A Distant, Darkened Lobby
A. M. Hanson
5-14 September 2014
Open 6-7 & 11-14 Sept, 12-5pm
Private View: Fri 5 September, 6-9pm
LIMBO is pleased to present the first UK solo exhibition of a new work by A. M. Hanson, A Distant, Darkened Lobby: a set of interrelated installations and photographic works which recreate office atriums as 'a fragmented dreamscape' of artists’ studios.
Hanson’s practice focuses on the relationship between photography, performance and creative production. His early action photographs portray Leigh Bowery, Alexander McQueen and others at crucial moments in social and performative situations, with subsequent work disrupting the idea of the photographer as passive ‘witness’, through the creation of a set of 'photo-related' characters, one called Susan Tripod. His most recent work, initiated after a return to study at UCA in Canterbury, explores how photography might in itself ‘perform’, creating new sites of activity by re-framing and interpolating fragments of the world.
This current body of work spotlights the permeability of the ‘real’ in the information age, operating in a realm where solid objects can be thought of as projections of lifestyle fantasies, and images, whether on screen or in print, can provide an entire work or leisure environment. A Distant, Darkened Lobby takes this idea a step further, playfully proposing metropolitan offices to be fantasy-sites of creative production, and LIMBO’s project space to be a hardcopy version of these corporate utopias / dystopias. Hanson has spent the last year staking-out offices and related spaces in order to "re-imagine new uses for the vast emptinesses, and to illuminate the montaged blend of structures and objects that remain, when everyone has left the buildings". In the exhibition, the photographs, principally liberated from standard modes of display, are overlaid, suspended and attached to various items of office furniture, becoming metaphors for the tools and activities of the artist’s studio – from paint-mixing to life-drawing to photo apps.
The exhibition features two short films, set to the music of Dale Cornish, who also features in one in the guise of an office voyeur turned atelier-based maker.
"Into a distant darkened lobby I beamed my returning, passing desire. I saw the same things repeatedly, again and again they changed into a spring like dance of unfolding possibilities.. ..We fled the city, to try and change our masks, only to return, and found these fragments emerging once again. ..Like seeing the moon through fresh, ancient particles, at last we recognised their beauty" (Hanson, from project notes)
Limited edition prints from the project are available at LIMBO during the show and also via alexcalledsimonprojects.com
A. M. Hanson was born in Yorkshire in 1969. After a period performing with Leeds University Workshop Theatre and The National Youth Theatre, he moved to London and began photographing his friends and associates in social and performative situations. Work from this period can now be seen in group books such as 'Leigh Bowery' (Violette Editions), 'We Love You' (the ambassadors / Booth Clibborn), 'Alexander McQueen, Fashion Visionary' (Judith Watt / Goodman Books & Harper Collins). This archive remains an active part of his practice, with material being newly published and republished internationally later this year and next.
In separate yet connected practice Hanson created a series of concept characters (part of a photo related family; Susan Tripod, Missy island, Rebel Against Thing..).These 'post performative' mixed media displays and actions appeared in diverse venues and in printed forms, including in a series of department store windows at Brussels '09 (t.a.g galleries), at Wolfgang Tillmans' London studio, a photo cut out trail across the Greek islands, in Gazelland - a New York based fashion magazine, and at Satellite Festival '12, Whitstable.
In recent years Hanson returned to study to develop new working methods, first at LCC, then UCA Canterbury, where he graduated in 2013. His show 'An Office Foyer in Winter' saw a staging of oversized duratrans layered across an atrium window wall, echoing and expanding elements in the show space, with images of globe lights and the shadows of plants. A circular seat, brochure like book, and desk monitor video, accompanied the photo work, reconfiguring the installed scenario. Work from this ongoing project 'An Emerge (Office)', showed at Galleria Uno+Uno, Milan (curator Alana Lake). Recent projects include a series of short film collaborations with musician Dale Cornish.