November exhibition 2018
“Marrickville Streetview” explores the relationship between physical place, landscape, painting, time, online search tools and the now all-pervasive nature of digital photography.
Since the invention of the daguerreotype, photography and painting have enjoyed a dynamic and often combative relationship. First viewed as marking the end of painting, photography liberated painting from the need to realistically record people, events and places, creating a new trajectory from Manet to modernism. The combination of digital photography, data storage and online search tools has radically shifted that relationship, with photography now a ubiquitous medium, able to create an accessible digital record of every street in the Western world. What is painting’s role, in a world where an estimated 14,600 billion photographs are created annually?
Online search tools now enable us to experience “place” purely through a computer screen. The 18 paintings in this series explore this online experience.
However, by using traditional painterly techniques- visible brushstroke, non-local colour, framing and so forth- computerised views of place are transformed into works of imagination. This practice also returns landscape painting from a plein air tradition to a studio-based tradition, but by using a computer screen as the source of the work. By painting each work in 50 minutes, the works become a measure of time, emphasising the paradox that a painting always exists in the present, whereas as Roland Barthes observed in Camera Lucida, a photograph memorialises the past.
For more of Paul’s 50 minute paintings, search paulrmallam on Instagram.
Image credit: courtesy of the artist