Multiple Takes

Tom Ellis, Liane Lang, Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard, and Jonathan Hillson

6 May - 16 June 2011

In this Post-Modern age, when we seek the undiscovered, the unseen, the ‘original’, whilst questioning whether the concept ‘original’ is still valid, young artists continue to challenge our collective visual memories.

Why make artworks that refer to the history of art? Are these artists reflecting on their position in that history? Or, are they looking for a definition of history’s relation to the present? According to Svetlana Boym, the Off-Modern doesn’t follow a linear conception of cultural evolution, but rather seeks byways which criss-cross the purported development. Has everything been painted, photographed, pixelated, or does this visual saturation in fact serve as a fertile ground for continued artistic investigation?

Artistic practice itself can best shed light on the idea from various viewpoints:

Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard have reformulated a video piece by Vito Acconci in a contemporary language and aesthetic drawn from hip hop and the music video genre, whilst retaining the visceral immediacy of Acconci’s own art.

Tom Ellis has made direct interventions in found drawings, rubbing out and redrawing, undermining our expectations of the Old Master drawing while at the same time referring in one drawing to a specific, oft-forgotten art historical genre, that of the sexualised Christ.

Liane Lang questions our view of classical sculpture by making plaster casts of performed poses and postures, the photographic records of the process reminding the viewer that the immaculate white statuary we are used to seeing placed on a pedestal originated from lived human experience.

Jonathan Hillson has returned to an essential quality of Caravaggio’s Supper at Emmaus, the drama of the moment expressed through the protagonists’ gestures, by introducing actual movement to the scene, though in extreme slow-motion, playing on the boundary of still and moving image.

Curated by Christopher Sand-Iversen and Iben Bach Elmstrøm