01.07.10 — 13.08.10 ‘The Borrowed Loop’

Iain Andrews, Karin Brunnermeier, Filippo Caramazza, Bouke de Vries, Ori Gersht, Henrietta Simson, Esther Teichmann, Michael Whittle.

Private view, 30.06.10. 6 – 9pm

Man&Eve is pleased to present ‘The Borrowed Loop’, a group exhibition featuring work by Iain Andrews, Karin Brunnermeier, Filippo Caramazza, Bouke de Vries, Ori Gersht, Henrietta Simson, Esther Teichmann and Michael Whittle.

The exhibition takes its title from Nicholas Bourriaud’s 2002 book ‘Postproduction’ in which the modern day artist’s use of appropriation is likened to the DJ’s sample or ‘borrowed loop’. As in music, the art of postproduction breaks with traditions of referencing and citation, moving instead towards a culture of ‘shareware’ in which forms, already within the circulation of the cultural market are re-imagined and re-contextualised by artists.

Whilst the themes explored by the artists within the exhibition are varied, what links them is a propensity for the referencing and re-editing of images and concepts from further back in the ‘collective machinery’. The selected works within the exhibition look beyond recent art history, drawing instead from the iconography of periods such as the Renaissance, Dutch Golden Age and Orientalist art.

Rather than aiming to dismantle traditions or devalue the essence of the ‘original’, the artists within the exhibition borrow from visual culture to create new forms, re-mixing concepts and imagery from the past, creating new dialogues with the present. Ori Gersht’s ‘Falling Bird’, from his recent filmic trilogy, draws upon the imagery and symbolism of Chardin’s still life compositions as a means of exploring relationships between the photographic image and objective reality. Filippo Caramazza also borrows from the still life tradition, dismantling and reassembling masterpieces into new forms in order to re-contextualise them within the perception of the present moment, whilst commenting on the process of appropriation itself. Similarly Bouke de Vries’ fractured still life sculptures, constructed from reclaimed china, glass and pottery inhabit the style of the Dutch Golden age whilst instilling new virtues and values for his objects.

Other works within the exhibition also engage with specific art historical references and artists. Henrietta Simson’s recent paintings reference the frescoes of Ambrogio Lorenzetti, reinterpreting the representation of landscape space in images – from historical paintings to contemporary photographic sources – exploring notions of the ‘real’ and ‘original’. Michael Whittle’s monochromatic, drawings from his ‘Dark Ages’ series borrow from the works of medieval artists such as Bosch and Bondel, to examine tools of knowledge and our endeavours towards gaining knowledge, as well as the margins and aftermaths where our endeavours break down and fail. Similarly, the paintings of Iain Andrews originate from close dialogue with images from art history in an attempt to communicate something of the spiritual and sensual through painterly language, creating a series of creative duels between the past and present, the physical and the metaphysical.

In other works within ‘The Borrowed Loop’, artists revisit themes used throughout art history to create new commentary. Karin Brunnermeier’s film ‘La Toilette’ wittily reinterprets the painterly tradition of depicting a woman combing her hair to explore ideas of the ego and societal roles. Other artists within the exhibition inhabit styles, invoking the vocabulary of a period of art history whilst fusing it with modern day commentary. In her photographic works, Esther Teichmann extracts gestures, imagery and narratives from a range of references– from Orientalist painting to classical sculpture and literary sources, melding the fictional with the autobiographical to explore origins of fantasy and desire and how these are bound to experiences of loss and representation.

In ‘The Borrowed Loop’ meanings are disrupted, hierarchies challenged and alternative narratives constructed. The exhibition, which includes painting, works on paper, sculpture, installation and video, calls into question ideas of authenticity and authorship and the dissemination of the image in contemporary culture.