narrative projects is delighted to present SPLIT a second solo exhibition by Rachel Lowe at the gallery. For her forthcoming exhibition, Lowe will be representing a work entitled “Elizabeth”, a slide installation, which was made twenty years ago.
Eighty black and white slides, created from found photographs of assorted different women, are projected chronologically so as to suggest the life of one individual woman. Having removed the central section, where the female subject should be, from each photograph, the re-assembled images now possess a vertical seam running down their centres. The physical incision enacted upon the images does not remove the woman’s presence entirely, leaving the fictional “Elizabeth” of the title, somehow present and absent at the same time.
While the peripheries, the margins, and the overlooked details acquire a new importance, the female subject appears to have slipped into a space behind the image, leaving only remnants of herself on the surface. She is both seen and not seen, there and not there, and it is perhaps this aspect of the work, which has become most relevant to us today. By questioning our understanding of the subject, especially in relation to female identity, the work attempts to draw attention to our increasing reliance on images in general, and our unquestioning belief in the identities that they construct.
Alongside “Elizabeth”, more recent work will also be shown which utilises a similar disruption to the two-dimensional surface of the image. Filmed in slow motion on a mobile phone, the focus is again on the peripheral, the margins, the overlooked. In these seemingly banal interrogations of the ground we walk on, there is never any change of viewpoint and the unremarkable footage is unrelenting in its objectivity. Split vertically with one half of the film running forwards, and one half running backwards, once again a seam is created down the centre of the image. Seen juxtaposed, one half of the film appears at times to be a memory of the other, and the solid ground becomes like liquid, as the two streams flow past each other undermining both the stability of the projected image, and the stability of the world we know.
About the Artist
Rachel Lowe (b. 1968, Newcastle upon Tyne. Lives and works in London). Her previous exhibitions include: Idle Hands: Tricks in the Art of Doing, The Chopping Block, London (2018); A is for Analogue, with Gavin Wade, narrative projects, London (2017); Rachel Lowe, narrative projects, London (2015); Revolving Woman, Eastside Projects, Birmingham (2013); Oriel Mostyn Gallery, Llandudno (2002); The Showroom, London (2001); Southampton City Art Gallery (1999). Her work has also been included in Find Your World in Ours, Supersonic Festival, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2018); Found, the Foundling Museum, London; Painting as Film, Kunsthalle Darmstadt, Darmstadt (2016); Revolver: Part 3, Matt’s Gallery, London (2012); Government Art Collection, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London and BMAG, Birmingham (2012); Wake, (curated by Anne Bean) Dilston Grove, London (2011); Act of Drawing, Vivid, Birmingham (2009); Strangers with Angelic Faces, Akbank, Istanbul (2006); Beck’s Futures, ICA, London (2002); The British Art Show 5, Edinburgh etc, (2000); Olay Vision Award for Women Artists, Lux Gallery, London (1999) (Joint winner); Hello..clk..bzz..whrr..nice to meet you, Kunstbunker, Nuremberg (Curated by Kathrin Böhm & Gavin Wade) (1999); Speed, (Curated by Jeremy Millar) The Photographers’ Gallery and Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (1997); and Low Maintenance & High Precision, Hales Gallery/172 Deptford High St, London (1997). Her work is also included in a number of collections, such as the Arts Council, British Council, the Norton Collection, and the Tate.