Month: October 2019

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ARTIFICIAL STAGING

October 20, 2019 | Archives | No Comments

A solo exhibition by Mark Arcamo.

Constructed Realities

“Beyond the fiction of reality, there is the reality of fiction.”

Slavoj Žižek, “Less Than Nothing: Hegel and the Shadow of Dialectical Materialism”

Mark Arcamo’s works study the complexity and nuances of human nature, and the spaces it inhabits. In his latest show “Artificial Staging,” he critiques how our lives, now irrefutably influenced by technology, create a dichotomy where the physical and the imagined are locked in a constant interplay of forces, one seemingly seeking to outdo the other, and likewise resulting in the question of which parts are still real, and which aren’t. Through this, Arcamo taps into the principal concept that perceives the artist as creator of a constructed reality.

In “Artificial Staging,” human figures merge and morph with the realm of technology, suggesting the idea that we are slowly becoming the things we interact with. Arcamo displays a meticulous consistency in drawing together an assorted mix of attractive colours, seamless in its execution, while subsequently highlighting each subject as they are brought to the very forefront of the canvas. They stand out as monochrome figures, familiar in form but strange in representation. Human bodies are depicted with body parts altered to fit various technological equipment; some have heads replaced with camera lenses and video game consoles, others have wires and cables protruding from the chest and torso. This peculiar fusion of the inanimate and the human produces a subtle sense of discomfort, countered only by the impeccable clarity with which the artist splices each element together.

It is clear that the world these subjects inhabit is one which Arcamo himself has conjured. And yet, he incorporates into it an allusion to the process of painting as a means of creation, where the artist becomes the medium through which the real and the created are brought face-to-face with one another. The works in “Artificial Staging” reflect precisely that – a world that is almost completely constructed by fictions like technology, which have begun to permanently alter the way we perceive ourselves, and our relationships with others.

Words by Elle Lucena

BEAST MODE

October 20, 2019 | Archives | No Comments

A solo exhibition by Angelo Tabije.

On the Road

There is a surge of raw adrenaline as the roar of a motorcycle’s engine is revved into life. Monstrous and visceral in tone, it urges the senses to awaken, as the sound pierces through still air and the body jolts forward in eager suspense. Its rider is no longer simply a passive observer to his surroundings; atop a motorcycle, he is plunged into an almost overwhelming assortment of sensations, as the wind, noise, and speed pull him across infinite stretches of roads.

In “Beast Mode,” Angelo Tabije explores the thrill and almost blurred line between danger and the rush of raw adrenaline. Using motorcycles as his primary focus, he renders figures in the process of morphing with these machines, subsequently creating a animal-like hybrid that glides along the boundaries of human and inhuman. Each of his subjects are painted against a backdrop of soft and muted colours – blacks, blues, and greys – similar in composition to a rider in motion, whose immediate surroundings are out of focus as he speeds towards the distant horizon. Splashes of colour – bright, vibrant, and eye-catching – adorn the subjects’ bodies, bringing to the forefront every line and curve, as they twist, cross, and meet one another in a play of light and shadows.

Tabije’s fascination for motorcycles began out of personal interest. In “Beast Mode,” he strives to recreate the excitement and fear that comes with speeding along an uninterrupted road, untouchable even by the natural elements. Depicted as a raw and immersive experience, the rider is no longer a mere observer, but an active part of the journey. The senses are wide alert – conscious of the cool wind as the body speeds ahead, and acutely aware of the hard concrete only a few inches below. On the vehicle, everything is both beyond and within reach. It is, at its very core, an enthralling experience, where every lurch and whim is a response of the moment.

In “Beast Mode,” the figures alternate between human, animal, and machine. However, beyond its physical representation, Tabije also taps into the human psyche by establishing the ride as a means to let loose, let be, and run free. Akin to a wild animal on the move, the subjects are in a constant state of motion, caught only on canvas as a quick snapshot frozen in time. For a very short moment, the journey is paused, and the figures emerge as half-formed creatures that are both beast and machine – wild, dangerous, and ever in pursuit of the distant and unreachable horizon.

Words by Elle Lucena