Dark frame/deep field at Breese Little
The most cosmic exhibition in London at the moment, dark frame/deep field, presents scientific photographs of space as works of art, reimagined through the eyes of six contemporary artists. The showcase has both vintage photographs taken by NASA and modern artwork inspired by it up for viewing.
Although at a first glance it looks as if the exhibition consists of only black and white images, it actually boasts some pretty colourful pictures too; in the same way, people are used to thinking of outer space in predominantly black-and-white, while in fact the cosmos is full of colours. For instance, We Colonised the Moon consists of two silkscreen prints, Frigoris and Tranquillitatis, which present the lunar cartographic data in bold, bright colours.
One of the main pieces of the show is a large-scale charcoal drawing of a crater: consisting of nine individual panels, Caroline Corbasson’s picture looks just like the grey surface of the moon. However, it actually depicts a 50,000 year-old impact feature in Arizona. Indeed, the whole show plays with people’s perceptions of the cosmos, poking fun at it slightly. As Good as a Moonrock (2012) is a piece that immediately grabs the viewer’s attention as the only work on show that is not in the form of a picture; it addresses the problem of seeing the moon in a more literal way, as an actual place rather than a romantic light in the sky. By questioning the authenticity of lunar exploration in such a brave manner, the piece itself turns into a metaphor for the cynical way in which the modern world sees something that used to hold a mythical, almost romantic, meaning.
However, the six artists do not just look at outer space, for they turn their eyes back to the Earth itself as well. Some of the astronomical photographs on show feature the planet as seen from space and it is in Dan Holdsworth’s Blackout series where this vision is refracted through the prism of contemporary art: by reversing negative and positive values, he changes people’s perceptions of the Earth. The Icelandic glaciers stand out against the black Nordic sky in a fashion inspired by digital data taken from probes, which map the terrains of Venus, various moons and asteroids.
Dark frame/deep field combines space and art in a charming symbiosis, where nothing is what it seems and everything is questioned in order to reach its true meaning.
Dark frame/deep field is on at Breese Little from 4th June until 1st August 2015, for further information visit here.