Patricia Low Contemporary is pleased to present Nuit Blanche, a large scale photography exhibition showcasing works by Gregory Crewsdon, Thomas Demand, Philip-Lorca Dicorcia, Sylvie Fleury, Dan Holdsworth, Axel Hütte, Annette Kelm, Florian Maier-Aichen and Katharina Sieverding.
Nuit Blanche explores the concept of ‘night’ as a contemporary examination of an enduring art historical theme, and contextual metaphor for the enigmatic processes of the photographic media. The paradox of light – its intangibility, transience, and pure energy – becomes a point of fixation in these works, both in their making and subjects, presenting a sublime coalescence of science, mysticism, realism, fiction and 21st century spirituality.
‘Night’, with all its literary connotations of black magic and witching hours, shadowy lurkings, illicitness, and the unknown, in Nuit Blanche is conceived as a liminal place, a metaphysical portal to worlds dictated by photography’s bent time and space. It’s the surreal aura of Holdsworth and Maier-Aichen’s time collapsed landscapes, bedazzling with futuristic discovery; and Crewsdon’s hauntingly lit filmic scenes, uncannily familiar and homespun, staging the creepy idyll of suburbia. It encompasses the decadent power of Hutte’s city views, cropped with a real estate mogul’s ambitious precision, claiming immense freedom and ownership, self-projection and grandeur, on all urban expanse has to offer; and the humble making of a universe of one’s very own, as in Demand’s cosmos-like field: a model construction of paper and light, a pure trick of the lens, falsifying the final frontier.
Nuit Blanche is the high drama of modern ritual and excess, a zone of fantasy and legend’s notoriety. Philip-Lorca Dicorcia’s pole dancing divas, command voyeur-gaze desire in their dervish contortions; while the iconic glamour of Katharina Sieverding’s gold-dusted self-portraits (so big screen cinematic, so personal) beacon adoration with their blindingly radiant light: goddesses of film’s relentless fixation. Fleury’s First Spaceship on Venus, and its phallic-metallic sly humour, celebrates the best of commodified feminism; while Kelm’s firework explosions, their freeze-framed fetes of glory, transform the awe of spectacle to miniature: as bursts of colour and sparks, sulphur blurs and lambent auras distil the magic from astonishment’s extravaganza, making it wondrously, preciously, intimate.
The silver mirrored flooring in the gallery, create an effect of doubling the illusionary and sensuous properties of the artworks, Nuit Blanche is a locale magnifying the enchanting spell simulation: the dark art of creating images, the strange ju-ju power that they hold, and their endless twilight of seductive fascination.