17 Jul - 01 Sep 2007
Cory Arcangel/Beige, Athanasios Argianas, Michael Ashcroft, Pierre Bismuth, Pavel Büchler,
Marine Hugonnier, Kris Martin, Alison Moffett, Gianni Motti, Paul Pfeiffer, Damien Roach, Richard Wathen
This group show brings together works by some 12 international artists whose practices exaggerate the role of imagination and prompt the audience to actively interpret what images contain, bypassing the binary of the visible and discursive dimensions of art. The works in Invisible emphasise an idea of art that recapitulates a history of Conceptual Art whose “economy of images” encourages mental agency among artist, medium and viewer. In the variety of artistic strategies employed by these artists – such as removal, appropriation and montage, to name a few – these bring forth the communicative possibilities of art, underscoring the role of the audience whose “unacknowledged conceptual response” is a necessary to requirement to complete their work.
In his Modern Paintings series (1997-2004), Pavel Buchler reclaimed paintings found in flea markets and at friends’ houses. The series has the appearance of abstract expressionist paintings which are nothing else than found objects reinvested with new life by way of priming, stripping, washing the canvasses as laundry and applying new coats of paint. The same happens in Ashcroft’s set of drawings Other People’s Achievements (2006), which plays with a process of information erasure by deleting the presence of mountaineers on rocky summits, or in Paul Pfeiffer’s Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (2000) where the image of Marilyn Monroe has been airbrushed out. Sketched in invisible ink, Gianni Motti’s Magic Ink drawings (1989) were visible only for a brief instant before vanishing, a time span which is differently approached by Marine Hugonnier’s in Towards Tomorrow (2001). This is the photograph of the International Date Line in Alaska which, due to its geographical position in relation to the date line Siberia, is always 24 hours ahead of Alaska. The photograph is therefore in effect the picture of the day after. Pointing out that the International Date Line does not exist but is a man-made construct that orders our notion of time. Damien Roach sound installation Good Vibrations (2007) takes its title from the homonymous Beach Boys song written in 1966 as a recollection of Brian Wilson’s mother’s idea that dogs can pick up ’vibrations’ from people, causing them to bark at ’bad vibrations’. This notion was then developed by Wilson into the idea of people being able to do the same with emotions. Having lowered the sound pitch so that the music plays below the range that is perceptible by the human ear, Roach extends the concept of ’good vibrations’ to the material sphere, of a song existing inside a space both imagined and real, an inaudible entity being a physical entity (infrasonic waves) and an intangible abstract product of shared cultural memory (the artefact of the song recalled through a linguistic trigger).