Dominic Hawgood

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Dominic Hawgood

Work from Under the Influence

“Hawgood’s practice combines photography, moving image, CGI and lighting design, and explores the aesthetic crossovers between advertising, art and technology. His award winning series Under the Influence examines the use of exorcism within London based African evangelical churches, and the merchandising of these contemporary rituals. The enigmatic experience of seeing deliverance first hand becomes the inspiration for a series that engages with topics about authenticity, desire, and the real.

Hawgood’s technical proficiency and clarity of vision extend beyond the picture plane into the gallery itself, creating an immersive experience similar to current installation art practices. The staging of this work in Oonagh Young Gallery, a dedicated contemporary art space, serves to underline this link with contemporary art.

This multidisciplinary approach to photography represents an exciting departure with a practice rooted in traditional methodology yet conspicuous in its technological and conceptual rigor. Through this series of works and their structured presentation, an inherent ambiguity is highlighted. What is real? Is it fact or fiction we are witnessing? With an eye for detail, every aspect of Hawgood’s work has been thoroughly considered and calls into question ideas of representation and the apparent authority of the photograph itself.”

Juliette Bonneviot

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Juliette Bonneviot

Work from Xenoestrogens

“In her new series Xenoestrogens, Juliette Bonneviot continues her investigations into the nexus between ecology and gender by engaging with the materiality of things through a focused practice. She makes a speculative exploration of the hidden life and power of the chemical compound xenoestrogen (meaning: foreign estrogen), which looks like and mimics estrogen (or oestrogen).

The exhibition consists of paintings Bonneviot made using her collection of different compounds containing types of xenoestrogens. She begins with the core – the chemical xenoestrogen as a material – and spirals outward into many of its biological, cultural and philosophical implications.

In Bonneviot’s thinking, matter is powerful, active and alive. It is dispersive and it moves constantly. Xenoestrogens are a perfectly concentrated example of this movement. Many are deeply disruptive to living systems, having been linked to birth defects, cancerous growth, hormonal disruption, and abnormalities in animal and human reproductive health.

Xenoestrogens can be organic, or synthetic, or mineral. Synthetic xenoestrogens are perhaps the most infamous, found in birth control pills, silicones, oils and lacquers, coolants and insulating fluids, BPA and pesticides, detergents and plasticizers, linens, lotions, shampoos, beverage cans and lacquers. Organic xenoestrogens are found in plant, animal and human life, often performing valuable biological functions, like curbing population growth.

Bonneviot’s process is studied; she gathers, catalogs, archives and arranges her compounds meticulously. In the process of collecting, Bonneviot drew on philosopher Jane Bennett’s description of hoarding as an intentional kind of work, emerging from one’s own attuned orientation to thing-life.

For these paintings, Bonneviot used a variety of xenoestrogens, including: metalloestrogens, which predate oestrogens (and are sourced from aluminum, lead, copper, chrome, antimony, cadmium); phytoestrogens from plants, (extracted from soy and sesame seeds and flax plants); mycoestrogens (pulled from zearalenone, a fungi in grains); and other artificial xenoestrogens (siphoned from silicone, phthalates, BPA, epoxy resins, additives, aspirin and of course, the pill).

The paintings’ minimalism belies their procedural complexity. They involved experimentation with both traditional and unorthodox materials to find the right range of colors, and the right pairings of surfaces with binders. Her mixtures reveal vivid, saturated pigment groups: reds, yellows, blues, earth-colors and greys. (Red, for example, is sourced from silicone rubber, copper, the cadmium pigments in architectural paints and E127 Erythrosine B, a food coloring).

Testing their resistance and flexibility as mediums, she created a linen fabric support with wood floor lacquers to bind, a support of epoxy resins to bind atop PVC, and, in a final iteration, silicone as both binder and surface.

Natural and industrial production intersect on the canvas; the synthetic is mixed in with mineral and organic. Easy binaries and divisions are muddied, as a result. In this flow from ancient organic compounds into the modern and artificial, the viewer is forced to consider a wide arc of time – from the pre-mammalian era, to the future, in which our offspring will be shaped by chemical actants loose in the world now.

In sourcing these xenohormones from a range of organic and synthetic sources, Bonneviot gestures strongly at the “interstitial field of non-personal, ahuman forces, flows, tendencies and trajectories” that define life, as Bennett writes in her seminal text, Vibrant Matter. The materiality and artistry of xenohormones as they both impress and express is one aspect of Bennett’s “agency of assemblages,” or the “working whole made up, variously, of somatic, technological, cultural, and atmospheric elements.

We’re asked to consider the world from the perspective of the chemical itself – where it was birthed, where it journeyed, and in what form it entered the bloodstream, the water and the technological environment. We are also asked to think on environmental contamination, as volatile xenoestrogens lurk, resilient, in treatment plant runoff and pesticides and waste, eroding hormonal and ecological balance.

Chemicals are always present before us as actants, though not always detectable to the naked eye. They transform our human and animal bodies into spaces of great drama. We’re just a few of many assemblages being wrought and remade in a newly synthetic world.”

Nora N. Khan

Katie Torn

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Katie Torn

Work from Room Fifteen at Panther Modern

“New York-based visual artist Katie Torn has filled the fifteenth room of web-based art gallery Panther Modern with eye-catching fluid compositions. Working within the file-based exhibition space, she generated a series of shiny still-life-inspired visuals that fuze organic elements, flexible and distorted rendered character, plants, and art history classics.

“I was thinking a lot about neoclassical odalisques—marble statues of female figures twisted in unnatural positions displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art or in the Louvre,” Torn tells The Creators Project. “My aim was to display a figure in a ridiculous pose but one that formally ties the installation together with a sweeping gesture,” she says, using her uncanny signature aesthetic to questions the boundaries of computer-generated works showcased within virtual architecture.

Once again, the LaTurbo Avedon-curated browser-based art space showcases a strong creative potential that provides digital artists with an inspiring platform to generate site-specific digital artworks. “My first step was deciding how to intersect the human body with the architecture,” Torn explains of how she took advantage of the freedom offered by the modulable space architecture. “The installation grew from creating organic pathways that connected the lower main gallery with the small upper gallery that has several pillars. Paint FXs of leaves and flowers became secondary gestures for connecting the two spaces—leading one up from the large figure that starts on the main floor to the hand sculptures that protrude from the columns,” she adds.

Thus, Torn juggles with a combination of tools—including Photoshop, Maya 3D animation, a bunch of modeling softwares and even a liquid simulator called Real Flow—allowing her to embrace the whole space despite the shape and scale specificities. “The most challenging aspect was figuring out how to convey the right scale for the project. I wanted the installation to have a monumental feeling to it. I had to experiment with several lens sizes and angels before I achieved the right effect,” she concludes.”

text via The Creators Project

Fabiola Menchelli

Fabiola Menchelli 2013 © All rights reserved
Fabiola Menchelli 2013 © All rights reserved
Fabiola Menchelli 2013 © All rights reserved
Fabiola Menchelli 2013 © All rights reserved

Fabiola Menchelli

Work from her oeuvre.

“In a digital age where the boundaries between the virtual and the physical blend and generate new experiences, I am interested in using the language of abstraction to make images which seem to present a tangible visible reality but which are in fact never quite there, except in the eye of the camera and the mind of the maker. In the studio, I construct installations using simple materials and project light on to them. I seek to transform the physical with light and shadow. The process of integrating these elements into a picture allows me to play with the materiality of thought. I aim to challenge our beliefs about perception and make thought visible by drawing attention to the light as it embraces the surface of paper and animates space. The interaction between light and shadow transforms these ephemeral installations into complex visual spaces that evoke a world that is both physically tangible and as elusive as light, both virtual and real.” – Fabiola Menchelli

Lucas Knipscher


Lucas Knipscher

Work from his oeuvre.

“…Second Mouse’ (2012) is a collection of paintings made using photographic emulsion slathered onto sewn fabric, haphazardly folded and slung over stretchers like poorly stapled, casual paintings. Exchanging canvas for two swatches of fabric sewn down the middle, these art works channel the cotton and wool wall pieces of Von Bonin. However, rather than producing a quilted effect, Knipscher complicated the ground by pairing exotic swatches, such as Ikat-dyed material, with the traditional American Gingham – a loud colourful pattern acting as a foil to the minimal grid. These styles made for an unlikely and jarring ground for the image cast atop, a photograph of a cartoon mouse created by a rudimentary image transfer technique. Where a smear of drippy ground expressively stained the fabric, a faint outline of Jerry Mouse (Tom’s under-sung counterpart, Mickey’s lesser rival and Knipscher’s avatar) has been printed.

All the trappings of painting supported this photographic process; the artist tugged at the division between mediums. It’s a conceit that has been explored by the artist’s peers, for instance in Nikolas Gambaroff’s newsprint paintings or Das Institut’s analogue reproduction of digital imagery. Knipscher arrives with the equivocal attitude of a trigger-happy photographer, one who knowingly must contend with the burden of the image – the ease with which it is recast, marketed and used to elicit yet never truly satisfy a desire – not unlike the way in which modes of artistic production are imitated and reframed.

In a climate in which borrowing pre-existing form and content is accepted, applauded and even encouraged for its market success – these works are complicated by their deferral of photographic agency and authorial presence. The dialectic of appropriation and homage is a strategy used to deflect and accommodate Wilhelm Flusser’s theories of a larger photographic apparatus. ‘Second Mouse’ starts a theoretical tug of war, animating a rearguard, conservative image-making process, implementing materials both trendy and traditional in order to serve a purpose, while pandering to the American predilection for the underdog, the second mouse. Knipscher’s idiosyncratic and most elegant sleight of hand may be the very unstable nature of the images that he pilfers, pimps and peddles, as these chemically un-fixed works, darken, change and even disappear over time.” – Piper Marshall

Felicity Hammond

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Felicity Hammond

Work from Capital Growth

“My large scale photo-installations refer to a forgotten industry; industrial relics become urban follies, shrouded as they lie precariously between construction and deconstruction, archaic and futuristic. Manufacturing and industrial process has been discarded, and in its place stands computer generated imagery of luxury living, posters pertaining to a better future. It is utopic yet grotesque; it talks of an unobtainable capital, a capital which proliferates without labour. In ‘Capital Growth,’ I am interested in the way in which these sites that were once producers of power have now become a product of it.

My installations all lie within the limits of photography. They use the material language of urban regeneration; the fake opulence that encases luxury developments as a way of dissecting the linguistic value of urban manifestos. Photographs become sculptural; the ruin in reality is fused with the digital ruin, and refers to renders of futuristic spaces. It refers to a growth fetish, where capitalism is constantly defined and redefined; a hybrid of the ultra-modern and the archaic. The photographic installations and worlds that I create borrow the indeterminate nature of the virtual, fusing digitally warped visions of opulent living with the discarded material that it conceals.”

Ugo Rondinone

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Ugo Rondinone

Work from clouds + mountains + waterfalls

“Ugo Rondinone’s autumn exhibition at Sadie Coles HQ, clouds + mountains + waterfalls, comprises three new bodies of work. Each extends the artist’s long-running interest in natural phenomena and their reformulation in art.

Rondinone’s Cloud paintings are large canvases painted in fine gradations of sky blue. Their rectangular fields transform into cloud-like undulations at their upper perimeters, creating a sharp contrast between the vaporous trompe l’oeil image within each painting and the jigsaw-style silhouette of the canvas itself. As with the artist’s other groups of paintings (including the Landscapes, Mandalas and Horizons), these works depict immeasurable space while also exuding a contrary sense of finiteness: the borders of the canvas arrest the illusion of infinity, while the title of each refers to the precise date of its creation. Rondinone has remarked that

“they form an entity of time and space”, at once universal and contained. The near-blank surfaces of the Cloudpaintings, ethereally painted using a sponge and dilute pigment, act as sites of imaginative possibility, in the same way as clouds themselves conjure phantasmal images and associations. In this way, they carry echoes both of Colour Field abstraction and the visionary seascapes and skies of Romantic visionaries such as Caspar David Friedrich, while at the same time subverting those precursors through their cartoon borders. More immediately, the Cloud series forms an airy counterpoint to Rondinone’s long-running series of Brickpaintings, which depict solid brick walls in thickly-layered paint.

Mediating between geological formations and abstract compositions, Rondinone’s new Mountain sculptures consist of rocks stacked vertically on concrete plinths in groups ranging between two and six. Inspired by naturally-occurring Hoodoos (spires or pyramids of rock) and balancing rock formations, the stacks also evoke the art of meditative rock balancing. Each stone is painted a different Day-Glo colour, with the sculptures’ titles referring in Minimalist vein to their component pigments. The works appear poised between monumentality and collapse – seeming to defy gravity in their teetering formations, but equally to depend on it, bearing down like unsteady pillars on their concrete plinths. As with the Cloud paintings, stark physicality collides with painterly abstraction – each Mountain (like any real-life mountain) is caught between rugged literalism and metaphorical potential. As a group, they invoke parallels as divergent as the stacked totems of Barbara Hepworth and the paper cut-outs of Henri Matisse. Many veer towards anthropomorphism, suggesting figures in crouching poses or gesturing attitudes, while others abruptly resist any such associative reading.

Waterfall sculptures form the third new series – thin, freestanding lines modelled by hand in clay and cast in aluminium, whose spiralling forms evoke jets of water. Like the Mountain sculptures, these vertical forms succeed in appearing simultaneously weightless and earthbound, graceful and awkward. Delicately balanced on the floor, they seem both to cascade downwards and unfurl upwards in the manner of an Indian rope trick, yet their mottled surfaces – indented with fingerprints and ridges – profess their rigidity and artifice. Rondinone’s paintings and sculptures have frequently referred to primordial phenomena – air, moons, the sun, the cosmos – in their titles or forms. Referring concurrently to the natural world, romanticism and existentialism, his latest works encapsulate a “mental trinity” that has underpinned his art for more than twenty years.”

Hyounsang Yoo

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Hyounsang Yoo

Work from Salmon / Yolk.

“I look to mass media as a starting point because it provides an outline of the socio-political landscape. I take the source, which is often a specific political and historical event. I then strip it from its context, leaving only the relationships between people, in individuality and as a group, and the event […] even when manipulated, my final images are still capable of triggering the memory of the viewers. However, because historical and political context is heterogeneous in space and time, each memory response is a function of where the viewer is from and what event is being portrayed. This work thus allows me to question how political and social differences in a globalized world shape our individual memory response.” – Hyounsang Yoo

Drew Nikonowicz


Drew Nikonowicz

Work from This World and Others Like It.

“Functioning both as metaphor and exposition, Drew Nikonowicz’s series This World and Others Like It thrives in the growing chasm between reality and mediated fiction. Calling upon one of photography’s earliest uses—recording the vast, unexplored landscapes of the world—Nikonowicz brings forth a reality that is simultaneously uncanny and unknowable. The world we live in has been conquered and exhausted, his images seem to say, so we must turn to fictional or even extraterrestrial terrain instead.

While his monochromatic landscapes evoke awe of the sublime, something darker lurks in the crevices. The photographer draws on the language of nineteenth-century geographical surveys but presents a bleak twenty-first-century equivalent, where everything can be digitally rendered, and where measurements and numbers are the point of departure, not a goal of the endeavor. Through dark-hued landscapes and high-contrast portraits of rocks and shiny minerals, Nikonowicz not only calls into question the physical properties and realness of the earth’s building blocks, but also the way in which a distrust of images has become inherent to our experience of the world around us.

The only human figure represented in the series is the image of an astronaut, captured through a screen. Once the hero of the unknowable world, the space explorer has, like the photographer, become obsolete. As Nikonowicz writes, “Now the sublime landscape is only accessible through the boundaries of technology.” — Paula Kupfer

Josh Sender


Josh Sender

Work from “Oy! On Time!

“The digital objects and artworks made for Oy! On Time! were made as a pieces of a proposal for a solo show I wanted to have. Oy! On Time! was held in two parts: on the browser— where one can look privately, the weight of the work heavier, offering itself as more contemplative and private, and in a gallery space— as cheap xerox transfer prints, poor translations of a digital ideal.” – Josh Sender