By a Long Chalk

By A Long Chalk (2021)

Chalk is a material with a long history of associations with art practice. Formed during the Cretacious period (Creta is the Latin for chalk) 145 million years ago at the end of the Jurassic era, it holds in its structure the fossilized homes of millions of empty shells of sea creatures that accumulated in layers at the bottom of the sea and have slowly stratified and been exposed by climactic shifts or mined for human use. My project embodies this history, and its use in photographic etching/ transfer processes- where the latent image of the photograph is etched onto the surface of an aluminium plate with non-toxic light sensitive material. The chalk is brushed onto the surface to ‘reveal’ the image before it is developed in water. In By a Long Chalk, my photo etching plates and photographic transfer images were made in situ- on the shores of the Jurassic coast in Dorset. It is a place that is crumbling and exposing its chalk and shale (black chalk) underbelly, as rocks erode, landslides occur and climate change accelerates this process in the anthropocene. Here, in Chapman’s pool, in a small secluded rocky bay, I expose my images to the sunlight, and develop the photographic plates in the salt waters of the sea. On their surface remain the invisible traces of the place, microscopic infra-thin water particles, marine algae and entropic handmade marks. After printing and transferring these images onto copy paper, I brush, drag, draw and mark the surface of the images with the chalk rock and shale I collected there- leaving traces of the million-year-old fossil shell powder on its surface. In this way I am returning the materiality of the haptic to the surface of the image, completing a circle of embodied practice. The pellicule of chalk dust, black chalk (shale) and white chalk, lightly obscure the image, leaving a forensic dusting, with fingerprints and smudges on its skin.  This references the painstaking geological and forensic techniques used to expose our past- and to determine our constant and unabating destruction of the landscapes that support life on earth. The folds on the surface of the image are reminiscent of maps, literally unfolding the narrative cartography of the place. Photography is in a unique position as a recorder of these moments, creating fragments of its own, that resist and raise the possibility of totality and wholeness, while exhibiting a presentational force.  I feel a responsibility to expose these narratives and to maintain an intimate relationship to nature, one that does not contribute  to our ecological demise, but finds alternative methods to create images of these landscapes that are in the process of disappearing before our eyes.  This series becomes a memorial and witness to our estrangement from nature, and a material reminder of where we come from. The chalk leaves marks on my hands, just as the marks of my fingers are left on the surface of the photographs twice over (on the plates and on their prints) leaving a forensic trace of my encounter with these spaces of disappearance.  If photography mediates between ‘its state of being and its state of becoming’ and allows for a re-cognition of the transient and fragmented, then these redrawn photographic pieces give nature itself agency and the voice to visualize the layers of history it preserves in its microscopic wake.

By a Long Chalk- photo book, hand made, chalk dust and shale (edition of 15)
Photographic transfer image, surface drawing with collected chalk and shale from the south coast
Shale and Chalk dust scratched and brushed onto the surface of photographic transfer print, large scale, on wooden painted stilts

Auratic oscillation (2021)

Here and There at WINDOW ROOM (Philadelphia)/ PARKHAUS 15 (Orlando,FL)

22nd May 2021- live streaming

Ebb and Flow (2021)

Split screen, inverted colours

Video collage, audio

 (6 mins, 49’’)

Otherworldly walk into and out of the landscapes in duplicate, the Doppleganger out of synch, a glitch in the technological sublime landscape, that serves to create collages, dreamscapes and jarring encounters with the ebb and flow of the place. Playing on the history of the stereoscopic view of 19th century landscape photography, the moving images move and meld, blend and mirror, mesmerize and subvert- left to right, right to left- there are absences too, that create book folds, or double page spreads. The inverted colours are punctuated by sounds that echo the natural or the digital, the voice of a child reminding us of a more innocent encounter with the landscape. Ebb and flow, fast and slow- the tadpole, the doggie, a dead pigeon.

Inclined (2021)

In this series of prints and print-objects, Deep Time, I have been further motivated to explore these constructed landscapes as a way of understanding that which stands still, yet still changes, often imperceptibly- restaging combinations of transfer prints and photo-etchings, as sculptural framed pieces, to create impossible relationships between distance and nearness- what is in reach, tactile, mobile- and that which is unfathomable, beyond our reach and longed for through the screen. The outside has come inside, at a time when the outside, and far away can only be interiorized and imagined- these screens beyond the screen, narrate a new articulation of space in the gallery.

Lockdown: A stone’s throw (2020)

Using photographs, digital prints, and photo etchings as well as screenprints, I have been making a series of image-objects that reflect on our relationship to the outdoors, and the mineral. Looking at images I took before lockdown, of vast outdoor spaces, and having time to look deeply into their make up both conceptually and materially has meant creating sculptural prints that create a tension between outside and inside, between close up and far away. Where Longinus’ sublime moment was a rhetorical device, a pregnant pause, we have been obliged to pause, to look again, to look a thousand times. So we notice, the detail, that the closer up we come to it becomes more and more abstracted.

 

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Performances- Topophilia Kelder Projects

RADICAL VENTRILOQUISM:
ACTS OF SPEAKING FOR & SPEAKING THROUGH at KELDER PROJECTS, Islington, London
Guest Curator: Lee Campbell
12.03.20- 19.04.20 | 18.30–21.00

“KELDER Projects is a curatorial research space that aims to expand on traditional modes of display and in turn offer up alternative ways of disseminating contemporary art.

The purpose of the space is to test contemporary curatorial theories through experimental and discursive projects that seek to make sense of our contemporary position through research. By creating a place for discussion, KELDER acts as a collision point for interdisciplinary practice – a place for collaboration and exchange.”

KELDER was founded as a non-profit organisation by Rudi Christian Ferreira and Adrienne Groen in 2016 (https://kelderprojects.com/About)

PERFORMANCE ACTS
Thursday 2 April, 18:00–21:00
An evening of intimate performances by Claire Makhlouf Carter, Adrian Lee, Alexander Costello, Lee Campbell, Hällsten and O’Neill and Victoria Ahrens.

TOPOPHILIA

Topophilia (2020) : an (un)choreographed walk in the landscape. Photo etching plates and fragmented photographic images of a personal ethnography create prosopopaeic objects that shape our relationship to ‘place’ in this physical sound piece about deep time.

 

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Topophilia: from the Greek topos ‘place’ and philis ‘love of’ it denotes a strong sense of place or a love of certain aspects of such a pace/ or the affective bond between people and place or settings. First used by WH Auden English poet in 1947 in his introduction to John Betjemen’s book of poetry, ‘Slick but not Streamlined’. The word was then popularised by Yi-Fu Tuan, a Human Geographer, in his book Topophilia: A study of Environmental Perception, Attitudes and Values, published in 1974. Gaston Bachelard refers to ‘a felicitous space’ (1957). This performance is a mixture of song lyrics (I feel for You, I think I love you by Chaka Khan), stories, anecdotes, movement. It has been created virtually as a response to the work I was making for Kelder Projects’ Radical Ventriloquism exhibition/ programme of performances, and live work, curated by Lee Campbell. This is also a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, where your home is now the only ‘safe’ space available-a space we must learn to love, and find new meaning in. Also it refers to the longing for outdoor space that we all took for granted.

Topo philia, Topo philia

I feel for You

I think I love you

 

 

Don’t Stand So close to me (Corona Chorus) (2020)

Sliding photographic prints, performance (1 minute)

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ENTER ARTSPACE, Aarhus, Denmark SOLO SHOW: PARTS UNKNOWN, Ground Truth 6 March- 2 April 2020

On Exactitude in Science by Jorge Luis Borges (translated by Andrew Hurley

In that Empire, the Art of Cartography attained such Perfection that the map of a single Province occupied the entirety of a City, and the map of the Empire, the entirety of a Province. In time, those Unconscionable Maps no longer satisfied, and the Cartographers Guilds struck a Map of the Empire whose size was that of the Empire, and which coincided point for point with it. The following Generations, who were not so fond of the Study of Cartography as their Forebears had been, saw that that vast Map was Useless, and not without some Pitilessness was it, that they delivered it up to the Inclemencies of Sun and Winters. In the Deserts of the West, still today, there are Tattered Ruins of that Map, inhabited by Animals and Beggars; in all the Land there is no other Relic of the Disciplines of Geography.

——Suarez Miranda, Viajes de varones prudentes, Libro IV,Cap. XLV, Lerida, 1658

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For this exhibition Victoria Ahrens looks at the notion of contemporary cartography as a metaphor for the constructed and imagined landscape. Where the stars and the compass once served as our guide through terra incognita (parts unknown), layers of data collected from satellite imagery now map our every corner of the earth. These composite images often prolong cartographic anomalies, or paper towns, added to maps in the 19th century in order to guard cartographic copyright. When these are found and eliminated from the map, ghost imprints of images are left in the data. Here, Ahrens looks at this notion of ‘unmapping’, as projections and photographic prints reconstruct personal ethnographies of places she has encountered, places that are meaningful historically, and cartographically to her. The nature of these fragmentary topographies means it is impossible to grasp the landscape in a single view, to map it in its entirety. Like the stories we tell of places unknown, narratives are folded into the creases- like ‘maps’ – they accumulate data, fold time, and create mosaics of places that perhaps never existed, except in her imagining. Like Borges’ tattered ruins, these are relics or memories of encounters with Parts Unknown. Grounded in truth, they do not however, hold true, as the images take cartographic processes back to their hand made and printed roots, working as entropic records of our existence and referencing the ways we have found to guide ourselves through the landscape.

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Close Encounters (2020) Two photo etching prints, marks from in situ exposure and development- ink mixed with earth from the Altiplano

The two photographs of the Altiplano and its salt lakes come together to create an otherwordly and haunting image of the volcano- the marks on the print indicate and point to the space of their making in situ- exposed and developed in the landscapes of the Altiplano, the piece overlaps, touching, and reminding the viewer of the touch of the plate to the landscape itself.

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1. Parts Unknown, Sedimentary Sublime (2020) Overlapping digital prints of photo etchings made in situ- Jurassic Coast, Dorset

2. Touching Peaks (2020) large scale digital transfer prints overlapping of hand made photo etchings made in situ (Altiplano, South America)

Enter Artspace installation shot

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video installation: Ground Truth (2020) Layered digital print on copy paper, folded, projection on loop (melting glaciars). The two extremes of the country (Argentina) where on is moving on tectonic plates, and the other is melting and fragmenting. in this way the map is never static or fixed but has moving edges. The piece looks at the errors, lacunae in the official maps, referencing the historical cartographic copyright traps added and sustained in contemporary maps that are now being identified with digital technology. We are now unmapping the map.

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Touching Peaks (2020) Large scale digital transfer prints of photo etchings made in situ, overlapping

Parts Unkown, lacunae (2020) Dorset coastlines, in an overlapping piece that interrupts the continuity of the landscape- where the margins and liminal areas overlap, they create a lacuna or moment of pause in the image. This reimagines the space in the colours of the earth, mixing this in the inking up processes to leave the dna or fragments of the actuality of the place on the surface of each print

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Triangular wooden supports reference the earliest contours of basic mountain mapping and drawings, but also speak to the Scheimflug principle, where a triangular perspective is practiced by aerial photographers- photographing the landscape from the air requires a complex mathematical calculation of angles in order to flatten the image.

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Parts Unkown, publication (2020) newprint, images and text edition of 20

Conditions, 89 Gloucester road, 2020

Starting to produce work for my solo show in Denmark in March

Based on the notion of phantom mapping and projection mapping- where copyright traps were drawn into early cartographies of newly explored topographic landscapes- these paper towns or phantom mountain ranges have often been translated onto contemporary maps, such as google earth and gps guides. Once discovered the data is not easily removed, leaving ghost traces on the map. These are composite images of the source of the Amazon on Peru, folded and digitalised and projected onto, these photographic objects sew uncertainty into the visual plain- and project imaginary moving images onto its digital surface. A screen behind a screen, these different iterations create ‘false memories’ of that which did not exist in the first place. They display the glitches and interruptions in the data, working as ‘poor images (Hito steyerl) that attempt to guide the viewer. Photo etchings of actual places that have been exposed and developed in situ, complete the installation- creating a tension between the hand made, that which has touched the landscape and the screen based that has not. Haptic and optic meet to translate these into personal maps, ethnographic traces of places I have seen.mappingandprojection1redlandscape1twoprintsonthe wall

AR(T)CHAEOLOGY: Intersection of Photography and Archaeology at NiMAC Nicosia, Cyprus -research project, and exhibition October 2018- January 2019

A year long project organised and curated by the International Association of Photography and Theory (IAPT), Cyprus- to explore the intersection between notions of archaeology, the archive, memory and memorial and contemporary photographic practice. A number of artists in dialogue with one another, addressing these issue in their practice were invited to participate in this project. The culmination of this was a publication, an exhibition at Nicosia’s Museum of Contemporary Art and a conference at the university exploring these concepts in relation to archeologies, writing and visual material in Cyprus, and across the world. My work explores the interstices between forensic anthropologists and places of disappearance through photographic archival images, C-type prints in a large scale and projections onto the surface of the image. In addition, a sound piece was created specifically for the exhibition in Nicosia.

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El Lugar Perfecto (2018) C-type photographic print, projection and sound piece 300 cm (w) x 110 cm (h)

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Publication of Ar(t)chaeology as presented at CAA in New York

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publication ar(t)chaeology 2018

Sound piece

After Haroldo (2018) Sound piece, 7 minutes looped- readings from Haroldo Conti’s book ‘Sudeste’, layered with sounds of fishermen singing, river Parana, Argentina

A True Date with a Palm Tree published in Vista Journal, No. 5 (2019)

A new series, ‘A True Date with a Palm Tree’ (2019) looks at the historical migration of the Date Palm tree and its colonial and anthropological significance in botanical, and archival photographs, while interrogating its place in landscapes of political uncertainty- in particular in the wake of increasingly closed migration policies. The project combines a series of photo etchings with photographic C-type prints, and photographic transfers layered on coloured wood open frames. In addition, an edition of 50 visual essays in newspaper form have been printed. Extracts of that visual essay can be read below.

This essay has been published in full on : http://vista.sopcom.pt/edicao/339

VISTA Journal: Revista de Cultura Visual, No.5 (2019)

 

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Alien and invasive species‘ (2019) Photo etching on wooden hand coloured support, C-type print on90 gsm paper, and tracing paper print on wooden hand coloured support

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‘Palm Reading’ (2019) Composite photo etching, C-type print on 90 gsm paper, and tracing paper print on wooden hand coloured support

 

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Fronds (2019) C-type photograph, two photo etchings, each on hand coloured, wooden, open frames, layered.

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To-ing and Fro-ing (2019) Salt print and photo etching on open coloured wood frame

A TRUE DATE WITH A PALM TREE

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50 Newspapers, Visual Essay (2019) A True Date with a Palm Tree, Victoria Ahrens (2000 words)

In a hidden corner of Burgess park, South East London, dates grow from orange fronds under a fanning palm tree in the middle of a tiled water feature in Chumleigh Gardens. No one very much goes there. It is empty, and on a hot Summer’s day, I come across this peaceful place. Built in response to a site where alms houses used to reside before the Second World War, in 1995 a multicultural garden “was designed “to reflect the area’s diversity” (Bridgetonowhere.org.uk, 2019). This Palm Tree sits at its centre, presiding over the African, Oriental, Mediterranean, Islamic and English Garden. With their dates and coconuts, wax and oils, palm trees have come to colonize the four corners of the world. Native to the Middle East; spread by the Romans as far as the Mediterranean; taken and transplanted by early Spanish colonialists from the Canary Islands to the Americas and distributed by European botanists to and from colonies in Asia, Africa and the Antipodes, and back to Europe, palms have become the symbol of successful uprooted-ness: synonymous with tropical views, pre-lapsarian lands, and exotic holidays.

 

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My grandfather was particularly fond of them. It is next to a Palm tree that he stands in this silver print from his archive of Buenos Aires at the turn of the century. A self-portrait, his Leica camera positioned, arms crossed, hat titled to the right. It is not, however, his shadow that looms, but the fronds of another palm- a triffid head making its presence known, foreshadowing the photograph, in place of the photographer. My grandfather was tall, dapper, dressed up to the nines and keen on gardening, on looking after plants and trees that reminded him of nostalgic memories of his native lands, of Europe. Curious then that he chose the palm tree to frame this image. Centred behind him, the shadows of the palm leaves cascade all around, becoming a shadowy garland, a victory wreath, tentacles of a living species embracing the soil.

 

A Date Palm at palermo

H.R Ahrens- A date palm at Palermo, (a self portrait) Buenos Aires, Argenting (c. 1930)

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Note the palm trees on the left, he wrote on the back of this photograph.  Why was he pointing them out all the time? What did they mean to him? I will never know. Yet there he is again, in a garden in Palermo, in Argentina- el ingles, the Englishman, with his accent, taller than most others at that time at two metres, like a palm tree himself (not these small bush-like ones) but long limbed, with large hands, and a coconut head. He stood out; so do the palm trees, in this landscaped garden, with its manicured pines and geometric features. By 1910 the Phoenix Canariensis was “listed in the catalogue of plants at the botanical garden of Buenos Aires”[1]

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H.R. Ahrens, ‘Note the Palm Trees on the Left’ (a self portrait) c. 1930, Buenos Aires, Argentina

 

Palm trees, of course, are not trees at all. They can be dated back to fossils that are 80 million years old, from the late Cretaceous period. They are dinosaurs of the plant world and have a multitude of variations. They are considered to be the most important plant species in economic and historic terms. Palm oil, for instance, can be found in all of our basic household products, from medicines, to face creams, to cooking oils. Palms permeate our world, invisibly present.

 

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I have some indoor palms that inhabit my sitting room. Two areca palms. Colonial reminders of other landscapes, fronds that span out, increasingly, to find the sun that dapples the wooden floors through the open windows. They are small versions of Dominican palms, bearing tropical seeds. I speak Spanish to them, to remind me of other places, to create a dialogue through space and time with their variegated, feathered leaves- a kind of palm reading. They curve upwards, butterfly palms in multiple stems, that open out into fans, open handed. Dypsis Lutescens, evergreen in the grey sunless Winter, these and other species settling in for the duration. I care for them and tend them lovingly. These palms remind me of my childhood in Buenos Aires, of my grandfather, of afternoons sitting under them in a park in the city to get out of the scorching sun. I long for them in the cold of Winter. Some say they are ‘going native’ here in the UK. Climate change is ensuring they proliferate. Fashions and indoor gardens dictate their popularity. I think of the artists who depicted them, and how relevant they have become: Ed Ruscha’s Palm Series; John Baldessari’s Overlaps; Sigme Polke’s Palmatum (1968)- American visions of palm lined, sun soaked boulevards in California. No longer alien and invasive, but actively cultivated now in the UK, they have found their place inside the house, as ‘plant-pets’ to look after, to talk to. They provide company, oxygen, the semblance of an outdoor experience amongst the urban brick environment.

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In the end, though, my grandfather, uprooted, sent half way round the world to fulfill models of colonial economic expansion[2], understood his status, and translated this through these and other self-portraits he took in gardens in Argentina: alien, yet settled; foreign yet native. In this photograph (above) the palm tree and the man, over time, are becoming one, the silver print degenerated, blending both into a seemless white imprint-  the palm tree perhaps symbolizing a victory of sorts: the alien taking root, going native, the colonizer as criollo, born and bred, beginning to feel at home. These species of migration, next to their native counterparts, are now part of the imagined views of these places, the longed for ‘other’ of tropical beaches, of hot climates, of Robinson Crusoe and Lord of the Flies. Like the only surviving Mauritian Hyophorbe Amaricaulis palm, however, they are also at times endangered and unsustainable in equal measure. Palm hearts, delicacies that ironically rip out the heart of the palm species. Palm oil plantations decimating the soil.  In a climate of considerable push back on migration policies, nevertheless, these emigré species, aliens of another time, colonial left overs, ‘breadcrumbs’[3] of the Columbian exchange, migrants with roots, are, at least for now, here to stay.

 

 

[1] Carlos Thays, El Jardín Botánico de Buenos Aires (Buenos Aires: Jacobo Peuser, 1919) p. 163

[2] My grandfather worked for the Vesty meat company in the port of Buenos Aires, importing and exporting meat

from Argentina to Europe, in particular corned beef that was given to soldiers in the first and second world wars.

[3] Norris, A. (2014) Ten Surprising facts about Palm Trees, Earth Matters [online] https://www.mnn.com/earth-   matters/wilderness-resources/stories/10-surprising-facts-about-palm-trees (accessed 21/08/19)

 

 

 

 

Parts Unknown- Selected for False Memories exhibition at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum 2020

________________________________A series of photo etchings, folded and turned into stand alone sculptural pieces- exploring the fragmentation and erosion of our coasts, and their significance as places where land and sea jostle for authority. These are places on the edges of maps, where maps would have begun, as early cartographers traces the shape of their coastline from the sea and land. In the anthropocene, these rock strata and geological formations hold the promise of our historical, geological, political and paleontological origins, while each fragment, as it disintegrates, carries that memory away with it, forgotten over time. As the coast lines and bodies of water, mountanous regions, erode and recede from the sea, new maps are needed where new contested terrritories appear. These composite images, adhere to a sense of photographic truth, yet like the edges of maps, they expose places at the margins of memory, of our origins, borderlands or spaces that denote belonging. Exposed and developed in the landscape itself, however, the plates are imbued with a sense of place, as collected earth and rock fragments mixed in with the printing inks, create an actual map of the place, a dna imprint on their surface. This material presence belies the disappearance and nostalgic memories that these reference, as places of my childhood imagining.

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Parts Unknown (2020) Photo etchings on fabriano rosaspina paper, hand made book covers (composite of three) 65 cm (h) x 70 xm (w)

This piece centres on notions of erosion and uncertainty. They are photo etchings I created in situ on the Jurassic coast of the UK and in Latin America on the altiplano of Peru and Argentina, where the oldest fossils have been found, and the coast line crumbles inexorably into the sea. It continues my investigation into landscapes of disappearance, places where myth, history and memory collide. Creating this piece by exposing and developing the photographic plates on site, I explore the notion of the auratic translation of the image, in which each print in the edition is imbued with the markers of the place itself. They can be seen as three individual portable photographic sculptures or books,or, as they are shown here, as a fragmented panoramic piece that works as a single installation_________________________________________________________

 

False Memory

28 March – 30 May 2020 (postponed to later in the year)

An intriguing contemporary art exhibition connected to the theme of False Memory. A false memory is the recollection of something that did not happen or happened differently from the actual event. Constructing memories, rather than documenting them, this group exhibition will explore the production of fabricated, distorted, or misinterpreted memories and includes Extramission 2 (The Trilogy) by Lindsay Seers which became part of the Rugby Collection in 2011.

A false memory is the recollection of something that did not happen or happened differently from the actual events, without consciously intending to deceive. The exhibition seeks to challenge our perception of being able to accurately remember moments from the past and considers the relative ease of creating false memories.

 

This exhibition will coincide with the display of Lindsay Seers’ Extramission 2 (The Trilogy) that became part of the Rugby Collection in 2011. Seemingly autobiographical yet incoherent, it tells the story of Seers’ upbringing on the island of Mauritius and addresses the artist’s early speechlessness; development of a photographic memory and eventual loss of this ability when she began to talk. Constructing memories, rather than documenting them, Seers poses the questions: Is the camera a tool for documenting and recording, or for creating? Is truth something that can be told or is it experienced? To these questions there is no convincing resolution.

This group exhibition will explore the production of fabricated, distorted, or misinterpreted memories and we would like to invite artists to submit artworks that link with the theme in whatever way inspires them. This could include Imagined experience against lived experienced, Gist memory, walking memory, nostalgia or any other memory-based phenomena that are linked to the construction and discussion of false memory. Works can be both literal and/or symbolic or can be directly inspired by the themes in Lindsay Seers’ artwork.

Out there (CMKY)- exhibition at IMPACT 2020 in Hong Kong

layers1Salt prints and photoetchings of fragmented landscapes, are held together in open frames. These are then hand coloured, alluding to the history of early ‘colour’ photography, using cyan, magenta, black and yellow- the same separations used in printmaking processes today.

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Ground Resist (2019)

 

This series looks at the notion of the disappearing landscape, through photo etchings made in situ. In this way, photographs of the Jurassic coast are re interpreted and printed as composite solar plate etchings, using the sun and water at the site to expose and develop the prints. The plates are then imbued with the traces of the place itself, and work as a metaphor for the geological and paleontological remains that can be found there. These address not only our relationship to the past, but our encounter with the landscape in the present and future. The continuously eroding landscapes of the south west coast of the UK in turn reveal their secrets of our origins in their crumbling strata.  In the Anthropocene, these non-toxic processes become ever more relevant, as does the memorialization and conservation of these originary landscapes. These photo etchings are further suspended from wooden rods, which echo the fragmented debris found at the site, and the way printmaking and photography suspend time. Printmaking processes often excavate and reveal in their surfaces, as marks left behind. In this way, these prints cross numerous boundaries: in place and space, from the Jurassic coast to the space of the gallery, as well as the contingent histories of photography and printmaking. Furthermore, the photo etching prints are hand-coloured, bringing back a unique quality to them, while alluding to the use of hand colouring in early photography before the invention of colour images. Here our origins can be found, and the crossovers between practices remind us of the expanded field that printmaking lies in today, as well as our role as artists in highlighting the political concerns of our time.

Columbus Exchange (Not in my Garden) 2019

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Not in my Garden (2019) Photographic Print on copy paper, wooden sticks, projection onto the surface (26 seconds looped)

“At the time I could no more believe my eyes than I can now trust my memory.”
W. G. Sebald, The Rings of Saturn
 
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Gaerd (2019), Digital transfer photographs on copy paper, wooden sticks
210 cm (w) x 1190 cm (h)

 

Projection of 16mm film onto folded paper substrate, 3 mins looped
SEED POWER
A new project exploring the cultural, social and political exchange between Europe and the Americas at the turn of the century and its impact on our encounter and relationship with plant matter, gardens and trees today. The contradictions of this colonial exchange and its implications have repercusions in the light of strict laws prohibiting the introduction of ‘foreign’ species into the Americas and vice versa- . A metaphor for immigration and migration issues today and an ironic and political look at the prohibition of species being brought back to their country of origin.

Another Land, Kingston Museum (2019)

___________________________________Another Land is an exhibition and events programme showcasing experimental visualisations of place in art and design research. Bringing together practitioners from across Kingston University, the Royal College of Art and University of the Arts London, contemporary works and events have been integrated into Kingston Museum, engaging with themes of past and present, real and imagined, identity and community.

 

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Lleva y Trae (2019) Acetate transfer prints on fabriano paper, analogue photographs (180 cm x 160 cm)

 

Los Orígenes (2019) reversed looped video, digitalised 16 mil, waterfall

 

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No lo contradigas, es la verdad (2019) Photo etchings, acetate prints (90 cm x 70 cm)

Another Land

The exhibition and programme draw links between creative practice and anthropology, archaeology, architecture and geography, encompassing video, drawing, sculpture, installation, performance, photography and print. This is extended with a series of screenings of moving image works presented at the Stanley Picker Gallery, exploring concepts of human movement, environmental narratives and emerging worlds.

Another Land is generously supported by the London Doctoral Design Centre, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, Kingston Museum and the Stanley Picker Gallery

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/another-land-exhibition-opening-and-private-view-tickets-57523184393

Biennale de l’Image Tangible, bit.20 Paris 2018 – Julio Gallery Space

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REVIEW of the show:

http://www.lecorridordelart.com/2018/11/laure-tiberghien-et-victoria-ahrens-la-photographie-comme-image-tangible.html

 

oeuvre de Victoria Ahrens

Alti/plano (2018-2019) Photographic transfers, screen prints and wooden painted stands, 170 cm (w) x 150 cm (h)

 

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READ more about it in this article

http://spaceinprogress.com/works/save-the-date-samedi-13-octobre-2018-17h-2/

oeuvre de Victoria Ahrens

 

Working with Julio Space in the 20th arrondisement in Paris, in a two person show for the Biennale de l’Image Tangible (2018) with Laure Tiberghien. Folded and transferred photographs of the Andes challenging the role of cartography in our sense of space and experience of place. The images juxtaposed as a single piece re create an imagined landscape based on actual photographs of the Altiplano of the Andes. These marginal spaces remind us of the failure to grasp the whole, as human perception takes in the view in small fragments. The sculptural triangular photographic pieces, re  narrate this experience and as stand alone, abstracted and transferred photographic fragments, can be positioned in multiple compositions to unite these into a single, layered view.

VIA arts Prize, Brazilian Embassy

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Pasos (2018) Digital Transfer prints, screenprint, wooden frames (250 cm  x 180 cm)

VIA ARTS PRIZE (Pasos, 2018)

The vastness of the Andes is one of South America’s most iconic and enduring panoramas. Photographing the Altiplano, I was drawn to it as a place where myth, memory and history collide. It was here that in 1818, San Martin set out to liberate the southern cone from Royalist rule, pitting his troops not only against colonial armies, but also against the sheer scale of the mountain itself. Franz Van Riel ‘s two metre oil painting ‘Paso de los Andes’ (1948) draws on this history, while his moutainscapes stretch out into white snowy peaks overwhelming the figures depicted. In my installation I create multiple views of the Andes as fragmented scenes that recall a sublime encounter with the immeasurable, and in so doing, create a dialogue through time with the past. Made up of printed film stills that abstract and pixelate the surface, and wooden supports that frame the view, they look to question the colonial gaze, the tourist encounter and our constant need to ‘take in the view’ from a single perspective. In this way I look to give them more human proportions, providing a multitude of possible encounters with the Andes in the space of the gallery.

 

Tierras áridas, La Nau Cultural Centre, Valencia, and Museo de Bellas Artes, Jaen SPAIN 2018-2019

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book piece 1close up book piece

 

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Resistant Grounds (2019)- Collaborative printed book: Victoria Ahrens, Altea Grau, Victoria Arney, Jo Love, Sumi Perera (60 cm x 30 cm)

including lithography, photo etching, relief and embossed print, etching and screen printed pages

Designed and crafted by Victoria Ahrens and Altea Grau

Tierras Aridas// Arid Lands

Collective publication project

Curator: Antonio Damian/ Antonio Alcaraz Mira

Project

An international Print project that reflects on new systems of production, diffusion and commercialization of book art editions.

Tierras Aridas takes the landscape as its concept, juxtaposing land with that of deserted spaces, abandoned or marginal spaces that conform to a dystopian imaginary. These spaces offer distances that are impossible to bridge or in the case of Mexico and the United States, opens up a different interpretation depending on which side of the border the artist inhabits.

The project proposal adopts, as a methodological model, assembled and collective publications designed to facilitate a collaboration by artists who live in different cities or countries. This project aims to promote the exchange of information and introduce us to different printmaking studios, associations, Schools of Art and Universities in Spain, Mexico (Oaxaca) the US (Phoenix, Arizona) and the UK (London).