February 22 – April 19, 2019
Opening reception: February 22nd 6-9 pm
With participating artists: Thomas Dexter, Harm van den Dorpel,
Zsuzsanna Szegedi-Varga, Lan Xu
Curator: Viola Lukács
Try to Hold Your Gaze Steady is a group exhibition where the digital image undergoes irregular fluctuations in physical motion. Such an encounter negates the disembodied nature of digital technology and initiates an important rupture within the established fields of visual perception and representation.
The logic of the digital photograph is one of historical continuity and discontinuity. The digital image tears apart the net of semiotic codes, modes of display, and patterns of spectatorship in modern visual culture–and, at the same time, weaves this net even stronger. The digital image annihilates photography while solidifying, glorifying and immortalizing the photographic – claims Lev Manovich in his early writingPhotography after Photography.
The exhibition examines this conflict in recent and remastered works by Thomas Dexter, Harm van den Dorpel, Zsuzsanna Szegedi and Lan Xu. The artists in this investigatory show treat the digital image as material, and its qualities and properties as one, extant question that may be concerned with perception, representation and the conservation of the digital image. Each artist has a radically different mode of interaction with the medium.
Artist and performer Thomas Dexter’s work has been featured at the Guggenheim and PS1/MOMA. This time he creates a series of videos with a miniature “POV” action-sports camera attached to the end of a consumer cordless power drill. The gradual acceleration of the camera movement turns landscapes into contemplative mandalas that unveil the often invisible transmission between figuration and abstraction. As viewers struggle and fail to maintain spatial hierarchies, the process reveals the limitations of human perception.
Berlin based artist Harm van den Dorpel is known for his “left gallery” project that uses blockchain to open new possibilities for the production and distribution of digital art. The present video work Three Sleepwalkers applies his typical blend of manipulated and reconfigured visual elements taken from a number of sources to critically explore quotidien life and meme culture.
Zsuzsanna Szegedi-Varga imagines new subjectivities and post-human bodies in a series of photographic works where the Iphone’s camera becomes an expanded brush. Through gesturally outpacing the camera’s panoramic “image-stitching” algorithm, these works playfully collapse distinctions between subject and milieu, drawing attention to the fluidity of identities.
Artist and DJ Lan Xu translates semiotic codes and grids taken from digital culture into a performative installation. Handcrafted objects, textural neon tubes link with New Age “deep image” poetry boosted with dance. This is the celebration of the possibilities to immerse in a collective experience beyond physical space and time.
Please check out our promo video here.