press release

The artists in this show question the plethora of images surrounding us, to arrive at a different breed of picture making. Instead of engaging with a reality as it presents itself to us every day, making sense of the world is shifted to recreating pictures which are too mediated to be true - but nevertheless all the more revealing. Mocking the methods of ‘straight photography’, they set out to hold up the banner: Fictions Abound.

The artists whose work is shown at Chapter are taking the real as their starting point to arrive at presentations of decidedly unreal character.

Miklos Gaál’s irreverent and highly selective way of focussing on the mundane realities of urban living is transforming the everyday into staged miniature model worlds, tricking the viewer into reflecting on their way of looking at photographs as representations.

Questioning the representational status of the document constitutes a large part of the rationale behind Joan Fontcuberta’s work. His choice strategies of layering images or playfully inventing fake archives become compounded in his new series of Googlegrams (2005), which investigate the role of the internet as the site of our collective visual memory, and its claim to function as the new democratic and universal supplier of unmediated information.

In his new large-scale series Beneath the Roses (2003-2005), Gregory Crewdson’s fascination with the American landscape and psyche results in meticulously staged pictures of high dramatic impact and density. Purporting to narrate incidents in suburbia, his disturbingly mysterious scenes reflect the fractured attitude of postmodern society towards a reality that has slipped from our grasp.

The four artists assembled at Turner House all employ the method of disguise to uncover social realities. Identity and transformation forms an integral part of Vibeke Tandberg’s work, and whilst her DVDs Redo and Old Man, will be shown at Chapter, she will show photographic works at Turner House. In Dad (2000) she stands, dressed in her father’s clothes, in an old-fashioned living room, eerily exuding an air of parental authority and old-age joviality, as some of her father’s facial features are digitally morphed into her own. In a series they are exposed as highly charged constructs, as each image is subtly manipulated, addressing topics such as stereotypes, gender roles, and society’s expectations and restrictions.

In Masquerade: Nigeria hits Michael Jackson (2000-2004) Owen Logan is inserting a foreign element into another social setting to expose underlying tensions. Using existing traditions of satire and masquerading in Nigeria, and inspired by the performance of an impersonator, he constructs the fictional journey of a Michael Jackson character through Nigeria in a set of black and white photographs.

A different way of meshing reality with fiction is the subject of Nikki S Lee’s endeavours. She studies particular groups in order to become one of them, not only by dressing in the same style, but also adopting their way of moving and posing. The resulting enlarged colour snapshots, showing her with her new acquaintances and taken by members of the chosen community, look inconspicuous enough at first glance. But, although Nikki is highly adept at blending in, she does not quite fit, thereby playing with our own assumptions about issues of belonging.

Faye Claridge’s colourful portraits of small children in Murmurs from the Ark successfully merge the artificiality of a studio setting and its painted backdrops with a child’s fairy-tale world, full of animals with human traits. ‘Fictions Abound’ is a Ffotogallery exhibition curated by Andrea Lange and produced in collaboration with Chapter.

Pressetext

only in german

Fictions Abound
Kurator: Andrea Lange

Chapter: Gregory Crewdson, Joan Fontcuberta, Miklos Gaál and Vibeke Tandberg

Ffotogallery @ Turner House: Faye Claridge, Nikki S. Lee, Owen Logan and Vibeke Tandberg