Paul Kneale

Origin Story Plagiarism, 2016

Laser-cut pine veneer

Dimensions Variable


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Artwork
Description

The series of sculptures brought by Paul Kneale to the Moscow International Biennale for Young Art 2016 has its roots miles away from the Russian capital. However, given the increasingly inter(net)-connected world we live in, the sensitivity they originate from is not far from anyone. Indeed, the artist describes the houses in the desert suburbs of Las Vegas that inspired him to create these works as “a place that’s on the border of being a place at all”: constituted by single elements that make up our idea of what a ‘place’ is, simply ‘dropped’ in the middle of the Nevada desert. Kneale refers to them as images without a context, closer to those we find browsing the internet, than to the more tangible manifestations of physical reality.

Left unbought and inhabited, Las Vegas’ suburban dream houses often became the target of squatters, vandals and illegal meth-labs. In Kneale’s ‘Origin Story Plagiarism’ gone is the desert, gone are the squatters and vandals and meth-heads, gone are even the houses themselves: all that remains are the traces of tags and graffiti that the artist has appropriated and reproduced in laser-cut pine veneer, aided by a smartphone app that turns photographic images into vectors. The artist sees this gesture as a way of ‘rising into ruins’, as the works become a high tech way to replicate degeneration and violent territorialism.

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), Contemporary Photography Forum exhibition of the Boca Raton Museum (Florida, USA), 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. To follow Paul Kneale and receive exclusive updates, click here.


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

August 24th, 2016 until
September 15th, 2016
Curated by ARTUNER