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Epigraphs & Graphemes (2011)

Exhibition Images HERE
Curator's Essay: PDF HERE

Consciconscconsconscconou (2010-11) detail. Slate, coil suspension spring, paper, graphite, participation.

Press Release: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 6th, 2011, New York: Abrons Arts Center is pleased to present Epigraphs and Graphemes, a solo exhibition by Andrew Mount, curated byLuísa Especial and organized by Residency Unlimited. Epigraphs and Graphemes will be on view at Arbons Arts Center from September 10th through October 1st, 2011. The opening reception will take place on September 16th, 2011, from 6pm – 8pm. Andrew Mount (b. 1969, Liverpool, U.K.) lives and works in New York and is currently an artist in residence with Residency Unlimited.

Epigraphs and Graphemes is representative of Mount’s ongoing interest and exploration of the idea of the image bank/artist’s archive as a unique tool for the creation of art, the increasingly amplified politicization of the image in contemporary art and life, the relationship between art and language and the etymology and economy of art.

In this most recent body of work, Mount deconstructs the holistic notions of art by presenting a fractured experience of the spectacle inherent in all arenas of our visual presence. From his choice of production technique to his diverse medium outputs, Mount questions the implicit connection between seeing and knowing.

The Arena of Lost Faults, (8 digital collages) and Vehicles, (6 digital collage) series introduce the use of the image bank as Mount’s latest production technique. This artist’s image bank, amassing close to 40,000 images accumulated over the last several years and today comprising a colossal digital archive, include art history, painting, news media, and popular culture references and sources. All images are representative of the artist’s research, creative interests and agendas, and more often than not, become referential to previously made work. Best described as Mount’s unique visual lexicon, a visual collection of his formal and informal ideas, the images in this digital repository are the raw material used by the artist. Mount employsmanipulation techniques such as interlacing, juxtaposition and repetition creating new images, clever and inimitable digital collages, infused with highly politicized content that produce their own reality. The Arena of Lost Faults and Vehicles series are both perfect examples of how Mount strides to advance and necessitate the politicization of the image in order to advocate a new reading and visual competence on behalf of the viewer.

Shaping Back Again is a stunning, black and white photograph of moonlight drawings, measuring 24.5’ x 2’ long, and part of Mount’s ongoing visualetymology project. In 2004, Andrew Mount began to obsessively make moonlight drawings, using a low-resolution camera as his drawing tool. To date, he has made more than 8,000 of these drawings. visualetymology is an attempt to construct an etymology of drawing, through making drawings rather than describing them. This etymology, or art’s literacy, can paradoxically best be understood through anamorphosis. This would seem to suggest that to understand art, one must use a fulcrum, change its nature, and eschew art’s particularity. Shaping Back Again, installed at Abrons Arts Center, fascinates the viewer with a selection of these drawings — beautiful and effortless, escaping categorization, shrugging off the responsibility of symbols and reneging the properties of the character. There is no implied narrative and though perhaps on an unconscious level familiar to the viewer, the moonlight drawings inevitably invoke highly personal interpretations.

Consciconscconsconscconou is a participatory sculpture: a slate stone engraved employing a conflating system of writing, based on the word ”conscious.“ This sculpture will be activated and made participatory by prompting viewers to use provided by the artist’s materials (white paper and graphite) to produce their own drawings (frottage). This form of engagement activates several artists’ tropes, including the act of copying, repetition and drawing, ultimately positioning participants to meditate on the meaning of the notion of consciousness.

VE: Confirmation is a participatory installation consisting of 12 stamps of selected moonlight drawings and ink, a wall made of homasote, and a compressed paper construction material. Viewers are invited to engage in the act of stamping and leave their mark on the wall. The thread in this work is transparent – as authorship is relinquished, an etymology of art is created.

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