Friday, June 21, 2024

Juxtapoz Journal – Thomas Albdorf “Physique Double” @ Webber Gallery, Los Angeles


The sequence Physique Double, by Austrian artist Thomas Albdorf, on view at Webber in Los Angeles from June 3—July 29, 2023 acts as a pseudo portrait of Los Angeles; a metropolis engrained in our collective conscience and a spot with an unescapable aesthetic, whether or not that be derived from standard tradition or the film trade. For Albdorf (who has solely visited town as soon as earlier than), the streets, resort rooms, concrete pavements and iconic landmarks have grow to be a backdrop to a metaphor in how we understand up to date imagery and its capacity at creating and distributing expertise.

Nonetheless, virtually nothing we see here’s what it seems to be. The inspiration of the work lies not within the streets of Los Angeles however from the artist’s studio in Vienna, the place the overwhelming majority of the fabric is sculpted, photographed and reappropriated.Woven in with these artist simulations are screenshots of LA taken from current inventory imagery or Google Road View – a website pilfered by the artist in his 2017 sequence Common View, another and authorless depiction of Yosemite Valley taken solely from the mapping platform. Within the brief timeframe the place humanity and images have co-existed, this American Nationwide Park has gone from being solely accessible via the imaginative and prescient and interpretations of a handful of privileged practitioners, to an open and dwell feed.

Lately, image-based AI platforms have grow to be extra publicly out there and more and more adept at bridging the hole between the actual and faux – resulting in elevated discourse on artistic authorship and a extra complicated narrative as to how we decipher and decide visible semantics.

2329 Wilshire Boulevard Part One The Trash Can Fire 2022

AI creates a brand new picture by trawling via a mass of current photographs earlier than operating the collated info via a software program programme, a way Albdorf has employed in a few of the works from Physique Double. On this sense, it’s necessary to take a position on how we are going to conjure photographs sooner or later, each internally and externally but additionally to find out who’s placing these photographs in to circulation and the way; what’s going to occur to our collective visions of cities like Los Angeles?

In a single picture from the sequence titled ‘4 Letters, Half Two’ we see a cardboard cut-out of the phrase ‘land’ mixed in on a supposed LA avenue. That is the truth is Albdorf’s reappropriation of the suffix from the unique Hollywood signal – Hollywoodland – which stood erected on the website for over 25 years. The signal has grow to be an integral a part of the iconography of town, the movie trade and even a beacon of inspiration. It’s most likely the primary picture that’s pulled from our unconscious thoughts after we hear the point out of LA.

It’s in each this occasion, and his use of LA as a metaphor in its entirety, that Albdorf is asking the viewer to take a position on {our relationships} with photographs – the function and affect of them on our positioning on this planet, to our understanding of our previous and the projections of our futures.

Thomas Albdorf | Physique Double
June 3 – July 29, 939 S Santa Fe Ave, LA


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