The art in this visually exciting group exhibition continues the lineage of collage; to cut up, reposition and (re)arrange cinema’s near endless supply of imagery. Orson Welles’ unfinished version of Don Quixote features a scene where Quixote slashes at a screen in a cinema. This scene acts as a lynchpin for the ideas contained within the curatorial strategy of this exhibition, expanding on the notion of Quixotic, intertexturality and the slippage of reality and illusion. Michel Foucault has said in The Order of Things about Cervantes novel; “With all the twists and turns, Don Quixote’s adventures form the boundary: they mark the end of the old interplay between resemblance and signs and contain the beginnings of new relations.”
This exhibition has developed from the research interests and artworks of the curators, Andrew Bracey and John Rimmer. They both employ digital collage to cut and paste cinematic imagery to produce and play with new forms and received meaning. The selected artists explore these ideas in diverse ways to work with narrative and new forms of materiality. With the access to digital formats, of the internet and the digitisation of film, artists are now able to appropriate films to create different and innovative approaches to collage. This makes us look anew at, and re-address, the familiarity of moving image, media and the cinema space; a hybridised ‘cinematic’ experience.
In The Matrix of Sensations Donald Kuspit has suggested that ”…representational art, which is a mode of analogical thinking – that is, it assumes that what we see in the work of art corresponds to what we see in the actual world – will never be the same.” The artists bridge the analogue and the digital, working with both the two modes. As Nicolas Bourriaud states in his book Postproduction that “an ever increasing number of artworks have been created on the basis of pre-existing works, more and more artists interpret, reproduce, re-exhibit, or use works made by others or available cultural products.” The artists in this show exploit the possibilities outlined by Bourriaud to mine cinema’s new digital archive using a wide range of media, from projections and monitor based work through to digital prints, painting and even a microfiche viewer.