Fri, 1 April 2016 - Sat, 30 April 2016Observer Arts, Hastings
Solo exhibitionOmni Colour generously supported this exhibition
Nick Fudge's first solo exhibition Reality Drive presents a selection of the artist’s hyperreal 'transparent paintings’ and moving image works made during his years of traveling across America. In each of the works, Fudge explores imaging as the ‘desertification’ of modernity’s image (what Baudrillard refers to as the ‘Vanishing Point’ of [digital] simulacra). His work has developed alongside the digital revolutions of personal and Cloud computing (over the last twenty-seven years), and from 1992 onwards has been investigating similar concerns to those raised by Claire Bishop (2012) in her ‘Digital Divide’ article in Artforum:‘...why do I have the sense that the appearance and content of contemporary art have been curiously unresponsive to the total upheaval in our labour and leisure inaugurated by the digital revolution? While many artists use technology, how many really confront the question of what it means to think, see and filter affect through the digital? How many thematize this, or reflect deeply on how we experience, and are altered by, the digitization of our existence? I find it strange that I can count on one hand the works of art that seem to undertake this task...' (p.436)
Fudge is one of the few artists who were already creating post-Internet art from the early 1990s onwards (see Paenhuysen, 2015, writing on Fudge: ‘In the 1990s Fudge started off by thinking about the Internet in a 2010s post-internet kind of way. But in the 2010s this same work is also an exploration of the media archaeology of the 1990s’). As Paenhuysen points out, Fudge’s digital works (as image files, prints on various media, projections, etc.) engage with the teleology of digital media (and its archaeology) in order to question what it means to use digital imaging software to construct an image. This is significant since digital imaging programs have fundamentally changed how an image is captured and constructed - the processes being fundamentally distinct from image processing in the era of analogue photography, painting and printmaking.