James Clar / Dennis Loesch

14. März bis 22. März 2015

James Clar (b. 1979) studied at New York University, Tisch School of Arts, Film & Animation, 2001 and Interactive
Telecommunicaions Programm, Masters in Media Art, 2003. James Clar is an artist who uses technology as a
medium to critique the dissociative affects of technology itself. In today‘s media - saturated and technologically
integrated world, the separation between real and computer generated is increasingly blurred. His work uses
controlled, artificial light as a sculptural medium with a computer-minimalist aesthetic. However, his subject
matter offsets these data-driven techniques by dealing with (and in a way ‚digitizing‘ the) natural phenomena,
human emotions, or observations of the sociopolitical environment we live in.
Clar lives in New York City, USA.


Dennis Loesch (b. 1979) was trained in Interdisciplinary Fine Arts at Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main from
2001-2006. Deriving its name from the technological apparatus that stores information, this interplay between
digital data and physical objecthood is the conceptual focus for Loesch, who both de- and re-contextualizes content
from personal and public histories. Images from his own hard drive, computer screen-savers, the cover of ArtForum
magazine and US currency have each been subjects for his visual manipulation. Moreover Memory Sticks is a
methodical process, a way of working with various subjects that can be seen as an extension of geometric
minimalism with a strong appreciation for pop-culture appropriation. © P-A-M
Loesch lives in Berlin, Germany.

Lange Straße 31 / Dennis Loesch andJames Clar (14.3.–22.3.)

Daniel Schierke

 

In the Frankfurt artist-run space LANGE STRASSE 31, artists Dennis Loesch (Berlin) and James Clar (New York) have come together in an exhibition that creates a dialog about art and the use of new technology. Each artist explores a unique process in the development of their works. They combine sophisticated techniques with observations of the use of media in today's society, leading to questions of artistic production process itself.

James Clar is showing a work composed of 12 neon lights, over which colored filters create the letters that spell the word "BOOM", the name of the work; BOOM (2010-2015). The light stays concentrated at the beginning of the word and spreads outwards with each letter, creating the impression of an explosion within the viewer's mind.  BOOM is a combination of media art and 'pop' art. It describes our contemporary, technological world.

The work WOLF IN SHEEP CLOTHING (WATCH YOUR BACK) from 2012 also manipulates light to unveil the meaning of the work. The initial dominant impression of the word SHEEP in direct light and bright letters soon becomes detracted by the perception of blood-red letters forming the word Wolf in the background using bounce light.

The 2013 video installation SIGNATURE (IS ANYONE THERE) is a real-scale replica of the light switch in the artist's New York studio, recreated as a light projection.  As the projection shows the switch being turned off, the image itself disappears, until switched on again. In addition, Clar uses Morse code to insert his name into the work, like a painter hiding his name into his painting.

A further video work, TOM from 2012, shows an artist-edited extract from the animated cartoon "Tom and Jerry". In an alteration of the original, Jerry edited, frame by frame, from the entire cartoon, exposing the actions of a completely unrestrained Tom.  The artist sees in this both a representation of his own creative process, as well as a satirical comment on US politics.  Always appreciated.


Dennis Loesch presents a work from his 2013 series titled GRADIENTS, a 12.5 meter long structure composed of aluminum beams, fixed to the wall equidistant from each other. By using aluminum as a base, the artist creates a display of shining shades of amber, red, and green, dazzling the viewer.  The effect allows Loesch to point to the physical presence of data wallpapered to the aluminum beams. The underlying concept of the GRADIENT series references an earlier work where the artist repurposes the Apple screensaver 'Plasma'. In 2010, Loesch applied a printout of the screensaver to wooden beams. He has now developed this method of transfer through new printing techniques and materials.

The second work shown by Loesch is titled SD CARDS (2015). The work is composed of a series of steps in a production process: after painting pigments and acrylic as a base on a canvas, the artist then applies to the surface a number of memory chips with the help of a UV inkjet printer.  While the content of the resulting picture captivates through its reduced form and contrast between darker and lighter color, this is not the main objective of the work, but rather the positioning of the picture as a storage medium. In this sense, any picture can be understood as exactly this, a storage of time, regardless whether the picture was painted, photographed, or printed.

 

Through both of the works shown, Loesch creates a visual effect that encourages viewers to question the way new media influences and alters our memories.

Photos: Neven Allgeier

 

The exhibition was organized by Tomislav S. Vukic and me.

With the kind support of:

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