CHIMERA Q.T.E. at Cell Project Space
curated by Attilia Fattori Franchini
works by Cornelia Baltes, Nicolas Deshayes, Adham Faramawy, Jack Lavender, Berry Patten, Sabrina Ratté, Travess Smalley, Oliver Sutherland
The Internet can no longer be removed from the artworld, it is inextricably linked with the daily practice of artists and is increasingly explored as a medium and platform. While emerging artists such as Yuri Pattison from LuckyPDF explore the options of the internet as a gallery space with shows on the website bubblebyte.org, young media artist undergraduates from Slade School try to figure out how to use the inevitable computer and Internet as tools, as things to be used without having them determine the nature of what is done (Da Thirst, publication by Claire Boyd, Matt Copson and others). The Chimera QTE show, curated by Attilia Fattori Franchini, draws on the Greek imagery of the Chimera as a basis to explore another indispensable characteristic of the influence of Internet and media, beyond the aesthetic or its use as a tool or platform: the fragmented way we look at and experience art.
The presented works in the show are quite diverse, as flicking through different sites on the Internet, and range from Berry Patten and Cornelia Baltes’s hyper-stylized photographs, over Jack Lavender’s sunglasses sculpture to Sabrina Ratte’s digitally rendered projection of zebra stripes. It is difficult to focus on one work: because the works are connected by the digital feel of their look and placed closely together, your eyes wander on quickly. Through this accelerated viewing, you automatically start to transfer aspects from one work to the other: traces of the first work colour your experience of the next one and vice versa when your eyes flick back to the first work.
The Chimera QTE show is also accompanied by a pdf publication, which can be downloaded from the Cell Project Space website. Although there is no attempt here to translate media art to a more traditional medium, the written content is without doubt of essential importance and offers elements that further substantiate the show’s attempt to consider contemporary practices of viewing and seeing. The fragments and pictures echo a browsing session and while they can be treated as distinct from each other – different authors, different subjects – the juxtaposition of the fragments with each other and the physical art works in the show evokes questions and thoughts about how we watch things in a digital context.
Chimera Q.T.E is a successful representation of our browsing-based viewing culture and creates a physical space for the viewer to enter. It prompts a reconsideration of the accelerated and fragmented way we currently view artworks and begs us to ask ourselves whether artwork made with digital means automatically invokes a similar fragmented viewing. Can the use of traditional media slow this down and cause an awareness or sense of temporality and endurance or do we automatically transfer these viewing habits to all art? Chimera Q.T.E offers without doubt an exciting contemplation of our new “ways of seeing”.
Sabrina Ratté, ‘Station Balneaire’, 2012, video still