Paul Kneale

Event Horizon, 2015

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Dimensions Variable


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Artwork
Description

Paul Kneale’s interest in the crossing, typical of our times, between rubbish and advanced technology, is evident in his latest series of sculptures, ‘Event Horizon’. Primarily composed of galvanized steel trash cans and hovering argon encased glass components, the sculptures came to the artist as an apparition while on Miami beach.

The ‘Event Horizon’ sculptures are part of a broader research project where Kneale represents cosmic truths or metaphysical questions through cheap, everyday objects. Specifically, the event horizon is the boundary of a black hole, characterized by a light halo. The most interesting phenomenon related to it is that an object approaching it will be seen, by an outside observer, slowing down infinitely without ever entering it. While the approaching object will be drawn to the region without escape, such optical illusion happens precisely as the gravitational field is so strong that no light can be reflected from within the hole.

The scale of the sculptures, and the fact that they emanate their own light, confers a meditative sense of spirituality to them: as if one were contemplating the materialisation of a metaphysical question. This is enhanced by the choice of employing argon and un-pigmented glass to create the halos, allowing the viewer to observe the movement of the gas within the glass tube, which makes them look almost alive.

“Into the trash, out of vision. The universe is an omnivore orifice”, Paul Kneale says. Event Horizon raises important questions about consumerism, interrogating our attitude towards globally accessible knowledge.

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

November 11th, 2015 until
January 25th, 2016
Curated by Eugenio Re Rebaudengo