Baloise Art Forum: Luke Fowler

Basel, Exhibition at the Baloise Group Art Forum: Luke Fowler.

24 November 2016 – 26 May 2017
Art Forum opening hours: Tuesday, 31 January and 16 May 2017 at 12:30 for a guided tour by curator Martin Schwander or by appointment.

Luke Fowler (born 1978) is a film-maker, photographic artist and musician who lives and works in Glasgow. His work explores the conventions and limits of biographical and documentary film-making, and he primarily works with material from film and sound archives. This material forms the basis for portraits of intriguing countercultural figures, such as the Scottish psychiatrist R. D. Laing and the English composer Cornelius Cardew. Against this backdrop it comes as no surprise that Fowler's work has often been compared to the British Free Cinema movement of the 1950s.

It is immediately obvious from his photographic work that the relationship to analogue technology plays a defining role for Fowler. He opposes the seductive, high-gloss aesthetics of the consumer world, with his artistic strategy encompassing light reflections, underexposure and overexposure, as well as other photographic 'imperfections'.

The two most recent Fowler works to have been included in the Baloise collection are Perfect Lives (2015, 20 photos) and Catalogue of Inscribed Acts (2015, 18 photos). Both series are arranged in a prescribed manner.

In both works Fowler proves to be a silent and precise observer of the everyday world around him. The criteria upon which he bases the arrangement of his photos, however, can be quite difficult to grasp. Equally puzzling are the often minimalist narrative threads that appear in each photograph.  

On his photographic forays through cities and their public buildings Fowler sensitises us to the banal and the useless, the misused and the ephemeral. It is along these fault lines that Fowler shows us the history of everyday things and how we interact with them now.

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