Jason Secto: Modernlove | C. A. Scott: Untitled (Past) | Aiden Howse: Ghost Moth
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Jason Secto's MODERNLOVE explores the paradigms of genetic engineering, nanotechnology and cloning- specifically in the area of 'in vitro fertilisation'. It questions what effects introduced nanoparticles will have within the Human or Animal body. The painting process is an automatic one (re Du Champ) and is produced without using stencils or preliminary sketches, requiring a constant cross-referencing of 'Icon' (both form and content). This forces the mind to help evolve the subject matter, as would a computer program or hypothetical electrical exchange in graphic terms. Loss and mutation of content are the only constants in the process.
"Once in the body, particles can enter the heart, bone, marrow, ovaries, muscles, brain, liver, spleen and lymph nodes. During pregnancy, nanoparticles would likely cross the placenta and enter the foetus. ...It is likely that in the course of its entire evolution, humankind has never been exposed to such a wide variety of substances that can penetrate the body apparently unhindered" - Swiss Re, the world's largest insurance firm
The series was initially inspired by Marshall McLuhan and Bruce L Powers' book The Global Village, and was fuelled by the works of: Aldous Huxley, Brave New World; Dr Yoshinori Kuwabura (nurturing the embryo in an artificial uterus, then transferring the embryo to the natural mothers womb after 17 weeks); and Dr Hung-Ching Liu's now cancelled work at Cornell University, US, involving the development of an artificial uterus.
C. A. Scott's Untitled (Past) - Experiments in Impermanence was inspired by three events in New Zealand history - the first shipment of frozen meat from Port Chalmers, the conquering of Mount Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary, and the construction of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme - C.A. Scott's work Untitled (Past), captures these pivotal episodes as images literally suspended in blocks of ice. These frozen images rest atop pedestals of salt, which serve both a practical and formal function. Absorbing the liquid from the melting ice, while at the same time leaving a trace of their existence, they create a sculptural presence out of absence. Drawing from the vocabulary of Minimalism and Conceptualism, while also embodying the spirit and showmanship of Fluxus and Happenings, Scott's work is not bound by generic restrictions. His artistic practice is invested in what he refers to as "reimaginings" and "reinscriptions," informed by Nietzschean concepts of creativity and destruction. In his most recent series of works, which he describes as "experiments in impermanence," Scott applies traditional image-making techniques to inherently ephemeral materials. Etchings are created in wax slabs that slowly melt, photographs are set alight, and images are frozen in melting blocks of ice.
Aidan Howse's exhibition Ghost Moth explores the use of the ceramic medium balancing traditional techniques with non-conventional methods. The show is based on a fictitious and pseudo-scientific account of the life cycle of the Ghost Moth. As a hoaxed construction of an imaginary organism it recalls the fictions of Borge's, addressing both spiritualistic hoax and evolutionary red herrings. The adoption of an unnatural history of the Ghost Moth produces a quixotic investigation. It documents the parasitic and symbiotic relationship of the moth whilst re-inventing the spiritual ectoplasms of the 19th and 20th centuries. Oh yeah, there are zombies too...