Artist: Lauren Elder
Exhibition title: Blue Pacific
Venue: Rod Barton, London, UK
Date: March 13 – April 11, 2015
Photography: Images courtesy of the artist and Rod Barton, London
Rod Barton is delighted to present Blue Pacific, the first solo show at the gallery by Lauren Elder. Fascinated by the language of objects, symbols and logos, Elder, through her sculptural practice attempts to find parallels between these themes and explores the unique way in which they function as an alphabet and map. Through appropriation of existing forms and symbols and their subtle manipulation, Elder has twisted their language to become adapted and unique to her. These new forms then create their own fictionalised history that runs alongside any prior narrative that the object or symbol has enshrined within.
Working with three distinct processes Elder attempts to use the manufacturing methods of high-capitalism as a means of self-critique. Works are printed onto mirrored acrylic, vacuum formed around artist-designed blocks, or moulded and constructed into sculptural forms, these then become connected via their function, mapping out a plan or set of instructions. The mirrored acrylic pieces function as a blueprint complete with fictionalised narrative. Next, through an array of icons, the vacuum formed works produce a map or landscape. And finally the sculptural works tie these icons and forms to the physical world. These three stages highlighting how information is first presented to us, then manipulated until it evolves and changes before its original meaning is finally lost and forgotten.
The three stages of Elder’s work (acrylic, vacuum and finally sculpture) act as three chapters in the larger narrative that the artist creates. The mirrored acrylic works are the opening gambit – they create the backbone to her work. Elder then adds hand drawn aspects that mimic the background thus adding a an extended story, lush with character and detail. The vacuum forms create a surreal landscape made from pre-existing and manipulated corporate logos and symbols; their recognisable language subtly adapted and enhanced to the artist’s ends. Finally Elder’s sculptures explore how these icons and symbols are brought into physical space, still identifiable despite their simplified form. Through their material, their construction and their finish the information held within the objects becomes nothing more than feedback, reflecting and bouncing off one another in a never ending loop. This constantly moving cycle of evolution is inherent within all objects argues Elder; it is their inherent contradiction – being in a state of constant flux while maintaining a semblance of the original blueprint.
Recent solo and two-person exhibitions include: Tribe 2 Tribe, West Lane South, London 2013; Immune Stability with Amalia Ulman, Steven Turner Contemporary, Los Angeles 2013. Recent group shows include: Got Tortilla With Butter on Phone. Think it’s the End?, Rod Barton, London, 2014; Sundown Stock & Exchange, For Your Art, Los Angeles 2014; Sneakerotics, Edouard Malingue Gallery, Hong Kong 2013; Spring Notes on Motivational Teamwork Artbook, MOMA PS1, New York 2012; BYOB Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago 2011.