How many exhibition works:
Beginning their career in 1992, Aziz + Cucher utilise a variety of mediums including digital imaging, sculpture, screen-printing and video-installation to address major historical events and issues of our time. For this exhibition, Aziz + Cucher will exhibit tapestries from the Some People Tapestry Cycle and new works on paper from the Frieze series which depicts conflict, celebration and the relationship between the two.
These monumental tapestries illustrate scenes of on-going conflict and can be read as historical paintings of the present moment. Although the figures are in dynamic poses, they are faceless and do not describe anyone in particular. The artists explain, “When creating the tapestries, we didn’t want to reference a specific event but an on-going conflict that can be found throughout the course of history.”
To create the tapestries, the artists begin by outfitting dancers in customized attire while adopting dramatic postures against a green screen. These poses are then collaged into one large composition and then translated into a digital weaving file. This particular loom allows for an incredible amount of detail and subtle gradations of colour to be seen throughout the tapestries that add depth to the work.
Glenn Adamson, art writer and critic who authored the main text for the exhibition catalogue, writes, “In America and Europe, there is a sense that society is deeply fractured, at odds with itself. And – partly as a result of this dysfunction – there are actual civil wars unfolding, in Syria and elsewhere. This is the literal and figurative background for Aziz + Cucher’s powerful new tapestries, each of which shows a pageant of bodies, in freeze-frame against an unsettled landscape, pinned like butterflies within time and space itself.”
The Frieze series are new works on Hannelmule paper with 24k gold leaf. The faceless figures in this series are dancing and in celebration amidst the gold leaf. This series stands in contrast to the scenes of conflict depicted in the tapestries. The dancing figures appear in the distance of the Some People tapestries and are brought to the fore in the Frieze series that stand in contrast to the turbulent and dark world found in the tapestry works. Exhibiting these two series together highlights a tragic/ comic co-existence; often when a disastrous event occurs, others can be celebrating that same event.
“With this current show, four Jacquard tapestries are showcased together for the first time in London, almost in the entirety of this new series. Never before has the duo ventured out into a new medium such as this and it is a true honour to be able to exhibit these alongside their newly conceived Frieze series of silk- screen prints with gold leaf” –Mila Askarova, Founding Director of Gazelli Art House.
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