December 14 ,
2006-January 6 2007
Initially the work of Edward Bateman drew on photographs and their history of depiction and later devoloped into an exploration of the influences of optical instruments in the history of painting. This led to an interest in how we choose to depict the worlds, both around us and in us, as well as those people who made it their life’s work to share their insights and observations.
Although some elements in his work depict ‘real’ things, many objects have never had a tangible physical existence. These elements are modeled completely inside the world of a computer. They are ghosts made of nothing more substantial than numbers, yet they seemingly share a tangible space with objects that have both physicality and history. His method of working mimics light itself, one beam at a time, in a process that can take from hours to days to complete and involve literally trillions of calculations. The work appears photographic and often comments on photography (or other processes of lens-based image creation), but they are not photographs. The lens has been removed from the image-making process and placed it within the image itself.
Lenses and mirrors are common in these artworks. Like any depiction, lenses represent a point of view and a narrow focus. What they reveal often overpowers what is excluded by their gaze (which may be equally important). Mirrors are a metaphor for art itself as well as the process of self knowledge and discovery. They are also part of the tricks of mind and eye: smoke and mirrors. In the end, perhaps Bateman is telling us that all the models we create share a strange mixture of magic, truth, and illusion.
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