Exhibitions I am excited about this Month – February 2013

If you live in London and are interested in art and co. you sooner or later realize that it’s hard to keep up with everything that’s happening (in the artworld) every month. I don’t know about you but, I often find myself reading or hearing about an exhibition AFTER it has closed and thinking “Man, I would have really liked to see this.” So, to avoid this monthly disappointment in the future, I thought I start a blog series that not only makes me research new exciting exhibitions at the beginning of each month but, hopefully, will also be motivating to you (and me) to go out and see more art. Last but not least, I will include an exhibition I saw last month which I was rather unimpressed with.

1. Light Show at Hayward Gallery (30.01.-28.04.2013):

“Light Show explores the experiential and phenomenal aspects of light by bringing together sculptures and installations that use light to sculpt and shape space in different ways.” Including  works by Olafur Eliasson, Dan Flavin and James Turrell, I am excited to find out if this show is a continuation of the Hayward’s series of (in my opinion) really good exhibitions last year.

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Observing a Continuous Signal – Temporality in the Work of Zoe Leonard

In this essay which I wrote for one of my university courses last year, I consider Zoe Leonard’s work exhibited in the 2012 Camden Arts Centre exhibition ‘Observation Point’

Introduction

In her article ‘Analogue: On Zoe Leonard and Tacita Dean’ Margaret Iverson determines ‘exposure’ as a term that best describes American artist Zoe Leonard’s attitude to the world.[i] In German ‘exposure’ translates into ‘Belichtung’, the giving of light or becoming lit, the temporal subjecting of a surface or object to rays of light. This describes the activity on which most of Zoe Leonard’s work is based, as she has been working with analogue photography for more than three decades. One of Leonard’s best known works is her monumental photographic archive ‘Analogue’ (1997-2002) (fig.1)which consists of more than 400 pictures she took of store fronts in the lower eastside of New York City which were in the process of being neglected, and of commodities she tracked from the US to Africa. Subsequently, Zoe Leonard’s work is considering temporality in two ways. First of all, analogue photography is inevitably bound up with the temporal, running as a theme through this medium. Roland Barthes noted, photography mechanically reproduces in infinite number what took place only once and can never be repeated.[ii] As opposed to digital, analogue photography relies on the exposure of photosensitive material to light for a certain restricted period of time only – is the exposure too short or too long the resulting photography is under- or overexposed, and categorized as imperfect.  In the dark room an analogue photograph develops over time until it becomes fully visible on the photographic paper. Secondly, while Zoe Leonard’s work formally relies on time, it also considers time conceptually. As scholars Iverson, Svetlana Alpers, Jordan Troeller and Helen Molesworth have noticed, loss, separation, memory and the historical run as themes through Analogue and other works by Leonard. [iii] All of these themes suggest the possession of something, tangible or intangible, for a period of time that is restricted, thus temporal.

Fig.1: Installation view at Dia Art Foundation of Zoe Leonard, Analogue, 1998-2007/ Courtesy the Artist and Galerie Gisela Capitain Source: http://www.diaart.org/exhibitions/main/1

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