NEW POSITIONS Philippe Gronon, Owen Kydd, Molly Springfield


Galerie Thomas Zander is pleased to introduce three artists who explore the context and conditions of photography in their works. While Philippe Gronon and Owen Kydd work directly with the medium of photography, Molly Springfield makes photographic reproduction the subject of her drawings. Object and copy, time, stasis, trace and memory are crucial aspects linked to the idea of expanded photography, which the three artists reflect on in different ways and artistic strageties.

Philippe Gronon (*1964 in Rochefort sur Mer, France) is a photographer who employs a clearly defined artistic concept and structured working method: In the selection of images for his series Gronon focuses on everyday objects such as elevators, safes, lithography stones, blackboards and even objects charged with a specific aura like the back sides of well known paintings. All items share a practical value, that in the moment of the exposure transforms into aesthetic form, sometimes verging on monochrome abstraction. Photographed straight-on from a frontal angle and depicting the object in its original size, the signs of wear and use, which have changed the surfaces over the course of time, are decontextualised and preserved in their current form.

“Durational photography“ is the term Owen Kydd  (*1975 in Calgary, Alberta, lives and works in Los Angeles) coined for his works. They present short video loops on flat screens framed and installed on the wall, which are reminiscent of lightboxes. Like photographs set in motion the works oscillate between still life and perpetual movement, while any form of narration is withheld. Although the images are two dimensional like photographs, the installations creates a fascinating experience of space. Owen Kydd blurs the lines between still and moving images, photography and video, questioning the usefulness of such classifications and investigating the ambiguity of perception.

Trace and reproduction are also central themes in Molly Springfields media-reflexive works. The exhibited drawings by Molly Springfield (*1977 in Columbia, S.C., lives and works in Washington, D.C.) show meticulously rendered photocopies of literary, philosophical, or photo-historical books. The graphite drawings not only depict the text, but also the notes, dog-ears and imperfections left on the pages by the processes of reading and photocopying. In an age of copy and paste Molly Springfield’s drawings invoke the spirit of passed down knowledge. Through Springfield’s faithfully rendering every letter and every shadow by hand until they become abstract shapes no different from images, the drawings embrace the materiality of language and tie in with positions of conceptual art, but also reference historical discourses about the question of mechanical reproduction and its reverberations in visual art.

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