Given the current interest in secret surveillance activities, this exhibition is timely. Both Seamus Harahan and Christopher Stewart deal with the subject from different standpoints.
Seamus Harahan's films are studies of human behaviour. Harahan sets up his camera and often uses a long, single take, as if from CCTV, focusing on a particular human activity being performed at a distance. The activity remains inexplicable: two young men making semaphore signals across a river, in Blue Eyes; while in Cold Open, a group of teenage children scuffling and idling in the middle of a busy road. Harahan scrutinizes the activity, occasionally zooming back as though to provide further clues, to locate and context the behaviour. As the artist puts it, he 'maps emotional and intellectual spaces.'
In the new work at Gimpel Fils, Torch (extended), we observe a figure lurking among bushes in a road of terraced houses. The long-range viewpoint moves back and forth, keeping the man's balding head in view. He is a university bookbinder tending his premises frontage and continuing to trim the hedge of his student neighbour's garden, although his suit and tie do not lend themselves to this. Harahan mediates this seemingly strange act of urban vanity and altruism, soundtracked by Marc Almond and Cindy Ecstasy singing of the tentative signs of new love, displacing again any simple, single narrative.
Christopher Stewart's photographs, from his Insecurity series, deal with a subject familiar to the artist: personnel from security companies and covert operators. Photographed alone or in small groups, isolated in sombre rural or strange urban settings, it is hard to know whether the protagonists are acting out their tasks, or simply awaiting orders. That Stewart served with a specialist branch of the British Armed Forces before becoming a photographer, simply adds to the verisimilitude of the mileu he photographs.
Seamus Harahan has held solo exhibitions at Transmission Gallery, Glasgow, Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Antwerp and Wolverhampton Art Gallery. His videos have been screened in internationally, including Germany, Portugal, Holland, Czech Republic and USA. In the 51st Venice Biennale, his work was selected for showcasing art from Northern Ireland. He held his third solo exhibition, Cold Open, at Gimpel Fils in 2012.
Since graduating from the Royal College of Art, Christopher Stewart has taken part in over forty solo and group exhibitions internationally including at the UK’s National Museum of Photography, Film & Television and the Whitechapel Gallery in London. Recent group exhibitions include The History of Now, F/STOP Fotografie Festival Leipzig (2012); Something That I’ll Never Really See, a Victoria & Albert Museum Collection touring exhibition at The National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi (2011); and Darkside II, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland (2009). His work is featured in The Photograph as Contemporary Art, Thames and Hudson World of Art Series, 2004/2009; 100 European Photographers, EXIT, Madrid, 2013 (forthcoming); The Critical Dictionary, Black Dog, London, 2011; and Michael Langford’s Basic Photography, Focal Press 2009. He has work held in public and private collections including the Victoria & Albert Museum’s permanent collection in London. He held his fourth solo exhibition, Super Border, at the gallery in 2009.
For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +44 (0)20 7493 2488 Gallery hours: Mon - Fri 10am - 5.30pm, Sat 11am - 4pm The gallery is closed for Easter: 29 March - 1 April inclusive
Icelandic nature is prominent in Eliasson's work, and his artistic relationship with it often involves collection or documentation that is scientific in tone. The country becomes a sensory laboratory where ideas can be developed and evolved into art, as evidenced in the multiple photographic series that would seem to witness a near compulsive need for collecting.
TAKA ISHII GALLERY, Tokyo presents NOBUYOSHI ARAKI - EroReal
7 June - 27 July 2013
Magazine pin-ups aren't interesting, are they? Especially now that they're shot digitally, they lack eroticism. They're doing it wrong. That's why I had to come in. It's not about an ambiance or concept; it's about being real. Not realism, but real?ero-real. I have to say it straight. It's not about nudity; clothed subjects can be erotic.
The approach, London presents JACK LAVENDER - Dreams Chunky
6 June - 28 July 2013
Jack Lavender draws from a world of mass-produced objects, transforming their singular banality through their composition within such structures as grids and metal armatures. Sitting between the disciplines of painting, sculpture and collage, Lavender brings different elements together to create a new entity.