Dan Holdsworth
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Exhibitions
Information
Monuments

Scheublein + Bak
08/06/2013–13/07/2013

Schloss Sihlberg, Sihlberg 10, Zurich
Tel: +41 43 888 55 10
www.scheubleinbak.com

Scheublein Fine Art is pleased to present the group exhibition ‘Monuments’ with works by Peter Buggenhout, Dan Holdsworth, Robert Smithson and Lawrence Weiner. The show, which runs from 8 June – 17 July, will include Smithson’s film of his iconic work Spiral Jetty and the first exhibition of new photographic work by Dan Holdsworth. Monuments have long been problematic. Any monument must be able to carry the weight of what it signifies, to do justice to that celebration or commemoration; it should represent many but speak to the individual. Anthropologist Michael Taussig suggests that we build ... monuments in an attempt to assert some control over death, ‘postponing the end to the story that was a life’. If the need to build monuments is a constant, the task for the contemporary architect or designer becomes ever more difficult, faced with, yes, monumental tragedies or events to be remembered and increasingly diverse audiences.  Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty, 1970, is probably the best-known work of the Land Art movement. A jetty of rocks and mud assembled by dumper truck and later encrusted in salt leads into the Great Salt Lake in Utah, beginning with a straight line that curls left into a spiral. While the piece was being constructed Smithson and his wife Nancy Holt shot the 32-minute film of the same name, documenting the jetty against the red algae bloom of the saline lake in bright sunshine. These images are interspersed with shots of dinosaurs in a museum and ripped pages from a history book, while a narrator speaks of spiral nebulae and other inspiration. With open-air works like Spiral Jetty Smithson left the privileged site of the art gallery that elevates the work of art but equally encumbers it with expectation. His film documents the work for those who will never be able to visit the work, but filming from a helicopter, the camera swoops low towards the lake surface and points into the sun, refusing to offer an overview that can be neatly compartmentalised and historicized. In his essay ‘Entropy And The New Monuments’ Smithson describes the need for a response to deathly post-war modernism, evinced architecturally in suburban sprawl and faceless inner city blocks and seen also in a loss of faith in mechanical and electrical technology. Smithson’s and his peers, including Donald Judd and Sol Le Witt, worked in opposition to these phenomena, creating new kinds of monuments that existed in the immediate present, their attempt to refashion and restructure time. Dan Holdsworth’s new work Forms, 2013, is constructed from a series of aerial photographs taken at Crater Glacier, Mount St. Helens. This is the world’s youngest glacier, which has formed over the past 33 years since the catastrophic eruption of the Mount St. Helens volcano in Washington State in 1980.Holdsworth's compositions negate clear orientation points like sky or water, and in addition, Holdsworth shows each image twice: each pairing containing an image that has been rotated 180°, in the process the surface’s appear to take on the physical form of positive and negative spaces with a perceived depth. What in one image stands proud becomes a depression in the other. The artist plays with a phenomena known to cartographers and astronomers as ‘false topographic perception’, when a landscape cannot be judged to be concave or converse. (These phenomena are most frequently experienced when observing the remote terrain of planets, where valleys or mountain ridges are difficult to differentiate.) Through this inversion and distancing of the image Holdsworth also imbues the work with a history of aesthetics that brings to mind the late 18th century invention of the Claude Glass and a practice where-by artists and travellers of the day would use a small slightly concaved black mirror to view/ re-view the landscape, abstracting the reflected landscape from its surroundings in order to achieve a painterly quality to the view. But rather than the imagery of 18th century landscape the trajectory of Forms evokes a visual field more akin to the communications that might be broadcast by a Mars lander. Holdsworth creates images of sculptural form from a rare example of perceived reverse entropy on a massive scale, which looks as if it exists in a state of suspension. What Smithson wrote in his essay in relation to Dan Flavin’s work rings true here: ‘Rather than saying “What time is it?”, we should say “Where is the time?”.’ Peter Buggenhout’s sculptures respond to the current crisis of the monument, which could be seen as a counterpoint to contemporary bureaucracy and design by committee. His medium is the waste of modern life, organic and processed materials, which he fashions into large and disorderly sculptures. The work The Blind Leading The Blind (2012) is a dark, grey mass on stilt-like legs. It looks as though it could have been spewed out by an eruption from the earth, for it has no clear centre or base. The title and muddy surface suggest apocalypse, but there is also joyful baroque excess in the work’s detail and miscellaneous materials. Smithson was killed in a plane crash three years after completing Spiral Jetty, and could not have foreseen that in the following decades the work would periodically disappear, submerged, and reappear as lake levels vary. Lawrence Weiner’s 1999 wall drawing THINGS THEMSELVES ON TOP OF OTHER THINGS ON TOP OF SOMETHING ELSE NOW & THEN celebrates such changes wrought by time. The line is applied in Weiner’s own font, which he created when dissatisfied with other typefaces and their connotations. Weiner’s method is to apply short lines, writ large, onto walls using this font. In so doing simple thoughts are granted significance; a momentary pause is created in which these ideas can be contemplated. In general there is no apparent author of the text, it is not a statement from an authority but suggests self-evidence. While Weiner the artist is a larger than life personality, his works, like those of Smithson in remote Utah, are grand but not heroic. The profound and surprisingly reassuring work tells us that history is inevitable – there was a then, we are in the now.  
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What is Contemporary?

Brancolini Grimaldi
24/05/2013–06/07/2013

43 - 44 Albemarle Street, First Floor, London W1S 4JJ United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7493 5721
www.brancolinigrimaldi.com

Brancolini Grimaldi announces a group exhibition of contemporary photography and works of art from the past. Curated by photographer Domingo Milella and antiques specialists Riccardo Bacarelli and Bruno Botticelli, the show will place work by Dan Holdsworth, Clare Strand and Milella alongside antique sculpture, painting and artefacts, asking us to think outside of proscribed categories of art, to re-evaluate boundaries imposed by time and place to investigate what is contemporary. The exhibition aims to bring art from different periods into a single span of time, into a continuous dialogue between now and then. What relationship does ... a funeray monument of the Duchessa Bona di Savoia from the 15th century have to a photograph by Clare Strand? How does the monumental landscape photography of Dan Holdsworth relate to a piece of marble represnting the Crucifixtion from a Byzantine altar? What does a painting from the front of a cabinet showing a wedding procession from 1400s Perugia tell us about Domingo Milella's photograph of the tomb of King Midas in in Frigia? When viewed through the long lens of the history of art, photography is still in its infancy. It has only been in existence for around 150 years and its use by artists as a means of expression is an even more recent development. It may seen that photography is a more contemporary medium than say painting or sculpture. A photograph can be dated and fixed to a time period in a way which other media can escape. So how can it relate to artforms of the past and can it escape its contemporary nature? The Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben has explored many of these ideas in his essay, What is the Contemporary? Agamben describes being contemporary as "like being on time for an appointment one cannot but miss." He goes on to say, "...the key to the modern is hidden in the immemorial and the prehistoric. Thus, the ancient world in its decline turns to the primordial so as to rediscover itself. The avant-garde...also pursues the primitive and the archaic....the entry point to the present necessarily takes the form of an archaeology; an archaeology that does not, however, regress to a historical past, but returns to the part within the present that we are absolutely incapable of living." It is these ideas and concepts that the exhibition aims to explore through bringing contemporary photography into dialogue with an unexpected and thought-provoking range of art from antique and medieval times through to Renaissance and more recent periods.  
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Landmark: the Fields of Photography

Somerset House
14/03/2013–28/04/2013

Strand London WC2R 1LA
Tel: +44 (0)20 7845 4600
www.somersethouse.org.uk

Focusing on our rapidly changing planet, ‘Landmark: the Fields of Photography’ features more than 130 original works of art taken by enterprising photographers employing technology ranging from 19th Century plate-camera techniques to the use of planes, drones, robots and even satellites to capture vivid images of earth’s varied terrain – and even distant planets.  Many of the major names in photography are represented: Mitch Epstein, Nadav Kander, Robert Adams, Simon Norfolk, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Lee Friedlander, Simon Roberts, Toshio Shibata, Robert Polidori and many others contributing spectacular imagery.  Also featured are striking images by a younger generation ... of photographers: Pieter Hugo, Dan Holdsworth, Susan Evans, Ivar Kvaal, Penelope Umbrico, Mathieu Bernard-Reymond, and others. William A. Ewing, Curator of ‘Landmark: the Fields of Photography’ explains:“Landscape has been and remains one of the most powerful forms of photography, and is even more so in a world which is changing so fast we can hardly keep up. Rising seas, melting glaciers, the ozone hole, desertification and coastal cities under threat - we add to the list everyday.  And photographers everywhere are grappling with these problems, creating brilliant pictures, which put a vivid face on otherwise abstract issues. These images range from the sublime to the ridiculous; photographers are on the front lines - our eyes and ears.  But they also remind us to slow down and appreciate the beauty of the world – often where we least expect it.  
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Looking at the View

Tate Britain
12/02/2013–02/06/2013

Millbank, London, SW1P 4RG
Tel: +44 (0)20 7887 8888
www.tate.org.uk

This thematic display looks at continuities in the way artists have framed our vision of the landscape over the last 300 years. Coinciding with the re-opening of all Tate Britain’s galleries, the selection finds surprising coincidences and remarkable affinities in the way we look at the view, whether near or afar, high or low, from inside or out. Over seventy works by more than fifty artists are included, including familiar names such as J.M.W. Turner and Tracey Emin as well as lesser-known figures of British art history. The exhibition consists entirely of works from the Tate collection and ... is part of the BP British Art Displays.
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Transmission: New Remote Earth Views

NGC
31/05/2012–09/09/2012

Liberty Way, Sunderland, SR6 0GL
Tel: +44 (0)191 515 5555
www.nationalglasscentre.com

Photo credit: 4130 Photography
In Dan Holdsworth’s latest series Transmission: New Remote Earth Views, he appropriates topographical data to document the ideologically and politically loaded spaces of the American West in an entirely new way. In his images of the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Mount Shasta, Mount St. Helens, Salt Lake City and Park City, we see stark, uninterrupted terrains where meaning is made through what it is absent, as much as what is seen. What at first appears to be a pure white snow-capped mountain is in fact a digitally rendered laser scan of the earth appropriated from United States ... Geological Survey data, a ‘terrain model’ used to measure climate and land change – to measure man’s effect on the earth.      Belying his empirical methodology is the fact that each of these terrains has a rich and conflicting cultural legacy. Beginning with the idealised aesthetic of the Romantic sublime via the deadpan industrial frames of the New Topographics photographers a century later, each has been subject to the gaze of artistic, political, and sociological categories claiming this territory as their own. Extending ideas of the frontier and seeing anew,Transmission captures the world as if from space, functioning not only as a map of the land but as a mapping of the discourses that these lands have come to represent.     Working outside of the wilderness myths that render the images from the photographic avant-garde the ‘after’ to nineteenth-century visions of Carlton Watkins’ ‘before’, Holdsworth opens up a working territory that is open to the ambiguous and ethereal, oscillating between realms of art and science, the familiar and the alien, the industrial and the natural. Without the signifiers of the natural there is no idealised wilderness or picturesque aesthetic, no invoking of the Romantic version of the sublime; and yet at the same time what is antithetical to these visual tropes - the man-made, the artificial, the vernacular of the New Topographics photographers – is also absent. With neither the schema of the romantic nor the everyday to guide us, Holdsworth absorbs us into a vision of the unknown; a space that is unequivocally, transcendentally, Other. Holdsworth was born in 1974 in Welwyn Garden City, England. He studied photography at the London College of Printing, and has exhibited internationally including solo shows at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, and Barbican Art Gallery, London; and group shows at Tate Britain, London, and Centre Pompidou, Paris. His work is held in collections including the Tate Collection, Saatchi Collection and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. A new book of Holdsworth’s work titled Blackout will be published by Steidl BG and in March.
    Dan Holdsworth would like to thank and acknowledge the following people, organizations, references and resources: Dr. Stuart Dunning: Dr. of Geomorphology at Northumbria University, England.                          The US Geological Survey:Gesch, D.B., 2007, The National Elevation Dataset, in Maune, D., ed., Digital Elevation Model Technologies and Applications: The DEM Users Manual, 2nd Edition: Bethesda, Maryland, American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, p. 99-118. Gesch, D., Oimoen, M., Greenlee, S., Nelson, C., Steuck, M., and Tyler, D., 2002, The National Elevation Dataset: Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing, v. 68, no. 1, p. 5-11.Yosmemite National Park, CA: Rockfall Studies: LiDAR data acquisition and processing completed by the National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping (NCALM - http://www.ncalm.org). NCALM funding provided by NSF's Division of Earth Sciences, Instrumentation and Facilities Program. EAR-1043051.  
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Transmission: New Remote Earth Views

Brancolini Grimaldi
23/03/2012–19/05/2012

43 - 44 Albemarle Street, First Floor, London W1S 4JJ United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7493 5721
www.brancolinigrimaldi.com

Photo credit: Mike Bruce
In Dan Holdsworth’s latest series Transmission: New Remote Earth Views, he appropriates topographical data to document the ideologically and politically loaded spaces of the American West in an entirely new way. In his images of the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Mount Shasta, Mount St. Helens, Salt Lake City and Park City, we see stark, uninterrupted terrains where meaning is made through what it is absent, as much as what is seen. What at first appears to be a pure white snow-capped mountain is in fact a digitally rendered laser scan of the earth appropriated from United ... States Geological Survey data, a ‘terrain model’ used to measure climate and land change – to measure man’s effect on the earth.      Belying his empirical methodology is the fact that each of these terrains has a rich and conflicting cultural legacy. Beginning with the idealised aesthetic of the Romantic sublime via the deadpan industrial frames of the New Topographics photographers a century later, each has been subject to the gaze of artistic, political, and sociological categories claiming this territory as their own. Extending ideas of the frontier and seeing anew, Transmission captures the world as if from space, functioning not only as a map of the land but as a mapping of the discourses that these lands have come to represent.     Working outside of the wilderness myths that render the images from the photographic avant-garde the ‘after’ to nineteenth-century visions of Carlton Watkins’ ‘before’, Holdsworth opens up a working territory that is open to the ambiguous and ethereal, oscillating between realms of art and science, the familiar and the alien, the industrial and the natural. Without the signifiers of the natural there is no idealised wilderness or picturesque aesthetic, no invoking of the Romantic version of the sublime; and yet at the same time what is antithetical to these visual tropes - the man-made, the artificial, the vernacular of the New Topographics photographers – is also absent. With neither the schema of the romantic nor the everyday to guide us, Holdsworth absorbs us into a vision of the unknown; a space that is unequivocally, transcendentally, Other. Holdsworth was born in 1974 in Welwyn Garden City, England. He studied photography at the London College of Printing, and has exhibited internationally including solo shows at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, and Barbican Art Gallery, London; and group shows at Tate Britain, London, and Centre Pompidou, Paris. His work is held in collections including the Tate Collection, Saatchi Collection and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. A new book of Holdsworth’s work titled Blackout will be published by Steidl BG and in March.
    Dan Holdsworth would like to thank and acknowledge the following people, organizations, references and resources: Dr. Stuart Dunning: Dr. of Geomorphology at Northumbria University, England.                          The US Geological Survey:Gesch, D.B., 2007, The National Elevation Dataset, in Maune, D., ed., Digital Elevation Model Technologies and Applications: The DEM Users Manual, 2nd Edition: Bethesda, Maryland, American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, p. 99-118. Gesch, D., Oimoen, M., Greenlee, S., Nelson, C., Steuck, M., and Tyler, D., 2002, The National Elevation Dataset: Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing, v. 68, no. 1, p. 5-11.Yosmemite National Park, CA: Rockfall Studies: LiDAR data acquisition and processing completed by the National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping (NCALM - http://www.ncalm.org). NCALM funding provided by NSF's Division of Earth Sciences, Instrumentation and Facilities Program. EAR-1043051.  
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Shifting Realities

Scheublein Fine Art
11/06/2011–30/06/2011

Schloss Sihlberg, Sihlberg 10, 8002 Zurich
Tel: +41 786 350 402
www.scheubleinfineart.com

Scheublein Fine Art is pleased to present its first exhibition “Shifting Realities: Dan Holdsworth – Michael Reisch” at Sihlberg Castle, the former residence of the brewery family Hürlimann in Zürich. The exhibition marks the inauguration of the castle as an exhibition space in which Scheublein Fine Art offers artists the opportunity to show important works of art in solo exhibitions and thematic group shows beyond the customary white cube context. Analyzing the perception of reality through the photographic medium stands at the forefront of the artistic inquiry of both, Dan Holdsworth and Michael Reisch. By means of digital processing the artists shift ... reality to create images that hold a painterly quality and manifest themselves between the poles of attained memory and fantastic fiction. The landscape images of Michael Reisch appear real upon first sight but are composed of many separate images that are fragmentarily put together under maximum resolution; a precision work that occupies the artist for months. Michael Reisch engages with iconic pictorial traditions of landscapes, yet subtly transforms them by the use of modern computer technology. The image no longer conforms to familiar sight and is reinvented, not least because of the transformed dimensions and perspectives that depart actual scale. In the vein of the Pre- Romanticist Swiss painter Caspar Wolf who in the 18th Century found inspiration in the mountainous landscapes, the German photographer indulges in sublime fascination for the Alps more than two centuries later. Aletsch Glacier, one of the few natural phenomena that are declared UNESCO world heritage, serves as subject for Michael Reisch’s panoramic image and as subliminal reference to the glacier melting in consequence of global warming. As counterpart to this horizontal format acts the vertical image “Landschaft” 9/001: the artist explores the inherent structure and aesthetics of a frozen waterfall in a way that approaches abstraction. This analysis is carried forward to the point where Michael Reisch eventually turns fully to abstraction. Ultimately, no real counterpart to the landscape in „o.T. (Untitled)“ 8/013 exists and the image is entirely computer generated. Parallels resonate in the work of acclaimed British artist Dan Holdsworth. His most recent photographic series Blackout denies natural logic and likewise circulates between abstraction and realistic representation. For this work cycle, consisting of twenty-four works, the Great Northeast Blackout that extensively affected the USA in 1965 inspired the artist. Based on photographs taken in the South of Iceland, the glaciers seem to glow hypnotically despite a completely obscured sky. The beholder inevitably is reminded of the recent volcanic eruptions in Iceland and the resulting smother that paralyzed the entire European air traffic. The largescale photographic work of Dan Holdsworth, edited primarily through analogue process, almost transforms the gigantic mountainous scenery of Iceland into fictional landscape. Tectonic shifts are evident. Holdsworth’ negative images are double inversions; while they seem tangibly real, they suggest sublime abstraction at the same time. This series culminates with “Blackout 22” where solely an aesthetic model is visualized that brings painterly qualities to view. The mountains suggest monumentality owing to their cut-out and isolated representation, and leave the beholder with the mere surmise of the actual dimensions. The dividing line between painterly composition and photographic reproduction is blurred. Nature’s multifariousness and inscrutable force is devoutly being reflected upon and serves as theme for the artistic visions of Michael Reisch and Dan Holdsworth.  
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Blackout

Nordin Gallery
17/03/2011–08/05/2011

Tulegatan 19, SE-113 53 Stockholm
Tel: +46 (0) 706 934 528
www.nordingallery.com

Nordin Gallery presents Blackout, Dan Holdsworth’s first exhibition in Scandinavia. Holdsworth is renowned for landscape photographs in which nature, architecture and technology merge with light and space to produce powerful visions of the contemporary world. In Blackout, Holdsworth presents photographs taken in Iceland, a volcanic otherworld where day is night and ice is sooty pitch, Holdsworth’s negative images are literal double inversions; their black and white clarity negates all natural logic. The effect is that of the sublime made modular and spectacularly tangible: glaciers transform with sculpted solidity, as if they could fit in the ... palm of a hand, escarpments buckle with the scratchy translucency of glass, containing prisms of spectral hues, and expanses of atrementaceous sky bear down, as all consuming voids.

The actualisation of Holdsworth’s images is made no less delusive; these photographs are more suggestive of hand-crafted media. Their strange aesthetic, like diagrammatical etching, merges ideas of new world exploration and futurism, that delve into the realm of almost pure abstraction, as illusively textured and gestural as painting, conceiving terrain as a palpable geo-psyche surface, a synaesthetic confusion between sight and touch.

Dan Holdsworth’s photographs are represented in many major collections, including the Tate Collection, Centre Pompidou, Saatchi Collection, and Victoria and Albert Museum Collection. His photographs have been exhibited widely including BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Patricia Low Contemporary, Geneva, Gagosian Gallery, London, Tate Britain, Centre Pompidou, Frankfurt Kunstverein, Fotomuseum Winterthur.
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Blackout 10 Light Box

CIRCA Projects
28/01/2011–31/03/2011

High Level Bridge, Gateshead, NE8 2AJ, UK
Tel: + 44 (0) 7973 538 876
www.circaprojects.org

CIRCA Projects present Blackout 10, the first major sculptural project by Dan Holdsworth. Blackout 10 presents an unseen image from the monumental photographic series Blackout as a new lightbox installation in a converted railway arch on the south side of High Level Bridge. The object’s placement on the peripheries of the city, at a place of commute and transition creates a glancing portal into an otherworldly glacial landscape that is viewable day and night for a limited period of one month.
Blackout

BALTIC Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art
12/11/2010–20/02/2011

Gateshead Quays,
South Shore Road,
Gateshead, NE8 3BA, UK
Tel: +44 (0)191 478 1810
www.balticmill.com

Photo credit: Colin Davison
Blackout, presented at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art from Friday 12 November, brings together a remarkable new sequence of images taken in Iceland by British photographer Dan Holdsworth.

Occupying a space between documentary and the make-believe, these photographs, reproduced to a grand scale, transform the elemental terrain of giant Icelandic glaciers as they melt away into a strange, futuristic landscape. Blackout’s awe-striking photographs appear so otherworldly it is almost impossible to believe that these lunar-style landscapes actually exist. The blue of the sky becomes the deep black of space, while the earth appears in negative, beyond
... imaginable human time and space. Reconstructing the notion of the romantic sublime for the 21st century, Holdsworth’s practice is consumed with investigating the unknown: pushing the peripheries of time, space, and consciousness beyond the limits of ordinary perception. Since the late 90s, Holdsworth has developed a reputation as one of the most innovative British photographers currently working with landscape. While his early series concentrate on the quiet moments in everyday spaces: office buildings after work, car parks at night and deserted motorway flyovers his most recent work, as captured in Blackout, explore the natural world defining a modern spiritualism and a humbling reminder of the scope of things yet undiscovered.
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Blackout

Patricia Low Contemporary
20/05/2010–15/08/2010

10 Rue de L'Arquebuse, 1204 Geneva, Switzerland
Tel: +41 22 328 12 50
www.patricialow.com

Patricia Low Contemporary is pleased to present Blackout, a solo exhibition by Dan Holdsworth. Photography is made in darkness, and darkness holds its secrets. In 1860, Mr W. Campbell, alone in his New Jersey studio, took a picture of an empty chair; when it was developed, neither he nor anyone else could explain the presence of a little boy that was clearly sat in it. In the same place, one hundred years later, the Great Northeast Blackout eclipsed an entire population; millions thought it was nuclear Armageddon. In an abyss of total infuscation the lost ... moments of collective amnesia, of time’s forgotten shadows, are perhaps recounted in x-ray negative: the world simulated as its own silenced and stilled skeleton, revealing a pervasive primordial presence.

Phenomenology of technology, place, and consciousness are mere starting points for Holdworth’s photographs; neither documentations nor fictions, his landscapes evoke haunting evidence, a kind of empirical knowledge that extends beyond immediate cognition. For Holdsworth, photography, with its technical precision and inherent wonder, its malleable power of authority, is treated as a challenge to limitation’s excess. Taking up to a year to produce, edited through both analogue and digital processes, Holdsworth’s photographs tease out the invisible ‘truths’ imperceptible to the naked eye. His fantastical images aren’t elaborate deceptions, but rather astounding articulations of what is actually caught on film.

In Blackout, Holdsworth presents three new works, enormously scaled prints of mountains dazzling with crystalline allure, refracting not in light, but rather its total absence. Taken in Iceland, a volcanic otherworld where day is night and ice is sooty pitch, Holdsworth’s negative images are literal double inversions; their black and white clarity negates all natural logic. Their effect is sheer magic, the sublime made modular and spectacularly tangible: glaciers transform with sculpted solidity, as if they could fit in the palm of a hand, escarpments buckle with the scratchy translucency of glass, containing prisms of spectral hues, and expanses of atrementaceous sky bear down, suffocating as all consuming voids. The actualisation of Holdsworth’s images is made no less delusive; these photographs are more suggestive of hand-crafted media. The sharp virgin peaks of Untitled 07 and 13 convey a gem-cutters draughtsmanship, their strange aesthetic, like diagrammatical etching, merges ideas of new world exploration and futurism; while Untitled 09 delves into the realm of almost pure abstraction, as illusively textured and gestural as painting, conceiving terrain as a palpable geo-psyche surface, a synaesthetic confusion between sight and touch. Accompanied by three smaller pieces, land- and industrial-scapes exude their own mystifying power: as liminal spaces between reality and its dissolve. Each one a stolen moment, captured in the blinding blink of a shutter, a split second camera induced blackout. Darkness holds its secrets, as Holdsworth’s photographs testify: beautiful, mesmerising, larger than life, and absolutely inexplicable.
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Crash: Homage to JG Ballard

Gagosian Gallery
11/02/2010–01/04/2010

6-24 Britannia Street London WC1X 9JD
Tel: +44 207 841 9960
www.gagosian.com

Image courtesy of Gagosian. Photo credit: Mike Bruce
Gagosian Gallery London will present "Crash," a major group exhibition opening on 11 February 2010, which takes its title from the famous novel by JG Ballard.

Ballard's novels stand among the most visionary, provocative literature of the twentieth century, with his ominous predictions regarding the fate of Western culture and his insights into the dark psychopathology of the human race. This exhibition is a response to the enormous impact and enduring cultural significance of his work, following his death in spring 2009. Highlighting Ballard's great passion for the surreal and his engagement with the artists
... of his own generation, "Crash" includes examples of his specific inspirations as well as works by contemporary artists who have, in turn, been inspired by his vision.

Ballard's first published short story "Prima Belladonna" appeared in 1956, the same year as the celebrated Independent Group's exhibition "This is Tomorrow" at the Whitechapel Gallery, which marked the birth of Pop Art in Britain. It was here, and in the work of Surrealists such as Salvador Dali and Paul Delvaux, that Ballard found the seeds of what he called a "fiction for the present day". With its dystopian depictions of the present and future, its bleak, man-made landscapes and the recounting of the psychological effects of technological, social and environmental developments on humans, his work has resonated strongly among other writers, filmmakers and visual artists. The exhibition "Crash" brings together works by artists tuned to the Ballardian universe, from his contemporaries such as Ed Ruscha, Richard Hamilton, Andy Warhol and Helmut Newton, to younger artists such as Tacita Dean, Jenny Saville, Glenn Brown and Mike Nelson.

The exhibition is organised in association with the Estate of JG Ballard.

List of artists: Richard Artschwager, Francis Bacon, JG Ballard, Hans Bellmer, Glenn Brown, Chris Burden, Jake & Dinos Chapman, John Currin, Salvador Dalí, Giorgio de Chirico, Tacita Dean, Jeremy Deller, Paul Delvaux, Cyprien Gaillard, Douglas Gordon, Loris Gréaud, Richard Hamilton, John Hilliard and Jemima Stehli, Roger Hiorns, Damien Hirst, Dan Holdsworth, Carsten Höller, Edward Hopper, Allen Jones, Mike Kelley, Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, Vera Lutter, Florian Maier-Aichen, Paul McCarthy, Adam McEwen, Dan Mitchell, Malcolm Morley, Mike Nelson, Helmut Newton, Cady Noland, Claes Oldenburg, Eduardo Paolozzi, Steven Parrino, Richard Prince, Robert Rauschenberg, Gerhard Richter, Ed Ruscha, Jenny Saville, George Shaw, Cindy Sherman, Piotr Uklański, Andy Warhol, Rachel Whiteread, Christopher Williams, Jane and Louise Wilson, Christopher Wool and Cerith Wyn Evans.
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At the Edge of Space, Parts 1-3

National Maritime Museum
08/06/2006–07/01/2007

National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London SE10 9NF
Tel: +44 20 8858 4422
www.nmm.ac.uk

The National Maritime Museum has invited Dan Holdsworth to be its 2006 artist for the New Visions contemporary art programme. At the Edge of Space, Parts 1–3, will open on 8 June 2006. Dan Holdsworth's large-scale photographs explore the limits of perception and the possibilities of photography. This exhibition focuses on the artist's interest in communicating the invisible realms of time and space, featuring work from the series 'At the Edge of Space' (1999) and 'The Gregorian' (2005), alongside the new commission 'Hyperborea' (2006). These three series show the: European Space Agency’s spaceport in Guianathe ... Arecibo Space Telescope at the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Centre in Puerto Ricoand the Northern Lights seen from the limits of Reykjavik in Iceland and from the Andoya Rocket Range above the Arctic Circle in Norway. 'At the Edge of Space, Parts 1–3' is an investigation into the possibilities of human knowledge. At the edges of what we understand – be it the limits of space, time or nature – human consciousness comes into focus. Holdsworth's photographs reveal a sense of the contemporary sublime – his expansive landscapes create a vertiginous pleasure in the immensity of what we do not comprehend. Led by his personal responses to each environment he visits, the artist seeks out locations to photograph through their feel and atmosphere. Using long exposures, Holdsworth’s images reveal the world around us in a way that the human eye could never capture. Filled with both time and timelessness, these photographs offer a window to another world that exists beyond our knowledge and experience. 'At the Edge of Space', 1999, is series of photographs taken at the European Space Agency's spaceport at Kourou in Guiana, South America. The location is surrounded by verdant equatorial forest and its position in relation to the Earth’s rotation is ideal for space missions. Holdsworth’s photographs show rockets 'docked' and launching within the dense jungle foliage, and how at the limits of the base both the surrounding landscape and the sky above seem an endless wilderness. Together with all-white interior spaces reminiscent of a science fiction film, Holdsworth depicts a collision of nature and culture, where the natural world and the limits of the most advanced technology sit side-by-side. 'The Gregorian', 2005, was developed at the Arecibo Space Telescope at the American National Astronomy and Ionosphere Centre, Puerto Rico. Nestled in a jungle landscape of collapsed cave systems, this man-made structure is the world’s largest single-dish radio telescope and is capable of picking up the faintest radio waves from the edges of space. From the furthest reaches of universe pulses are recorded that have taken some 100 million years to reach the Earth. Here the faint signals are translated into visible information that can be interpreted to reveal the formation of new planets, track asteroids and describe the edge of known space. Using long camera exposures of up to four hours, the artist has created a series of photographs taken at different times of the day and under different lunar conditions. These exploit the durational quality of still photography to look into the limits of knowledge and experience. The NMM has commissioned a new series of work for this exhibition, 'Hyperborea', which continues Holdsworth’s exploration into the spaces between naturally occurring phenomena and our attempts to understand the edges of our environment. Driving out from the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik, Holdsworth photographed the night skies filled with the constantly moving lights of the Aurora, while the earthbound landscape is pinpricked with lights of moving vehicles and human habitation. The artist also travelled to the Andoya Rocket Range in Norway – located above the Arctic Circle it is the world's northern-most permanent launch facility for sounding rockets and scientific balloons. Curator of Contemporary Arts, Lisa Le Feuvre, says of Hyperborea:
This breathtaking new series explores the idea of the north through photography in a way that pushes the medium to its limits. Holdsworth’s incredible images interrogate the relationship between the visible and the invisible through an exploration of the limits of our understanding.
The Northern Lights – the source of countless legends – are colourful displays of light caused by the interaction of charged particles from the solar wind with the upper atmosphere, revealing physical activity beyond the Earth's surface. In Holdsworth’s photographs skies glow green and are punctuated by stars and satellites following the curvature of the Earth, while the desolate landscape is cut through with traces of human existence. These images explore how time and space affect human life and the landscape. Connecting the wilderness of nature with the edge of space, they seem barely possible, yet they reflect the world as it is. Speaking of this new work, Dan Holdsworth describes how:
the experience of photographing the Northern Lights felt like I was entering a different time space. Whilst being alone in the arctic wilderness, I became aware of the cycle of the Earth. The lights are a visual representation of everything that we cannot see but which goes on around us all the time. It’s like being given a glimpse of the rhythm of the universe.
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