Rendered Realities

Curated by CDoley
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‘Rendered Realities’ is an exhibition about how we experience and record the world around us today. The ever advancing technologies that the human race continues to create have completely changed how we perceive and respond to reality. We live in a time where you can befriend strangers you’ll never meet in the flesh on the other side of the planet, where you can share your opinions with thousands in real-time and where everyone can make ‘art’ with just the click of a button, be it on a computer or a camera. It is an understatement to say that the technology we possess has changed the course of history and, within that, what can be defined as art and how it can be created. Michael Guidetti’s 'Untitled (Standards)' encompasses this idea perfectly – in it, he presents us with the rendered outlines of such artefacts as the Utah Teapot, displayed on plinths in a virtual gallery space. During the work, sunlight and shadows shift in real time. It is an accurate reality and yet simultaneously not – as Guidetti says, the objects are “reverently being preserved in a timeless environment”. Reynald Drouhin’s 'TimeSquare' also adds a sense of distance that prevents the viewer from fully accepting that what they are viewing is reality – in the work, webcams stream live pictures of the world famous square to us. What we see is real, is happening exactly as we watch it unfold on the screens, and yet it seems distant, a million miles away. Paul Catanese and Brenna Murphy also play with our expectations. Catanese’s title 'Misplaced Reliquary' suggests an ancient, holy object and yet we are presented with a Gameboy Advance, its screen bearing the ominous image of a bird’s skull. Meanwhile Murphy, using 3D modelling tools, confronts us with a huge, complex image of what simultaneously seems to be a landscape and a sculpture. Attempting to follow the sinuous lines of the image, the eye is confused by shapes and planes the brain recognises to be impossible. Our mind struggles to maintain the illusion of a three-dimensional object on what we know to be an ultimately flat surface. Finally, Eva Lee’s 'Discrete Terrain: Windows on Five Emotions' shows us the ultimate skill of modern technology – to show us what is occurring in our brains and how we use this to sculpt our own realities. We experience the emotions used in the work each day (anger, joy, fear, sadness, and disgust) and yet when these subjective states are made visible to us, they become otherworldly and exotic, a whole new reality.

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