fries museum and noorderlicht present photo exhibition simulacrum II

From 8 September to 28 October 2018, the Fries Museum and Noorderlicht will present Simulacrum II, a photo exhibition showcasing the work of five artists who deconstruct reality and rebuild it. The distinction between real and unreal is barely recognisable in the work of Beate Gütschow, Grégory Chatonsky, Thibault Brunet, Lionel Bayol-Thémines and Leigh Merrill.

Whereas in the past photography was regarded as a reliable source, nowadays the medium does not always document reality. Everyday images are often manipulated. The advertising world uses digital models and the film industry creates completely new worlds. The artists in this exhibition explore the extent to which reality can be manipulated in (art) photography.

a world of make believe

Beate Gütschow (Germany, 1970) creates unreal images of urban parks. In this series she employs a medieval perspective, without a vanishing point. Grégory Chatonsky (France, 1971) uses software to reproduce satellite images. Malfunctions in the system create new, abstract landscapes. Thibault Brunet (France, 1982) uses a 3D scanner to record the surroundings. If you look closely, you will see a black spot in each of these works from which the landscape seems to unfold. Lionel Bayol-Thémines (France, 1968) copies patterns from photographs of snowy peaks to create his own, non-existent mountains. Based on thousands of photographs, Leigh Merrill (United States, 1978) composes imaginary urban landscapes, in which the emphasis is on desire and beauty.

escher and phantom limb

At the Fries Museum, the exhibitions Escher’s Journey and Phantom Limb: Art beyond Escher can be viewed simultaneously. The works in Simulacrum II show worlds that are composed of fragments of reality. M.C. Escher already applied this principle by combining elements from different sketches into new, non-existent landscapes and buildings. The exhibition Phantom Limb also displays work by artists who place the viewer in seemingly impossible worlds.