40th Interim Exhibition: We are Stardust
We Are Stardust, 2014, is the new body of work by artist Brigitte Stepputtis in collaboration with London-based studio ScanLab. Here we find a combination of a cutting edge technology, which is mainly used to create virtual representations of buildings and cities, and a desire to achieve a new plasticity that ultimately leads toward a new aesthetic. Her videos and images are mesmerizing to say the least, it is not only a deep feeling of timelessness that these pieces provoke but also the odd sensation of not knowing what one is really looking at.
We Are Stardust comprises a series of prints on the ground floor and three video pieces individually displayed in each of the upper floors. In Stepputtis’ presentation the very fragmented nature of the gallery space gains an unsuspected unity. It is not only the compact visual component of her series that creates a sense of continuity but also the subtle sound installation that runs in parallel with the pieces that ubiquitously invades all premises of the gallery. This beautifully crafted interstellar cacophonic audio-installation, created by Matty Skylab, smartly reciprocates the unattainable nature of Brigitte’s series and enhances a surreal sense of impossibility.
Brigitte Stepputtis’ video works are characterised by a lack of a valid perspective. While confronted by these works the viewer keeps experiencing the odd sensation of witnessing a totally disrupted space-time axis. It is indeed the dislocated nature of such environments that leads an audience to formulate multiple and disparate associations. The apparently stone-carved models lose their solid properties to become blurred spectrums that keep metamorphosing and twisting with no apparent logic. It is as if for some unspecified reason the very fabric that conforms reality had been stripped from its previous defining qualities. Brigitte’s ghost-like models inhabit an impossible space in which, weirdly enough, the only consistent elements are the shadows cast by the models.
As the artist herself argues, in applying the cutting edge of technology to the portrayal of humans, Stepputtis and ScanLab stretch the possibilities of data mapping nearly to the point of failure. As a result, We Are Stardust subtly enquires about the relation between human beings and technology. In a very tangential manner, the artist seems to point toward an unfulfilled and somehow problematic relation between the two of them. In a highly developed technological society like ours in which technology mediates and articulates most of our personal and professional activities, the very concept of reality is being re-negotiated. It is exactly by placing a human element at the centre of the stage that Brigitte’s series gain a whole new dimension of meaning.
Brigitte Stepputtis lives and works in London. She is Head of Couture at Vivienne Westwood but also creates independent work using new-media technology exploring virtual representations of architecture, fashion and the human figure through film and images. Recent shows include the Herrick gallery 2010, Röhsska Museet, Gothenburg 2011/12, The Gathering at Mytoro gallery, Hamburg, with a. / o. Jack Duplock, Marcus Coates, Jamie Shovlin, 2013, Our Autonomous Nature, Tidings, installation, Testbed, London, 2013, Trajector Intermezzo, video installation, Brussels, Belgium, 2013 and Hanmi Gallery, London, 2014.
ScanLAB Projects is a London-based design studio experimenting with the potential of large scale 3D scanning, capturing data using the latest 3D laser scanning technology to conduct pointcloud surveys. They effectively digitally map the world in 3D: everything from large scale cityspaces to small industrial components, using a range of laser scanning technologies including LIDAR and structured light. They work internationally, taking hyper surveys of the world alongside scientists, activists, architects and filmmakers. Their work has been widely published, exhibited and broadcast internationally. Recent exhibitions included at Bergen KunstHall, Norway with the Otolith Group, ARKTIS at The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen, NOISE at Surface Gallery, London, THING at CinemaXXI, Rome witrh Anouk De Clercq, and Frozen Relic at The Architectural Association, London.
Mat Ducasse a.k.a Matty Skylab has been making music since he released his first album Skylab #1, a collaboration with producers Howie B. and Japan’s Major Force, in 1994. He has worked as a writer, sound designer, producer, remixer, musician and DJ both solo and in collaborations ranging from pop producers Xenomania and William Orbit, Soundtrack and solo artist David Holmes, various spontaneous musicians and artists, scores of experimental bands, as well as collaborations with and soundtracks for installations by artists Abigail Lane, Tracey Emin, and C.A. Halpin as well as the Electronic Elvis Project with Paul Fryer. He has also exhibited his own paintings and short films. He currently lives in London and has begun work on his 1st movie soundtrack commission.