the not photography show at the arts club

13 November 2012 § Leave a comment

Firstly I must apologise for featuring a show not open to the general public. The Arts Club in this case is the slick version in Dover Street frequented by Fund Managers by day and the beautiful people by night rather than the rather more bohemian version more often frequented by real artists over in Chelsea.

The club has an impressive permanent collection of art that ‘highlights international trends’ and includes for example George Condo, John Stezaker, Thomas Saraceno and John Baldessari. It also features rotating exhibitions – the current incarnation being ‘The Not Photography Show’. this cleverly highlights a noticeable recent trend (without being able to call it a movement) of photographic works where the act of taking photographs themselves is actually absent or irrelevant.

This sort of work is not new of course, nearly a hundred years ago Man Ray‘s placed items on photosensitive paper to create Rayographs for example, but artists are becoming more adventurous. Mariah Robertson, a New York based artist, welcomes accidents. She includes solarizations and photograms in the Man Ray mode, irregular chemical reactions, negative collage, games with filters and much more before either hacking up the results into irregular slices or not cutting them at all and hanging vast swathes across the gallery. Having been nominated for the Deutsche Borse prize next year – and a good bet to win – she is definitely going places. At the time of writing High House Gallery incidentally currently has one work available.

In a variation of Robertson’s aggressive treatment of unexposed photographic paper Raphael Hefti burns lycopodium spores whose tiny ‘explosions’ distinctively mark the paper.

Maurizio Anzeri stitches patterns across found photographs to create surrealistic psychological portraits (very similar to Julie Cockburn who has work at High House and incidentally soon opens a new show at The Photographers Gallery).

A series of portraits by Aneta Grzeszykowska doesn’t look exceptional until you realise that they are not actual people but faces made entirely in photoshop. To what extent do we give these imaginary faces a real biography?

Also featuring in this rather neat small exhibition are Wolfgang Tillmans, here with random exposures made by light fibres, Marcus Amm and Eileen Quinlan. If you are looking to expand a collection you would certainly be wise to take careful note of all the artists featured here.

Meanwhile if any of this tempts you to join this excellent club visit their website here.

Exhibition curated by Amelie von Wedel and Pernilla Holmes runs until 2 December 2012

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