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Why not reconstruct one's ability to see? Let us give passing shape to the unconsolidated views that surround a work of art, and develop a type of 'anti-vision' or negative seeing.

– Robert Smithson

Pippy Houldsworth Gallery is delighted to present Mirrors, a solo show of new photographs by British artist Dan Holdsworth from 2 to 31 May 2014. Investigating the relationship between mapping, photography and visual perception, Holdsworth’s photographs explore technological notions of the sublime. Depicting barren, geological terrains which resemble planetary landscapes, Holdsworth’s work is concerned with engaging an abstract/material language of photography to explore questions of human perception and our relationship with nature.

Featuring as their subject the volcanic and glacial terrain of Mount St. Helens, Crater Glacier in Washington, USA, Mirrors furthers an ongoing exploration of False Topographic Perception (FTP). Denoting the confusion generated in the mind’s eye between convex and concave surfaces, this phenomenon is common to remote sensing images, such as aerial views captured by satellites or, in this case, from the viewpoint of an aircraft. Presented as two orientations of the same view, each of the works is split in two along a diagonal cut. What in one image stands proud becomes a depression in the other, with mountains and ridges taking on the guise of valleys and crevasses. By means of mirroring, the artist serves to highlight the instability of human perception.

Oscillating between positive and negative space, Holdsworth’s photographs also recall the geological chaos of the glacier below, where form and matter are in a state of constant flux. Through his use of mirroring, Holdsworth also serves to locate his work within the context of land art and minimalism. In the 1960s, artists such as Robert Smithson began to use mirrored surfaces in order to explore the dialectic between the viewer and his or her environment. In a similar vein, by suspending the viewer’s perception within a virtual field, Holdsworth disrupts the sanctity of the gallery space by unsettling the observer and rendering the act of looking chaotic.

Holdsworth’s solo shows include those at Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead; National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, Stills Gallery, Edinburgh and Barbican Centre, London, with group exhibitions including those at Tate Britain, London; Gagosian Gallery, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; The Institute of Contemporary Art, London; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago and Chisenhale Gallery, London.

Holdsworth’s work is featured in numerous international collections, including Centre Pompidou, Paris; Tate Modern, London; The UBS Collection, Zurich and London; Saatchi Collection, London; The Government Art Collection, London; The Goetz Collection, Munich; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Museum of Modern Art (MUMOK), Vienna and The Arts Council Collection, UK.



Upcoming: 6 June 2014 – 5 July 2014

Rachel Goodyear
Muzzles and Murmurs, Main Gallery

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Mirrors 2014
installation view, Pippy Houldsworth Gallery