Distance Learning

11 August - 15 September 2007

Distance Learning creatively explores the blur and boundaries between real and virtual, interior and exterior, natural and artificial, local and global spaces, and the images and information that contribute to our understanding and experience of the world.

Using moving image, installation and photography, the artists in ‘Distance Learning’ have responded to new developments in technology by re-organizing and re-articulating space. The architectural spaces in Distance Learning point to new ways of experiencing and navigating space-both physically, in our homes, workplaces, and neighbourhoods as well as on the Internet and are informed by the contemporary culture, virtual travel and technology.

Matthew Pontin’s work explores photography and memory in terms of overlapping representations of ‘actual’ and ‘virtual’ journeys and experiences. In doing so he seeks to stimulate a dialogue with the potentialities of photography. Pontin’s work uses the metaphor of travel, of journeying, to explore various discourses of ownership of images, of experience and of imagination. His ‘created’ visual travels are aesthetically rich in that his virtual journeys become only about seeing, about the recording or representation of the place, not about presence of the photographer.

Rose Butler & Kypros Kyprianou’s One Lime Street pushes the idea of virtual and real journeying even further. Commissioned by Site Gallery and funded by ACE, the six-screen piece is a formalized meditation on the architecture of the famous Lloyds of London building and its exoskeleton lifts. People enter and leave one of six lifts and embark on interacting journeys, each journey, filmed from inside the lift has had the background buildings and horizon digitally locked in position. The result makes the lifts travel past the screens, an unexpected relationship between the camera, the vertical journey and the background perspectives result: a slippage between figure and ground. Through presentation of the cubic space in which the passengers enter and leave, we are reminded of the other spaces that are viewed through the rectangular screen; television, Internet, photography, cinema and the possibilities of manipulation within these media.

Taking this concept one step further Alistair Burleigh literally fuses the idea of virtual and real space together in his piece VoidX – Escaping the Screen, a three dimensional video installation. A virtual projected model of the same geometric arrangement wraps his cubic blocks, physical boxes within the gallery space. The arrangement soon becomes changed and the virtual blocks ‘fly’ around their physical counterpart colliding and separating providing an environment within which these two ordinarily separate realities merge. Virtual space becomes perceptually ‘real’ physical space.

Distance Learning is the fourth exhibition in the One in the Other season, a continued commitment by g39 to highlight the best emerging artists and curators from Wales. For the season we are handing over to six artist curators who will plan and curate exhibitions of what they consider to be the most interesting artists from Wales and beyond.

About the curator:
Grace Davies graduated with a degree in Critical Fine Art Practice from University of Brighton in 2001. After completing a Curatorial internship at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Arizona, she went on to work as Exhibitions & Promotions Officer for Ffotogallery in Cardiff. Since then she has worked for museums, galleries and off-site projects in Spain, England and USA and returned to Wales in 2006 to work as Curator and Project Manager for Locws International.

This show was curated by
  • Grace Davies
    • Alistair Burleigh, VoidX - Escaping the Screen