e x h i b i t s

Edward Bateman:
Recent Work

December 14 , 2006-January 6 2007
Reception Thursday December 14, 7-9pm

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.

Both artists and scientists create models of the worlds they inhabit. Some of these models are of internal events like feelings or imagination. Others are depictions of the external world, either as we imagine it or as we abstract it through the tools of science. Bateman believes that the basic working of the human mind (and how we perceive the world) is through the creation of models. The camera was the first machine of depiction, presenting us with little models (that we call photographs) and for a time we believed it to tell only the truth. The computer has encroached on the chemical world of photography and made us even more uncertain of the veracity of what we are shown. Or perhaps it merely reminds us that many truths are of a more personal nature.

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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