Kari Altmann, David Raymond Conroy, Richard Healy, Oliver Laric, JT Lowen, Matt McQuillan, Jasiek Mischke, WITH(withyou.co.uk)
The Earth Not a Globe takes as its starting point the phenomena of flat earth theorem whose belief system of 'flatness' diverges from the earth as a globe. Thinking about scales of perception, their limitations and how we deal with this on a tangible level the exhibition brings together a selection of artists who employ cartographic systems of resisting one point of view for another potential combination.
As the title of the show suggests the slippage between what we experience as an earth and what we experience as a globe is subject to scaling; an expansive or reductive series of idioms, events or knowledges. Knowledge is not a given.
Each contributors approach can be read as a flattening out of the contradictions of a multiple existence. There is a tension between universal languages versus personal understanding and although we are still grappling with it’s complexities the acknowledgment that we are embedded within the proliferation of the visual, that makes up contemporary life.
Playing with the notions of an expanded and reductive field of vision flattening becomes an alternative way to reproduce new potential outcomes in the larger processes of consumption and controlling of information. The artists in the exhibition disrupt the terms global and local and refute certain established routes of communication finding ways to counter the production of certain perspectives. Whether this is about a re-deployment of information by a user-generation, a researcher of knowledge manifested through differing disciplines, or as masters of the levels of appropriation.
The Earth Not a Globe is composed of a multifaceted series of materialisations, each highlighting a specific aspect of the program. In the end the project resolved itself into an evening of performances, two back-to-back exhibitions, a publication, and a website.
The first exhibition of The Earth Not a Globe, discusses appropriation as a leit-motif; expositing scenarios or feelings evoked by the methodologies of imaging. Eternal re-occurrences and various converging points elucidate a proximity, which manifests itself in overlaps, or as shadows.
For the publication we asked each of the artists involved in the exhibitions to create a commissioned piece that would work as a singular flat image. We also approached a small range of other practitioners and curators, including a member of the Flat Earth Society, to contribute texts or images. The publication is a limited print edition, which will be available at both exhibitions. Each page will be stacked individually and visitors are asked to assemble their own version of The Earth Not a Globe publication, with as many or as few pages as they desire. The publication will also be available online.
The exhibition is curated by Dani Admiss and Dave Charlesworth.
American artist Kari Altmann is co-founder of Netmares/Netdreams. Predominantly working with online content Altmann utilises technology and the web to explore the contemporary human condition. The Paramountains series copies every 5th frame of the Paramount ident to create eternal repetitive landscapes. Jasiek Mischke on the other hand presents drawings of coloured lines, each individually following the artist's hand across the page. The drawings come to abrupt ends suggesting that they could potentially go on forever. One can read the premature end of each line as similar to exits on maps; one leaves the map on one page to re-enter another on an additional page within a new dimension.
David Raymond Conroy's thoughtful assemblages interweave imagery, literature, music and film. His practice never sees him actually make his ‘own’ work, thus questioning the power or politics behind the sentiment and where this response could potentially transport us. For The Earth Not a Globe he will exhibit a series of works that present a realm based on the tipping points of appropriation and quotation. Oliver Laric works with media generated material, which he appropriates and reassembles. In Up Down we see two screens dividing the action of submersion that Christians undergo when being baptised. The footage lifted from youtube investigates the temporal transcendendent moment before and after the submersion.
The work of Matt McQuillan lends itself to the dissemination of information, stories, myths and narratives that 'stick'. His work tends to be balanced between the performance and an accompanying sculptural marker, whose references are taken from architecture, news and events or manmade forms within landscape. In contrast to McQuillan’s embedded circulation of narrative the fascination with the visualization of the future plays a dominant role in Richard Healy’s work. In Testing Ground, 2009, he creates a video that, through realizing capabilities of virtual reality, shows the viewer a series of podiums, speaking platforms or conference type arenas. Empty and desolate the camera pans the space as the ideological structures for a series of potential dialogues and events to take place.
Downstairs, JT Lowen’s work plays out as a bridge between an interior and exterior world. Manipulating biological shapes, most notably hexagonals, which are reminiscent of hives. In her light and sound installations she employs the motifs of drones or light strobes to detail proximity and distortion. Her immersive installation mirrors WITH’s attempts to create parallel worlds satirizing the machinations of contemporary life. Posited as a defunct self-help agency WITH propose persons to enact on your behalf. Their timely self-help solutions tap into deeper and archaic notions of human tragedy, entertainment and the figure of the artist.