SPACES IN TRANSITION
Contemporary Photography by four artists exploring the idea of space, time and decay
Private view: Wednesday 13th February – 6-9pm –
Exhibition runs 13 – 23 February 2013
Hanmi Gallery, 30 Maple Street, London W1T 6HA
Hanmi Gallery is pleased to announce Spaces in Transition, a showcase ofwork by four photographers who, in their practice, explore the idea of space and in particular, industrial spaces and buildings, often disused, as well as landscapes where human presence is strongly felt.
In these photographs, the viewer is often drawn to the physical consequences of the passage of time in the spaces captured, whether in the form of mere decay or the adoption of new uses.
The works in Spaces in Transition echo the very space they are being presented in: Hanmi Gallery, which in its current condition is a shell where the structure of the building is exposed.
Hanmi Gallery is due to undergo major refurbishment but is currently open to the public with a program of interim exhibitions, of which Spaces in Transition is the 18th edition. The grand opening will take place in summer 2013.
NOTE : A full price list and high res images of the works are available for each artist upon request to:
Alfonso Batalla has been living and working in Bilbao since 1986. Batalla was a finalist in Lux Photography prize in 2012 and was selected for the AENA Photography prize (2011). His most recent exhibitions include Res Nullius BilboArgazki 2012 and Paisajes Reconstruidos Galeria Vanguardia. Bilbao 2011. Batalla's work is also shown regularly at Galería Ines Barrenechea, Madrid. Batalla's selection for Spaces in Transitioncomes from an ongoing project that he calls "Rooms of Solitude", spaces devoid of people but filled with memories, hopes, frustrations and sorrows.
Image: 'Baby Monitoring' by Alfonso Batalla
Batalla has commented about "Rooms of Solitude":
“The French term Solitude (loneliness) is a reference to Georges Moustaki's song "Ma solitude" with curiously reminds me of my youth days of wine, roses, fun and people. As I grow older I assume that a certain degree on loneliness (being it physical loneliness or mental isolation) is necessary to think, to set up new ideas and projects, to fight our pains and fears, to know what we and our surroundings are truly made from.”
“These "rooms" are empty, completely devoid of people. But they are full with memories, hopes, frustrations, sorrows... The process of photographing purely architectural spaces generates quite "cold" or even inexpressive images which make the viewer feel ill at ease until he can fill those spaces with his own feelings. And this is an invitation to reflection, self analysis, possibly in relation with existentialism, a search for our own true essence. As Moustaki wrote "Non, je ne suis jamais seul avec ma solitude" (No, I am never alone with my loneliness).”
Chris King's interest in photography started in the early 1970s using a 110 format Agfamatic camera. He applies such photographic fundamentals to digital technology and continues to utilise both analogue and digital. For Spaces in Transition , King has selected work from his most recent body of work in the South of the USA, notably works that present a decaying interior where the viewer witnesses a different sort of time capsule, one that quietly lets the world of the 1950s remain – a space in transition, for better or worse.
King has embarked upon a major body of work that captures the South and South-West United States, as seen from the perspective of a foreigner, composed and presented in his identifiable style.
Images of liquor stores that line the borders of dry counties and snow-covered fields in West Texas demonstrate his aptitude for encapsulating the essence of a place. A solitary tree in the car park of Hewlett Packard’s Contact Center in small-town America stands out as a piece of corporate landscaping that would otherwise be unnoticed. A road sign for “Mallet Town” is riddled with bullet holes – presumably from locals practicing shooting, yet the sign remains in place.
Of Last Chance 72118, the photographer outlines his intellectual interest, with perhaps a hint of suspicion that these lasting leftovers from 1920s USA may not last forever, “Dry counties are still going strong nearly 80 years after prohibition ended. These are for me, perhaps, the most alien of Southern discoveries. Every town, every village in the UK has at least one pub, many of them hundreds of years old. Living in London, one of the pleasures of visiting a new part of the city is finding a new pub and sampling their beer. A dry county in the UK would be rapidly depopulated…” This type of booze shack, spattered with neon signs, only has a short life remaining, now preserved in King’s Leica M9 photograph.
Fernando Pérez Fraile an architect as well as a photographer, owes his early interest in photography to his travels photographing the mysterious Romanesque churches and magnificent gothic cathedrals of his native Castille. His latest solo exhibition, “Spaces of Memory” was held at the Lightgallery in November 2012. The pictures selected for Spaces in Transition were taken during a number of trips to disused industrial spaces. In the artist's words:
“I understand my work as an architect as a pursuit for beauty. What I strive to achieve is a world that is at least a bit better than the one I inherited. However, the process of creating a building is an extremely laborious one, requiring thousands of hours and countless meetings and discussions. In a way, photography allows me to find - and perhaps create - beauty in a much more straightforward way. Just me, a camera and the whole world around, revealing beauty in every detail.
“The pictures selected for Spaces in Transition were taken during a number of trips to disused industrial spaces. Getting access to these secluded worlds is not always easy. Once inside, I find an intoxicating mix of the things that most interest me as a photographer: space, light, texture, geometry and perhaps above all, silence.”
Image: '68' by Fernando Perez Fraile
Paul Tucker's body of work concerns the natural and urban landscape capturing seemingly mundane objects, which on a second reading take on a new significance or strength. For Spaces in Transition Tucker has selected works from his seriesUnder the Surface, images taken during the recent major refurbishment of the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow, North East London. These images have an innate sense of the passing of time, be it traces of human activity, or the layers of decoration exposed by the refurbishment of a hitherto much-loved building.
Image: 'Under the Surface #9' by Paul Tucker
Under the Surface evolved from the invitation by the William Morris Gallery to Tucker to document the transition taking place between November 2011 and May 2012. The resulting images show the interior of the building in a process of change, revealing layers of its past as well as the creation of a new layer for the future. What emerges from the vacant, off duty, spaces is the inpouring of light and a sense of scale. The pictures capture fleeting moments and elements that will fade from view as the finishing touches are added to the house before it returns to public life as a gallery and museum.