SKY WITH CLOUDS AND WATER
18 January 2011, 6pm
13 Masonʼs Yard, London SW1Y 6BU, U
18 January - 5 March 2011
401contemporary/LONDONprojects is pleased to present SKY WITH CLOUDS AND WATER, the
first solo exhibition in London by Bianca Brunner.
This exhibition explores the illusionary qualities that underlie common conceptions of
perceived truth and the mise-en-scene in the medium of photography. Focusing on the
(im)materiality of the surface of an image, Brunnerʼs works highlight the potential for
abstraction inherent to all objects. Like the title SKY WITH CLOUDS AND WATER, whilst
on the one hand descriptive, remain elusive, stirring the viewerʼs imagination.
Brunnerʼs compositions in their austere and elegant appearance, seduce the eye with their
disguises. The photographs are carefully constructed environments, that while necessarily
having existed, at the same time propose a disruption from the real. Roland Barthes writes
that ʻIf the photograph cannot be penetrated, it is because of its evidential powerʼ and it is
precisely this lapse between truth and the visible that finds intrigue in Brunnerʼs work.
The modest choice of materials is integral to the artistʼs compositions. In the Welcome
diptych, one is presented with a flat monochrome rectangle, hovering at the center of the
photograph, but in its juxtaposing image, the three dimensionality of what is in fact a found
object is revealed. Stripped of utilitarian value, the objectʼs formal potential emerges,
drawing attention to minimal variations of its physical state and its contribution to the
creation of a temporal and spatial language within the image. Brunnerʼs visual play
continues in Harlequin and the series, Spill, where the brilliance of a checkered pattern is in
fact a composition made-up of used grocery bags and the familiar colours of an oil spill
reflect the process of manipulation in the artistʼs studio. In Sky, the placid reflection on
water of trees and sky is literally disrupted by a gap, a hole at the bottom of the frame. The
blank square breaks the two-dimensional surface, proposing a third dimension, an ʼoutsideʼ
of the image. This ʻoutsideʼ is documented in the series, Sceneries which while providing
hints into the constructed worlds that lie behind Brunnerʼs images, at the same time
through their sculptural form, become contained environments, like gaps in the real world.
Brunnerʼs photographs literally and conceptually explore the gaps, voids and disruptions
that confound the association between photography and reality creating illusionary
experiences of texture, material, depth and dimension for her audience.
Bianca Brunner (b. 1974) has exhibited in Europe and USA including Bündner
Kunstmuseum, Chur and Musee de lʼElysee, Lausanne, Switzerland, Fotofestival, Leipzig
and Aperture Foundation, New York. Her work has been collected by National Media
Museum, Bradford, and Wilson Centre for Photography, London, Aperture Foundation, NY
and other public and private collections in Europe and USA. Brunner completed her MA in
Photography at Royal College of Art.
The artist lives and works in London.