International exhibitions

International Archives 1st half of 2014


Aziz + Cucher, Time of the Empress

Gazelli Art House, London (United Kingdom)

17.01 - 09.03.2014

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E-Flux Press release


From 16 January, Gazelli Art House will host a major exhibition of new photography and animations made by the artist duo Aziz + Cucher, who have been life partners and collaborators since 1992. The works in the exhibition will focus on their continued interest in representing the landscape through a stylised visual vocabulary that is lyrical, meditational and at times foreboding.





 











Aziz + Cucher, Time of the Empress, Gazelli Art House, London

© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2014. All Rights Reserved

Exhibition 17 January-9 March 2014. Gazelli Art House, 39 Dover Street - London W1S 4NN. Tel.: +44 (0) 207 491 8816. Hours: Monday-Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 11am-7pm.

The exhibition will include a new installation of Time of the Empress from their critically acclaimed Some People, an exhibition of four complex video installations that attempts to wrestle with the underlying madness of everyday life amidst political turmoil throughout the Middle East. Focusing largely on the strain between society's aspiration for progress and the cyclical nature of history, the works in Some People show the stark contrast between things feeling as if they are progressing and knowing that they are always staying the same.

This new version of Time of the Empress (2012) will contain several large flat-screen panels hung from the ceiling of the gallery, displaying a series of animated drawings that present modernist buildings in an endless loop of simultaneous construction and disintegration. Through a labour-intensive animation process, these architectural drawings are suspended in a cycle of growth and dissolution, creation and destruction—like a series of Towers of Babel—simultaneously rising and collapsing. This constant movement alludes to the Book of Ecclesiastes: "There is nothing new under the sun," where history repeats itself, empires rise and fall, and time is fleeting and ephemeral. Time of The Empress casts a meditational glance at historical cycles of growth and decay and the impermanence of the present.

Alongside this video installation new works from their Scenapse series will be presented for the first time. Continuing their exploration of digital manipulation Aziz + Cucher produce disorienting images of landscapes, trees, water and flowers. They manipulate pixels to great effect, lending ordinary natural scenes a simultaneously dark and fantastical quality. In Scenapse #8 (Desert Nocturne) the varying texture and density of each and every bush, branch and leaf creates a sense of constant flux; a seemingly traditional landscape is transformed into an enigmatic other-world that is saved from prettiness by the sense that they have been eaten away from within. Nothing is solid; everything is permeable, lacy, almost transparent. The works in this series have been described as 'electronic impressionism' and this remains true of new pieces being unveiled at the show.

Seen together, these two bodies of work evoke feelings of fragility and transience, qualities that are part of both the natural and man-made world.

Aziz + Cucher
Since the beginning of their career together in 1992, Aziz + Cucher have worked in a variety of media including digital imaging, sculpture, animation, and video installation. They were considered pioneers of digital manipulation in fine art photography in the 1990s and their work features in prominent collections worldwide, including San Francisco's Museum of Modern Art and the Fond National d'Art Contemporain in Paris. The artists also represented Venezuela in the 1995 Venice Biennale.




Aziz + Cucher, Time of the Empress, 2013. 7 channel video installation on flat screens. Installation view, Screening Room Miami. © Aziz + Cucher.

Aziz + Cucher, Time of the Empress, 2013. 7 channel video installation on flat screens. Installation view, Screening Room Miami. © Aziz + Cucher.