Την Παρασκευή 27 Μαίου, έγινε στο Ιόνιο Κέντρο Τεχνών και Πολιτισμού, η επίσημη παρουσίαση της έκθεσης της Laurel Johannesson.
Η Laurel Johannesson είναι καθηγήτρια στο Alberta College of Art and design, στον Καναδά. Συμμετέχει στη συντακτική ομάδα του Generative Art Science and Technology Journal Μιλάνο και είναι ιδρύτρια και συνεκδότης του περιοδικού Computational Media Design.
Είναι συνεργάτης του Ινστιτούτου Bau Ιταλία και πιό πρόσφατα, είχε την σπάνια ευκαιρία να διεξάγει έρευνα στη Βιβλιοθήκη του Βατικανού. Η έρευνά της στα πεδία της προσωρινότητας της κινούμενης εικόνας της διαδραστικής και παραγωγικής τέχνης , έχει παρουσιαστεί σε συνέδρια στη Ρώμη , τη Φλωρεντία, το Μιλάνο , το πανεπιστήμιο του Greenwich, στο Λονδίνο, στο Ηνωμένο Βασίλειο και το πανεπιστήμιο της Καλιφόρνιας.
Το θέμα της έκθεσής της, είναι η παρουσία, σε κατάσταση επισφαλούς κενού. Οι δύτες στο γκρεμό, οι κολυμβητές, είναι μεταξύ ελευθερίας, ( πτήση ) και την ασφάλεια, ( γη ) και η ταραγμένη θάλασσα, είναι η αβέβαιη ανάρτηση , που πρέπει να περιηγηθεί μεταξύ των δύο.Είναι ο ενδιάμεσος χώρος παρατεταμένης χρονικότητας , που ενδιαφέρεται να αποκαλύψει. Στα έργα της χρησιμοποιεί το φως, γιά να μεταφέρει την αίσθηση της διάρκειας του χρόνου, η ίσως τη διαχρονικότητα. Παντού κυριαρχεί το γαλάζιο χρώμα, έμπνευση από το Αιγαίο Πέλαγος που πραγματικά λατρεύει.
For the past eleven years, my work has involved water in some manner. Over this time, I have photographed primarily underwater in natural settings…in the Aegean, Adriatic, and Tyrrhenian seas as well as the Côte d'Azur, and Iceland’s Blue Lagoon. I sought out specific locations that would reveal minimal, but absolute characteristics of the water conditions in each. In some of my work, I have utilized the water as a means to camouflage the figurative self; a way of actually hiding myself in a skin that mimics the surrounding moss, sand, rock, reflections, or refracted depths. Also exploring mirroring, reflection, and refraction, I was looking for the oddities produced by this ‘liquid lens’. Through the water’s meniscus the outer world is transformed into a distant dreamscape. The imagery is some times disquieting and somewhat voyeuristic.
Although I have degrees in printmaking, painting, and drawing…which could be seen as somewhat traditional artistic pursuits…I’ve always been attracted to technology. Early on, that technology came in the form of SLR cameras and photo-based print techniques. However, when I first started utilizing the computer in my work (around 1997), I felt that I was close to having all of the tools that I needed to realize the images that lived in my head. Now technological advances have made it possible for me to work not only with still images but also moving images, generative code, and interactivity. Advances in technology also made it possible for me to make the work that started in Greece in 2005. The first residency that I did in Greece was a pivotal moment for me in so many ways. The idea for the Metamorphosis project had been in the works for quite some time…but all the stars aligned in Greece to make that happen.Residencies provide the time and space to work through the technical and conceptual aspects in tandem. I had an idea of how things might look before I arrived, but it wasn’t until the first photo shoot that I knew it would work. I can still remember returning to the studio with my first images, uploading them from the camera, and having the feeling that I had just turned some kind of corner in my work. Greece is a very sensuousplace…the sounds, the colours, the clarity of light…everything is heightened. I think this also allowed me to be in my own skin…and that feeling is reflected in the mages.
I have, for as long as I can remember, used myself in a lot of my work. However, the Metamorphosis series was the first instance I remember of using myself because my presence was simplyintegral to the concept. I’ve always been comfortable with using my own body as a subject…perhaps a result of many years of dance training and swimming. I was around, I was available, a willing participant, and knew what “the photographer” wanted. But with series’ like Metamorphosis, Thirst, and Respiro, it wasabsolutely necessary for it to be my experience of that underwater space. The challenges have been great! For the first two underwater series, I worked completely alone. I would rig up systems so that I was able to be both artist and subject at the same time. I ended up with a lot of bruises. For Respiro andAcqua Vellutata Sospesa, I had an assistant, mainly due to the depths and remote locations that I was shooting in. Respiro, in particular, involved shooting in locations all around Greece and Italy. It was never easy. The water was always cold. Sometimes it was too rough. I’ve repelled into a grotto. I tore my meniscus two years ago. I also have an irrational fear of sharks...
In my most recent work, (and for the work that I will produce based on Kefalonia, I have moved above water to depict the expanse of the sea in relationship to land or horizon, and human or bird. Still involving water, the underlying theme of The Oblivion Seekers series, is that of instances of being in a state of precarious limbo. The cliff divers or swimmers are in between freedom (flight) and safety (land) and the turbulent sea is the uncertain suspension that they must navigate between the two. The seabirds depicted are a peculiar flock that hover over a particular inlet on a Greek island. They do this every day for very long periods of time. The birds intentionally fly directly into a headwind…going nowhere…occupying a kind of limbo space. It is this in-between space of protracted temporality that I am interested in revealing. I also use light to convey a sense of duration of time or perhaps timelessness. In some of the images, the time of day is unidentifiable…fluctuating between sunlight and moonlight…stars in the sky and sun on the waves. Spatial references are also manipulated ...with sky becoming sea ...and sea becoming sky. The Oblivion Seekers are searching for a space where time is suspended, where they can hover in limbo, and temporarily push memory and knowing into oblivion.
I’m now working on the next phase of the project…The Waters of Lethe. I’m interested in how philosophies of time can be present in a still image, but also how technology in the form of motion, generative, and interactive aspects can create an even more involved perception of time. Duration, speed, non-linearity, eternal recurrence, and open-ended narratives are all concepts that interest me. The present is an accumulation of temporal events that dip into the past and the future simultaneously. The way we think with movement images and time images has changed our understanding of still pictures.…and continues to present new ways to think about temporality through a combination of art and technology. While I’m in Kefalonia at theIonion Center for Arts and Culture, I’ll work on developing some new techniques. Also, ever since seeing photographs of and reading about the legend of the Melissani Cave, I’ve wanted to create some work based on this magical place. I’m very excited about he possibility of being able to photograph the cave in a very special way! This location is so extraordinary and the legend is wonderful and alluring.
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