LONDON.- Gazelli Art House
hosts a major exhibition of new photography and animations made by the artist duo Aziz + Cucher who have been life partners and collaborators since 1992.
The works in the exhibition focus on their continued interest in representing the landscape through a stylised visual vocabulary that is lyrical, meditational and at times foreboding.
The exhibition includes a new installation of Time of the Empress from their critically acclaimed Some People, an exhibition of four complex video installations that attempts to wrestle with the underlying madness of everyday life amidst political turmoil throughout the Middle East. Focusing largely on the strain between societys aspiration for progress and the cyclical nature of history, the works in Some People show the stark contrast between things feeling as if they are progressing and knowing that they are always staying the same.
This new version of Time of the Empress (2012) contains several large flat-screen panels hung from the ceiling of the gallery, displaying a series of animated drawings that present modernist buildings in an endless loop of simultaneous construction and disintegration. Through a labour-intensive animation process, these architectural drawings are suspended in a cycle of growth and dissolution, creation and destruction like a series of Towers of Babel - simultaneously rising and collapsing. This constant movement alludes to the Book of Ecclesiastes: There is nothing new under the sun, where history repeats itself, empires rise and fall, and time is fleeting and ephemeral. Time of The Empress casts a meditational glance at historical cycles of growth and decay and the impermanence of the present.
Alongside this video installation new works from their Scenapse series are being presented for the first time. Continuing their exploration of digital manipulation Aziz + Cucher produce disorienting images of landscapes, trees, water and flowers. They manipulate pixels to great effect, lending ordinary natural scenes a simultaneously dark and fantastical quality. In Scenapse #8 (Desert Nocturne) the varying texture and density of each and every bush, branch and leaf creates a sense of constant flux; a seemingly traditional landscape is transformed into an enigmatic other-world that is saved from prettiness by the sense that they have been eaten away from within. Nothing is solid; everything is permeable, lacy, almost transparent. The works in this series have been described as electronic impressionism and this remains true of new pieces being unveiled at the show.
Seen together, these two bodies of work evoke feelings of fragility and transience, qualities that are part of both the natural and man-made world.
Since the beginning of their career together in 1992, Aziz + Cucher have worked in a variety of media including digital imaging, sculpture, animation, and video-installation. They were considered pioneers of digital manipulation in fine art photography in the 1990s and their work features in prominent collections worldwide, including San Franciscos Museum of Modern Art and the Fond National dArt Contemporain in Paris. The artists also represented Venezuela in the 1995 Venice Biennale.