Seen Fifteen is delighted to present SILVER SPACE, a new installation by Maya Rochat at Approche – an innovative salon dedicated to the photographic medium during Paris Photo 2018. We will be exhibiting a selection of works that embody Rochat’s on-going experimentation with the photographic process and the materiality of images.
Maya Rochat is an artist who works in layers, fusing process, materials and artistic medium in the process. Trained at the prestigious ECAL in Switzerland, Rochat’s starting point for image-making is photographic. She works from an archive of her own photographs which she continually revisits and recycles – breathing new life into her images by working on them by hand with paint, chemicals and various forms of textural layering. The concept of propelling images into an altered state is central to Rochat’s practice. The pure physicality of her works – which need to be viewed in person to appreciate the detailed interaction of texture and material – is a deliberate comment on image saturation in our current digital age.
The work of art as a physical object is important to Maya Rochat, and so too is the emotional experience for her viewers. Layers form an equally significant feature of her exhibition installations, which become complete takeovers of a space making use of every available inch of wall, floor, corner and window. Live performances are the climax of Rochat’s art of layering – here she immerses a live audience in a fluid multi-dimensional collage of photographs, moving image, live music and live painting. Most recently Rochat performed LIVING IN A PAINTING with musician Buvette at the Tate Modern Tanks in London, October 2018.
Maya Rochat, A ROCK IS A RIVER, Glitter Rain on Magic Tree (2018)
“Just as you enter a forest and become surrounded by ancient branches and roots, the photographs by Alexander Mourant engulf you in a similar way, taking you on a mysterious voyage where both sorrow and beauty are tied together.”
Seen Fifteen is delighted to return to Unseen Amsterdam this September, where we will present a solo booth by British photographer Alexander Mourant. We will be exhibiting works from the 2017 series Aomori, which takes its title from the Japanese word for “blue forest”. Mourant’s artistic practice is concerned with the metaphysical nature of photography. He employs different experimental methods to draw attention to and question our relationship with the organic environment. In a previous series, Aurelian, he created heightened humidity and atmospheric conditions in which to photograph flora and fauna. For Aomori his concept involves shooting through a bespoke lens filter made from blue church glass – a device which spiritually renders the photographs “forever blue”.
“I wanted to see if I could expand the possibilities of the photograph by giving it a body too, a soul almost, in which we could experience from the image itself.”
Aomori is shot in the vast ancestral forests of Japan. Enclosed in an electric blue world, organic forms – tree canopies, running waterfalls, rocky crevices – are imbued with a mystical intensity. The project is in part inspired by the work of the French conceptual artist Yves Klein, who sought to eradicate conventional representation and create a deeper psychological exploration of the immaterial. Klein invented and trademarked his own Klein International Blue, working in this colour almost exclusively from 1957 until his death. Alexander Mourant’s photographs radiate the same highly charged phenomenon of blue – an oneiric space where the mind becomes free to roam.
Alexander Mourant, Waterfall II, 2017
“Koyama is part of this prescient generation of artists working with photographic materials and ideas to conflate the imaging possibilities of digital technologies with the experimental spirit of the most vital periods of the medium’s history.” Charlotte Cotton*
Taisuke Koyama can still remember the exact date that he started working with photography, the day he bought his first digital camera on 18th October 2003. For fifteen years he has dedicated his artistic practice to an intense exploration into the evolution of the digital image. We’re delighted to welcome Taisuke Koyama to Seen Fifteen with a solo exhibition, opening as part of Peckham 24 Festival on Friday 18th May 2018.
Koyama trained in Biology and Environmental Sciences in Tokyo, and is a self-taught photographer. Bringing these two influences together into one thought, he has described his creative process as “observing with a microscope”. The seismic event of the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 had a profound effect on Koyama’s practice and became a critical catalyst that shifted his focus towards the subject of the unpredictability of images:-
“Within the vast disaster area, the boundaries between the city and nature had been shattered right in front of my eyes. I was forced to think about the inevitable limitations of photography and how impossible it is to record all of actual reality”. Taisuke Koyama
For this new exhibition, SENSOR_CODE, Koyama will present abstract photographic works from four recent projects, which employ different experimental strategies using digital sensors. The reactions of light onto the sensors in digital cameras and scanners resolve into unique colours and patterns, which in turn creates Koyama’s own visual language. Releasing abstract photography from its heritage in materiality is an ongoing area of interest for the artist. So too is a paradoxical desire to design installations that become a physical experience. The works at Seen Fifteen will be presented as large inkjet prints that will be suspended from the ceiling in a maze of sculptural images for the viewer to journey around. In our contemporary world, where we are completely saturated by a never-ending stream of digitally transmitted images, the artist’s intention within the gallery space is to invoke a contradictory sensation. By dominating the room with large-scale prints he aims to force us to feel the images as well as look at them.
Taisuke Koyama, from the series PHOTONS, 2018
Seen Fifteen is delighted to be taking part in a weekend celebration of photography organised by the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris during Paris Photo 2017.
We will be taking over CCI’s neighbouring three level gallery space, Espace Lhomond, with a triptych of shows by three emerging Irish artists – Ciarán Óg Arnold, Megan Doherty and Martin Seeds. The work of all three artists is rooted in the towns and cities where they grew up, and presented together they offer a fresh perspective on contemporary Ireland from within.
Ciarán Óg Arnold photographed the effects of the post-2008 recession on his home town of Ballinasloe in County Galway. Shot at night, his images chart a nightmarish journey down foreboding corridors and alleyways into a surreal state of oblivion. His subjects – friends and acquaintances – found themselves left in a town that was quickly fading from glory. As businesses closed and shops got boarded up, there was nothing left to do but to hang around in half empty clubs and bars searching for some sort of solace amongst friends and lovers. In 2015, Arnold brought a selection of these images together into a book, titled:- I went to the worst of bars hoping to get killed but all I could do was to get drunk again, which won the Mack First Book Award that year. In Paris he will show images from the book, alongside newer works that continue to present small-town Ireland in a surreal and eerie light.
Ciarán Óg Arnold, Untitled