CHLOE LEWIS & ANDREW TAGGART
AN ELABORATED SYSTEM OF HUMAN LONGING
The MA-weekend we present this spring is the exhibition An Elaborated System of Human Longing by Chloe Lewis and Andrew Taggart. This ongoing project is, so far, a series of objects and two videos.
The duo’s approach to art making is coloured by their wish to find a common field to operate from. This field is defined by constant common carving of their ideas and objects, and since they follow a consensus-based strategy they always end up with reductive elements that have no other additions than the context they are placed in; unprocessed elements without colour conversing in space.
Through their approach they realize that they constantly fail to connect completely. Instead they have settled to explore what they call ‘the emphatic gap’; the area of their collaboration where there is no agenda other than trying to map this gap. The failure is in other words the success in their project, and the result is a series of dynamic works that started three years ago with common drawing sessions. The drawings developed into an exploration of everyday objects and their potential for dialogue by putting two and two together. Symmetry has always been important in visual cultural history, as it is in Lewis and Taggart’s works too, and the symmetry is to be found both in their process and collaboration as well as in their works.
The works strive to re-imagine abstract social phenomena such as heartbreak, failure and urban alienation as visual forms, pointing to the tragic absurdity present within the human desire to become empathically closer to someone – or something – beyond ourselves. They say: “We are interested in the futile nature of the human desire to connect to someone or something, and collaboration can be seen as one possible metaphor for this.”
Their inspiration is drawn from the everyday, anecdotes and urban myths, as well as literature and each other. They do not lapse into nostalgia or distanced theory. They explore their collaboration in practice, and thus also explore the postmodern artist myth of idealized collaborations, as opposed to previous times’ artistic genius.
(The text is based on a conversation between the artists and Anne Szefer Karlsen at Hordaland Art Centre (HKS) Friday February 27th, 2009.)
The MA-weekend is a collaboration between Hordaland Art Centre and Bergen National Academy of the Arts