Ed Fornieles Stand by me
Works in the exhibition
In Stand by me, his first exhibition at Division Gallery, Ed Fornieles investigates the malleability of the position of the artist – mapping out its elasticity and potential to stay intact despite assigning decision making to a system of directives.
By inputting propositions to a randomizer, the artist has externalized a process which all artists are forced to confront. Questions such as what an artwork should look like, how it should be constructed and, more essentially, why it should be made, are at least in part answered by a system of directives. The artist’s position then moves from that of distinct creator to an interpretive one. Assigned a direction, Fornieles is forced to make sense of and translate a set of data; the artist appears no longer absolutely autonomous, instead he has become spread across the structure that maintains him. Fornieles has architected an account of the artist that lies between system and person, with creative offsprings generated between the time of subjective contemplation in production and machinic exteriority in pursuit.
Fornieles’ operations here materialize as a series of grayscale paintings, ambiguous and muted, depicting globular characters that perform basic acts of human interaction. Despite their schematic origins, these canvases appear touching and personal in both subject matter and painted treatment. The artist implicates the viewer in a visual puzzle: he advances emergent propositions that are seemingly completed automatically. Who are they, what are they doing, what is their relationship to each other, where are they--answers to these questions appear as if by compulsion before passing back into the surface of the painting.
The works are diagrammatic: on the left, caught within a cylindrical tube, are their inputs, maps with source materials and directives; to the right are outputs, the painting. Materially, the process is manifest, moving passed instantaneity or the object itself and revealing the mechanisms that lead to its production. This is an active form, ready to process any source material, to advance in any direction, to self-replicate and self-sustain. Images – even paintings, it seems – are in effect data, a set of composite choices, brushing against taste, feeling, and context, offered back as an aesthetic variable.
Ed Fornieles is a British artist living and working in Montreal. He holds an MA in Sculpture from the Royal College of Art. Solo exhibitions have been held at New Museum, New York; Chisenhale Gallery, London; Serpentine Gallery, London; Arratia Beer, Berlin; and Carl Kostyal, Stockholm. His work has been presented in group exhibitions at Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt; Boetzelaer Nispen, Amsterdam; Arsenal, Montreal; and Carlos/Ishikawa, London.