Omar Kholeif & Adham Faramawy in conversation
Adham Faramawy is an artist who explores changes in perception brought about by the digital age. For this exhibition the artist poses questions around media consumption and the persuasive potential of advertising to reflect and reproduce images of ‘well being’.
Across a landscape of high definition flat screens and sculptural wall and floor works, bodies flex, exhale, and exfoliate to the sedative tone of synthesized audio. Manipulated digitally, where tactile surface interplays between liquid planes, Faramawy shoots staged live performers often using his smart phone, a device, which is symptomatic of a contemporary syndrome of immediacy. Interested in erasing the boundaries of production and presentation the artist accelerates the speed at which live footage can meet the digital screen allowing it to be mediated by the mechanisms of the more familiar filter through which we visualize and conceptualize. Routines of banal choreographed workouts and rejuvenating skin treatments are played out, one on one and up close to the screen, performers often neoprene clad or waxed and polished naked. Carefully staged where human exchange can be computer-mediated, these subjects carry with them the isolated remoteness of the online experience.
For Hydra water is constructed as a luxury product and is abundant. Digital pixels and meditative sound sublimate water into a fetishized fluid counterpart, heightening it’s potential to heal and regenerate thus playing into the increasing anxiety over it’s potential scarcity. Points of hydration or drowning are continuous dichotomies throughout the new body of work, either by performers constantly feeding an unquenchable thirst by drinking water from plastic bottles in post-rave thirst aftermath, or by the animated image dissolving into digitized rippling screens.
As with previous presentations Faramawy will present a series of 3D and 2D works; leaning digital flat screens and cuboid podiums will occupy the space. Paint and pixel oscillate, with surfaces counterpoising colour schemes that reproduce screensaver gradients, proxies for the digital treatment of live footage. Despite the self-containment of wall and video work the question of which section is ascendant – which is background and which is foreground is open-ended. The artist draws us into an examination of formal points of contact between the physical and non-physical, directing us towards aesthetic histories to bring subjectivity and primacy of experience to the fore. All works are bound together in a sealed world, each requiring the other, their liquid relationship to be read as flowing and symbiotic.
A recent graduate from The Royal Academy Schools, in 2013 Adham Faramawy exhibited in ‘Abstract Cabinet’, David Roberts Art Foundation, London, ‘Diamond Dust- A shifting grammar of originality’, Circa Projects at Edinburgh Arts Festival and ‘Open Heart Surgery’ at The Moving Museum, London. He was selected for this year’s ‘Bloomberg New Contemporaries’ exhibiting in Spike Island Bristol and ICA, London and had work screened as part of ‘Flatness: Cinema After the Internet’, Oberhausen Film Festival, curated by Shama Khanna and Anthea Hamilton. In 2012 he was commissioned by Legion TV to produce ‘Total Flex 2’, an online video work with downloadable desktop program and he last exhibited at Cell Project Space in ‘Chimera QTE’, curated by Attilia Fattori Franchini. In 2014 his work will be included in ‘Pre-pop to Post-human: Collage in the Digital Age’, Hayward Touring, UK.