Nathaniel Stern and Jessica Meuninck-Ganger, The Gallerist, 2009
This past month, Johannesburg’s AOP Gallery, a space devoted to works on paper, hosted the exhibition “Passing Between” which showcased the collaborative output between digital artist Nathaniel Stern and printmaker Jessica Meuninck-Ganger. At the outset, Stern and Meuninck-Ganger approached the collaboration as a chance to learn each other's techniques. But they quickly chose to focus on their own strengths in a process they call, "passing between", hence the title of the exhibition. For Stern, the move toward printmaking comes from a long interest in the technique. In recent work, he has engaged with an expanded form of digital print making, using a hacked portable scanner to produce densely patterned sequences of natural images, in a project called Compressionism. For “Passing Between,” Stern concentrated on using digital photo frames as a medium for displaying loops of video obtained through live filming, and sampled machinima taken from Second Life. Meuninck-Ganger responded to the framed video loops with an encyclopedic range of printmaking techniques from wood block to mono print, silkscreen, etching, and photogravure. In some cases, she printed or etched directly on the screens of the digital photo frames; in other cases, the prints were layered over the screens creating a delicate conjunction between the fibers of the paper medium and the illumination of the underlying video. In The Gallerist, a prominent New York art dealer is portrayed anxiously perched on a chair in middle of a lithograph while below the surface of the paper machinima sharks circle him endlessly.
Nathaniel Stern and Jessica Meuninck-Ganger, Twin Cities, 2009
The effect is both magical and subtle. Jessica's images often capture a static moment from the subject matter of the video in etching or ink. The pleasure offered by the composite images comes ...