The Country Air and All of Its Joys, 2012
The works in the exhibition present landscapes that are broken down into views on the one hand and their physical/material presence on the other. Images and objects – some found, some handmade and some fabricated – sit alongside one another in differing modes of display that explore the notion of the original and the copy, the natural and the unnatural, the real and the imagined and the role of technology in mediating between these positions.
The idea of the ‘perfect view’ is questioned through the ambiguity of the images on display and the disruption of the viewer’s position before these images. Views are obscured by objects that stand in front of them; they are doubled by their reproduction in other parts of the exhibition. There is a shift between media and materials; a photographic collage of a rock crystal in one place becomes the presence of an actual rock in another which then becomes abstracted as a diamond form elsewhere. Landscape is reduced to its mineral presence, its raw materials and at the same time it is reproduced as symbolic representation.
Curran’s use of a range of materials is an important recurrent theme in the exhibition; for example a photograph becomes a tapestry moving from surface image to material object in the process. Hand woven oriental rugs function as plinths for small islands of perfectly fabricated trees and mock palm trees made from glass stacks and feathers spring up throughout the space. Objects and images are hung, stacked, lean against walls and lie on the floor, they are photographed, painted, sewn and assembled in relations of interdependence and value. As viewers we are asked to look, and to look again, to move around the objects displayed, to alter our position and our perspective.
Waiting for the Perfect View, exhibition at Touchstones, Rochdale Art Gallery, Greater Manchester. This solo show opens with a PV on Friday 14th December 6-8pm and runs until 9th March.
W.J.T.Mitchell, Landscape and Power
MPhil/PhD Upgrade Presentation, The Slade School of Fine Art, 14th December.
“Ecologies of the Object: Technology, Power and the Corruption of Nature”
This presentation will explore landscape as site (material) and landscape as sight (representation) and will consider whether landscape as subject can hold critical significance for contemporary art practices in examining the relationship between nature, power and technology in the present period of late-capitalism.
Limited edition print (in an edition of 10) to accompany the Swansea project available from http://www.locwsinternational.com/?portfolio=limited-edition-prints
An Accident Looking for Somewhere to Happen
photo credit: Peter Hope