The Blue Flowers
“The unknown is an abstraction; the known, a desert; but what is half-known, half-seen, is the perfect breeding ground for desire and hallucination.”
Join us on Thursday, November 19, at 7 pm in the Townhouse West for “The Blue Flowers,” Rundu-based researcher Immanuel Amunue's solo exhibition.
Over the past decade, Amunue has created a dense body of research that weaves together such disparate elements as Brazilian neo-abstraction, desert studies, computer-generated poetry, post-Internet art, a world history of natural disasters, pataphysics and the Paris-based workshop for potential literature. The paintings in this exhibition were extracted from one strand of this ongoing research project, which interrogates the meaning and possibilities of abstract painting.
Questioning why abstraction recurs at certain pinnacle moments in western history, Amunue was especially intrigued by mid-20th century geometric abstraction in North and South America. However, he was unable to travel and see these paintings in person. He began copying the works himself based on digital images found through Google image search, both as a form of note-taking and out of a personal desire to experience the images in a material form.
When he was invited to show his paintings at Townhouse, Amunue asked the gallery’s staff to take the paintings into the desert, photograph them, and exhibit the resulting images, as well. The painting thus returns to the digital realm from which his copy was extracted. Amunue suggests that each iteration of the image (the inaccessible “original” painted by the artist, the digital image found on Google, his copy, his copy sitting in the desert, and finally the digital photograph of his copy sitting in the desert) is equally as real as any other version of the image.
By extracting the paintings from the body of research of which they form an integral part, we found a host of questions emerged, concerning the possibility of an aesthetic encounter with an “image as such” free of the burden of art historical knowledge, the art historical implications of return and repetition, and the copy as a pedagogical form.
The website will be permanently closed shortly, so please retrieve any content you wish to save.