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Sunjung Kim’s Real DMZ Project Interrogates the North and South Korea Divide Ocula Conversation Sunjung Kim’s Real DMZ Project Interrogates the North and South Korea Divide

Ongoing since 2012, the Real DMZ Project interrogates the demilitarised zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea through annual, research-based exhibitions that bring together the works of Korean and international artists. Sunjung Kim, the independent curator behind the project, conceived the idea of exploring the DMZ while curating Japanese artist...

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Sydney Lowdown: Exhibitions to See Ocula Report Sydney Lowdown: Exhibitions to See 6 Sep 2019 : Elyse Goldfinch for Ocula

The fifth edition of Sydney Contemporary will take place once again at Carriageworks between 12 and 15 September 2019, with Spring 1883 bringing together a cohort of 27 galleries from across Australia and the region to inhabit rooms at the Establishment Hotel from 11 to 14 September 2019, uniquely presenting contemporary works propped up on...

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Mark Bradford’s Call for Unity at Shanghai’s Long Museum Ocula Insight | Video Mark Bradford’s Call for Unity at Shanghai’s Long Museum 16 August 2019

Mark Bradford walks through Mark Bradford: Los Angeles Mark Bradford: Los Angeles at the Long Museum West Bund in Shanghai (27 July–13 October 2019) is the artist's largest solo exhibition to date in China. In this video for Ocula, Bradford and Diana Nawi, curator of the show, walk through selected works that convey the artist's concerns with...

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Jeff Wall

b. 1946, Canada

Canadian artist Jeff Wall’s photography rejects the notion of the photograph as a witness, choosing instead to recreate elaborate, staged mise-en-scenes from memory. These are often events and situations that Wall has experienced over a long time period, as opposed to the instant, ‘in-the-moment’ nature of taking a single shot. He is most famous for his large, back-lit Cibachrome photographs (which have earned him criticisms for not being a ‘real’ photographer) yet his works certainly capture the immediacy and emotion of traditional photography. They provide Wall with the freedom to recreate, allowing the emotions and moods he saw to be reflected more thoughtfully and purposefully. This practice of re-creation is critical to how Wall’s pieces work, as it allows them stand apart from traditional photography.
 
This move away from the conventional is found in every aspect of Wall’s work. Mounting the photographs in lightboxes and enlarging them to a very large scale is all part of exaggerating the artificial process of the creation of his pieces. To further highlight this, Wall draws on a number of artists for compositional strategies, such as Edouard Manet and Diego Velazquez, and notably Katsushika Hosaki in his dramatic 1993 work A Sudden Gust of Wind (After Hosaki).
 
While it might appear that his works are loaded with social commentary or are observational, for Wall they are neither scathing political messages nor romanticised ‘pretty’ imagery. Rather he seeks to best represent the space in which these events are taking place, letting the viewer pick up on the emotional weight of the featured incident. This is especially clear in his more recent works, such as Listener (2015), which shows a shirtless man on his knees in the dirt surrounded by a group of ominous looking men; a recognisable scene to anyone watching the news. Yet there is no indication of context, only the emotional atmosphere of the situation.
 
Wall has exhibited in solo exhibitions in Canada, the U.S., and Europe; notably the Whitechapel Gallery, London (2001); Tate Modern (2005); and the Art Institute of Chicago (2007). He has also received recognition in being awarded the Hasselblad Award in 2002 and was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2006.
 
Jeff Wall works and lives in Vancouver, Canada.

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Featured Artworks

Parent child by Jeff Wall contemporary artwork
Jeff WallParent child, 2018 Inkjet print
220 x 275 cm
Gagosian
Mother of pearl by Jeff Wall contemporary artwork
Jeff WallMother of pearl, 2016 Inkjet print
60 x 70.5 cm
Gagosian
Weightlifter by Jeff Wall contemporary artwork
Jeff WallWeightlifter, 2015 Silver gelatin print
239 x 300.5 cm
Gagosian
Siphoning fuel by Jeff Wall contemporary artwork
Jeff WallSiphoning fuel, 2008 Colour photograph face mounted on plexiglass
186.1 x 235 cm
Gagosian
Men move an engine block by Jeff Wall contemporary artwork
Jeff WallMen move an engine block, 2008 Silver gelatin print
138.4 x 176.5 cm
Gagosian
Peas and Sauce by Jeff Wall contemporary artwork
Jeff WallPeas and Sauce, 1999 Transparency in lightbox
60.6 x 72.4 x 16.5 cm
Marian Goodman Gallery

Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Jeff Wall, Jeff Wall at Gagosian, New York
Closed
30 April–26 July 2019 Jeff Wall Jeff Wall Gagosian, West 21st Street, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Laws of Motion at Gagosian, San Francisco
Closed
14 January–9 March 2019 Group Exhibition Laws of Motion Gagosian, San Francisco
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Laws of Motion at Gagosian, Hong Kong
Closed
20 November–21 December 2018 Group Exhibition Laws of Motion Gagosian, Hong Kong

Represented By

In Related Press

Jeff Wall Takes Photography Into a Painterly Realm Related Press Jeff Wall Takes Photography Into a Painterly Realm The New York Times : 15 May 2019

Rumination and risk-taking, in equal measure, mark Jeff Wall’s spellbinding new exhibition at Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea.Since the 1970s, the restless 'conceptual photographer' has made single, large-scale prints using elaborate processes and layered references from other mediums like painting, film and theater. The final image was always...

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At Zabludowicz Collection, artists test the parameters between authenticity and artifice Related Press At Zabludowicz Collection, artists test the parameters between authenticity and artifice Wallpaper* : 28 April 2017

Fact or fiction? That's the main question posed by a curious new exhibition of contemporary photography at the Zabludowicz Collection in London. On view until 9 July, You Are Looking At Something That Never Occurred draws from the gallery's archive to present seminal works by 14 artists who use the camera to test the parameters between past and...

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Jeff Wall at White Cube Hong Kong Related Press Jeff Wall at White Cube Hong Kong ArtAsiaPacific : 12 January 2016

Careers spanning several decades understandably undergo vast changes and reinventions. However, at no expense of relevance, Canadian artist Jeff Wall’s artistic philosophy has stayed steady for nearly 50 years. His output of large-scale, photographic tableaus since the 1970s has remained deliberate, calculated and fiercely respectful of his...

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Making photos, not taking them; the distinction in 'Perfect Likeness' Related Press Making photos, not taking them; the distinction in 'Perfect Likeness' LA Times : 8 July 2015

Last year a Silicon Valley researcher estimated that more than 1.5 billion new photographs are posted every day on just the larger social media platforms, such as Facebook, Reddit and Snapchat.A new exhibition at the UCLA Hammer Museum proposes that, in response to this visually numbing fact, a distinctive strain of photography has slowly...

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