Belfast Exposed Photography: MASK - CHARLES FRÉGER AND AXEL HOEDT - 30 Oct 2015 to 23 Dec 2015
Babugeri, Bansko, Bulgaria © Charles Freger
Two New Exhibitions at Belfast Exposed: Paul Gaffney and Jill Quigley
CHARLES FRÉGER AND AXEL HOEDT
30 OCTOBER TO 23 DECEMBER 2015
Mask is a two-person exhibition which looks at the relationship between photography and the mask in the context of the traditional masquerade festival.
Contemporary photographers, Charles Fréger (FR) and Axel Hoedt (DE) have both spent a number of years photographing European masquerade traditions. While the practices depicted broadly represent familiar themes – human relationship to nature, the cycle of the seasons, fertility, life and death – the diversity of personae and rituals documented, and the quiet, almost surreal way that they have been photographed, shed new light on an ancient subject.
Dusk documents Axel Hoedt’s journey through the carnival culture of southwestern Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Festival revelers are photographed in earnest poses, static against a bright background, in a forest or next to rural buildings. Hoedt juxtaposes classic studio photography, Polaroid snapshots and still-life imagery.
Charles Fréger has photographed in villages and regions throughout Europe to capture the great range of costumes and rituals associated with the myth of the ‘wild man’. Half man, half beast, Fréger’s Wilder Mann manifests as demons, devils, bears, goats, wild boars, stags and straw men, as well as strange, hybrid figures.
In the context of high-speed, high-tech contemporary life, Mask reveals our continued fascination with, and desire for the ancient, the primal and the authentic. As Sean O’Hagan put it in his review of Charles Fréger’s photobook of the same work: ‘That the "wild man" is flickering back into life surely tells us something about our need for myth, ritual and tradition. Or our need for spectacle, which, increasingly, seems all that remains of the once-powerful symbols conjured up by our collective imagination to keep darkness at bay’.
Opening Thursday 29 October 7-9pm
Axel Hoedt will give an artist talk on 30 October at 2pm
29 OCTOBER TO 23 DECEMBER 2015
Peter Evers' work explores the (de)construction of identity in a digital age. His work is underpinned by concerns about the exponential growth of technology and its dominant and uncontrollable influence over human identity. The work treads the line between the authentic and the virtual, the real and the representational.
Evers’ most recent work, Irresistible Drift has appropriated video and motion capture sequences from the Perceiving Systems department at the Max Planck Institute in Tuebingen where human subjects have been monitored and filmed as they move about a space. There are two stages to the installation at Belfast Exposed; the first film shows a human ‘subject’ attached to a myriad of sensors against a green screen backdrop. In the film the subject moves, dances, and jumps up and down providing an unsettling and dispassionate performance. He has been reduced to a puppet in this technological transaction where his every movement is recorded for research. In the second film we see how this research might be cultivated to better simulate ‘real’ human movement in digital form.
By interrogating the most advanced processes of image/ identity making within the digital sphere, Evers interrupts the notion that there is a linear and inevitable trajectory of technological ‘progress’. Instead he invites the viewer to pause and re-consider their relationship to these rapid and uncontrollable advances in technology.
Peter Evers (1973) gained an MFA in Photography from Ulster University, Belfast 2014. He is based in Dublin where he lectures in Visual Communications. Recent groups shows include Gallery of Photography (Dublin) & PS2 (Belfast).
All video materials provided by Perceiving Systems research group at The Max Planck Institute, Tuebingen. Digital Editing by Dave Head. This exhibition is generously supported by Foyle Foundation, The Directory & Arts Council Northern Ireland.