The Tramshed, Rivington Street, London, EC2M
Private view: Thursday 3rd June 7‐9pm
Having been championed in Saatchi’s “Newspeak: British Art Now”, Jonathan Wateridge has a new solo exhibition showcasing a series made up of 7 mammoth works.
Another Place consists of a series of seven large oil paintings, each 3m x 4m, depicting scenes from the production and narrative of a fictional American film that is centred on an unseen catastrophic event.
The production process of the paintings is in itself redolent of film‐making. Prior to the first marks on canvas, scale model sets are built, props fabricated, costumes made and performers cast in each role.
Executed in a robust realist manner, the paintings are on the one hand akin to a grand historical cycle and on the other, a playful study of genre structures. But this is serious play, an adult playground – role‐play for grown‐ups that has more sober subtexts.
A sense of unease and disquiet pervades the scenes and though each picture relates to the disaster, there is only one explicitly catastrophic image: a section of an overpass or directional interchange that has collapsed onto the ground below.
The theme of divided strata runs throughout the series. This is represented by certain motifs such as the division caused by the collapsed highway, or within the work's fictional cityscape: the relationship between hillside and valley living and its connotations of class and economy.
Another central facet of the pictures is an exploration of their status as a construct. These paintings are elaborate fictions but with visible seams. Schisms within the work are created by blurring the boundaries between the narrative and the production process. Within this alternate reality, the series exploits the different angles from which you can approach the paintings and establishes a Brechtian sense of defamiliarisation and estrangement.
The paintings draw you in and establish a genuine, though uncanny, relationship with the figures depicted, which, like a ventriloquial movement of the lips, is then disturbed by revealing the underlying construction.
The subtle dislocations within the narrative of each image emphasise a notion of intrinsic remove. Ultimately, in a world awash with the consumption of received and generic imagery, everything occurs to someone else and in another place.
NOTES TO EDITORS: About All Visual Arts
All Visual Arts (AVA) is a new hybrid arts enterprise founded by art expert Joe La Placa and CEO of BlueCrest Capital Management Mike Platt in October 2008. AVA’s goal is to build a major collection of contemporary art by representing and commissioning new work by the today’s most exciting international developing artists. www.allvisualarts.org
About Jonathan Wateridge
Born in Zambia in 1972, Wateridge was a student at Glasgow School of Art. He was represented by the David Risley Gallery before joining All Visual Arts. His work is in many high profile collections such as the Saatchi, Anita Zabludowicz, and the Benedict Taschen Collection. He now lives and works in Hackney. www.allvisualarts.org/artists/jonathan-wateridge.aspx
For further information, images and or interviews please contact Camilla Cole:
firstname.lastname@example.org (020) 7209 5775
Opening times: 10‐6pm every day, private view: Thursday, June 3rd