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Dark Matters 24 September 2011 – 15 January 2012

Educators’ Resource Pack


Index Introduction to Dark Matters Image: Brass Art, Proteiform No.4, 2006 Brass Art Image: Pavel Büchler, The Shadow of Its Disappearance, 2011 Pavel Büchler Image: R. Luke DuBois, Kiss, 2010 R. Luke Dubois Image: Pascal Grandmaison, Fake imagery of a world upside down, 2009 Pascal Grandmaison Image: Barnaby Hosking, Black Flood, 2008 Barnaby Hosking Image : Elin O’Hara Slavick, Cyanotype of bark from an A-bombed Eucalyptus tree, 2008 Elin O’Hara Slavick Image: Idris Khan, Sigmund Freud’s ‘The Uncanny’, 2006 Idris Khan Image: Ja-Young Ku, The Veil, 2011 Ja-Young Ku Image: Daniel Rozin, Snow Mirror, 2006 Daniel Rozin Image: Hiraki, Sawa, Still from Did I?, 2011 Hiraki Sawa Optional Extras

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Introduction to Dark Matters

Dark Matters is a new major exhibition centred on the theme of shadow, technology and art. This innovative show brings together works and new commissions from internationally acclaimed contemporary artists, all using a range of technologies to explore the impact of scientific, digital and mechanical invention upon visual culture. The exhibition has strong interactive and digital elements, giving people new ways in which to access art. Since the 18th Century, advances in science and technology have shaped and communicated our desires, fantasies and fears through an array of optical devices; from shadow plays to magic lanterns, photographic discoveries to the latest digital techniques. These developments have been intertwined with philosophical thought about image and truth, embodied by a fascination with shadow and darkness. Dark Matters reflects these ideas with an exhibition populated by half-seen spectres, visual riddles and distorted reflections. Visitors will be able to explore and interact within this unique, playful and magical space, whilst also having the opportunity to reflect upon the deeper philosophical ideas behind the exhibition and its themes of temporality, absence, truth, mortality and wonder. The exhibition incorporates photography, film, animation, drawing, digital technology, literature and sculpture, including works from Daniel Rozin, R. Luke Dubois, Idris Khan, Hiraki Sawa, Ja-Young Ku, Brass Art, Pascal Grandmaison, Barnaby Hosking, Pavel Büchler and Elin O’Hara Slavick. Did I? a film installation by Japanese artist Hiraki Sawa and a new commission by Korean artist Ja-Young Ku, which will combine performance and projection to question reality, will also form part of the Asia Triennial Manchester (ATM 11), which runs from 1 October to 27 November 2011. A display of works from the Whitworth’s own collection will represent the presence of shadow and darkness as captured in print, drawing and painting. This broad selection of work reveals hidden narrative, symbolism and emotion that wouldn’t otherwise emerge without the presence of shadow. The display shows work from artists such as Kathe Kollowitcz, Paula Rego, Richard Hamilton and Rachel Whiteread. 3  

Brass Art, Proteiform No.4 (from The Myth of Origins Series), 2006


Brass Art (UK) Brass Art are Chara Lewis, Kristin Mojsiewicz and Anneke Pettican, three artists based in Manchester and Glasgow. They have worked together since 1998. Brass Art explore real space and virtual space by positioning themselves as drawings, shadows, digital sprites and performers. Sometimes they seek privileged vantage-points from which they can oversee the architecture of the city; occasionally they trespass, or occupy seemingly inaccessible places.   Brass Art are interested in exploring the rich potential of old and new media. Combining a fascination with precinematic optical illusory devices with cutting edge 21st Century technologies, mixing traditional and contemporary skills. They have collaborated with a broad spectrum of people, from confectionery craftsmen, to architectural engineers, from jewellers to the medical division of Pentax, UK.   For Dark Matters, Brass Art will be creating a new work which will occupy the mezzanine court. The large scale installation will result from the artists’ fusing of biological specimens from Manchester Museum with their own bodies. Through state of the art three-dimensional body scanning technologies, the artists produce morphed, miniature versions of themselves which are re-animated through basic strategies of shadow trickery.     Brass Art are represented by The International 3 Gallery, Manchester, who act as agents for the artists to sell the work to art collectors locally and at international art fairs.

Web Links

Glossary 3D printing is a form of additive manufacturing technology where a three dimensional object is created by laying down successive layers of material, generally using resins or polymers. It is a great way to produce prototypes or replicas of museum objects. Suggested Activities • 

Experiment with cast shadows using a moving light source to observe the impact of magnifying and distorting images. Record shadows using photography and quick sketches.


Create 3D models of yourself using a variety of media, which can then be projected onto paper or walls. Interact with your shadows with different objects. Document the images using watercolours.


Pavel BĂźchler, The Shadow of Its Disappearance, 2011 Drawing, graphite on paper, found pencils

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Pavel Büchler (Czech/UK) Pavel Büchler is a Czech-born artist, lecturer and writer who lives and works in Manchester. Summing up his own practice as "making nothing happen", he is committed to the catalytic nature of art - its potential to draw attention to the obvious and revealing it as ultimately strange. His research preoccupations include theories of photography and film, creative use of obsolete technologies, and experimental pedagogies in art education.

Web Links

The use of the found object is integral to his working practice (pencils and solitary gloves his particular favourites). The pencil appears in Shadows of its Disappearance, 2011 in the Dark Matters exhibition.


“There’s a big difference between ready-made and found objects. The difference is that when you find something, it’s only then that you realise that’s what you should have been looking for.” Pavel Büchler discusses his inspiration - “There are artists who are inspired by trees and birds and rocks and that’s where they live. Where I live is about books and cultural products. Those are the things that come my way.” In 2010, Büchler won the Northern Art Prize. The Prize’s accompanying exhibition in Leeds centred on his work with found objects, including ‘Eclipse’, an arrangement of projectors, casting the shadows of variously sized balls onto a blank wall.

Ready made objects describe art created from undisguised but often modified objects, that are not normally considered art, as they have a non-art function. Marcel Duchamp was the originator of this in the early Twentieth Century. Found art is where an artist finds an object which has some connection to the artist. The object gains its identity as art from the designation placed upon it by the artist, and the context in which it is placed, such as a gallery. The artist will make some input into the presentation of the object, which is reinforced by the title. Conceptual Art “In conceptual art the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work. When an artist uses a conceptual form of art, it means that all of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair. The idea becomes a machine that makes the art.” Sol lLeWitt


R. Luke DuBois, Kiss, 2010 8 Â

R. Luke DuBois (USA) R. Luke Dubois is a composer, artist and performer who explores the temporal, verbal, and visual structures of culture. Stemming from his investigations of “time-lapse phonography”, his recent work is a sonic and encyclopedic relative to time-lapse photography. Just as a long camera exposure fuses motion into a single image, his work reveals the average sonority, visual language, and vocabulary in music, film, test, or cultural information. “I’m interested in algorithmic and procedural methods for generating work that explores how we evaluate information, emotion, time, and the idea of canon and historical progress in popular culture.” Kiss takes 50 iconic embraces from the history of cinema and re-animates them through a non-photorealistic rendering technique developed by the artist. The ‘points of interest’ such as lips, are then vectorized by Dubois like a cats-cradle, connecting all the dots to create a work of moving string-art that entwines the actors performing the kiss in a new, geometric embrace of connecting lines. An active visual and musical collaborator, DuBois is the coauthor of Jitter, the software suite for the real-time manipulation of matrix data. He appears on nearly twentyfive albums both individually and as part of the avant-garde electronic group The Freight Elevator Quartet. His second solo exhibition with Bitforms Gallery opened in January 2011.  

Web Links (The Kiss, Artist’s Proof, on You Tube) Glossary Time-lapse phonography is an audio processing technique which was devised by R. Luke Dubois, similar to time-lapse photography. An Algorithm is a step-by-step procedure for calculations used in mathematics and computer science. Vector graphics is the use of geometrical primitives such as points, lines, curves and shapes, which are all based on mathematical equations, to represent images in computer graphics. So a vectorized image is a way of presenting a computer image using mathematical equations. Suggested Activities • 

Take a popular cultural image, such as a celebrity or still from a film, and work over the image using a series of connected lines and points – Is the image still recognisable? 9

Pascal Grandmaison, Fake imagery of a world upside down, 2009 10 Â

Pascal Grandmaison (Canada) Grandmaison has become known for the contemplative themes of his large-scale photographs and works in film and video.  Capturing a psychological complexity through a minimal and detached perspective, his diverse subjects range from pensive portrait images to deep meditation on the legacies of modernist architecture and an ongoing analysis of the operations of photography and filmmaking. Grandmaison uses the latest technology to explore the present and beyond while constantly referencing the past.  He transforms details of everyday objects into monumental objects fraught with ideas.  The things we invent or design - such as buildings, cameras, or books are creative expressions.  Like photographs, they help to frame our understanding of the world.  Grandmaison's images remind us that we are the architects of our own perceptual limitations, and that the creative instinct is bound only by the limits of our own imaginations.

Web Links upcoming—news/ pascal_grandmaison/show Suggested Activities • 

Take detailed shots of everyday objects. Blow these images up to a large scale minimum 21 x 29 cm. Then consider how the change in scale changes how we perceive the objects. Further manipulate the images changing the intensity of colour, opacity and tone to change or enhance the mood of the image.

Pascal Grandmaison was born in Montreal, Canada, in 1975. He earned his degree in visual art from UQA (Montreal) and has exhibited extensively in Canada and Europe.  


Barnaby Hosking, Black Flood, 2008 (installed at Max Wigram Gallery) 12 Â

Barnaby Hosking (UK) Barnaby Hosking was born in Norwich in 1976 and studied Fine Art at City & Guilds of London Art school and sculpture at the Royal College of Art. He creates work that goes beyond the normal boundaries between art and objects. Hosking plays with surfaces, space and light as well as their absence. By doing this, he manages to challenge our perceptions of the role of art, its purpose and aesthetics. In many respects, his work is experiential and questions our understanding of reality. When we encounter the works, we do not only experience the object itself, but we partake in the journey. For Black Flood, Hosking projects his film onto 4 lengths of black carpet to create an all-consuming experience which finds the viewer engulfed in a psychologically challenging darkness for this installation. As  David Lynch once said “Blackness is like an egress; you can go into it, and because it keeps on continuing to be dark, the mind kicks in, and a lot of things which are going on in there become manifest”. This trajectory of the mind’s activity within the darkness is often paralleled to Hosking's work with the physical process of making art, whether it be a nude sculpture in clay whilst observing from a life model or painting the landscape at night. He is fascinated with ideas around positive and negative, masculine and feminine, light and dark. This is apparent in works such as Thoughts, 2011 where single winged brass butterflies appear to have two wings, with one metal and one created through shadow. The image of the butterflies seems to show our inner thoughts and the duality of thinking.

Web Links\ Glossary Installation art can be temporary or permanent. Installations can be constructed in exhibition spaces in museums and galleries, as well as public and private spaces. An installation can use a range of everyday and natural materials, which are often chosen for their "evocative" qualities, as well as video, sound, performance and the internet. Many installations are site-specific in that they are designed to exist only in the space for which they were created. Suggested Activities • 

Experiment with the idea of darkness. Create installations/spaces which are predominantly dark. Then start to experiment with the introduction of light. Ask for volunteers to experience these installations and record their experiences.


Select an image of a symmetrical animal, insect or symbol which has meaning to you. Explore ways to create symmetry once again using light on wall, floor 13 and other surfaces.

Elin O’Hara Slavick, Cyanotype of bark from an A-bombed Eucalyptus tree, 2008


Elin O’Hara Slavick (USA) Elin O’Hara Slavick uses her works to draw the viewer’s attention to seemingly beautiful images, which are created out of a need to expose the horrors of war or the cruelty of man towards the human race. She uses a variety of media to portray impact of war and mistreatment, including drawings, photography and collage. The cyanotypes in Dark Matters were made in 2008,  Dead Hiroshima Flowers, A Bombed Bark, and Bottle Deformed by the A Bomb, all refer to the catastrophic effect caused by the USA dropping an atomic bomb onto Hiroshima in 1945. 70,000 died instantly, and a further 70,000 by the end of 1945 died due to exposure to radiation, with more deaths over the subsequent decades due to the effects of the bomb. Hiroshima is now a City of Peace with memorials dedicated to the A-Bomb disaster everywhere. The history of the atomic age is intertwined with that of photography. The discovery of the radioactive energy possessed by natural uranium was via a photograph that launched the nuclear age, discovered in 1896 by Henri Becquerel. “The process and problem of exposure is central to my project. Countless people were exposed to the radiation of the atomic bomb. To this day, they say that someone in their family was “exposed” to the bomb. Now I am exposing these already exposed A-bombed objects on x-ray film, but this time, it is the radiation within them that is causing the exposure.”

Web Links Glossary • 

Cyanotype is a photographic printing process that gives a cyan-blue print. This process was popular in engineering circles in the twentieth century. It was a simple and low-cost process which enabled largescale copies of their work called blueprints. It is a type of photogram technique used in photography, where the action of light creates a silhouette effect of the object placed on the coated paper.

Suggested Activities • 

Select objects that have meaning or memories for you. Place them on light-sensitive paper to create photograms. It is possible to buy paper from education or art suppliers which will create the blue effect.


Idris Khan, Sigmund Freud’s ‘The Uncanny’, 2006


Idris Khan (UK) Idris Khan was born in Birmingham in 1978. He studied art at the University of Derby and passed his MA at the Royal College with a distinction. His work comprises of digital photographs that superimpose iconic text or image sets into a single frame (for instance, every page of the Qur'an, every Beethoven Sonata, every William Turner postcard from Tate Britain, or every Bernd and Hilla Becher spherical gasholder.) Idris Khan transforms the cool art of appropriation into a meditation about authorship and time. To create his works, Khan often photographs a variety of material sometimes borrowed, sometimes of his own creation - in series and digitally layers the results, accentuating certain areas or adjusting the light, shade or opacity of the images so that resonant composites are created. The results spark new thoughts about the original content, or open up seams of interpretation.   Khan's work challenges our assumptions about various media - how they are received and digested. Words and music, which we experience sequentially and which gain power from repetition are to an extent robbed of their function by becoming almost solid images. The final resulting image has the quality of a drawing rather than photograph.      

Web Links Glossary Appropriation means, in the Visual Arts, to adopt, borrow, recycle or sample aspects (or the entire form) of man-made visual culture. Authorship determines responsibility for what is created. Suggested Activities • 

Photocopy a minimum of 10 images from a book or series of images onto acetate. Experiment with layering the pages on top of one another to end up with one image. Choose your book or image carefully to consider what you are communicating through the visual image.


Ja-Young Ku


Ja-Young Ku (Korea) Ja-Young Ku was born in 1969. He studied painting at the Seoul National University, Korea, before completing an MFA in New Forms at the Pratt Institute, New York. He has had international solo and group exhibitions. He lives and works in Seoul, South Korea, where he is Professor of Contemporary Art at Konkuk University. Ja-Young Ku tests the boundaries of truth in a world constructed by its interaction with digital communication, cyberspace and video games. His work investigates the viewer’s perception of space, time and movement through the layering of projected images and the artist’s actions upon a specific site. For Dark Matters, Ja-Young Ku has created a new work which explores the relationship between the real and the illusory through the use of video, projection, sculpture and performance. For this new commission, the artist questions our perceptions of reality by interacting with the ghostly remnants of his former actions. This work is presented in collaboration with Asia Triennial Manchester.

Web Links Suggested Activities • 

Create a different kind of self-portrait. Take a photograph or video of yourself. Try to use actions that reflect your personality. Project that image onto a wall and interact with it further with either movement or personal objects or words which relate to you. Record this interaction. Repeat the process once again, or as many times as you like to create a layered self-portrait.


Borrow a mannequin and dress it up as yourself. Film your interaction with your alter-ego. Put it into a range of scenarios. Take stills and make a stop-frame animation.


Daniel Rozin, Snow Mirror, 2006

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Daniel Rozin (USA) Daniel Rozin is an artist, educator and developer, working in the area of interactive digital art. As an interactive artist Rozin creates installations and sculptures that have the unique ability to change and respond to the presence and point of view of the viewer. In many cases the viewer becomes the contents of the piece and in others the viewer is invited to take an active role in the creation of the piece. Even though computers are often used in Rozin's work, they are seldom visible. Mirrors are central themes in Rozin’s current body of work. His explorations of mediated self-perception include the vocabulary of generative animation, in addition to instantaneous reflection. Placing deliberate emphasis on the way motion passes through coordinates in a grid, the movement in these pieces is psychologically charged and deliberately paced. Born in Jerusalem and trained as an industrial designer Rozin lives and works in New York. His work has been exhibited widely with solo exhibitions in the US and internationally and featured in publications such as The New York Times, Wired, ID, Spectrum and Leonardo. His work has earned him numerous awards including Prix Arts Electronica, ID Design Review and the Chrysler Design Award. Rozin is a professor and the Director of Research at ITP in the Tisch School Of The Arts at New York University, where he earned an MPS.

Web Links Glossary Generative Animation Art is a system oriented art practice where the common denominator is the use of systems as a production method. To meet the definition of generative art, an artwork must be self-contained and operate with some degree of autonomy. This is why the interaction with the viewer is so important. generative-animation-exhibition-at-art-baselswitzerland/ Suggested Activities • 

Look at ways to use mirrors within your practice either to include the viewer as the subject or include the viewer within the work. Use fragments of mirror or complete mirrored surfaces. 21

Hiraki Sawa, Did I?, 2011


Hiraki Sawa (Japan) Hiraki Sawa was born in Ishikawa, Japan. He studied at Slade School of Fine Art. Sawa currently lives and works in London. “A boy closes his eyes for 25 minutes and wakes up with the world gone from behind his thoughts. His language slips and shifts, he tastes orange juice without knowing anymore to describe it as sour, he likes numbers but cannot put names to faces.” Did I? is a new work by Hiraki Sawa that explores amnesia and the devastation of severe memory loss through a series of abstract visual sequences. The work combines live action footage with hand drawn and 3D animation to evoke a sense of the fragmentary and disordered recollections of an amnesiac. This work has been commissioned in collaboration with Animate Projects. Animate Projects explores animation and its concepts in contemporary art practice.

Web Links artist_1842.html h_sawa Glossary Amnesia – memory loss Suggested Activities • 

Write a short story. Create a flip book film to tell this story using a combination of photographs and hand-drawn image


Optional Extras •  The Knowledge Series: FREE Tours For Secondary & Post-16 students. Therese tours are led by Undergraduate students from The University of Manchester and The University of Salford. The tours last approximately 45 minutes. •  GCSE Sills & Research Days A chance to develop new skills and research based around the Dark Matters exhibition. •  Portfolio Development Days Work with an artist and Undergraduate Art students to develop your portfolio for University. •  Shadow Lab A FREE interactive space where you can play with light and shadow to create interesting projections and stopframe animation. Basic materials are provided however it is essential that you bring your own camera to document your images.

Bespoke Practical Workshops Dark Matters Cost: £90 half-day, £180 full day Using Sketchbooks Explore the potential of using and personalising your sketchbook. Experimental Printmaking Research the collections and transform your drawings into prints using a range of techniques. Pattern & Process in Textiles Develop new textile skills and techniques inspired by the Dark Matters exhibition.

For all visits please book in advance with Denise Bowler via e-mail or call on 0161 275 8455



Dark Matters Educators' Resource  
Dark Matters Educators' Resource  

Educators Resource for working with the Dark Matters exhibition with information about artists and post visit suggestions