Named after the neurological phenomenon of a body part, even organ, that’s missing or amputated but still felt in its absence, the Phantom Limbs group exhibition expressed a dearth in its abundance. Running at London’ s Pilar Corrias between June 27 and August 1, eight artists exploring “notions of consciousness” within a digitally mediated existence were presented across its two floors.
Ken Okiishi‘s ‘E.lliotT.: Children of the New Age’ (2004) presented a surreal look into a mediated suburban dead end via amateur aesthetics and the disembodied mumblings of its performers, featured in its own white box display just across from Charlotte Prodger‘s ‘Compression Fern Face (2014)’ installation. A Sony reference monitor displayed a 3D animation filtering human experience through found texts in the latter artist’s work, YouTube clips, 16mm film and spoken narratives presented as “two coded abstract symbols move in tension with each other” on the screens white, framed background.
Philippe Parreno‘s ‘Happy Ending, Stockholm, Paris, 1996, 1997’ (2014), one of ten transparent glass scultpures, stands near the gallery reception, as easily overlooked as when an earlier incarnation of the work mysteriously disappeared from a 1996 solo exhibition. Antoine Catala‘s ‘: )’ (2014) and ‘(::( )::) (bandaid)’ (2014) are emoticons made material and moving on a motor on the floor beneath ‘Storage’ (2014) – an image of a fridge with an impress of pot and pan in it – while Ian Cheng‘s live computer simulations, stood in a corner across, present basic algorithms acting as “DNA that seeds the generation of endless, mutating sequences of behaviours between objects and characters”.
Films by Rachel Rose and Cécile B. Evans, ‘Palisades in Palisades’ (2014) and ‘The Brightness’ (2013) appear in the darkened downstairs. The former is a 3D monitor featuring choreographed, rootless teeth and an interview with a Phantom Limb specialist, also called Cécile B. Evans, her speech consciously and self-reflexively out of sync with the movement of her mouth. The latter uses scripted, documentary and post-production processes to explore the major consequences of “images and data overflowing from the flat surfaces of the screen” across historical timelines, while Alisa Baremboym‘s ‘Leakage Industries: Clear Conduit’ (2012) – a sculptural construction of organic and synthesised materials converged and suspended from the ceiling – flows top-down but is constrained by its context as the materials list describes its product as “dimensions variable”.
From here, other works by the same artists intersperse the two floors across media, including the sculptural incarnation of the CGI of Evans’ ‘The Brigthness’ in ‘Lost, Teeth’ (2014) and Okiishi’s ‘Holding my arm/phone above the visual barrier to see it becoming a cyborg’ (2013 – 2014) inkjet print wallpaper confusing notions of space, materiality and authorship. Together they reveal a chilling examination of a language and experience in perpetual, ungraspable, motion. **
Exhibition photos, top-right.