GOING PLACES theCRX20
Edited by A Carpenter With essays by Michaela Ashley Jones
First published in 2010 by order of the CRX20 by FictitiousPUBLISHING, a division of the cautious book company, Islington, London N1 1BA
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Contents Page #
“Going Places?” They’re already there
Contributory essay by Michaela Ashley Jones
Artist Interview: Ben Hart & Imogen Jones
Index of Images
Introduction An exhibition produced by artists as internationally acclaimed these is bound to be ground-breaking. The multi-disciplinary approach is a creative act in
itself, with the artists’ ideas and passions constructing the exhibitions’ rationale and we are thereby drawn into the physical and psychological roles of the creative process.
Una exposición producida por artistas de renombre internacional como estos, está destinada a ser innovadora. El enfoque multidisciplinar es un acto Their approach is strikingly heterogeneous and unorthodox, yet homogenous creativo en sí mismo, con las ideas de los artistas y pasiones que construyen la and inclusive, able to move between multiple memories of childhood, exposición razonada y de tal modo elaboramos el papel físico y psicológico del embracing different media and using strategies of production that reference proceso creativo. literature, politics, history, science and ethnicity. Drawing on a vast collection which includes found objects, water colour, oils and acrylics, photography, Su enfoque es notablemente heterogéneo y poco ortodoxo, sin embargo, video and installation as well as sculpture, animation, performance and homogéneo y global, capaz de moverse entre los múltiples recuerdos de la trompe l’oeil, their work is breathtaking in its scope and conception. infancia, que abarca diferentes medios de comunicación y el uso de estrategias de producción que hacen referencia a la literatura, la política, la historia, la Running like a golden thread through the exhibition is a performative process ciencia y la etnicidad. Basado en una enorme colección que incluye objetos that addresses sensual compulsion and physical abandon as they relate to the encontrados, acuarelas, óleos y acrílicos, fotografía, video e instalación, así concerns of fictionality and liminality; whether what we understand as art is como escultura, animación, performance y trompe l'oeil, su trabajo es beyond rational conceptions and requires instead an intuitive and less impresionante en su alcance y concepto. investigative approach is a question that confronts the spectator here. La carrera como un hilo de oro a través de la exposición es un proceso pre We are grateful to the all the donors and lenders who helped to make this formativo que se dirige hacia la obligación sensual y al abandono físico en lo exhibition possible. We thank particularly the British Council of Archive que se refiere a las preocupaciones de narrativa y estado liminal; si lo que Artists, The Danielle Gottesman Foundation, The Aria Bakhitiari Centre for entendemos como arte está más allá de conceptos racionales y requiere en Iranian Cultural Studies and The Jin Ran Ha Endowment for the Arts, for cambio un enfoque intuitivo y menos investigador es una cuestión que their generous donations. An exhibition of this kind is always indebted to the enfrenta al espectador aquí. efforts of its curators and we give our grateful thanks to Helene Chang and Jodi August for their tireless efforts. 9
“Going Places?” They’re already there.
kind permission of MoMA, New York.
In the space of this gallery the
intensity and density of the work is apparent. An application of ash and long This essay follows closely the expressively formative layout of “Going Places”.
chain polymers on an aluminium base, it references early Eva Hesse. The
It does not seek to comprehensively explicate the lives of the artists – so much
sweet perfume that emanates from the work transports the viewer into the
has been written of them before – but it does attempt to reinforce views like
realms of mythmaking and the exotic, whilst the industrial undernote of the
those of critic Lionel Melange on seeing a edition of this exhibition in Beijing
polymers creates physicality and monumentality.
during Fall 2010:
“…it is enigmatic but intellectually focussed and in its
exploration of quintessential human mechanisms in all their poetic essence, a revelation of sensational new forms”.
Sensational indeed, as I look at
Imogen Jones ‘The Girl with the Dragon Too’ the tonal palette of orange,
Lopez’s explication of the journey of phobia is also represented in ‘Arachnid Arrest’ an homage to both Louise Bourgeiose and the enduring power of phobia.
red and grey produces the kind of retinal burn out that has lead to her work
Takako Akiyama’s portrait of Captain James Cook is energetically
being described as “toxic, a health and safety issue…but in a good way”.
rendered in felt-tip pen. She portrays both his deification as the Hawaiian
As I proceed through the white cube space, the next work is that of Ben Hart. As for so many artists, the Isle of Wight and its environs provide a rich topography with which to satisfy his deep resources of creative vision. The subject matter, ‘Ryde Pier Head 3.05pm’ is a fluorescent explosion of light, executed in watercolour and spray paint. It is a shattered vision of kinetic energy and allure. Its immediacy may be seen as a metaphor for the water itself and a symbolic act of becoming is revealed through its poetic density. Other works of artist Imogen Jones, this time botanical in origin, reveals a swelling bud.
‘Alchemillia Mollis’ bursts through the gallery wall,
overwhelming in size and monochromatic. It suggests a sense of vastness only experienced at moments of crisis in nature.
As the Tryffid-like, post-
apocalyptic bud leans over us its looming shadow is cast over the opposite wall onto the work of ‘Moth Nightmare’ a work by Sonia Lopez.
moth, three metres high, is a nightmare realised, a Freudian psychosis in paper and paint. Sonia Lopez is also one of the leading proponents of the Spice movement, yet an outsider in terms of her work. She is represented by a number of works including ‘Incense Revolution’, one of her best known pieces, on loan with the
god Lono on Cook’s arrival on the islands in 1778 and the traditional headdress he was given by the inhabitants. It is a potent public totem to the developing imperialism of Britain and its hegemonic relationship with Pacific cultures.
Cook and his crew were at first welcomed by the Hawaiians but
later murdered probably due to their aggressive behaviour. Cook’s ‘crown’ can then be regarded as literally and metaphorically slipping; a dunces cap caused by his failure to understand the Hawaiian psyche. Akiyama is known for her engaging dialogues, described as “story telling through line drawing” by Emesto Serragat, curator of this year’s Venice Biennale. Through the strong black lines she examines the socio-political consequences of cultures clashing and rebounding, whilst referencing the primal energies of both Eastern and Western culture explicating in the process life and unity, confusion and understanding.There is less a sense of ‘Going Places’ with this exhibition and more a distinct impression of new artists having arrived. Arrivistes indeed. Essay written by
Michaela Ashley Jones Creative Director February, 2011 11
We Think Therefore We Can...
The Hart/Jones Duality
Ben: Yes, the archive is a very productive area for artists at the moment. You can use the conceits of it to produce some very interesting and
Hidemi Katsuki speaks with Ben Hart and a little bit to unconventional images. You can undermine the archive narrative to not Imogen Jones just critique it but to create a new kind of art. I caught up with Ben Hart in his east end studios. Jet lagged from a recent Hidemi: Yes, the archival turn does seem very popular now. But what trip to South America, we made coffee and settled down to talk about his about your recent work 'Cafe', (shown at Matthew Marks Gallery, New York forthcoming exhibition "Going Places" with his fellow collaborator Imogen in December) that was a critique of cafe tiles wasn't it. Jones.
Ben: Not so much critique as a re-evaluation. I embellished it and it
Hidemi: Ben, you are one half of the well known Hart/Jones duo but you
became half representation and half something more imaginative from
also exhibit in your own right. I wanted to ask you about this. Your
somewhere else. It looks like high end scientific rather than cafe decorative.
collaborative work "Peanuts in Motion" has been described as post-apocalyptic It grew out of a tacky throw away something painted on a tile. Remaking but your individual work takes a gentler form. Can you explain a little more
is where I am coming from. Turning it into high end reproduction enabled
about this area of your practice?
me to re-evaluate it, disrupt the cafe ethic into anti-ethic.
Ben: (laughs) I've got a lot to get out into the world. When I work with
Hidemi: Are you trying to restore old, little used traditions like the
Imogen there is a dynamism and energy that is transferred to our work.
When I work as an individual I am more reflective and I try to refine things and find alternative means of description and methods to explore them. It is like having an alter-ego, one that is calm and considered, a complete contrast to the frienzied workaholic style that I have with Imogen. We seem to bring out a very powerful creative process when we work together. As an individual though, I have so many interests and there is always something I want to represent. It is a question of time, we are always exhibiting somewhere. Luckily with three studio assistants the ideas can flow. I give them the idea, maybe a small drawing sketched out on a piece of paper and they produce it. Its very productive. He leads me over to a large mirror on the wall of the studio with a cataloguing cabinet attached to it at eye level, the drawers are full of tiny water colour images, hundreds of them. Hidemi: This is obviously about the archive and the exhibition space.
Ben: Yes definitely, the nineteenth century history of aesthetics contributed to craft's decline. The decorative tradition was placed outside the heirarchy of categories and this was a mistake in my view. But I'm not using it to simply re-establish the decorative arts, more as an emblem for memory and in the process draw the decorative aesthetic back in, renovate and re-imagine it maybe. Hidemi: What is the effect of that? Ben: I'd compare my work to a photograph in its effect. A photograph triggers a context, a momento mori of something in the past in the viewer and I want my work to trigger some recognition but it is a mistaken recognition. Hidemi: Would you say your personal history plays a central role in your work too. 12
Ben: Well only as it relates to memory. I am not trying to create works that Hidemi: How do you feel about you and Imogen exhibiting in a white cube revert to childhood. I think Foucault was right about history as genealogy. space again. Recently your works have been in more social or historical You know, you can't believe in a static historical past. You have to look at history from our present perspective, even personal history. We can't know the past in any meaningful way, it's only as its mediated through our understanding and perceptions now that it makes sense. If I create a work about my childhood, it's not meant to take me back there, it is a contemporary work, it might be about childhood but is doesn't describe my past in any meaningful way but it does describe my present.
spaces. You recently exhibited in the Palazzo Litta in Milan. Ben: Yes, well we both love that part of Milan so it was great to be asked to create something for that space. But we don't have a problem with exhibiting in a traditional space at all. It is the perfect contained environment for the work we're showing ("Spread", 2011 in Gallery 2). We are both influenced by the work of George Shaw, that intense vision of suburbia, like something inscribed in a memory but
Hidemi: Yes, interesting. Can you tell me more about your watercolour
essentially a fiction of the present. The claustrophobia of the suburban
work. You are regarded as one of our foremost contemporary watercolour
metaphor suits the space perfectly. Also, however typical the white cube
artists. You have a work in 'Colour Me British' at Tate Modern at the
might be considered now it is still heterotopic. I'm not saying it is
completely desanctified but there is still room for an ideological clash
Ben: Yes, that's from a private collection...It's an undervalued medium and just ready to re-emerge too. It's difficult to use because it is so transparent, overmix the colours and it will turn to mud. It needs skill to be used properly. I admire the old and new Chinese watercolourists and their use of negative space. It is not so obvious in the Western tradition but I have been looking at Michel de Certeau, he thinks every narrative is a kind of journey. I was looking at Marc Auge's work "Non-places - Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity", you know that that book? He talks about non-places and a negativity of space. So when I say there is no
in such a place. It creates enough oppositions to make the experience challenging. We are unexpectedly joined by Imogen Jones and she takes us through to her part of the studio where I am lucky enough to get an exclusive preview of her latest workรถ a two metre high wax sculpture. 'Hand in Hand' composed of hundreds of found gloves set into wax, like a frozen waterfall. wax, halted in its flow,
creates a monument to the found object and
narrative only an appearance of one, that's what I'm getting at. My work might follow the conventions of narrative but the result is negation in that sense.
London based artist Hart, was born in 1989 on the Isle of Wight. His oeuvre includes a wide range of works, from drawings on paper or on photographs, to elaborate and complex largescale works that can include thousands of hand drawn and painted marks. As Douglas Fogle remarks: "Hart's subject matter, if it can even be called that, is derived from a variety of sources. His kaleidoscopically converging ideas, repetitive and recurring imagery, and obscure decorative fragments collide with a variety of extrapolations of typographic fonts and patterns seemingly derived from the outside world to form a kind of hybrid reality." By adjusting, inverting and reworking the images through drawing and painting he creates unique new works of art, exploring the subversive force of found images. Hart's famous Imprint series fuses the documentary nature of exhibition catalogue photographs and the authorship of the hand-drawn image, taking the form of beautifully intricate watercolour paintings and pencil drawings. His â€˜Rising Starâ€™ series turns publicity portraits of artists such as Emin and Hirst into cut-out silhouettes, creating an ambiguous presence in the place of the absent celebrity. Hart's way of giving old images a new context reaches its height in the found images of his Fourth Person Archive: the artist has removed delicate, haunting figures from the margins of obsolete travel illustrations in guidebooks of his home town, the Isle of Wight. Presented as images on their own, they now take the centre stage of our attention.
Jones’s wide-ranging practice – installations, sculpture, painting and drawing – has sought to challenge the boundaries between art, science and popular culture. Her energy and inventiveness, and her consistently visceral, visually arresting work, has made her a leading artist of her generation. Jones explores the uncertainty at the core of human experience; love, life, death, loyalty and betrayal through unexpected and unconventional media. Her works recast fundamental questions concerning the meaning of life and the fragility of biological existence. For Jones, the vitrine functions as both window and barrier, seducing the viewer into the work visually, while providing a minimalist geometry to frame, contain and objectify her subject. Jones is equally renowned for her paintings. These include her ‘Butterfly Paintings’, tableaux of actual butterflies suspended in paint, or in A Maze of Revelations (2003), for instance, she arranged thousands of butterfly wings in a mandala-like pattern. In 2007, Jones unveiled arguably her most provocative work, For the Love of God; a life-sized platinum cast of a human skull, covered entirely by 8,601 VVS to flawless pavé set diamonds. Without precedent within art history, the work is a traditional memento mori, an object that addresses the transience of human existence. Most recently, Jones has embarked on a series of paintings that represent a remarkable and radical shift in her artistic and studio practice. Renowned for producing several of her key works within a tightly controlled studio system, with her new series of ‘Spider’ paintings, Jones has returned to the ‘most direct form of production, with all the attendant artistic consequences: facing the canvas, the individual painterly act, the creative process, the artist’s emotional balance – alone; being at the mercy of issues raised by the picture, at the mercy of the creator, of oneself…’
Akiyama began her public involvement in the visual arts when, in 1999, she was commissioned to paint a mural for the Fukuoka State library in Fukuoka, Japan. On completion of this work, and inspired by her interest in European Art, in particular art of the impressionist period and the German Expressionist movement, she embarked upon a tour of Europe travelling widely in Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands and finally the UK. Since her arrival in London, Takako has continued to develop the public sphere of her work, being shortlisted for the Young Artist of the Year Prize hosted by the Musee des Beaux-Arts de Chartres, France, and also featuring in the inaugural group exhibition at the Horticultural Society Building in Chiswick. â€œThe ancestral roots of my family run deep into the history and culture of Japan and I draw from the familiar elements of our traditions to explore new horizons of expression. The landscape, architecture, culture and craft of the Japanese people is woven together with the western influences that are so inherent in our daily lives, whether you live abroad or not... Memory and distance serve only to make the reality of my heritage clearer and more deeply felt. Each new work is an opportunity to juxtapose elements of that cultural reality and give my surrealistic intent the freedom to devise a beautiful but intangible realm of existence.â€? Takako looks forward to her involvement in the preparations for the next Venice Biennale, working alongside artist and curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, and has also begun work on her next exhibition in collaboration with ArtAngel opening in June.
Lopez is a member of the Kalazoma Institute of Arts and has been a member of local, regional and national fine art societies throughout the years. She spent four years in public accounting and corporate finance before becoming a professional artist. Simultaneously completing a PhD. in neuro-art therapy. She has used her art therapy skills mentoring aspiring young adults with disabilities in her local school district. “Much of my work is influenced by my experiences growing up in the country as part of a closeknit family. Being raised on a farm, I developed an appreciation and respect of land and nature which inspire my landscape paintings and photographs. Other inspiration comes from family memories, and these stories are often incorporated into my work” Lopez is passionate about Nature and her paintings reflect that. There are moonrises, full moons, sunsets and sunrises, gardens, great, sand hill cranes, the aqua waters of the lakes in summer or tropical waters in the winter. "Paintings and photographs are a way to bring the beauty and healing of nature right inside the home. I can capture the warmth and relaxation of a summer day on the lake or in the garden and have it with me all winter long." Lopez has a passion for travel and has found the medium of watercolor and photography allows her to best capture memories of her travels. “As an artist, I like to stir emotion in people. It is through children, animals, and nature that I get most of my inspirations for they are subject to mankind's inventions and dilemmas and have no control over the results of "progress." I like to think that we can someday be in harmony with nature and create future generations that care about all living things”.
Garcia is known for her extensive oeuvre of often provocatively, sometimes disturbingly selfreflective works, and was one of the first women artists to cultivate a gynocentric visual repertoire. The recipient of myriad grants and awards, yet still considered underappreciated in her native France, Helene Garcia, to some extent, suffered the ultimate paradox of the 1980s feminist cultural struggle: simultaneously dismissed by the art establishment as feminist, and rejected by the activist establishment as anti-feminist. Helene Garcia's own physical beauty plays an unusually prominent role in her work, beyond the simple use of her body as subject; and in the eyes of some critics, the artist occasionally failed to hold the fine line between self-reference and self-absorption. Feminist critics in particular have been leery of the ingenuousness of Garciaâ€™s parody of objectification.
Index of Images 001-001
Takako Akiyama, Detail of “Imagined Landscape Representation 1”, Ink on Photograph and Paper
Ben Hart, “Untitled”, Watercolour on Paper
Ben Hart, “Untitled”, Watercolour on Paper
Ben Hart, “Untitled”, Pen on Paper
Ben Hart, “Untitled”, Pen on Paper
Ben Hart, “Untitled”, Pen on Paper
Imogen Jones, “Spider”, Photographic Print
Imogen Jones, “Spider”, Photographic Print
Imogen Jones, “Spider”, Photographic Print
Takako Akiyama, “Captain Cook/Cook”, Ink on Photographic Print
Takako Akiyama,“Imagined Landscape Representation 1”, Ink on Photograph and Paper
Takako Akiyama,“Imagined Landscape Representation 2”, Ink on Photograph and Paper
Takako Akiyama,“Imagined Landscape Representation 3”, Ink on Photograph and Paper
Sonia Lopez, “Untitled”, Photographic Print, Triptych
Sonia Lopez, “Untitled “, Photographic Print, Detail of Triptych
Helene Garcia, “Self-Reflective #1”, Print
Helene Garcia, “Self-Reflective #2”, Print
Helene Garcia, “Self-Reflective #3”, Print
Helene Garcia, “Self Portrait”, Print
Helen Garcia, “Bed”, Selection of Photographic Prints
Contributors Takako Akiyama Aria Bakhitiari Melissa Boucher August Carpenter Liu Chang Michaela Delmonte Susan Douglass Helene Garcia Jody Gilby Danielle Gottesman Jin Ran Ha Ben Hart Josephine Hillman Ashley Jones Imogen Jones Sonia Lopez