Davide Quayola

Topologies, Strata and Natures

March 20 - May 8, 2012

Works in the Exhibition

 

(Front window, flat screen monitor in window)

 

 

Topologies - Tiepolo (Immacolata Concezione)

HD Video {2010}Installation Format: 1ch video (720p - portrait) | 2ch audio | 3’ 20’’ Loop

Dimensions: Variable (16:9 Portrait) - LCD Display or Projection

Ed 6, 1AP

 

(Lobby area, right wall)

 

Topologies - Velazquez (Las Meninas)

HD Video {2010}Installation Format: 1ch video (720p - portrait) | 2ch audio | 3’ 20’’ Loop

Dimensions: Variable (16:9 Portrait) | LCD Display or Projection

Ed 6, 1AP

 

(Entryway)

 

Strata #2

HD Video {2011}Installation Format: 1ch video (1080p - portrait) | 2ch audio | 10’ 09’’ Loop

Dimensions: Variable (16:9 Portrait) | LCD Display or Projection

Ed 6, 1AP

 

(Main room, clockwise from left to right)

 

Natures #2A

HD Video Dyptich {2009}Installation Format: 2ch video (2x 1280x720) | 2ch audio | 4’ 07’’ Loop

Dimensions: 2x 24’ LCD displays (16:9 Landscape)

Ed 3, 1AP

 

Natures #2B

HD Video Dyptich {2009}Installation Format: 2ch video (2x 1280x720) | 2ch audio | 4’ 07’’ Loop

Dimensions: 2x 24’ LCD displays (16:9 Landscape)

Ed 3, 1AP

 

Natures #3B

HD Video Dyptich {2009}Installation Format: 2ch video (2x 1280x720) | 2ch audio | 3’ 58’’ Loop

Dimensions: 2x 24’ LCD displays (16:9 Landscape)

Ed 3, 1AP

 

Natures #4A

HD Video Dyptich {2009}Installation Format: 2ch video (2x 1280x720) | 2ch audio | 3’ 58’’ Loop

Dimensions: 2x 24’ LCD displays (16:9 Landscape)

Ed 3, 1AP

 

Natures #5A

HD Video Dyptich {2009}Installation Format: 2ch video (2x 1280x720) | 2ch audio | 3’ 58’’ Loop

Dimensions: 2x 24’ LCD displays (16:9 Landscape)

Ed 3, 1AP

 

(Middle area)

 

Strata #4

HD Video {2008}Installation Format: Portrait projection/rear screen

1ch video (1080p) | 2ch audio | 7’ 05’’ Loop

Dimensions: Variable (16:9 Landscape) | LCD Display or Projection

Ed 6, 1AP

 

(Back room)

 

Strata #1

Ceiling-Mounted Video Installation {2008}Installation Format: 1ch video-projection (1024x768) | 2ch audio | 4’ 44’’ Loop

Dimensions: Variable (4:3 Landscape

Ed 3, 1AP.

_________________________________________________________

 

YoungProjects is pleased to present Davide Quayola: Topologies, Strata and Natures, the first solo exhibition of Davide Quayola on the West Coast. Born in Italy and currently living in London, Quayola is considered to be at the forefront of digital media. His practice includes a variety of media, including CGI, photography, and live performance, yet in each case he tends to be primarily interested in the dialects that occur between contrasting methodologies—whether it’s the historical and the contemporary, the realistic and the abstract, or the artificial and the real.

 

Much of his work deals with what he calls the ‘icons of perfection’, meaning some of the better-known works of architecture, painting, sculpture and physical beauty within Western culture. For the past decade he has visited the sites of well-known cultural institutions such as the Louvre and Notre Dame for instance, and carefully documented some of their best known artworks in a painstaking process that often takes weeks to complete (he gets permission from the museum and uses an elaborate rig to photograph virtually every inch of the work). Those images are then reintroduced into software programs, where the original artwork is analyzed for luminosity, color, and inherent geometries, and those elements (ie shapes and colors) are then used as the basis for new animations. The deep browns of Valazquez for instance, or the not-so-noticeable triangulations within Tiepolo, are used to create ever-morphing forms that pulsate, expand and disappear into the surface of the work.

 

But as the artist says he’s not interested in technology as an end in itself. Instead he’s more interested in the ways in which technology can be used to not only interrogate the original but bring out certain subtexts. The name of his Strata series for example, suggests that he is not presenting a single work, but a vast array of combined material, mediums and ideas, which are compressed together into a seamless whole. “Strata 4” for example, looks like one painting but is in fact three paintings by Rubens (and one by van Dyck). And that combination leads to new narratives within the original works. (In Strata 4 for instance, Quayola’s virtual camera drifts from character to the next, beginning with an image of stigmata and ending on the image of an eye.)

 

What’s more, in a formal sense, the notion of light becomes more interesting when these works are digitized and projected back as works of light, since many of the original artists used the idea of light as a form of metaphor, and also used one-point perspective to realize their works. The idea of ‘perfection’ too, becomes more interesting when computers are introduced to the very same works that were made via mathematics some 400 years ago. In fact, the current debates over the wide-spread use of optical devices amongst Renaissance artists becomes all the more relevant in Quayola’s work, as well as Google’s recent art mapping project, where well-known paintings are scanned and offered to the public via the web. (Quayola uses two of the same paintings that Google first used for that project in his Topologies series). “In the case of Google,” says Quayola, “there’s a removal of the context for the work, which means that you can never get a physical sense of the original and its presence.”

 

And physical presence in his own works is “absolutely primary,” says the artist. “I see all these works as sculptures,” as he says. “I’m a little obsessive about the physical presence of these works. For me scale and proportion are essential, just as they were for the original works they refer to.”

That’s particularly true in his “Natures” series, which inhabits the central area of the gallery. For these works the artist was not only interested in mapping the “perfect” geometry of nature, but in their movements as well. Each one of the five screens shows a different plant. But the image eventually breaks down to pure line or dots, which are artificially mapped over the plants. And yet when the plants disappear from view, leaving only the artificial shapes it’s the movement that retains the sense of the organic, and thus it’s virtually impossible not to “see” nature even with a purely abstract image. And that is true for virtually all of Quayola’s work.

 

Quayola’s videos have been exhibited at the Venice Biennale, the Victoria & Albert Museum (London), the Museum of Contemporary Art (Barcelona), the Royal Albert Hall (London), Gaite Lyrique (Paris), the Palais des Beaux Arts (Lille), the Yota Space (St Petersberg), MIS (Soa Paulo) Casa Franca (Rio de Janeiro), MISZ (Moscow) and many more.