The work selected for exhibition by Stephen Chambers RA comprises three elements. Firstly a sculpted wooden head, that has been sawn in half and reassembled. The internal faces of the head have been used as wood blocks to create woodcuts, from which two prints have been made, exhibited on the walls in frames.
Goodbye Mr Pixels
Exhibited, 2016 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition
My research experiments with handmade material art objects that seek to animate aspects of the subjectile. I engage in a process to create objects that are intended to possess qualities of my subjective concerns, that in turn are product of my immediate social environment, and the broader context of the contemporary life. The notion of ‘milieu’ is relevant here, as Deleuze and Guattarri argue that subjectivity is a production of social interaction, and the idea that an individual is an autonomous agent is underplayed.
‘In French, milieu means ‘surroundings’, ‘medium’, (as in chemistry) and ‘middle’. In the philosophy of Deleuze and Guattarri, ‘milieu’ should be read as a technical term combining all three meanings.’
‘Goodbye Mr Pixels’ comprises three interrelated components: a sculptural head, and two wood cuts. The blocks from which the prints are made are the faces produced when the head was sawn in half down the middle. The relationships between inside and outside, surface and plane, two, and three dimensions are at play in this work. In the gallery space the head is set on a plynth in front of the prints, forming a trinity. The viewer can see the dried ink that has run out from the two interior planes of the head where the blocks are. Although the relationship between the head and the prints is also implicit from the profiles of the sculptural head replicated by the profile of the prints, the piece is intended to ask questions, like a puzzle.
The objects I make reference anthropological and modernist sources and production methods. Both these sources deploy archaic forms that reference the human body, and through metaphor also demonstrate human forces and potential.
Stephen Chambers RA remarked that the work ‘represents a focal point for the print room’ at the 2016 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. In part this is due to the hieratic properties of the prints and the head, which could together be used in an unknown ritual of some type. This reading I added to by the large eyes of the prints, that stare at the viewer and follow them around the room. This strong gaze, or 'miranda fuerte' are both possessing the subject seeing them, and being seen, or consumed themselves, as object being seen. The idea of the subjectile is I hope elaborated through this interchange, where the object paradoxically possesses aspects of subjectivity.
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Indicators of Quality:
Commissioned to show a new work produced for the print room at the 2016 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. The Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition 2016 was coordinated by the leading British sculptor, Richard Wilson RA. The hanging committee for the Summer Exhibition includes Royal Academicians Stephen Chambers, Louisa Hutton, Bill Jacklin, Jock McFadyen, David Mach, Cathie Pilkington, David Remfry, Ian Ritchie and Bill Woodrow. Artists invited to exhibit include Heather & Ivan Morison, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Jane & Louise Wilson, Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, EVA & ADELE, Boyd & Evans, Tim Noble & Sue Webster, Langlands & Bell and Pierre et Gilles.
The finished prints titled ‘Goodbye Mr Pixels’. The prints are framed separately.