“The daily encounter with reality, the fictions, the surrogates, the ambiguous poetics or alienating aspects, all seem to preclude any way out of the labyrinth, the walls of which are ever more illusory, to the point at which we might merge with them..."
— Luigi Ghirri, Kodachrome, 1978 - The Complete Essays
For their collaborative exhibition, Unearthly Bodies, artists Clare Wigney and Gabriella Lo Presti have sifted through the detritus of a life spent sailing through limbo, that is, the liminal space between digital and tangible realities. What they've emerged with is a series of portraits - of ghosts, celebrities, lace, aliens, religion, gardens (all relics of the everyday and the otherworldly) - that hold a mirror to our pursuit of authenticity and truth.
What Unearthly Bodies interrogates is how these virtues are distorted when performed online. Suggesting that with the digital bleeding heavily into the tangible and vice versa, it's near impossible to find certainty in either.
Ahead of the opening of Unearthly Bodies at China Heights Gallery on October 29, here at RUSSH we're priming you with a glimpse of Gabriella Lo Presti and Clare Wigney's show - one not to be missed.
Through photography, sculpture and an emphasis on placement and installation, Gabriella probes the tension between binaries like the real and reproduced, function and form, as well as the private and the public, to name a few.
More importantly, in Unearthly Bodies Lo Presti asks her audience to locate themselves among images of the mundane and everyday; to identify and find their place within seemingly benign features like wrought iron, nature and urban decay found in the digital and physical realms.
Just as Lo Presti is drawn to the concept of the real and reproduced, Clare Wigney is fixated on the theme of truth and fiction; gathering images from the digital landscape, pop culture and her immediate surroundings and then stripping them of their original meaning to reveal what is left behind. Images are often used to deceive and mislead, and with our life as it currently is - a dizzying and constant reel of imagery - Wigney attempts to shine a light on this absurd reality.
As Luigi Ghirri wrote, "our duty is to see with clarity, to attempt to determine the identity of humanity, things and life, from the images of humanity, things and life." Unearthly Bodies is this duty in action.
Unearthly Bodies by Gabriella Lo Presti and Clare Wigney opens on Friday, October 29 at China Heights Gallery.