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"Elizabeth McAlpine: White Elephant"
2006-09-21 until 2006-10-28
Laura Bartlett Gallery
UK United Kingdom
Laura Bartlett Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibition by British artist Elizabeth McAlpine. McAlpine describes her working practice as close to geology. She tracks the repetitions and gestures inherent in popular media, extracting pieces of found material from its archive, and repositions them in ways that reveal patterns and associations previously unconsidered. White Elephant, McAlpine's second solo exhibition at the gallery, continues her inquiry into the layered nature of cultural and individual memory and the workings of sensory perception. The show includes video work, a sound installation, and sculptural and photographic pieces, the results of McAlpine's distinctive systems of collection and re-presentation.
In a new photographic piece, Hyena Stomp, McAlpine has taken individual film-frames to compose a re-rendering of the minimalist painting by Frank Stella of 1962. For her 'pigments', McAlpine has populated the surface with single frames of actors with their eyes closed. Interested in Stella's assertion of surface, material and sight, McAlpine explores the seductive nature of the space between viewer and screen, object and surface.
The idea of the gaze is further addressed in the video Blink (Lawrence of Arabia), where McAlpine has blacked out the frames that a viewer has blinked during the staring scene of David Lean's epic. McAlpine is interested in the way we respond to the film editing process - a blink is a resting point, w! e blink when we have understood something. Through the presence of ano ther's experience of viewing, we are reminded of our own activity and become implicit in the work itself.
Quintet is a sound installation of spliced together coloured vinyl records that, while rotating, generate the illusion of three-dimensional dynamic objects. McAlpine's selection of records, based purely on colour, works as an audio-collage, jumping from one track to another at 33rpm, just as the eye jumps from spinning colour to moving object. McAlpine has based the patterns on Duchamp's Rotoreliefs of the 1920's, circular painted disks that rotate. McAlpine addresses Duchamps theories of 'precision optics': the idea that optical illusions would actually help to visualize the working process of individual perception - but takes his question, "One can look at seeing. Can one hear hearing?" (Duchamp 'The Green Box' 1948) - to it's next level.
Black Noise is a wind-up gramophone that has been entirely cast and assembled in plaster. It has the potential to play but could break if operated. Black Noise, otherwise known as Silent Noise, describes a sound frequency that has zero power. This mute and fragile plaster object stands as a leveler within an exhibition that delves into a limitless visual and aural archive: an endeavour that is not an attempt for clarification, but more a fascination in what might be dug up.
Elizabeth McAlpine lives and works in London. Recent exhibitions include; A Certain Tendency in Representation at Thomas Dane, London, Smoke and Mirrors, Midlands Art Centre, Birmingham, I Love Cinema & Cinema Loves Me at Camden Arts Centre, London, A Bad Moon Rising at K3, Zurich. McAlpine was also featured in the internationally touring exhibition of British Video Art, All For Show, last year. In May this year, McAlpine discussed her practice at the symposium Anticipating the Past at Tate Modern.
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