Motion Capture is an exhibition that explores the relationship
of movement within drawing and the moving image. Featuring artworks from
the mid-twentieth century through to the present day, the exhibition
emphasizes the way in which artists have employed the capacities of these
mediums to communicate and embody movement.
The question of how
we understand drawing in our increasingly technological world is
fundamental to Motion Capture. While the traditional characteristics
of drawing as a tactile and intimate medium might seem at odds with the
digital networks of our age, drawing re-emerges in new forms, often in
response to technologies that have altered our sense of movement, time and
space. Such a technology is cinema, which is an important reference for
many of the featured artists. From images by Henri Matisse, through
to recent works by Pierre Bismuth that trace the hands of actresses
in famous films, relationships with cinema relate to drawing’s own
ability to record movement through a sequence of marks. Cinema recurs again
in works by Brian Fay, focusing on the dust and scratches that have
accumulated in an old Buster Keaton film. As with video pieces by Ailbhe
Ní Bhriain, movement in these works is understood in terms of
material deterioration and slow erasure of the image.
can capture movement in ways that are both deliberate and involuntary. The
psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan used the phrase 'the rain of the brush' to
describe bodily gestures that escape conscious intentions or linguistic
structures. These ideas are developed in works by Susan Morris that
use data from a motion capture studio, rendering her own body movements as
a series of abstract lines and traces. In Tom Hackney's work,
specific references to chess manoeuvres played by Marcel Duchamp give way
to abstraction; real occurrences seem to loose all 'traces' of reference.
These works, like Henri Michaux's illustrations that operate between
writing and drawing, communication and symbolism, encourage different ways
of understanding how artwork can shift between meaning and nonsense, the
deliberate and involuntary.
The sense of the human body as
emerging and unfixed is pronounced in works by William Kentridge and
Alice Maher, whose animated films and videos introduce a fluid
interaction of human form; Kentridge's film continues his interest in the
body politics of post-apartheid South Africa, while Maher's work creates a
borderless-ness between human and animal, the familiar and uncanny. The
sense of connection between drawing and the human body is perhaps most
demonstrably expressed in Dennis Oppenheim's Two Stage Transfer
Drawing, which presents a video of the artist and his son copying
drawings on each other's bodies. Movement here is not only in the tracing
of the drawn line, but in the generational movement of father to son and
vice versa. A different sense of proximity occurs in 16mm film works by
Tacita Dean and Duncan Campbell. In Still Life, Dean's
camera focuses on the markings on working surfaces in Giorgio Morandi's
studio, while Campbell’s work pays playful homage to German artist
Sigmar Polke. These works not only represent the work of younger artists
approaching the legacies of others, but they refer to elements of drawing
as a counterpoint to the mechanical movement of the projected film.
The relationships between drawing and moving image explore ideas of
technology, legibility, and the human body, both in the act of drawing and
the act of looking. In this way, Motion Capture seeks to re-think
the relationships of artistic media, and to re-invigorate the relationships
between artwork and viewer.
Curated by Ed Krčma & Matt
A comprehensive exhibition catalogue will be
released in Autumn 2012. For further information and advance orders, please
Lines of Thought, a
symposium on drawing will take place at the Lewis Glucksman Gallery on 18
October 2012 and will include guest speakers Pierre Bismuth, Brian Fay,
Susan Morris, Ailbhe Ní Bhriain, Lucy Dawe Lane and Katherine Stout.
Booking essential. For further information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.