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Review: Summm

The individual's relationship with the media is framed using photography and film in the Norman Rea's opening exhibition. Faith Whitehouse reviews.

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Photo credit: Faith Whitehouse
Photo credit: Faith Whitehouse

Artists: Steven Dickie and Joe Clarke
Curators: Joanna Hustler-Sterngold and Ellie Nicklin.
Venue: Norman Rea

The new Norman Rea Exhibition is challenging, sophisticated and leaves the viewer with many questions, particularly about the role of knowledge in art. The exhibition features the work of two artists Steven Dickie and Joe Clarke. Both approach the idea of the individual, and their relationship with the various media formats that are ever increasing in the world. They question the media formats that we embrace, or are suspicious of, through photography and video art.

Walking around the exhibition there is a strong sense that the idea of 'knowledge' has a large role in the artist's work. Dickie is preoccupied with knowledge in an absolute sense, Clark with a kind of spiritual or 'haptic' (tactile) knowledge. The photography in the exhibition ranges from abstract pieces of nature to rocks which look unnervingly still. And on the wall outside of the gallery is a series of blurred shapes on canvas, raising ideas about the power of photography.

The piece that stands out in the exhibition space has to be Steven Dickie's A Completerer Thunk. It is a piece of video art made by Dickie that is played out on a projector in the middle of the gallery. The piece is a conceptual art piece and is a film involving science, light and media to express our desire for knowledge.

The exhibition aesthetically works well and although at times the visitor may feel confused by the content, the simplistic layout of the gallery and the hanging of the works makes it an informal space to question how we gain knowledge and see the artist's view point.

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