I first visited Havana in November 2016, a few days after Fidel Castro died, and just under a year before Hurricane Irma hit Cuba in September 2017. Since then, much has changed, including the hand-painted signs that punctuate the journey from the airport to the city centre, which today do not celebrate the revolution so much as the 'Unidad y...
The exhibition Beyond Boundaries at Somerset House in London (12 March–2 April 2019) marked the historic contributions of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, on the occasion of their 100th and 150th anniversaries, respectively. Spread across several rooms of Somerset House's...
The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham,...
Francesco Jodice - Booth G10
Gazelli Art House will be presenting a solo booth (G10) with Francesco Jodice at Photo London 2018. Sunset Boulevard is an observation platform on the last great Western empire. Here, vicissitudes and postulates of American history, from the gold rush to the recent financial catastrophe, are scrutinised. The 49ers and white-collar workers are the main protagonists of the opening and closing phases of this parable, featuring an endless series of characters who help to tell of its splendours and aberrations, from the cowboys to the Indians, from rock stars to actors, via explorers, gangsters, bodybuilders, intellectuals, artists, presidents and astronauts.
The American West, from the Pacific coast to the deserts, is the main stage of this investigation. Francesco Jodice crosses it and photographs it, rediscovering the traces of a majestic geological antiquity (the Western Plateau was the first tectonic plate to emerge on the planet) and those of recent colonisation (Hollywood, NASA, Westerns, Blade Runner, militarisation, nuclear testing...), the spectre of some of the harshest conditions of the contemporary world.
His works are also interspersed with a series of images selected from among his past imagery, indexed as artefacts of an era which has all but come to an end. Archaeology of the present which is already past. And a collection of writings holding the keys to this transition. All this is Sunset Boulevard: a journey to the end of the heroic saga of liberalism; a handbook for the reading and understanding of the American 'long century'; and a gaze cast forward towards the post-Fordist and post-Western era.
Charlotte Colbert - Booth T01
Gazelli Art House will be presenting a solo booth (T01) with Charlotte Colbert at Photo London 2018. Benefit Supervisor Sleeping, a new large-scale video sculpture by Charlotte Colbert, is from the artist's celebrated series of anthropomorphic video sculptures exploring contemporary approaches to portraiture through the moving image.
'I was interested in capturing the surreal intimacy of being with someone. The tiny details of silent communication,' Colbert comments.
The subject of this portrait is Sue Tilley aka 'Big Sue,' the Benefits Supervisor launched into the public realm through a seminal series of paintings by Lucian Freud after the two were introduced by Leigh Bowery in 1990. Colbert's work stages Sue Tilley within the original studio where Lucian Freud first painted her, creating a temporal vortex. On this Colbert comments, 'The paint splattered on the floorboards would have been the very paint that painted Sue.'
Through the decades, Sue has remained iconoclastic as a counterpoint to the mainstream models that populate our screens. Speaking of the rusted corten steel that encases the subject of the portrait, Colbert likens the texture of the frame to that of ageing skin.
Examining Freud's iconic series and exploring the mystery of its subject, Colbert uses 3D technology to zoom in on discrete observations of Sue Tilley. Slowing down footage and stretching the encounter between artist and subject, Colbert's work uses technology to extend the gaze. Through the process, object become subject: 'I like the idea of turning the tables. Subverting the male gaze. Sue is now looking at us,' Colbert describes. Shot entirely in black and white and without sound, the work plays with the notion that technology is - by default - continually dated. This meditative work serves as a momentum mori that hopes to encourage observation, recognition and self-reflection within the viewer.
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