Paul Kneale

Après Garde, 2018

Inkjet on Canvas

211 × 147 cm


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Artwork
Description

Paul Kneale (b. 1986, Canada) is interested in how our experience of the world is increasingly mediated by digital technologies, which create a kind of parallel reality to our own – closely related but often warped and depersonalised. Kneale seeks to address this by reimagining the digital facets of our experience in an analogue language.

The artist’s ‘scanner paintings’ are one way in which Kneale seeks to re-embody the digital world. Leaving the scanner lid open, he uses it to create an impression of the light conditions within his studio, translating the physical world into a digital image. These images are then combined and manipulated, in a complex series of both ‘real life’ and in-computer interventions, before being printed. The image fluctuates between digital and non-digital states before finally emerging as a complete physical object.

This new series represents the most evolved position of the above process, and sees Kneale directly challenging the relationship of the painted mark to the painter. The mark, which has since the abstract expressionists been symbolic of the artist’s time-bound subjectivity, is now ‘radically denatured by its digital replication and counterfeit’.

Kneale’s painterly swipes are deceitful, the sincerity of their expression is challenged. The picture appears emotional and deeply expressive of the painter’s psychology, but on closer inspection the image is revealed to be speaking in false tongues. It is like an off-the-job actor: the audience recognises him from his last role, his body performs the familiar actions in its familiar form but they don’t mean what we have come to expect. A digital image with the same body language as a painting.

About
the artist

Born in 1986 in Canada, Paul Kneale received his MFA from the Slade School of Fine Art (London) in 2011 and has been working closely with ARTUNER since early 2015.

Work by Kneale have been included in the exhibition Peindre la Nuit at Centre Pompidou Metz (October 2018). Some of his latest scanner paintings were recently on show in the Contemporary Photography Forum exhibition of the Boca Raton Museum (Florida, USA). In the past year, his works have been featured in the Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, the Rubell Family Collection and at the prestigious Thetis Gardens in the Arsenale Novissimo (Venice), in a group exhibition on view during La Biennale di Venezia 57°. He lives and works in Toronto.

Paul Kneale is interested in how the world is constantly translated into a digital language which simplifies, trivialises and depersonalises content and the people it addresses. The artist explores the way in which digital facets of our existence can be manifested and reimagined in the flesh of the physical object.

The artist has been manipulating cheap scanners to generate a unique way of painting. Rather than capturing an image, the scanner creates an impression of the ambient light within the artist’s studio, bearing the abstract visual trace of the atmosphere surrounding the machine. The process is integral to his new works: the scanner paintings are built up from unique impressions and display multiple layers and striations often between transparent sheets and the colours resulting from varying light conditions in the artist’s studio.

The contrast between machines and their serial products results in what Paul Kneale defines as the “new abject”. In response to Julia Kristeva’s 1980 text ‘Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection’, the artist identifies a “new abject” for the information technology.

Describing today’s inherent revulsion for brand new materials, he pinpoints a disorientation in the consciousness of time and location, caused by our immaterial inhabitation of new technologies. This sentiment is embodied in works which often address, in original and innovative ways and media, the simultaneity and layering occurring in our ever-linked virtual existences.

Kneale, in an interview with i-D, defines the Internet as ‘a whole way of being in the world’. His practice aims at investigating the role of art in this new enigmatic dimension. Paul Kneale is an artist that explores the possible physical manifestations of the digital. His oeuvre reflects on the implications of algorithms and information flux. While these may seem very abstract entities, they constitute and shape our domestic daily environment.

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Kneale is interested in how the world is constantly translated into a digital language which simplifies, trivialises and depersonalises content and the people it addresses. The artist explores the way in which digital facets of our existence can be manifested and reimagined in the flesh of the physical object.

 


Paul Kneale
on Artuner

Part of the
exhibition

October 1st, 2018 until
November 9th, 2018
Curated by ARTUNER