U7 EXHIBIT: David Batchelor, Whitechapel Art Gallery

DAVID BATCHELOR

FOUND MONOCHROMES, WHITECHAPEL ART GALLERY

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MY ANALYSIS

IN THE EXHIBITION, BATCHELOR EXPLORES MULTIPLE REPETITIONS OF WHITE SQUARES THAT HE FINDS THROUGHOUT A SERIES OF LOCATIONS. 

THE VARYING LOCATIONS ARE UNITED BY A COMMON ELEMENT WHICH IN SOME WAY CREATES AN ELEMENT OF UNITY THROUGHOUT THE SERIES. THE DIFFERENT LOCATIONS ALLOW A DEGREE OF CHARACTER IN EACH IMAGE, EXPOSING EVERYDAY MUNDANE-NESS IN A NEW, ORIGINAL LIGHT. 

THE STRONG CONTRAST BETWEEN THE NORMAL, GRITTY LOCATIONS IN THE IMAGES AND THE BRILLIANT WHITE RECTANGLES CREATES A SLIGHTLY DETACHED ATMOSPHERE, FORCING THE VIEWER TO QUESTION IF THE IMAGE IS TRUE AND UNEDITED. 

THE PRESENTATION OF WORK THROUGH THE EXHIBITION IS ALSO AN IMPORTANT ELEMENT OF HOW IT'S PERCEIVED:

----> THE DECISION TO PROJECT THE IMAGES ON LARGE SHEETS, AS WELL AS DISPLAYING THE CONTACT SLIDES, ALLOWS THE WORK TO BECOME FAR MORE INTERACTIVE. THE VIEWER IS ABLE TO BECOME IMMERSED IN THE IMAGES AND IS FORCED TO VIEW THEM MORE CAREFULLY THAN IF THEY WERE SIMPLY MOUNTED ON THE WALL. 

----> PRESENTING THE IMAGES ON A SLIDE SHOW MEANS EACH IMAGE IS ONLY TEMPORARILY DISPLAYED BEFORE BEING REPLACED BY THE NEXT SLIDE. THIS CREATES AN IMPERMANENT CONSIDERATION OF THE IMAGES AND INDUCES A FLEETING RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE VIEWER AND THE WORK. 

 

I FIND A STRONG CONTRAST BETWEEN THE 'FOUND MONOCHROMES' SERIES AND BATCHELOR'S OTHER WORK, WHICH OFTEN INCLUDES BOLD STRUCTURE AND VIVID COLOUR. THIS DEPARTURE IS INTERESTING AND SHOWS ANOTHER SIDE TO BATCHELOR'S WORK. 

I FIND THE IMAGES RELATE TO MY PROJECT 'SILENT COMMUNICATION' DUE TO THE BLATANT ABSENCE OF TEXT IN AREAS THAT WOULD NORMALLY BE RECOGNISED AS AN INSTRUMENT OF COMMUNICATING WITH TEXT (I.E. SIGNAGE). 

IT COULD BE USEFUL TO FURTHER EXPLORE BATCHELOR'S IDEAS BY TAKING MY OWN IMAGES AND OR EXPLORING FOUND BLANK SPACES IN DIFFERENT LOCATIONS. 

THE USE OF EVERYDAY LOCATIONS ALSO RELATES TO MY WORK AS I AM INTERESTED IN CONSIDERING COMMUNICATION IN EVERYDAY SITUATIONS AND NOT JUST EXCEPTIONAL SITUATIONS.

 

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"The first thing I should say about the photographs is that at the time I never thought of them as works. Rather, I imagined them as ammunition – blanks possibly – in an argument about the monochrome and the relationship of abstract art to modernity. The first ones were made as a response to a lecture given by Jeff Wall at the Slade on the work of On Kawara. The reasons why I began to hunt them down, back then, are quite different from the reasons why I continue to do so over a decade later." - DAVID BATCHELOR, INTERVIEW WITH JOHNATHAN REE

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"I began making monochrome paintings and drawings back in the mid-1980s. By the early 1990s I had started to construct object-like things that were largely monochromatic, but it was only when I began to attach shiny panels of brightly coloured acrylic sheet to old low-slung warehouse dollies, that I felt any sense that they could hold their own in the world. That was in 1996. Around the same time, I photographed my first Found Monochrome. It was 18 November 1997, to be precise." - DAVID BATCHELOR, INTERVIEW WITH JOHNATHAN REE

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