The history of art is etched into our collective psyche. Although we have different exposure to art based on our interests and education, there is nonetheless a general consciousness of what art is and what it looks like, and generally these notions are transferred through famous, so-called canonical images. In this respect, art history acts as a visual anchor of sorts — a reference point in a visually overstimulated world.
Sigmund Freud coined the term screen memory to describe a distorted visual memory originating in childhood. Based on its ubiquity, the history of art can be seen as a kind of visual childhood memory of the mass psyche. By masking parts of these canonical works with screenprinted areas of colour based on digital techniques, I’m attempting to celebrate the fresh look of technology, while commenting on a covered up, painted over spiritual tradition, which, for good or ill, remains largely hidden in our secular society. In simple terms, technology is masking the divine, and the results are ambiguous.
From a technical perspective, my core interest is what I call, “travelling through the mediums.” How does an image transform from its original incarnation as a physical artwork, to the photo of an artwork, to its compressed version as a JPG and its representation on Google Images search results? And what about after it’s scanned, printed and screenprinted overtop? Through this visual alchemy of sorts, I aim to produce an art object that’s both relevant and contemporary.
Adrian Pocobelli is an Italian-Canadian artist based in Berlin. He has had solos shows with Fata Morgana, the Leo Kuelbs Collection and Factory Berlin and given presentations at the Mitte Media Festival in Berlin, Motion Lab, Ping Pong and appeared on the Siemens Arts Program. He has also written a book on The Atrocity Exhibition by J.G. Ballard, which is under review.
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