Rowena Harris – Soft Boundaries

Roma - 22/09/2017 : 22/12/2017

Soft Boundaries delinea l’attuale stato in cui viviamo – uno stato in cui le esperienze, gli effetti e la comprensione acquisiti dall’universo digitale, si muovono liberamente all’interno della nostra realtà tangibile.

Informazioni

  • Luogo: THE GALLERY APART
  • Indirizzo: via Francesco Negri 43 - Roma - Lazio
  • Quando: dal 22/09/2017 - al 22/12/2017
  • Vernissage: 22/09/2017 ore 18,30
  • Autori: Rowena Harris
  • Generi: arte contemporanea, personale
  • Orari: Martedì - sabato 15.00 pm – 19.00 and by appointment

Comunicato stampa

Soft Boundaries delinea l’attuale stato in cui viviamo – uno stato in cui le esperienze, gli effetti e la comprensione acquisiti dall’universo digitale, si muovono liberamente all’interno della nostra realtà tangibile. I confini che una volta potevano essere ben definiti, ora sono molli e flessibili - sono membrane superficiali che sostengono positivamente l’atto dell’osmosi tra il digitale e il materiale. Al centro della ricerca di Harris vi è il corpo

Attraverso la riflessione sul concetto di “schema corporeo” (o immagine corporea), che può essere interpretato come la capacità del corpo di aprirsi a, e intrecciarsi con il mondo, e dove l’immagine corporea non è fissa o rigida ma adattabile alla miriade di strumenti e tecnologie che possono essere incarnate , l’artista considera il corpo contemporaneo non limitato dal confine della propria pelle – i nostri corpi sono diventati dei media e i media stanno riconfigurando la nostra materia . Le tecnologie quotidiane di cui disponiamo sono in grado di alterare la nostra percezione del tatto? – la nostra percezione della materialità? – la nostra percezione di dove risiedono i limiti dei nostri stessi corpi? Interrogativi che la mostra si propone di interpretare in chiave poetica, forse fenomenologica, come un breve momento in cui la percezione corporea improvvisamente fallisce. Come stare seduti ma la sedia è più bassa di quanto previsto; come aspettarsi un gradino in più nel salire o scendere le scale; come quando ci si aspetta che il terreno sotto i piedi sia duro ma poi si rivela morbido. Essere soggetto a un confine molle è come cadere quando meno te lo aspetti.

La pratica artistica di Harris è pervasa da uno spazio vago sospeso tra materialità e digitalità, considerate dal punto di vista del corpo umano, e la sua opera abbraccia sia opere scultoree che digitali. Nella mostra, l’artista coinvolge lo stesso corpo dello spettatore attraverso un elemento esperienziale: un soffice pavimento in schiuma che spunta sotto i piedi dell’astante. Introduce inoltre l’idea di pelle come una presenza fantasma, attraverso le sculture “Golden Brown Texture Like Sun” composte da lampade abbronzanti utilizzate e scadute – lampade che hanno operato su infiniti corpi umani – trasferendo raggi UV nella loro pelle. Queste “pelli infinite” diventano veri fantasmi nella mostra, mentre maschere protettrici per gli occhi, dorate e dalla forma conica, che rappresentano un tipico oggetto dei centri estetici di abbronzatura, ricoprono il pavimento come spazzatura.

La serie “Pelts” composta da sottili superfici in rame, accompagnata da un film nel piano interrato anch’esso intitolato “Pelt”, è incentrata sulla resa digitale della pelle, dove la pelle in modellazione e stampa 3D (colloquialmente chiamata “pellame” dai programmatori) non è nient’altro che pura superficie – la profondità è resa in modo illusorio come pixel in una foto jpeg, e avvolta come una coperta su un formato digitale 3D. Nelle sculture, Harris immagina una conversione incidendo in rilievo l’immagine jpeg all’interno di una superficie, realizzando opere che scorrono tra superficie piana e forma tridimensionale. Nella serie di sculture “At the Edge of the Frame” , composta da scarpe in calcestruzzo, Harris ha applicato l’azione digitale del “cropping”, comune a Photoshop, Instagram e simili, alla forma materica. Una linea netta disseziona ciascun paio di scarpe, creando così una forma che gioca con la nostra comprensione familiare dell’immaginario digitale, mentre con lo stesso gesto rivela l’interno in cemento delle sculture e l’“essere” brutale della materia.

Nel piano interrato della galleria il film “A room within which the computer can control the existence of matter” prende il titolo da una frase di Ivan Sutherland, creatore del primo visore di realtà virtuale (VR). Il film riflette sulle potenzialità dell’esperienza digitale di riformare il modo in cui comprendiamo il nostro corpo umano. Unisce la ricerca sullo “schema corporeo” – materializzazione all’interno della realtà virtuale – e l’interesse di lunga data di Harris nella terapia virtuale del dolore dell'arto fantasma (virtual phantom limb therapy -VPLT) , e indaga se le nostre esperienze digitali possano essere considerate sulla stessa scia della VPLT e degli esperimenti di personificazione di VR nell’alterare la percezione del nostro stato corporeo, ma inglobate e inavvertite quale parte della nostra realtà quotidiana.
________________________________________
1994, E. Grosz, Volatile Bodies: Toward a Corporeal Feminism, Allen & Unwin, AU
2015, J. Laia, Hybridze or Disappear, Mousse Publishing, Milan, IT
La VLPT o Virtual Phantom Limb Therapy, è somministrata a soggetti cha hanno subito l’amputazione di un arto per alleviare il dolore percepito in un arto fantasma. La terapia è essenzialmente una realtà aumentata, dove il soggetto amputato, con l’aiuto di sensori applicati sul moncone, a videocamera e l’immagine su un monitor, rivive una versione virtuale di sensazione di recupero del proprio arto mancante, e istruisce il proprio cervello ad accettare l’arto virtuale quale parte del proprio corpo fisico.


SCHEDA INFORMATIVA
MOSTRA: Rowena Harris – Soft Boundaries
LUOGO: The Gallery Apart – Via Francesco Negri, 43, Roma
INAUGURAZIONE :Venerdì 22 settembre 2017, 18:30
DURATA MOSTRA: 23.09.2017 – 22.12.2017
ORARIO DI APERTURA: Martedì - sabato 15.00 pm – 19.00 and by appointment
INFO: The Gallery Apart – tel/fax +39 0668809863 – [email protected] – www.thegalleryapart.it

ROWENA HARRIS
Born in Norfolk (UK), in 1985.

FORMAZIONE
2008 - 2010 MFA Fine Art, Goldsmiths College, London, UK.
2005 – 2008 BA (hons) Fine Art, University College Falmouth, UK.

PREMI / RESIDENZE
2014 - 2015 Sainsbury’s Scholarship, (1 year) British School at Rome, IT
2013. Atelier Salzamt Residency, Linz, AT
2010. New Contemporaries
2009. The Red Mansion foundation (shortlisted)

MOSTRE PERSONALI
2015 The Third Hand Prosthesis, Object A, Manchester, UK
Being both on and within, as I said, The Gallery Apart, Rome
2013 P.A.R.T.S, Coleman Project Space, London
2011 Believing in Things. Van Horbourg Gallery, Basel, Switzerland
Sculptures, Schwartz Gallery, London

MOSTRE COLLETTIVE (SELEZIONE)
2017 Super Human Corporation, Space In Between - Online Project, London, UK
Public View, curated by B. Biggs, The Bluecoat, Liverpool UK
Tropical Hangover, curated by B. Soós and S. Sideli, Tenderpixel, London UK
2016 A Symptom of Objects, Supercollider, Blackpool, UK Film Screening, as part of Persistent States, Saarländische Galerie, Berlin, DE
Say What?, ASC Gallery, London UK
Left Hand to Back of Head, Object Held Against Right Thigh, Bluecoat, Liverpool UK
2015 The Place of the scene, Bloc Projects, Sheffield, UK
BSR Fine Arts June Mostra 2015, The British School at Rome, Rome
And so we gape (solo performance event), curated by Nero, Rome
March Mostra, The British School at Rome
Conversation Piece | Part 1, Fondazione Memmo, Rome
2014 Dec Mostra, The British School at Rome
Image Object, curated by Kirtsty Ogg for Artuner.com
C(h)roma, (*MC) Indiranagar, Bangalore, India
Digitalsmigital, (*MC) Tenderbooks, London
Chronoviser: Archive, South Kiosk, London
Synchronise. Accelerate. Disperse. II, (*MC) MJ Gallery, Geneva, Switzerland
2013 The Starseed Transmission, Enclave Projects, London
Post Post, St James’ Church, Goldsmith’s, London
Believing (in) Objects, 134 Middleton Road, London
Hack the Barbican, The Barbican, London
Systems Failure, The Contemporary at Great Western Studios, London
The Open Cube, The White Cube, London
MC 1&2, Vanhorbourg Gallery, X Marks The Bokship & Enclave Projects, Zurich, CH & London
2012 Cold Compress, Drei Gallery, Cologne, DE
Fustration, Flat Time House, London
Today the Collection is, Bethnal Green Library, London
Punctuating, (duo show with Vera Kox) La Scatola Gallery, London
No More Icons, Rod Barton Gallery, London
Syndicate 1, Food Face projects, London
2011 I Pity Inanimate Objects, Goldstein Gallery, London
In Search of Alchemic Times, (curated by Cecilia Wee), London
KNOW HOW. Campbell Works, London
SAGS. The Woodmill, London
2010 New Contemporaries, The A Foundation & ICA, Liverpool, London
To Look is to Labour, Laden Fuer Nichts, Leipzig, Germany
Say What, What Way, [email protected], London
Pause and Eject Part 1 & 2, Shoreditch Town Hall, London
2009 Off Modern, Corsica Studios, London


Soft Boundaries describes the current state in which we live - a state where experiences, effects and understanding gained from the digital realm move freely into our tangible reality. Boundaries that may once have been neatly defined, are now soft and pliable - they are superficial membranes that positively support the act of osmosis between digital and material. The body is at the centre of Harris’ investigation into this area. Through considering the concept of ‘corporeal schema’ (or body image), which can be understood as the body’s capacity to be open to, and intertwined with the world, and where body image is not fixed or rigid but adaptable to the myriad of tools and technologies that may be embodied , she considers the contemporary body as one not limited by the boundary of our skin - our bodies have become media and media are reconfiguring our matter .

Can our everyday technologies alter our perception of touch? - our perception of materiality? - our perception of where the limits of our own bodies lie?

The exhibition interprets these question poetically, perhaps phenomenologically, as a brief moment when bodily perception suddenly goes awry. Akin to sitting but the seat is lower than you expect; to expecting an extra step ascending or descending stairs; when you expect the ground to be hard but it is soft beneath your feet. Being subject to a soft boundary is akin to falling when you least expect.

Harris’ practice is informed by the murky area between materiality and digitality, considered from the site of the human body, and her work spans both sculpture and digital forms. In the exhibition, she calls the viewers own body into the question through an experiential element - a soft foam flooring that gives beneath one’s feet. She also introduces the idea of skin as a phantom presence, through sculptures ‘Golden Brown Texture Like Sun’ that are comprised of used and expired sun tanning bulbs - bulbs which have acted upon countless human bodies - transferring UV rays into their skin. These ‘countless skins’ become veritable ghosts in the exhibition, and golden, cone shaped eye protectors that are a noticeable feature of tanning salons, litter the gallery floor.

The series ‘Pelts’ comprised of thin copper surfaces, alongside a film in the basement also titled ‘Pelt’, focuses on digital rendering of skin, where skin, in 3D modelling as well as 3D printing (colloquially called ‘pelts’ or (animal) hides, by programers), is nothing other than pure surface - depth is rendered as an illusion as pixels in a jpeg, and wrapped like a blanket on a digital 3D form. In the sculptural works, Harris imagines a conversion through embossing the jpeg into a surface, creating works that slip between surface and three-dimensional form.

The sculptural series ‘At the Edge of the Frame’, which are cast concrete shoes, Harris has applied a digital gesture of ‘cropping’, familiar from Photoshop, Instagram and similar, to material form. One clean line dissects each pair of shoes, and through this she creates a form that plays with our familiar understanding of digital imagery, whilst with the same gesture, reveals the sculptures solid concrete interior and their brutal ‘there-ness’ of matter.

In the basement of the gallery the film ‘A room within which the computer can control the existence of matter’ takes it’s title from a quote by Ivan Sutherland, creator of the first virtual reality (VR) machine. The film considers the potentiality of digital experience to reform how we understand our own human body. It combines research on ‘corporeal schema’ - embodiment within virtual reality - and Harris’ long-standing interest in virtual phantom limb therapy (VPLT) , and probes whether our digital experiences could be considered in the same vein as that of VPLT and VR embodiment experiments in altering our perception of our bodily state, but rather subsumed and unnoticed as part of our everyday reality.

________________________________________
1994, E. Grosz, Volatile Bodies: Toward a Corporeal Feminism, Allen & Unwin, AU
2015, J. Laia, Hybridze or Disappear, Mousse Publishing, Milan, IT
VLPT or Virtual Phantom Limb Therapy, is given to amputees to relieve pain in a phantom limb. The therapy is essentially an augmented reality, where the amputee, with the aid of applied sensors on the stump, a camera and image on a monitor, re-experience a virtual version of their missing limb, and train their brain to accept the virtual limb as part of their physical body.


FACT SHEET
EXHIBITION: Rowena Harris – Soft Boundaries
VENUE: The Gallery Apart – Via Francesco Negri, 43, Roma
VERNISSAGE:Friday 22. September 2017, 6:30 PM
DURATION: 23.09.2017 – 22.12.2017
EXHIBIT OPENING HOURS: Tuesday- Saturday 3.00 pm – 7.00 and by appointment
INFO: The Gallery Apart – tel/fax +39 0668809863 – [email protected] – www.thegalleryapart.it

ROWENA HARRIS
Born in Norfolk (UK), in 1985.

EDUCATION
2008 - 2010 MFA Fine Art, Goldsmiths College, London, UK.
2005 – 2008 BA (hons) Fine Art, University College Falmouth, UK.

AWARDS / RESIDENCIES
2014 - 2015 Sainsbury’s Scholarship, (1 year) British School at Rome, IT
2013. Atelier Salzamt Residency, Linz, AT
2010. New Contemporaries
2009. The Red Mansion foundation (shortlisted)

SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2015 The Third Hand Prosthesis, Object A, Manchester, UK
Being both on and within, as I said, The Gallery Apart, Rome
2013 P.A.R.T.S, Coleman Project Space, London
2011 Believing in Things. Van Horbourg Gallery, Basel, Switzerland
Sculptures, Schwartz Gallery, London

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2017 Super Human Corporation, Space In Between - Online Project, London, UK
Public View, curated by B. Biggs, The Bluecoat, Liverpool UK
Tropical Hangover, curated by B. Soós and S. Sideli, Tenderpixel, London UK
2016 A Symptom of Objects, Supercollider, Blackpool, UK Film Screening, as part of Persistent States, Saarländische Galerie, Berlin, DE
Say What?, ASC Gallery, London UK
Left Hand to Back of Head, Object Held Against Right Thigh, Bluecoat, Liverpool UK
2015 The Place of the scene, Bloc Projects, Sheffield, UK
BSR Fine Arts June Mostra 2015, The British School at Rome, Rome
And so we gape (solo performance event), curated by Nero, Rome
March Mostra, The British School at Rome
Conversation Piece | Part 1, Fondazione Memmo, Rome
2014 Dec Mostra, The British School at Rome
Image Object, curated by Kirtsty Ogg for Artuner.com
C(h)roma, (*MC) Indiranagar, Bangalore, India
Digitalsmigital, (*MC) Tenderbooks, London
Chronoviser: Archive, South Kiosk, London
Synchronise. Accelerate. Disperse. II, (*MC) MJ Gallery, Geneva, Switzerland
2013 The Starseed Transmission, Enclave Projects, London
Post Post, St James’ Church, Goldsmith’s, London
Believing (in) Objects, 134 Middleton Road, London
Hack the Barbican, The Barbican, London
Systems Failure, The Contemporary at Great Western Studios, London
The Open Cube, The White Cube, London
MC 1&2, Vanhorbourg Gallery, X Marks The Bokship & Enclave Projects, Zurich, CH & London
2012 Cold Compress, Drei Gallery, Cologne, DE
Fustration, Flat Time House, London
Today the Collection is, Bethnal Green Library, London
Punctuating, (duo show with Vera Kox) La Scatola Gallery, London
No More Icons, Rod Barton Gallery, London
Syndicate 1, Food Face projects, London
2011 I Pity Inanimate Objects, Goldstein Gallery, London
In Search of Alchemic Times, (curated by Cecilia Wee), London
KNOW HOW. Campbell Works, London
SAGS. The Woodmill, London
2010 New Contemporaries, The A Foundation & ICA, Liverpool, London
To Look is to Labour, Laden Fuer Nichts, Leipzig, Germany
Say What, What Way, [email protected], London
Pause and Eject Part 1 & 2, Shoreditch Town Hall, London
2009 Off Modern, Corsica Studios, London

I morbidi confini di Rowena Harris. A Roma

The Gallery Apart, Roma ‒ fino al 22 dicembre 2017. Tra la materialità dell'opera e l'intangibilità del digitale, Rowena Harris espone fotografie, video e sculture. All’interno della mostra “Soft Boundaries”.