LtA… a subtitle

Hreinn Fridfinnsson

Damien Roach

Megan Rooney

Curated by Chris Fite-Wassilak

Private view: Thursday 15 November 6.30-8.30pm
Exhibition dates: 16 November – 22 December 2012

…My cybernetic mosses, wrested from my control, molded themselves into a strange and glittering medium that was not unlike flesh.

The ghost was growing a body, a sentient tumor from the substance of my own.

From the panic and disorientation that clattered from his mind it was evident that the form that he found himself incarnated within was no shape that he had ever anticipated or conceived of…

LtA… a subtitle is an open investigation of the endgame conceptions of postmodern thought and conditions – an investigation of how we still feel, intimately and intricately, and communicate through inhabiting images that don’t outwardly ‘belong’ to us. In a series of Swamp Thing comic books written by Alan Moore in the late 1980s, the title character is wandering through space as a bodiless entity, taking physical form with whatever organic matter he happens to find on the various planets he touches down on. In one particular episode, called ‘Loving the Alien,’ he takes bodily hold on a planet that is a single, living, conscious machine. The story is illustrated primarily with photo collages, told as a fairy tale to the resulting offspring from his visit.

‘Loving the Alien’ provides one analogy for the ways in which we relate to our environment – in a space where supposedly ‘everything’s been done’, we still digest, make, and re-make the images and information around us, creating a sense of ourselves out of the things we touch upon. Moore’s ‘Loving the Alien’ episode formed the initial part of a four-way discussion, bringing together three artists who share a use and poetic interrogation of the found image, ranging from conceptual practices of the 1970s to more Web-informed emerging methodologies. The exhibition follows a period of a mainly wordless image exchange, an extended series of interjections, crossovers and repurposings.

The three artists have in various ways been working with the potency to be found within delicate contextual shifts in their practices. Hreinn Fridfinnsson has for over forty years been enacting careful pictoral and spatial repositionings. Here, his contribution consists of photographic works. Damien Roach develops and extends elements of his ongoing research project here in the form of new wall-based works, video, sculpture and drawing – borrowing from sources and disciplines as diverse as architecture, music, psychoanalysis, graphic design and philosophy. Megan Rooney‘s idiosyncratic approach takes the form of installations, drawing and sculpture developed from an alternately alienated and enchanted narrative of desire. In this exhibition she continues to explore this format through a series of new sculptures derived from the blending of real life and pop hyperbole – in short, “the advanced search for the soul”.

Lta… a subtitle is a point in the discussion, one which might never end, and hopes to raise a series of questions – can we escape the endgame? Do we always reconstitute ourselves in our own image, or can we, even unknowingly, find other, new ways to see, to feel and to be?

Born in 1943 in Baer Dölum, Iceland, Hreinn Fridfinnsson has been living in Amsterdam since 1971. He has had solo exhibitions at Malmö Konsthall (2008); Reykjavik Art Museum and Serpentine Gallery, London (both 2007); Domaine de Kerguehennec, Centre d’Art Contemporain, Bignan, and Kyoto Art Center (both 2002). In 1993 he exhibited at the National Gallery of Iceland, Reykjavik and represented Iceland at the 45th Venice Biennale. He recently took part in the 30th Sao Paulo Biennial.

Damien Roach is a London-based artist & lecturer. Recent exhibitions include ‘INFRA LION’, Arnolfini, Bristol, 2012; ‘The Department of Psychedelic Studies’, Wysing Art Centre, Cambridge, 2011; ‘Young London’, V22, London, 2011; ‘Self-Similar’, Galerie de Expedite, Amsterdam, 2011; ‘Permacultures’ residency, SPACE, London, 2011; ‘Shiiin, Jet Stream, White earphones’, David Roberts Art Foundation, London, 2010; ‘Conflicting Tales: Subjectivity (Quadrilogy, Part 1)’, Burger Collection, Berlin, 2009; ‘When the sun goes down’, Le Vestibule, Maison Rouge, Paris, 2008; Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Aachen, 2007; ‘Learn to Read’, Tate Modern, London, 2007, ‘Quanta (Frieze 005)’, Kunst Halle, St Gallen, 2006; ‘The Deepness of Puddles’, Gasworks, London, 2006; Centre of Attention/Swansong, Always a Little Further, Arsenale, 51st Venice Biennale, 2005; Art Now: Lightbox, Tate Britain, 2005

Megan Rooney, born 1987, is a London-based artist. In 2012 she completed her MFA at Goldsmiths College. In January she will present her first solo exhibition at Baustelle Schaustelle in Essen, Germany. She is co-founder of the project space Library+ and tweets @TheModernBitch

On Wednesday 12th December, the penultimate week of the exhibition, the gallery holds a talk with Chris Fite-Wassilak, Damien Roach and Megan Rooney, centred around the developed of the exhibition ‘LtA…a subtitle’ and it’s relationship to their practices. The evening will also see the launch of a publication to accompany and extend on the show and the collaborative work by the curator and artists.

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