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The Astrologer who fell into a well

 

Melanie King, Eric Lesdema, Sheena Rose, Semiconductor, 

Jane & Louise Wilson.

The Astrologer Who Fell Into A Well 

Contemporary Art And Spirits (CAS)

1 Chome-2-25 Suwa 

Joto Ward 

Osaka 536-0021, 

2018

 

An exhibition organised by Tamaki Kawaguchi and curated by Julia Waugh featuring the work of 5 British based artists and 1 Periscope broadcast from Barbados. 

The title of the exhibition is an Aesop Fable, a morality tale about a star gazer ignoring the hazards on a path. A story written many centuries ago but one that revealed the emerging trend to dismiss the night sky as a place of inquiry, becoming only relevant, as study for Sailors. 

 

The exhibitions conceptual paradigm explored further the waning interest in the heavens, this reverence appears romantic, being assimilated into the parameters of STEM related research and spaces of technology.

 

Astrologers viewed the sky as a code to unlock the myopia of our world. Through these cosmic calendars of patterns in black skies that glitter with constellations they saw an direct influence on our lives, a landscape as full and relevant as the terrestrial 

 

Today, the gravitational force of planetary transits is a minor concern to the predilections of the everyday and the “out of this world” is most often located within the metaphors of communication. In Europe the revolutions of industry shifted painterly horizons that had inspired artists to render the skies angelic became turbulent. 

It was post world war cinema that evolved the Sci Fi genre, merging representations of the heavenly with an augmented contemporary. Cinema created places where such cosmic sublimity is reframed and movies such as, 2001: A Space Odyssey often conclude in some transcendental scenario. Are protagonists in the genre of Outer Space always on journeys with spiritual overtones, exaggerated in films with hyper colour that emphasises an omnipotence of experience?

 

Modernity has assured those heavenly departure gates are permanently closed and for the first time in humanities history, we have lost every idea or ideal of an unearthly paradise, perhaps a concept that now exists on the screens of TV, cinema, computers, phones etc. That "there is nothing more than this", is a soporific acknowledgment that can only increase our determination to ease into the future through mechanical devices. The click through continuum softens perception in a solitary stimuli of online imaging and streaming sounds. The outer limits of an outer space, are now inside our imaginations, moving inward with electronic information transfer.

 

Yet despite this the sky can still conjures wonder, even when dimmed with the orange glow of a city when. Aeroplane lights blink at the crescent moon and we know that satellites can deliver data faster than the portents of comets, but even these additions, looking at cloudless night sky our thoughts and feelings can surprise us.

We venture virtually to create the virtuous with mimetic heavens  when we wish upon synthetic stars. 

 

“This astrologer in the well, resembles all of his false art, who while they are in danger, dream, that in the stars, they read the happiest theme.”

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Clockwise: Jane & Louise Wilson, Sheena Rose, Semiconductor, Eric Lesdema.

Melanie King

An artist whose principal subject is photography with a focus on the cultural connection between materials and phenomena existing beyond Earth’s atmosphere;  “Astronomy Ecology" is the subject of her PhD research at The RCA in London . A director of Lumen Studios and Super Collider, organisations that host exhibitions and residencies exploring optics, science and creativity .

Three photographs from the series “Ancient Light” were included in "The Astrologer Who Fell Into A Well" at  CAS in Osaka.. Melanie King was also a participatipant in a public discussion on the concepts and issues raised in her artworks.

Eric Lesdema

An artist whose works includes performance, installation and photography, currently investigating  “Isotechnography” as the subject of a PhD research with Roy Ascot’s “Planetary Collegium”.  He was awarded the UN Nikon World Prize For Photography in 1997 and continues to collaborate on projects with galleries and museums. The sculpture “Drowning The Moon”  was installed and on view at CAS in Osaka.

Eric Lesdema participated in a public discussion on the concepts and issues raised in his work for “The Astrologer Who Fell Into A Well”. ​

Sheena Rose
An artist who navigates intimacy through portraiture and it's transformation within modalities of communication. Previously a  Fulbright Scholar whose current media ascent can be measured with features in The New York Times and Vogue.

The premier of “The Astronaut” was previewed live via Periscope streamed from Barbados at The Manpuku-ji Temple in Osaka

Semiconductor 

Artistic duo Ruth Jarman & Joe Gerhardt make artworks which explore the material nature of our world and how we experience it through the lens of science. After a celebrated show at Art Basel they participated in The 2018 Sydney Biennial.

Semiconductor screened “Black Rain” and “Brilliant Noise" for The Astrologer Who Fell Into A Well.

Jane & Louise Wilson

Two artists whose film and photography illustrate the politics inherent in architecture and implications of technologies to our understanding of realities. They were nominated for the Turner Prize in 1999 and have exhibited internationally during a 30 year career.

A screening of the art work “Dream Time” was included in "The Astrologer Who Fell Into A Well” at CAS in Osaka.

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Waugh Office was established in 2011 by Julia Waugh and Mark Waugh,

 as a hybrid platform curating exhibitions, events and publications internationally

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