Thursday 29th June – Sunday 6th August
HIX ART is proud to present the inaugural solo exhibition of Joshua Raz, winner of the HIX Award 2016. Raz’s practice considers the dependability of the image and by extension, its ability to articulate reality. His paintings attempt to conflate or dissociate the empirical and implicit qualities of an image, object or environment – resulting in an oxymoronic painted surface; one that oscillates between cohesion and chaos.
Raz attempts to construct heterotopias; spaces which are neither here, nor there. Subjects within these paintings perform the role of something intangibly recognisable, rather than fully submitting to definition. By de-contextualising, manipulating and layering printed images through paint, the representational image enters a state of purgatory. It becomes a component within an implied narrative, yet it fundamentally serves no specific purpose.
This collection of works focus on the degeneration of reality, though beneath the veils of accessible narrative; beneath sleek interfaces and narrowed periphery, the complexities of true fact continue to bubble. Yet, when substituted for a simplified version, fact becomes simulation; a malleable imposter lacking the integrity of the original. In neglecting to question artificial narrative, artificial intelligence and one’s own increasingly artificial existence, the significance of reality is withering.
Raz utilises abstract visual motifs to marry opposing ideals. For example, in his use of palm trees. The provenance of the trees is rooted in the exotic and the tranquil, which leads to the projection of a Utopian idyll, resting in the shadows. The plant has thus become a trope; inextricably linked to the notion of paradise. However, through decades of image appropriation, palms have become domesticated; their implicit values diluted. They have been reduced to an outline and thus they exist between the real and the artificial. Palm trees have become quasi-exotic; they are exotic, but they are also the exact opposite.
The Atrophy Experience features a new collection of artworks, exhibited together in London for the first time.