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PORNO-POP

The Concept Space is pleased to present ‘PORNO-POP’ an exhibition of works by international artists Ziga Kariz, Helen Gorrill, Henry Hussey and Romily Alice Walden exploring the commodification of sex and desire in contemporary society, a process that has been heightened by the increased availability and proliferation of the internet and social media.

Focusing on the female form, the exhibition raises a host of questions about the death of subtlety, the contradictions inherent in the ‘liberations’ and ‘freedoms’ associated with the production of pornographic imagery that cultivates and reinforces the male gaze – an unreal hyper-real construction of a narrowed and stereotypical vision of the female form, sexuality, desire and personality. With commodification of sex continuing to conform to mainly traditional views of heterosexual sex, which are also patriarchal where men are the subjects and women are the objects, the result is an eradication of female subjectivity.

The show will confront and engage the viewer with provocative works by questioning the deeper consequences of the representation of women as composite parts through gestures, pose and other visual expressions. The exhibition will include contemporary interpretations and references to works by great masters such as Velazquez, Goya and Matisse.

Ziga Kariz’s reuse of magazine and internet imagery photographed and reorganised to create a different context and narrative whilst addressing the point of excessive consumption and commodification of desire through objectification raises the questions of the relation between the work of art and society, politics, ideology and economy.

Helen Gorrill’s collage works often re-appropriates and revives art historical subject matter through paint; and imagery taken from contemporary popular culture, social media and adult magazines in raising questions about post-feminist concepts or projection of power and control, that investigates the enforcement, reinforcement and reactions to patriarchal society. With works that raise question about the objectification of women in works of art as beautiful form, often nude they are less represented as artists and the works are less likely to have been created by women.

Henry Hussey known for his textile works involving skilfully layered and interweaved text, imagery and manipulated material to create exquisitely detailed works with a powerful visual expression covering a broad range of emotions and social issues. Questioning the unrealistic representation of the female form with the drawings and the death of subtlety in contemporary society, the artist hinges onto the debate from very different angle.

Whilst Romily Alice Walden’s work questions modern western society’s relationship with looking, being looked at, gendered hierarchies, pleasure and the body. Known for her Neon works that is infused with the power of suggestion through perceived simple forms. The aesthetics point to the many embodiments of pornography and sexuality inherent in the contemporary portrayal of the female form through social media aided by advertising and over exposure to celebrity culture.

The different perspectives investigated in the exhibition include the objectification of the self in the world of global capital explored in terms of feminism, feminism versus sexism, empowerment versus victimisation, and Freudian and Marxist theory. The intention is to simulate discussion about pornographic imagery in today’s mainstream popular culture especially music, fashion and advertising directed ultimately towards the male gaze and its consequences to the male psyche, behaviour and experience of the female form.

ABOUT ZIGA KARIZ
Ziga Kariz (born 1973, Slovenian) is visual artist whose practice is a crossover of various classical visual art practices, mostly painting, conceptual art and new media. He was one of the three contemporary artists who in 2007 joined the Slovenian Democratic Party and changed their names to Janez Jansa, the name of the Slovenian right-wing politician leader Janez Jansa in a subversive move to follow the party’s motto: “The More of Us There Are, the Faster We Will Reach Our Goal.” Kariz represented Slovenia at the 50th Venice Biennial in Italy and again at the 54th International Art Exhibition Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy together with the other two members of the 2007 Janez Jansa trio exhibited within the Italian Pavilion. With works held in various collections including Private and Public Museums. Kariz is among few artists of his generation to have works in the Modern and Contemporary Museum (MG+MSUM) is modern and contemporary art museum in Ljubljana, Slovenia. He lives and works in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

ABOUT HENRY HUSSEY
Henry Hussey (born 1990, British) is a multidisciplinary artist know for his performance inspired detailed tapestry works expressing confrontational deeply personal and emotionally charged works. Whether through a quasi-mythological symbols, or in embroidered or screen printed lines of text extracted from per formative situations, he has sought to create expressions of perceived truth in response to aggravating relationships and events from his life but so often broaden to reflect wider social and politics issues. With works in various collections, Hussey works were showcased 21st Art and Design, Christies Auction House, London, part of the strong Bloomberg New Contemporary group of 2014 and had his work ‘The Guardian’ as the centre piece of Art15 in London. He lives and works between London and Weybridge, United Kingdom

ABOUT HELEN GORRILL
Helen Gorrill (born 1969, British) is an artist whose work involves various forms of visual expressions, including collage, textiles, drawing, painting and installation. Gorril’s collage works often reappropriates and revives art historical subject matter through paint and imagery taken from contemporary popular culture, social media and adult magazines in raising questions about post-feminist concepts or projection of power and control, that investigates the enforcement, reinforcement and reactions to patriarchal society. Gorrill has works in number of collections and is one of the few British artists (alongside Tracey Emin) to have her work selected for inclusion in the New York Brooklyn Museum’s Elizabeth A Sackler Center for Feminist Art archive. Gorrill holds a PHD in Art History,lives and works between Cumbria, England and Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

ABOUT ROMILY ALICE WALDEN
Romily Alice Walden (born 1987, British) is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice is concerned with physicality and its interplay with other social categorisations and power differentials. At the core of this practice is an interrogation of contemporary embodiment and its relation to the Post-Internet age. Her work questions modern western society’s relationship with looking, being looked at, gendered hierarchies, pleasure and the body. Walden’s work has been widely exhibited and written about. She lives and works between London, United Kingdom and Berlin, Germany.

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This is our main 1420 sq ft. project & exhibition space consisting of mainly hanging wall space and uniquely finished concrete flooring with suspended ceiling covering of approximately 3.5 meters in height.

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