Dirt: Artists-Sharing and Joint Exhibition by Liam Magee and Phil Thompson

11/12/2017 10:00 am – 9:00 pm Location: Gallery, Kaitak Campus, Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University (51 Kwun Tong Road, Kowloon HK)
Presenter: Kaitak Centre for Research and Development

“Dirt is essentially disorder. There is no such thing as absolute dirt: it exists in the eye of the beholder. If we shun dirt, it is not because of craven fear, still less dread of holy terror. Nor do our ideas about disease account for our range of behaviour in cleaning or avoiding dirt. Dirt offends against order. Eliminating it is not a negative movement, but a positive effort to organize the environment.”

Mary Douglas – Purity & Danger

In this exhibition, Liam Magee continued to reflect upon his enquiry into objects and representation, and the dialogue between object and image. His latest works, Fruit Money and Object Studies, created during the two-month residency, reflects upon the fluidity of value placed on an object and explores how a photograph can question objecthood and re-assert an object’s presence. Phil Thompson’s work in Hong Kong has focused on how the area has become a hotspot for electronic waste after China tightened controls over the importation of waste over the past few years. His work addresses the moments where technology is taken outside of the system of use, broken down and reevaluated, becoming either raw materials once again, or entering the ground as toxic waste.

Location: Academy of Visual Arts Gallery, Hong Kong Baptist University, 51 Kwun Tong Road, Kowloon

Opening Reception and Artists-Sharing: 11 December 2017, 6:30-8:00pm

Exhibition: 11 December 2017, 10:00am-9:00pm

Dirt: Artists-Sharing by Liam Magee and Phil Thompson

About Liam Magee

Liam Magee has used the two-month residency as an opportunity to reflect upon his continued enquiry into objects and representation, and the dialogue between object and image. He has welcomed the new environment and how it has continued to inform his understanding of the subject matter. Liam will exhibit two Works produced during the Residency; Fruit Money a work which reflects upon the fluidity of value placed on an object and Object Studies which explores how a photograph can question objecthood and re-assert an object’s presence.

Fruit Money considers the fluidity of value placed upon a single object, from being useful; to carry, to read, to waste, to having a resale value to once again a use value. A typology of recycling stacks collected by individuals seeking to supplement their income are documented and printed in a newspaper, which is then distributed and collected by recycling pickers. The edition of 1000 Newspapers re-enter the system they document.

Object Studies is a series models of defunct objects which signify utility, found and modified on the creative commons website, Google Sketchup 3D Warehouse. They are then realised, using the dimensions given and re-photographed. The series explores objecthood through photographic documentation and how photography can assert an object’s presence. Photography ascribes value to a seemingly defunct objects with no immediate use-value.

About Phil Thompson

Phil Thompson’s work investigates the life cycle of technological objects and the geopolitical implications of the shipment, recycling, and disposal of electronic waste. His work in Hong Kong has focused on how the area has become a hotspot for electronic waste after China tightened controls over the importation of waste over the past few years. The majority of electronic waste shipped from the United States now ends up in the Northern Territories of Hong Kong, plus Hong Kong is the largest creator of electronic waste per person in Asia. Working with the Basel Action Network and HK01, Thompson has investigated several illegal dumps across the country, as well as the infrastructure surrounding the production and disposal of electronic waste. His work addresses the moments where technology is taken outside of the system of use, broken down and reevaluated, becoming either raw materials once again, or entering the ground as toxic waste.

Working with technology and new media allows the work to be embedded within the problem that it is documenting. Some of the phones used as display devices are cheap disposable shanzhai, or copy, phones, whereas some of the material has also been sourced from hard drives, tapes, or USBs found in ewaste dumps. The use of these materials reflects the problem away from the dumps themselves and onto the user and consumer.

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