LONDON ART 13
1 – 3 March 2013
Olympia Grand Hall
ARAM BARTHOLL, EELCO BRAND, CASEY REAS
A truly modern Google portrait of Kate Middleton and an art work visible only on visitors’ Smartphone screens.
Entire Great Britain got worked up when the first official portrait of Kate Middleton was presented in the National Portrait Gallery in London at the beginning of the year. Critics described the oil painting by the Glasgow artist Paul Emsley as “ghostly” and an “aesthetic disaster”. Fans of this much-loved prince’s consort are disappointed by the aesthetic effect of the portrait. But it is not just the artistic quality of the painting that seems antiquated in view of our contemporary media society.
With his “Google Portrait” (2013), Aram Bartholl, a German artist who likes to cross borders between the virtual and the real world, has now come up with a form of portrait more in keeping with our times to meet the aristocracy’s desire for perpetuation. His drawing leads to a Google search for Kate Middleton. When scanned into a Smartphone, the QR code the artist has drawn on paper in charcoal takes one to the appropriate Google link. Try it out!
The fact that an aesthetic piece of information does not always necessarily coincide with the surface of an art work is also shown by the second work of Aram Bartholl that DAM GALLERY is presenting this weekend at the new art fair Art13 in London, along with software works by Casey Reas (US) and 3-D animations by Eelco Brand (NL).
The three WiFi routers of the art work “Offline Monochrome” (triptych, 2013) send signals offline using their own network to mobile end devices such as Smartphones, tablets or laptops. After visitors have connected with the respective network of a router, their browsers display a monochrome colour. Here, art departs the exhibition space for the private screens of the visitors.
The DAM GALLERY stand also features a screen hanging on it with the software “Signal to Noise” (2012) by the US artist Casey Reas. The images generated live in the exhibition space using a software program are based on a ‘collage machine’ that uses television signals as raw material. In much the same way as a collage in the early 20th century was put together from media of the time, “Signal to Noise” refracts and distorts the television signals and transforms them into newly formatted data structures.
Finally, there are two 3-D animations by the Dutch artist Eelco Brand to be seen, in which the artist does an ironic take on the desire of artists to imitate and create, turning a realistically animated natural scene into a surreal kind of movement in short film clips. Nature escapes human control and strikes back in the image.
More information on Art13 London: http://artfairslondon.com