundaries between analogue as well as digital photography and painting, creating a medium with its own unique image structure and appeal to the viewer.
With a practice that combines hyper-realist painting with imagined environments collaged from photographs collected from the internet, or painted from unbelievable and fantastical ‘real life’ stagings, Ana Elisa Egreja acts as creator, film director, and documentarist in order to craft and document the incredible scenes born out of her imagination. Her paintings question the truthfulness of the photographic image and its limits, as her practice recalls the use of photography in the nineteenth century, shortly after its invention – to produce composite images through cut and paste, and as a compositional tool or reference guide for artists, whilst also making use of the digital networks in which photographs now sit and are accessed through in our information-saturated world.