Alchemy & Don't Mention The War
Mar 27 - Apr 26, 2008
Press release for exhibition Alchemy & Don't Mention The War
P.P.O.W is pleased to announce a two-person exhibition with Suzanne Treister and Kim Rugg. Both women incorporate the contents of newspapers and transform them into their own iconography. By re-arranging and re-constructing the front page they not only physically transform the news, they create portals that make information malleable and transformative.
Suzanne Treister's Alchemy (2007-8), series culls images and text from international newspapers and transforms them into alchemical drawings. "These works redeploy the languages and intentions of alchemy: the transformation of materials and essences and the revealed understanding of the world as a text, as a realm of powers and correspondences which, if properly understood, will allow man to take transformative power." Re-organizing the contents of the newspapers, Treister's large symbols are like formulaic maps that reveal the deeper meaning of what is printed on the page. Integrating symbols of alchemy, modern culture and recent histories, the revelations of past and future are mysteriously clear.
Kim Rugg literally takes the front pages of major newspapers and cuts out each letter and organizes them in alphabetical order. In Don't Mention the War, (2004) she uses the same process to splice the images, putting them back together by color gradation. This results in pixilated screens and headlines which read like organized baby talk. Most of the time Rugg randomly selects a paper but other times they are specifically selected. For Rugg, "What really interests me is how when I remove the message- the news- I am left with the messenger. The process brings this messenger to the foreground. The 'personality' and character of the paper is therefore amplified." Formerly an art director in advertising Rugg is attuned to the tricks of that trade but this process is more then a revolt on those skills; it is also a meditative and transcendent process for her.
Suzanne Treister studied at St Martin's School of Art, London (1978-1981) and Chelsea College of Art and Design, London (1981-1982) and is based in London. Primarily a painter through the 1980s, Treister was a pioneer in the digital/new media/web based field from the beginning of the 1990s, developing fictional worlds and international collaborative organisations. Recent exhibitions and events 2006-7: British Museum, Dana Centre, London; Skolská 28, Prague; Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin; Annely Juda Fine Art, London; Tate Britain, London. Upcoming exhibitions: Kunstverein Langenhagen Annely Juda Fine Art; Galerie Lorenz, Frankfurt, Germany.
Kim Rugg graduated with a BA in painting from the City and Guilds of London Art School in 2002. In 2004, she received her MFA from the Royal College of Art, London, where she was awarded the Thames and Hudson prize. Recently, she has predominantly exhibited in London, as well as participating in numerous art fairs across the United States, including Pulse New York, Art Chicago and Pulse Miami. Her most recent solo exhibition was at the Mark Moore Gallery in 2007.