english text by Jemima Stehli below
Artra presenta Turn it Round. Shela, Makoto, Gaza, Rui, Lucie, Helio, Lewis, Dan, la seconda mostra personale di Jemima Stehli (1961, vive e lavora a Londra), artista creatrice di relazioni complesse tra spettatore, fotografo e soggetto rappresentato. Il suo tratto distintivo è la riproposizione di opere storicizzate all’interno delle quali Jemima colloca il proprio corpo sia in azioni performative che in veste d'artista.
Dopo la presentazione di Strip nel 2001, performance attivata dall'artista per liberare l'immagine femminile dal controllo dello sguardo maschile, Jemima Stehli con i nuovi lavori continua a riflettere sullo spostamento di sé rispetto alla macchina fotografica, la relazione nel processo produttivo ed il movimento dello sguardo come elemento concettuale della costruzione dello scatto.
Tra le serie fotografiche esposte una sarà dedicata a Makoto, cantante della band di Lisbona If Lucy Fell, protagonista di quattro ritratti fotografici, stampati dall’artista con metodo tradizionale in bianco e nero, il cui volto, reso scultoreo da una vistosa ombra, è trasformato in pura struttura. “Questi ritratti, afferma Jemima, non sono un tentativo per catturare la personalità”. Sarà inoltre proiettato un video girato durante una concitata esibizione degli If Lucy Fell accompagnato da una serie fotografica in cui ognuno dei componenti del gruppo viene fissato tra l’oscurità ed i colori di un loro concerto.
La serie The Heart Pavilion è un lavoro per Jemima tradizionale in cui si rapporta con l’opera simbolo dell'artista concettuale americano Dan Graham. La presenza di entrambi, Dan all'interno del Pavilion e Jemima riflessa nei vetri, crea, come spesso accade nei suoi lavori, un rapporto privilegiato tra di essi: Dan è performer nella propria opera e Jemima regista ed attrice che costruisce complessità visive e concettuali.
The exhibition at Artra includes a new series of large-scale black and white handprints shown alongside recent performance and documentary video works, including Large Perspex filmed at Artra in July 2008
The shifting positions I take in relation to the camera, the production of the image and the way I incorporate other people in the work continues to be important.
In earlier photographs like those based on the Allen Jones sculptures, Table and Chair 1997/1998, and After Helmut Newtons Here They Come 1999, I occupy the position of the naked object in another artists work. In works like Wearing shoes chosen by the curator 1999, Strip 1999/2000 and Photo Performance 2005, I invited critics, writers and artists to make decisions in the making of the image.
More recently I have moved behind the camera with a series of videos and photographs where I record other artists and their work, in some cases participating in dialogue or directing the action, but always remaining behind the camera. The Heart Pavilion 2007 was the first of these documentary works, made on a trip with Dan Graham and Kathy Battista to see his Heart Pavilion in a private collectors garden in Philadelphia.
Over the last two years I have been making work with the Portuguese band If Lucy fell. I first heard them play in Villa Franca, outside Lisbon in February 2005, the band had only recently formed and I was really excited by their energy and the music. I wasn’t thinking of making anything with them but I had recorded some footage on my mobile phone and over the following year I started to think about how to work with their music.
In 2006 they came to play in London and I mentioned an idea I had for a video with them playing live during the recording. They were very open to this and in July 2008 we filmed Large Perspex in the new space at Artra. In the video I am shouting instructions over the music to Lewis Amar who I am filming as he manoeuvres a sheet of perspex to catch the reflections from the skylight. Later when the band were working on the sound recordings they liked the way my voice was influenced by their pitch and tempo, and that my instructions become an awkward and interesting part of the sound. They re recorded some parts in the studio, to make it less of a video soundtrack and more of a piece of their music, and we are releasing this as a limited edition EP for the current exhibition.
A dialogue was developing between us, they had asked me to do a band photo and I suggested a video where I am with them on stage throughout their performance, filming close up their working process. If lucy fell 10/4/09 was made at their show at Santiago Alquimista in Lisbon. Through working with the band and thinking about their sound, I wanted to make something more directly about the affect of the music and the event of their performance. This is one of a series of video works She Looked back where I am with the band as they perform on stage, and where my filming is determined by their music.
Their request for a band photo took some time for me to respond to, and led me back to a series of photographs I had begun working on in 2007. There was a divergence in concerns. The videos are all filmed hand held in one continuous take, and at the same time as I became more interested in them as responsive and even documentary works, I was developing a series of very formal and stylized black and white photos that I hand printed in the studio. To my left 2007/2008 is a series of larger than life black and white photographs where I try to imagine and fit myself into the black of the negative edge before the photograph is taken. These are the only pieces in the exhibition using the studio and my image as the subject, the face is always obscured by the hair.
I wanted to emphasise the composition of the single photographic moment and started on a series of portraits of performers and musicians, where I capture the usually animated faces in absolute stillness. In these works there is no attempt to describe a personality instead I am concerned with symmetry and repetition and to treat the face as a purely formal structure seen through the lens of the camera. Printed over life size, with heavy black and white contrast these images reveal nothing but the intensely intimate relationship the subjects have with the moment of being photographed.
Lucie 1, 2 and 3 2009 and Makoto 4 2009/10 are both groups of almost identical photographs but where the distance between the subject and the camera has shifted slightly between shots. Gaza 2009 is a single image. Lucie is a singer based in London and Makoto and Gaza are the singer and the bass player from If lucy fell.
The most recent work in the show The Band Photo, If Lucy fell 21/9/09 was made in Lisbon at the end of a long day in the sun and after a number of earlier days spent together as I tried to get the shot. It began as a commission by the band and the image is still theirs to use, but the work for the exhibition is made on a grand scale, measuring almost two meters in height, and printed up so that the detail in the surrounding grass and flowers competes with the presence of the sleeping men.
Jemima Stehlis work has been exhibited extensively over the last ten years and is represented in public and private collections throughout Europe and the United States. Recent projects include the publication by Artra of a book of collaborative works made with the English artist John Hilliard, including essays by Mark Francis, Simon Baker and Giorgio Vezzotti.
Selezione delle mostre personali. 2010 Jemima Stehli, ARTRA, Milano. 2009 If Lucy Fell/Jemima Stehli, live video performance al Ze Dos Bois, Lisbona. She looked back, Galeria Miguel Nabinho, Lisbona. 2008 To My left, Giorgio Sadotti, Elektra House, Londra. Lewis Amar, Jemima Stehli, I- Cabin, Londra. 2007 Photo Performance 23,27,30,31 Lisbona 20, Lisbona. 2004 Put there, Galerie Bernd Kluser, Monaco. Jemima Stehli, Centro de Artes Visuais, Coimbra. Jemima Stehli / John Hilliard, Artra Milano. 2003 The Upsetting Table, Jeffrey Charles Gallery, Londra. Jemima Stehli, Lisson Gallery, Londra. 2001/2 Jemima Stehli, ARTRA, Milano. 2000 Jemima Stehli, Chisenhale Gallery, Londra. Karen.
Recenti mostre collettive. 2010 HUMAN, Musee d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain, Nice, Film without Film curated by no.w.here and Maxa Zoller for No Soul for Sale, Tate Modern London,Rendering, Instituto Nazionale per la Grafica,Roma, Crash, Gagosian Gallery, Britannia Street, Londra. Peeping Tom, a cura di Keith Coventry, Vegas, Londra. Traduzione, citazione, contaminazione. Rapporti tra linguaggi dell’arte visiva. Istituto Nazionale della Grafica, Roma. 2009 Femme Fatale, Centro Cultural de Belem, Lisbona. 2008 The Apartment, a cura di Brian Dawn Chalkley and Lewis Amar, Londra. El Cuerpo (con)sentido, una (re)presentacion visual, a cura di Pedro Vicente Muller, Centro de Historia de Zaragoza. 2007 The Naked Portrait, The Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edimburgo. A cura di Martin Hammer. 2006 Kunst und Photographie, Galerie Bernd Kluser, Monaco. XX- Visoes no feminino, Centro de Arte Visuais, Coimbra, Portogallo.
10 maggio - 11 giugno 2010