‘I love photography because it deepens my profound respect for the variety and graphic beauty of nature. Whether it’s involvement in a project about homelessness in America or photographing glaciers, wildlife, and landscapes, I hope to bring awareness of both the problems and the treasures in our world.’ -Tipper Gore
T293 Rome presents Dan Rees’s third solo show with the gallery and his first show in Rome. The Welsh artist, who lives in Berlin, presents a new series of paintings and sculptures containing photographic elements. The ‘temperature’ of the palate and imagery are evocative of the current social mood or climate.
The title of the exhibition ‘Cryogenic Blue’, refers to study of exposing different materials to extremely low temperatures, perhaps human bodies waiting to be successfully ‘defrosted’ in years to come; an idea that can be symbolically projected onto an entire society waiting to be stirred from its sinking lethargy.
The exhibition’s first component is a series of installations of brightly coloured paintings hanging on wooden clothing pegs. The hanging devices are inspired by the designs of the Shaker movement, evoking a simple craft aesthetic and a strict moral code. The succession of elements, well ordered and precisely delineated are inspired by the symptomatic order and impulsive behaviour that the Occident imposes through ritual consumption. The exclusion of many people from this order has caused the recent disruptive encounters in the UK, – the artist’s homeland –directed towards the shop windows and their displayed objects. A certain high street feeling is maintained in the manner the paintings hang from the hooks as if they were items of clothing.
A group of different size light boxes arranged in the gallery space forms the second component of the exhibition; inside of each museum style display Rees has included images of glaciers taken from the website of Tipper Gore, (Al Gore’s ex wife and professional photographer) where landscapes and pictures of poverty come one after the other. In highlighting the naive gesture of these juxtapositions, Dan Rees compares the political classes’s portrayal of the world to the fanciful casual license of the artist.