Zabludowicz Collection has announced the first major solo show in the UK by Canadian artist Jon Rafman. Rafman’s exhibition will bring together recent video, photographic and sculptural works presented within immersive sculptural installations alongside a new video work commissioned for the show and developed over three months when the artist will be based in London.
Rafman’s practice investigates the relationship between technology and human consciousness, critically engaging with the aesthetics and subcultures of online communities. His recent video works collage together images and footage drawn from video games, internet memes and virtual landscapes and are layered with nostalgic references to Romantic and Modernist literature, the history of photography, cinema, history painting and classical mythology.
In new works created for this exhibition, Rafman draws inspiration from the culture of Live Action Role Play (LARP), in which groups and individuals collectively play out the narrative of an invented reality. In a parallel work, he invites viewers to enter a virtual space using Oculus Rift technology. Rafman questions our understanding of the distinction between the real and the virtual, as imaginary scenarios become tangible experiences that dissolve our perception of place and time.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a new monograph on Rafman’s work and a new limited edition art work, as well as an extensive programme of free public talks and live performances.
Jon Rafman (b. 1981) is an artist living and working in Montreal. This summer he will present a solo exhibition in his hometown at Musée D’Art Contemporain de Montreal. In 2015, he has had two person shows with Keren Cytter at Feuer/Mesler, New York, and with Christian Jankowski at Future Gallery, Berlin. Previous solo exhibitions include The End of the End of The End,
Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis; Jon Rafman: Mainsqueeze, Plymouth Rock, Zurich; Hope Springs Eternal, and Hope Springs Eternal II, Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran, Toronto and Montreal (all 2014); Annals of Lost Time, Future Gallery, Berlin; You Are Standing in An Open Field, Zach Feuer Gallery, New York; A Man Digging, Seventeen Gallery, London (all 2013); Palais de Tokyo, Paris and The Nine Eyes of Google Street View, Saatchi Gallery, London (all 2012). His works have featured in numerous group exhibitions around the world, and notably in recent exhibitions examining the interface of digital culture and subjectivity including, in 2015 Digital Conditions, Kunstverein Hannover; The Future of Memory, Kunsthalle Wien; in 2014, The Digital Revolutionaries, Art Basel Miami Beach; Private Settings: Art After The Internet, MOMA Warsaw and Speculations on Anonymous Materials, Museum Fridericianum, Kassel. Residencies have included the White Building, Space Studios, London in 2013 and The Moving Museum, Istanbul in 2014. He was nominated for the Victor Pinchuk Future Generation Art Prize in 2014, and is currently nominated for Canada’s prestigious Sobey Art Award.
Previous Zabludowicz Collection Solo Commissions: Matt Stokes, The Gainsborough Packet, 2009, Toby Ziegler, The Alienation of Objects, 2010, Laurel Nakadate, Star Portraits, 2011, Matthew Darbyshire, T-Rooms, 2012, Andy Holden, Maximum Irony, Maximum Sincerity 1999-2003: Towards a Unified Theory of MI!MS, 2013, Lizzie Fitch/Ryan Trecartin, Priority Innfield, 2014.
Image: Jon Rafman, You Are Standing In An Open Field VI, 2015
ZABLUDOWICZ COLLECTION SOLO COMMISSION: JON RAFMAN 8 October–20 December 2015