BEGIN:VCALENDAR VERSION:2.0 PRODID:icalendar-ruby CALSCALE:GREGORIAN BEGIN:VEVENT DTSTAMP:20170523T075220Z UID:251626 DTSTART:20130112T000000 DTEND:20130216T000000 DESCRIPTION:
Blum &\; Poe is pleased to present an exhibition of
new work by the Canadian artist Hugh Scott-Douglas. This m
arks Scott-Douglas' first exhibition with Blum &\; Poe and his first sol
o-presentation in Los Angeles.
For this exhibition\, Scott-Douglas draws inspiration from the 1920 German Expressionist silent film\, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Directed b y Robert Wiene\, the film has long been regarded for its use of highly styl ized two-dimensional stage sets and the employment of mise-en-abyme\, or dr eam-within-a-dream narrative\, to tell the story of Francis\, its protagoni st\, through flashbacks -- one of the earliest films to utilize this techni que. As the plot unfolds\, a physical and psychological mirroring takes pla ce\, one in which time\, space\, and perspective are called into question. The deceptively elaborate (although in reality quite simple) stage sets use d to create such visual trickery are paramount to the film's success and ha ve inspired the installation and architectural choices in Scott-Douglas' cu rrent presentation. Much like how Wiene's stage sets dictate the mood of hi s film\, Scott-Douglas\, through careful study of Blum &\; Poe's archite ctural footprint\, has authored an ambitious installation comprised of ongo ing bodies of work: cyanotypes\, laser cuts\, road cases\, and slide projec tions.
The cyanotype (o r blueprint)\, created in the 1840s and used largely by architects (and lat er artists)\, is one of the earliest non-camera photographic processes\, de veloping images with the aid of the sun rather than artificial light. The p rocess allowed architects to make inexpensive copies of their drawings prio r to the age of photocopy machines. In Scott-Douglas' hands\, the cyanotype is used to produce works imbued with motifs designed through computer-gene rated algorithms. The patterns are output onto transparent film\, and then exposed on canvas. The resulting chromatic variation from one canvas to the next is a bi-product of the contingent environment -- the intensity of the sun passing over the canvas at its time of development. In this exhibition \, Scott-Douglas uses a grid of eighteen cyanotype pictures measuring 18.5 feet high by 37.5 feet wide as the initial focal point for his installation \, towering over four imposing road cases. Using the full surface area of t he gallery's largest wall\, Scott-Douglas builds a lattice of blue patterni ng\, alternating and subtly shifting in tonality. The artist endeavors to c reate an "architectural kiss\," a term coined by the architectural scholar Sylvia Lavin\, whereby the cyanotypes gently embrace the existing architect ure\, and each piece of the remainder of the installation falls in line. span>
Just as Scott-Douglas' cy anotype pictures require ultraviolet light to develop\, his laser cuts rely on infrared light to generate their motifs. Infrared\, on the opposite end of the light spectrum from ultraviolet\, has the ability to burn away the surface of a canvas in a highly controlled manner\, unlike sunlight. Scott Douglas' laser cuts are "built" from the pictorial information found in his cyanotypes. After photographing a completed cyanotype\, the artist will sc an and decode the resulting image and export its content to a laser-cut mac hine. The laser cutter will then produce a "negative" of the blue picture\, in essence creating a canvas devoid of all the cyan information found in t he original source material. It is through this subtractive process that a relationship between these bodies of work takes shape. The life of the blue picture and the laser cut extends into a different potential space\, all t he while carrying the DNA of one and the other wherever it may travel.
This notion of transience i s one that Scott-Douglas aims to address with his road cases. Conventionall y used as a means of transporting equipment from one site to another\, the road case here functions practically as a piece of "temporary architecture" and symbolically as the means to contain an inherently transient object. C onstructed on a one-to-two descending scale from 14 x 28 feet at its larges t to 2 x 4 feet at its smallest\, the four road cases in the exhibition eac h contain an embedded laser cut filled within the metal frame of the case\, which function equally as frames\, walls\, and cases. The laser cut exists only temporarily in its current incarnation as part of the gallery's archi tectural plan - like a fake wall. Upon the end of the exhibition\, the tran sient object becomes victim to any number of environments it might travel t o\, eventually finding a resting place\, only later to be moved again. Scot t-Douglas retrains our eye to the power of the set or stage to distort our understanding of space and time.
Alone in the smallest of the three main galleries\, Scott-Douglas will present a new slide project. Loaded with eighty slides\, each of the five rotary slide carousels will throw a square of blue light on the opposi ng wall at unsynchronized intervals\, creating a cacophony of mechanized sh uttering. Similar to how the production of his laser cuts depend on the exi stence of their corresponding cyanotypes\, the artist has matched the chrom atic value of each slide to an existing blue found in a cyanotype picture. Beyond their formal relationship\, the duration of each slide projector is timed exactly to fifteen minutes\, the amount of time required for the sun to fully expose a canvas outdoors\, after which time\, no further cyan can be drawn from the chemistry. It is through these relationships of form\, co ntent\, time and space in which Scott-Douglas' practice takes shape and one is left to negotiate within the hall of mirrors he has built.
Hugh Scott-Douglas (b. 1988\, Cambr idge\, England) holds a BFA in sculpture from the Ontario College of Art an d Design (OCAD). His work will be featured in the forthcoming exhibition Pa ttern: Follow the Rules at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State Museum in March 2013.