Skinscapes

Camilla Emson, Gui Pondé, Zoë Hoare, Adeline de Monseignat, Pablo de Laborde Lascaris, Alix Marie, Mia Dudek, Romana Londi and Jessica Lynn Schlobohm

Curated by Tatiana Cheneviere & Giulia Vandelli

Private View Wednesday 6th, 6-9pm

7 – 22 September 2017

Unit 1 Gallery | Workshop is delighted to present Skinscapes, a group exhibition of works by nine artists addressing the subject of the skin.

Skinscapes offers unapparent interpretations of the role of the skin and its relationship with the external world. The artists focus on its specific functions as a way to understand it, producing works which further our awareness on the complexity of its physical and emotional nature. Against the backdrop of the digital age, modern human interactions tend to happen through the tapping and scrolling on a digital device, the physicality of the skin and its role in our everyday lives is rarely questioned. In this exhibition the artists have elected the skin as essential subject matter to explore what it means to be a relational being.

Each artist facilitates a unique conversation between our bodies and our surroundings by relating the skin to a variety of current topics such as identity, architecture, technology and sexuality. Collaborative artworks by Adeline de Monseignat and Pablo de Laborde Lascaris tap into the relationship between skin and the digital world. The two artists have produced pixelated works which remind one of online censorship whilst remaining tactile in their materiality. It is a reverse mechanism where Adeline and Pablo have gone beyond what looks like a digital representation to produce specifically manmade textiles. Artificial skin also appears in the work of Alix Marie, whose concrete cast of condoms explore how the skin as a primary interface has become an enabler as well as a boundary. In direct opposition, Jessica Lynn Schlobohm’s video work underlines the intrinsic connection between our own skin and nature. Zoë Hoare addresses the skin as a dualistic entity, looking at what exists above and below the surface in her large-scale paper reliefs. With a focus on architecture, Mia Dudek investigates the relationship between the body and spatiality, producing works that create resemblances between the two. As well as looking at various parallels, the artists look at how physically revealing skin can be. Blushing paintings by Romana Londi flare up when reacting to sunlight, describing the skin as an indicator of what we feel on the inside and as a form of correspondence between ourselves and the world around us. Camilla Emson’s glass and fiber works capture an instance of transformation, either through an intuitive shaping of pliable molten glass or a delayed reaction of bleach on linen. Loops of thread are sewn, like scars, mapping the contours of change. There is a recurring sense of existentialism in Gui Pondé’s photographs. He explores individuality and identity through skin, often choosing himself as the subject. Gui presents the body as a social sculpture and nudity as state in which one exposes individual behaviour and unspoken dialogues.

Through these investigations, the artists lead us through an exploration of our own depths and move our attention back to our bodies, recovering themselves, their senses and ours.

With an extensive training in dance and movement and a background in fine art, Camilla Benson’s (b. 1985, London) multidisciplinary practice uses the moving body and pliable sculpture materials, such as molten glass and fibre, to incite transformation. The work she creates is formed out of a devotion to response-ability and human plasticity; often indicating psychobiological shifts and/or shifts in consciousness. Her play with tools deliberately reintroduces the body in space in an attempt to un-do and re-do maps of experience.

Gui Pondé (b. 1983, Rio de Janeiro) is an artist working with video, sculpture and installation. His practice is driven by an interest in the effect of history and cosmologies on human interaction – the fragility of our constructed perspectives towards the other. Characterized by a recurrent sense of existentialism, Gui’s work explores the dynamics of human relationships in both their intimate and social aspects as a way to understand the construction of the self. The artist prompts viewers to experience his works as lenses through which observe themselves and the world, deconstructing preconceptions while enhancing our awareness on the complexity of human nature.

 

Zoë Hoare’s (b. 1992, London) interests lie in the dual processes of deconstruction and reconstruction, specifically in how surfaces such as paper can be taken apart and reassembled through their cutting and rearrangement. Hoare aims to establish an uncanny harmony between the destructive technique of cutting and the often-delicate outcomes which emerge. She noticed that an interesting transformation takes place when something three-dimensional is covered in a semi-translucent material, instantly making it appear flat and image-like. There is a sense of illusion here, as the image is not what it first appears to be. As the veiled object makes contact with the frosted Perspex skin, light can pass between the two and the folds and incisions are illuminated as if from within.

Adeline de Monseignat (b.1987, Monaco) is a London-based multidisciplinary visual artist. Her sculptures and installations are a testimony to her interests in birth, nature and bringing the inanimate to life. Inspired by Brancusi, Bourgeois and the Surrealists, for whom the egg was central to their works, themes tied to the body, the uncanny and the origin are recurrent in her practice. These interests are dealt with in her works with organic, sensual, strong yet vulnerable materials such as velvet, fur, glass and marble that aim to echo the human body’s qualities and potentialities.

Pablo de Laborde Lascaris (b. 1985, Mexico City) is a Mexican Sculptor based between the United Kingdom and Mexico City. It is through the orchestration of specific dialogues between two entities that Pablo’s work challenges the functionality of day-to-day objects. He does so by creating artifacts that either suggest a reinterpreted use, or objects that are made obsolete by the alteration of their shape, scale or material.  His deliberate act of depriving an item of its actual purpose questions the traditional qualities of sculpture by destabilizing them within their historical contexts.

Alix Marie’s (b. 1989, Paris) practice merges photography and sculpture while questioning ideas around the construction of gender. She explores our relationship to bodies and their representation through processes of objectification, fragmentation, magnification and accumulation. Inspired by the theory, history and practice of photography, she tries to push the limits of the medium towards a three-dimensional, physical and visceral experience. In her practice she often mixes autobiography with mythology. The theme of metamorphosis is key to Marie’s work, both in content and form, as photography metamorphoses into sculpture, as bodies are depicted in an ambiguous manner and as objects and images morph into new hybrid objects.

Mia Dudek (b.1989) is a Polish artist based in London whose practice is directly influenced by mass housing constructions and the global phenomena of urbanisation. She explores existential encounters of the body and the alienation of the individual within urban fabrics. Through her practice she investigates the idea of assemblage and connection between synthetic materials and different photographic techniques. Dudek’s work has been featured in a number of exhibitions around Europe as well as in publications, including Source Magazine, LYNX Contemporary and 24 Artists to Watch by Modern Painters, December 2014.

Romana Londi’s practice lives on the outskirts of painting, installation and performance. Her work explores the phenomenology of the material that foregrounds the experience of viewing acknowledging each spectator’s individual relation to time, space and of the visual perception of the work. Overriding themes of the physical and the virtual, cause and effect, chance and foremostly, memory binds each of her painting series into a catalogue of contradictory, and ultimately human perceptions.

Jessica Lynn Schlobohm (b. 1984 Santa Monica) is a California native, presently working in Detroit. Her process and craft evaluate the language of symbol and metaphor beyond the simplistic notions of mainstream popular culture. Her sculptural and multi-media works represent the body—and the self—as material forms, always in reference to the cultural context in which they are embedded. Schlobohm is intrigued with the way in which ritual produces symbolic language; and how these rites thus inform our sense of self. Her work is seeking to recover the intimate sense of tradition and initiation that is disappearing from our modern lives. Specifically, she is confronting the problems of an American identity that is affected with the omissions, erasures, and adulterations of an illusory past; and wanting to distinguish the significance of mythology apart from these fictions.