Vanessa Hodgkinson
P R E I M A G E 

Curated by Julie Solovyeva

January 10 - February 9, 2014
Opening Reception: Friday, January 10, 7-10pm 
Artist Talk: Saturday, January 11, 1pm
Moving Image Salon: Friday, January 17, 6-10pm at 106 Union Street, Ground Level, Brooklyn, NY 11231

P R E I M A G E is the first solo exhibition in New York of London-based artist Vanessa Hodgkinson and is curated by Julie Solovyeva.

The selected body of work encompasses Hodgkinson’s long-standing interest in conceptual and structural frameworks that reinforce her process of communicating ideas through painting. The works brought together at Peninsula investigate the space just before an image develops, be it in printing, Photoshop or filmmaking. 

Evolving out of a practical training in the crafts of traditional Islamic art, and an art historical background influenced by Said’s critique of Orientalism, Hodgkinson couples the Aniconic with an ongoing inquiry into the figurative ‘Other’ as a mediated digital presence.

Recently Hodgkinson has made a move away from a culturally specific geometrical vernacular of the Islamic pattern towards a more universal framework of the grid as a tool for producing images. Her grids are investigations into the potential for image-making inherent in network technologies, new media distribution and CGI. She engages the political and aesthetic meaning of viral images as traditional forms of escapism as well as systems of propaganda. 

The grids take precedence in a tradition of the monochrome by way of Agnes Martin whose preoccupation with line and subdued palette dominated her work of the 1960s and 70s. While Martin sought to capture the immaterial and Taoist-infused world of the mind, Hodkingson is deeply entrenched in the non-figurative aspirations of Islamic art, as well as the crude and often sensationalist images populating the media today. Hodgkinson draws on the multiplicity of search engines, mobile devices and applications that organize and compile visual data in seemingly ephemeral repositories.

Hodgkinson playfully links industry terminology with visual signs that mask the figurative and enable the viewer to conceptualize the subject through memory and narrative imagination. The works align into a constellation of events that mark our current condition of political distrust, cultural paranoia and the quasi-surveillance state with particular references to drone warfare, war imagery, photomontage, fantasy storytelling and cultural misrepresentations.

Vanessa Hodgkinson lost her sense of humour when she read Edward Said’s Orientalism (1978) in 2001. She thinks it may have come back when, a decade later, she watched Four Lions (2010) directed by Chris Morris.

Vanessa Hodgkinson (British, b. 1982) studied History of Art at Cambridge University, Arabic at Kuwait University, Islamic Art at the Prince's School of Traditional Art, and has recently completed her MA in Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art & Design. She lives and works in London. Hodgkinson has exhibited internationally including solo exhibitions at Project D (Dubai), Hardy Tree Gallery (London), Leighton House Museum (London) and Cambridge University. Group exhibitions include Hierarchies and Celluloid, Cellulose, Cellulite at Chelsea College of Art & Design (London), Surface at Chelsea Future Space (London), Shem at Galerie Arnaud Lefebvre (Paris), A Journey into the World of the Ottomans at the Museum of Islamic Art (Doha), The Desert Generation (Jerusalem & Amsterdam) amongst others.

Hodgkinson is also known as Navine G. Khan-Dossos.

Julie Solovyeva is an independent curator with a strong interest in new media and performance art. She completed her MA in History of Art at the Courtauld Institute in London focusing her research on Experience Design and Performance in Tino Sehgal’s Situations. Her current work centers around new technologies, collaborative and interactive practices. Solovyeva recently produced Oreet Ashery’s Party for Freedom, Artangel commissioned multimedia performance and moving image event in London. She has curated performance and discursive events at the ICA in London, worked for Film and Media departments at The Museum of Modern Art and The Jewish Museum in New York, and acted as a filmmaker liaison at the Tribeca Film Festival. Some independent projects included working with Tino Sehgal, Xavier Le Roy, Michal Libera, and producing exhibition projects for Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, The Museum of Everything, and RNA Foundation. Julie acts as a curatorial advisor for The Moving Museum and 10011. Current projects include exhibitions on surveillance, social media landscape and new distributions of images. Solovyeva is a regular contributor to Artforum.