December 15 - January 8 1999
US artist Simen Johan's exhibition of digitally manipulated photographs
are designed to confound our sense of moral virtue, hovering somewhere
in the murky space between right and wrong.
Using children and adolescents as the subject of his narrative
portraits, Johan creates surreal tableaux of corrupted youth.
A pubescent girl hula hoops against an idyllic seaside backdrop;
an androgynous teenager cradles the head of a dead sheep on which
flies are beginning to land; a young girl with glassy eyes takes
a bite from a cookie, while in the kitchen scene behind her what
appear to be petrified dogs are strung from the ceiling.
The poster perfect finish of these black and white prints belies
their subject matter, which is replete with references to both
the art historical tradition and Freudian sexuality. Johan has
created in these photographs an uneasy world where abnormality
and alienation are commonplace, and in the process asks that the
viewer accept the beautiful with the difficult.
Reviews, Essays & Articles
Showing of three
Christchurch star, 1999 Dec.
22, p. B5
Face to Face/The Minimalist Massacre Part II, by Sean Kerr; Gallery
5 by Maddie Leach; exhibiton by Simen Johan.