Engaging Goldsmiths M.A Photography Degree Exhibition 2015
As ever, this year’s Goldsmiths M.A in Image and Electronic arts (formerly Image and Communication) has on display a wide range of work, varied in scope and and medium. It’s a shame that this year’s exhibition was held before the iIne Art M.A and MFA shows, as, what with the tube strike as well, attendance seemed a little low. Despite the fact that it is only a one year course, some of graduates were able to produce some very interesting work.
Weir Ha’s portraits ( Top Photo) of young Chinese creatives working in London, ‘Chinese Youth’, are elegant and restrained.. The project would have benefitted from a little more development, and surely has the scope to expand beyond the artist’s social circle into a more thorough exploration of the expat Chinese youth in London, but is nevertheless a charming set of images.
I really enjoyed Emilia Nylén’ video installation. Two old fashioned video monitors place side by side in front of a chair the viewer sits on, display images from foreign language films that have been remade in America on one monitor, alongside images of the actual remakes on the other. The image delivery is choreographed; scenes alternate or are juxtaposed, some of the images are cropped to highlight a particular character’s presence or to foreground a commonality between the two versions of the movie, and on occasion the films slide across the screen ‘off stage’. It’s a highly enjoyable piece that not only engages with the idea of cultural transference and translation, but also tunes into the intense identification one can feel with a fictional character. Most of the films and tv shows included feature female protagonists (Dark Water, Let The RIght One In, The Bridge, Girl With a Dragon Tattoo) so I would imagine this as much a personal exploration for the artist as a conceptual one.
Suffused in a californian-like glow, Dham Srifuengfung’s installation of images is a delightful evocation of a kind of preppy nostalgia. Varied in scale, framing and subject matter, some of the images are abstract details, some portraits, others landscapes ,but all seemingly captured from within a sunkist, wealthy suburban Americana (they could actually be anywhere). An image naked torso is set beside an extraordinary photograph of a coiled hose on a tennis court, for example. With its hints of youthful eroticism, and a real sense tactility, this work manages to straddle the border with fashion editorial, whilst also engaging with notions of memory and representation.
Finally, Xiaobo Fu’s mixed media installation, ‘Sudo Ebola’, is completely nuts, and enjoyably so. ‘#Deepdream #NASA’ is the strongest element. These are eight NASA photographs processed through what the artist calls ‘an artificial neural network algorithm’, which is as dumbfounding a statement as the images themselves. Impossible describe with words, these are the psychedelic doodles of a cyborg’s acid trip, grotesque and fascinating in equal measure, but thankfully free of the cliches one sees in so much of the ‘Post- Internet’ art of today. They are amazing.
The show is only on until Monday July 13th and is definitely worth a visit.
List of Exhibitors:
Manita Eiamvasant, Xiaobo Fu, Weier Ha, Nena Kazantzidou, Soo Kim, Danqing Li, Xindan Liu, Sha Luo, Aaron McEvoy, Emilia Nylén, Dham Srifuengfung, Wan.T, Yuqing Wang, Kailin Wu, Yao Wu, Sen Zhang
Words/Photos: Kerim Aytac © artlyst 2015