Artist: Rachal Bradley
Exhibition title: Foreign Press
Venue: Galerie Gregor Staiger, Zurich, Switzerland
Date: November 21, 2015 – January 30, 2016
Photography: images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Galerie Gregor Staiger, Zurich
“The solution was unusually turbid, stir-opalescent and buttermilk in appearance. Conventional polymer solutions are usually clear or translucent and have the viscosity of molasses, more or less. The solution that I prepared looked like a dispersion but was totally filterable through a fine pore filter. This was a liquid crystalline solution, but I did not know it at the time.”
– Stephanie Kwolek, inventor of Kevlar, in a speech 1993.
Kevlar is one of the most widely applied and used fabrics in production. It is used in law-enforcement, body protection clothing, construction, auto and aero-nautical industries. Lemon yellow is the raw colour of Kevlar fabric.
The image in the exhibition is a photograph from ‘A Seventh Man’, by John Berger and Jean Mohr. This book is a study of migrant workers in Western Europe during the early 70’s. It looks at this idea that movement is central to culture.
The Kevlar in these images are folded, layered, impressed, frayed, bordered together, painted in epoxy resin and left to cure. They pick up the ambient dirt in the artist’s studio.
The other image in the exhibition is the back of a truck seen on a ferry crossing from Dover to Calais. The artist saw this tanker and tried to translate the German to English using a well-known search engine translation site. However, the artist mis-remembered the phrase. Instead of ‘nur fur lebensmittel’ (only for food matter), she remembered ‘nur fur liebensmittel’. Only for loving medium.
There’s also a blue suitcase.
Through displacement, deliberate, re-orientation and mis-recognition of material and relations the artist is presenting coordinates to bounce from in order to gain a sense of reality as process. Her intention is form finding, adumbrating a body, a tracing of material relations, through structures located in the immaterial or material. A personal kind of algorithm.
Rachal Bradley, A Seventh Man, 2015
Rachal Bradley, Only For Loving Medium, 2015
Rachal Bradley, Think Different, 2015
Rachal Bradley, Foreign Press, 2015
Rachal Bradley, Continent, 2015
Rachal Bradley, Tool, 2015