Mary Mary is delighted to announce a group exhibition bringing together artists which focus on photography and within this medium, draw a link between and abstract ideas about, still lifes, objects and photography itself.
In the work of Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili, photography’s potential sculptural and painterly qualities are brought to the fore. By cutting, layering, adding smudges, scanning and working back into scratched negatives in Photoshop, Alexi Meskhishvili’s images become objects from which to create new photographs and images.
Employing working processes associated with numerous mediums, though rarely photography, Alexi-Meskhishvili continuously works into images. We are given hints of ‘real’ objects such as flowers, prints, windows and food, though these are often viewed through a veil of interventions and manipulations by the artist, so that the photograph acts not as documentation, but more as abstracted image.
Daniel Gordon’s practice too is formed of elements more akin to the studio practice of painters and sculptors. Constantly recycling and recirculating patterns and different objects (vases, fruits, flowers etc..), Gordon works from an active archive that he continually pulls from. Setting up scenes constructed from old magazines, his own photographs and internet images, Gordon creates compositions akin to that of still life painting, which are then re-photographed, reflecting a self-referential practice.
Similarly ‘Screen Selection 3,’ included here, is made from lifting sections of the textile inspired backdrops of his larger compositions, which Gordon continues to layer upon, creating a complex two-dimensional plane from once three-dimensional constructions, allowing Gordon to continually re-present his work.
In the work of Margarete Jakshik we are presented with the everyday - a stairway, a bedspread, flowers, and yet we do not encounter them as such. These images seem to instead represent a mood or atmosphere rather than any narrative strain, and though the place particular (much of Jakshik’s work focuses on the city of Los Angeles) the images are seemingly outside of time or place. Jakshik presents images which seem to document feeling, traces and altered abstracted states which are at once dreamlike and surreal and present an image of being lost in thought, separated or extracted in some way.
Spanning photography, film, sculpture and drawing, Kathrin Sonntag’s work, as with that of Jakshik, seeks to estrange us from the everyday. Distorting or refracting what we think we are being shown, Sonntag often incorporates doubling or reflection in her work, installing slide projected images next to photographs, next to still life sculptural compositions. She is drawn to layered imagery which as such, upsets any easy understanding of them.
Included here are photographs taken on a recent trip to Mexico and which highlight Sonntag’s draw to images that at first seem mundane and which are transformed into something extraordinary or magical, the longer we look at them. It is as if Sonntag wishes to expand the moments taken to comprehend an image, asking the viewer to reflect and question our early perceptions.
Though not primarily associated with photography, Hayley Tompkins’ practice seems to share with photography, an ability to make us see the objects and images, which we would never consider to represent, in a new, expanded and abstracted way. Her ‘Metabuilt’ works, made from twigs collaged with small fragments of photographs and clay and painted, do not offer us any clue or understanding of where the images come from, but more a recollection, making the objects and images something not recognised and transformed.
Here Tompkins presents a group of new painted over photographs, which depart from recent work using commercial stock imagery. As with the painted spoons, mobile phones and lo-fi objects Tompkins incorporates into her practice, these too are painted over. In doing so Tompkins seeks to highlight a particular way of looking and experiencing space, object and image.
Annette Kelm’s tightly composed and stylized images focus on the function of objects and the nature of their representation. Composing numerous objects, textiles and portraits within single images, Kelm simultaneously combines a variety of historical, artistic and cultural references within them. Looking not unlike advertisements, there is a strange artifice in their precise composition, oddly mirroring sculptural processes. The selections are seemingly disparate, resulting in an ambiguity which offers up questions about the depiction, presentation, understanding and representation of images.
Torbjørn Rødland’s images are both diverse and oddly direct. His subjects are somewhat ambiguous, often taking the commonplace into the uncanny and the otherworldly, whilst moving seamlessly between portraits, landscape and still life. Here Rødland explores the familiarity of a banal cotton bud, piled into a ritualistic mound, a work characteristic of the twisted normalcy present his work. Like Kelm, Rødland presents images which are highly stylised and staged, lit in an almost theatrical fashion and yet they move beyond an idea solely of artifice and into something almost mystic and poetic.