Art|Basel|Miami Beach

Miami Beach

04.12.14 – 07.12.14
Positions with Thomas Julier
booth P05

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At Art | Basel | Miami Beach Positions 2014, RaebervonStenglin shows a solo presentation of inter-connected works by the young Swiss artist Thomas Julier (*1983).

Predominantly using photography and video, yet working in a way that encompasses installation, print and ready-mades, Julier addresses the twenty-first century phenomenon of a world increasingly experienced through machines. His art explores a poetics of screens and virtuality, of surface, surveillance and hyperreal reality. Light is both the medium and subject matter of much of his art, refracted again and again through a myriad of technologies and specificities before ultimately being decoded in the mind.

The works shown at Positions 2014 are respectively series of portraits and landscapes. A selection of photographs taken of images from shop windows and advertising, shot in different cities over the past two years present the viewer with faces. Yet rather than revealing individuality Julier’s ‘portraits’ convey the slick impersonality and ennui of existence driven by consumerism: ‘I try to get a fictional aspect to them that describes the urban scenario. They’re more like backgrounds for that scenario than they’re real portraits with a real presence.’

Likewise, a video installation entitled Time Machine will be a composition of different types of screen models showing videos that have been shot of public screens in Time Square, NYC, and Potsdamer Platz, Berlin. Predominantly depicting natural landscapes these videos of videos have a paradoxical, highly deracinated quality. Any direct experience of the natural world is substituted for the play and nuances effected by variations in the technologies of the different screens — the chance beauty to be found in less saturized colours and a moirée quality that appears to warp reality. Different monitors mediate exactly the same compositions, not only revealing variations in colour but also subtle differences of time and rhythm.

Julier is concerned with creating images that are as highly artificial as possible, reflecting on the artificial environments — nightclubs, cinema, concerts, fashion, architecture — which we inundate our senses with. His aesthetic is at once eerily dystopian and gorgeously hallucinatory, closed-circuit yet open to endless permutations.

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