Tuesday, 12 May 2009

The Photographic Object exhibition

Priscilla/Second Hand Portraits series by Maurizio Anzeri
(clickto see image detail)

Damage 2/Damage series by Catherine Yass

Went to an excellent exhibition at the Photographers Gallery on Friday avo. The internationally renowned artists in this exhibition use stitching, cutting, piercing and punching to explore the ambiguous space between 2 and 3 dimensions. Dissatisfied with the conventional function of photography as a surface that reproduces a copy of the external world, these artists test the meteriality of their medium. Through a variety of distinct propositions, this exhibition traces an eclectic journey from the potential of photography to exceed its medium to relishing its hermetic and decorative function.

There was definitely some twisted shit going on, and 2 of the artists that stood out for me were Italian artist Maurizio Anzeri, who stitches into the surface of anonymous black and white family portraits, adding physical and psychological layers through intricate colour patterns.

The second was UK artist Catherine Yass, showing an ongoing series called damage, in which she (mis)treats her film transparencies according to their subject matter: scenes of waterways are drowned or representations of gas towers are burnt, etc.

The show also included some experimental works by a number of other artists inc. Andy Warhol (who used repetitive images to subvert the objective aims of photography and stitched them together into unique fetishistic objects), and German artist Gerhard Richter (who paints thick layers of oil paint over his photographs).

Well worth checking out if you're in London. Runs till 14 June at TPG, 16-18 Ramillies St, W1F 7LW. www.photonet.org.uk

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