Dobai, Sarah (2010) Splitting in two. [Show/Exhibition]
|Type of Research:||Show/Exhibition|
Splitting in Two, taking its name from a video work by Seamus Harahan, shows work from a group of lens-based artists exploring various states of disquiet, anxiety and tension, and how they are represented.
How are tensions, be they personal, social or political, represented? This exhibition brings together a group of artists who engage with states of hostility and conflict in order to consider the various strategies available to artists who want to address the darker side of human life.
Made over a period of 16 years the works in this exhibition point to a range of ways of dealing with difficult situations, from the elliptical to the direct. The voracity of conflict images in our news-saturated daily lives and their psychological effect are investigated through the use of found imagery, documentary, archival, and staged photography.
Anger, tears, and furtive glances are the counterpoint to a whirlwind of friendship and fun that Corinne Day so clearly revelled in throughout the 1990s. The cumulative affect of her frank photographic series Diary, is to create a picture of a world teetering on the brink: like the Blown Down House, Texas 1999, collapse and survival are one and the same. John Duncan’s Bonfires series document the long-standing tradition of bonfire building by Protestant communities in Belfast. As part of the annual 11th July celebrations the bonfire structures are at once positive assertions of identity for those within protestant communities and signs of exclusion to those on the outside.
Seamus Harahan’s experimental approach to film-making, collaging fragments of footage with soundtracks taken from popular music creates an aesthetic of uncertainty, often becoming analogous to the themes he is exploring. The unsteady, darting handheld footage of Splitting in Two becomes reflective of the tensions embodied within Stormont, home to the Northern Ireland Assembly, depicted in the film. The tensions of psychological dramas are expressed in Sarah Dobai’s works. Avoiding any direct narrative, Dobai’s images are suspended in time and located in non-specific places so that confusion and anxiety pervades.
Until her untimely death in 1997, Andrea Fisher concentrated on the apparent factual status of disaster imagery and the hidden, psychic significance for the viewer. Reframing, zooming, and cropping images of traumatized women, focusing on scars and scratches, her works disclose more intimate truths about violence for those willing to look. Peter Kennard's paintings of traumatized, shrouded faces implicate the viewer with their gaze even when they are barely visible themselves, while
Christopher Stewart's photographs of security training grounds suggest the presence of others watching us, pointing to the activity of surveillance and the power relations between the watched and the watcher.
Made over a period of 16 years, the works in this exhibition point to a range of ways of dealing with difficult situations, from the elliptical to the direct. The role of conflict images in our news-saturated daily lives and their psychological effects are investigated through the use of found imagery, documentary, archival, and staged photography.
|Additional Information (Publicly available):||
Sarah Dobai works with photography, film and video, she has exhibited widely in the UK, Europe and America. Recent exhibitions include On the Nature of Things, Kamloops Art Gallery, Canada (2011), A Fire Is Set in His Masters House, Chapter Arts, Cardiff (2011), Theatres of the Real, Antwerp FotoMuseum (2009), Darkside 2, Winterthur FotoMusuem (2009), Studio/ Location Photographs, Works| Projects (2009), Sarah Dobai; Photographs and a Film, Galerie Zurcher, Paris (2008), Dispari Dispari, Reggio Emilia (2008) Innocence and Experience, Gimpel Fils, London (2007) and Sarah Dobai, Artists’ Space, New York (2003). In 2006 Kettles Yard, Cambridge presented a major solo show of selected photographs and a specially commissioned two screen video projection ‘Model 280’.
In the mid 1990‘s Sarah Dobai completed an MFA at the University of British Columbia after Canada after which she established her practice with a consciousness of international debates around photography and the moving image. From 2004-2006 she was awarded a Residency at Delfina Studio Trust, London and in 2008 she was made a Visual Arts Laurete by the Centre International des Recollets, Paris. Her work is featured in Charlotte Cotton's ‘The Photograph as Contemporary Art’ Thames & Hudson, and in the second edition of Michel Poivert’s’ ‘La Photographie Contemporaine’, Flammarion Presse 2010. She lives and works in London.
My work with photography, video and film combines studio-based and on location approaches to reflect on the everyday and its relationship with the media of photography and film. Whilst my work with the still and moving image have been wide-ranging, the work has seen the development of prevailing themes and methodologies predicated around the dynamics of space, place and the human subject as understood through our own intimate experience and through the images of collective experiences represented on TV, in the cinema and in literature. Recent research has led to the production of a number of film and video works, Short Story Piece, Model 280 and Nettlecombe which are distinctive for the way that they both engage in and actively defy the conventions of mainstream illusionistic and narrative cinema.
The recent series Studio/ Location Photographs focusses on the image of the shopping mall and how its concern with commodity and consumption effects the way the space functions and how people behave there. The series juxtaposes photographs of un-peopled sites shot in malls, with images of actor/models taken in the studio. In the studio the models are pictured in a set whose construction intentionally echoes the architectural qualities of the urban spaces photographed. The demeanour of the models in the studio photographs move between the enacted and un-posed, drawing parallels between people’s uneasy relation to public space in everyday life and how a model finds ‘a way to be’ in the theatrical context of the photo-shoot.
‘Studio/ Location Photographs’ continues my on-going use of photography and film to consider artifice as a condition of everyday life. I am currently developing a new film which plays narrative or psychological readings against the exposure and recognition of the conditions of the production of the works themselves.
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
Studio/ Location Photographs, Works|Projects, Bristol, UK
Sarah Dobai: Photographies et film, Zurcher Gallery, Paris, France
Sarah Dobai; Phototographs & Filmworks, Kettles Yard, Cambridge, UK
Short Story Piece. 1000 000mph, London. UK. (New projection and bookwork)
What we talk about when we talk about love, Galerie Zurcher, Paris, France
Two on a Party, ArtLab, Imperial College, London, UK
On the Nature of Things, with R. Graham, S. Oxsannen & Jacques de la Villegle, Kamloops Art Gallery, Canada
Splitting in Two, Gimpel Fils, London
Darkside II - Photographic Power & Violence, Disease & Death Photographed, curated by Ur Stahel, Fotomuseum Winterthur
Limited, The Wharf Road Project, London, UK
Innocence & Experience, Gimpel Fils, London, UK
75 Years of Collecting: Portrait of a Citizen. Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver.
LOOP, International exhibition of Video and film, Barcelona, Spain
Richard Billingham, Sarah Dobai, Valie Export, Joao Penalva,
Sodium Dreams. Group show including P. Huyghe, S. Morris, M. Boyce,
Commissions East Residency, Jaywick, Nov ‘09-May 2010
|Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed:||Subjectivity and feminisms, place and the human subject|
|Your affiliations with UAL:||Colleges > Chelsea College of Art and Design|
|Related Websites:||http://www.re-title.com/exhibitions/archive_GimpelFils7820.asp, http://freeartlondon.wordpress.com/2010/04/02/splitting-in-two-at-gimpel-fils/|
|Event Location:||London, UK|
|Projects or Series:||Research Outputs Review (April 2010 - April 2011)|
|Locations / Venues:||
|Material/Media:||2 x c type photographs: C-print on aluminium, laminated|
|Measurements or Duration of item:||24 x 32 7/8 in, 61 x 83.5 cm|
|Date Deposited:||10 Feb 2012 14:19|
|Last Modified:||23 Apr 2012 13:27|
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