Laid together on the lookout : Charbel Ackermann, Jonathan Harker, Beltrán Obregón

Jonathan Harker Destablishing Shots  2009 video still

Jonathan Harker Destablishing Shots 2006
video still

15 may - 14 June 2009

In Melville’s Moby Dick, the crew, while eyeing the whales, speculates about passing things. “HERE, NOW, are two great whales laying their heads together; let us join them and lay together our own.” The works of Charbel Ackermann, Jonathan Harker and Beltrán Obregón watch, split, and stitch together. Like watchmen, they monitor virtually eventless spaces.  If their videos record anything, it is minor: light changes, shaking trees, passing clouds, at most minor passing vehicles on the ground and in the air.  These still spaces are subverted through partial substitution of the observed urban spaces with models and reflexions, discontinuity of viewpoint or by using anachronistic means of recording.

Beltrán Obregón’s The Land of the Giants plays on the veracity of an aerial urban photograph and the deception of scale. Eagle Cliff Spiral, seems to chart an aerial view of the top of a hill.  The trail of Sisyphus shows a continued motion in space both on the ground and in the air, interweaving micro and macro views of the landscape. Spatial Sequence shows what seems to be an imperceptibly moving wing of an airplane on the backdrop of a sky transitioning from dusk to nightfall and back again.

Jonathan Harker’s Destablishing Shots consists of a series of 23 shots of various buildings and houses in Panama City. At first glance, the shots do not seem to involve anything more than the careful framing of the houses and buildings, but their impossible (though not absolute) symmetry gradually becomes evident. The result is a disturbing portrait of a city that has been intervened and altered.

Charbel Ackermann’s Towers Record is an animated reconstruction of an urban scene observed for a quarter of an hour during an autumnal late afternoon. He uses a large number of paintings to record the scene through a sort of time-travel CCTV camera using the style of 17th/18th century urban topographic painting.

Beltrán Obregón is a Colombian artist based in London. Recent solo exhibitions include: El Jinete Azul (2007) at Galeria Valenzuela Klenner, Bogota, Colombia, and Spacial Sequence (2007) at Permanent Gallery, Brighton, UK. He has also shown at Bloomberg SPACE, London, John Hansard Gallery, Southampton, Tokyo Wonder Site, Tokyo and Moscow Center for the Arts, Moscow. He was selected for New Contemporaries 2005 and participated in the Busan Biennale Contemporary Art Exhibition in 2002. He is represented by Valenzuela Klenner Galeria, Bogota, Colombia.

Jonathan Harker (Ecuador) lives and works in Panama and France. He Exhibited at the 52nd Venice Biennale, Havana Biennial, the Cuenca Biennial in Ecuador, Panama Art Biennial, ICO Collectiones Madrid; Doubtful Strait, at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MADC), in San Jose, Costa Rica; Producing Reality: Art and Resistance in Latin America, in Lucca, Italy; and All Included: Urban Images of Central America, at the Conde Duque de Madrid Center for the Arts, in Madrid, Spain; Giorgio Persano Gallery, in Torino; and Samson Projects Boston.

Charbel Ackermann is a London based artist. He uses installation, drawing, sculpture and electronic media. He has shown his work at The Drawing Center, New York; The Pasadena Museum of California Art/ Fellows of Contemporary Art Los Angeles; the Walter and McBean Galleries San Francisco; the Museum of Art Lucerne, Switzerland; Irvine Contemporary and the Gallery at the Warehouse, Washington DC; Stanford University Art Gallery; Launch Pad/Parabola, London; and Manes Gallery in Prague.

Charbel Ackermann Tower Record Beltrán Obregón The Land of Giants

Charbel Ackermann Towers Record 2009
still from animation

Beltrán Obregón Eagle Cliff Spiral 2008
still from video