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Marlo Pascual - giving new life to images

— March 2012

Associated media

Image by Marlo Pascual © The artist

14 March – 18 May 2012

The Arts Club, London,

US-based artists Brendan Fowler and Marlo Pascual have been announced as the next artists on show in two exciting and new exhibitions at The Arts Club, London opening 14 March until 18 May 2012. The public are invited to view the Club’s collection and exhibitions on Wednesday and Saturday mornings between 9.30 a.m. – 12 p.m. by prior appointment only with The Arts Club. Both the permanent and temporary displays are curated by Wedel Fine Art.  

Using found photographs and film as a point of departure in her work, Marlo Pascual blows up, crops, rotates, re-stages and adds what she calls ‘props’ – such as Flavin-esque fluorescent tubes, rocks or anvils – to her images to create photo-based sculptures and installations. Her work variously brings to mind art movements such as Conceptual Art, Minimalism, Surrealism, Arte Povera, but brought together in her singular style with a wholly contemporary re-examination of how photographs interact with their viewers. Pascual exposes the overt constructions of her selected images by playing with the relationship between work, space and audience, turning stylised vintage photos into conceptual sites of engagement.

Pascual culls her vintage pictures from eBay and thrift stores, some coming out of an amateur photography club where the photographers strive to take ‘artistic’ photos, others shots of would-be Hollywood starlets. They are of historical genres; still lifes, interiors and furniture, portraits, headshots, nudes, and pin-ups. When they arrive, the images are small, handheld, fetish-like objects. In an interplay with the photograph’s own physicality as an object, Pascual filters the images through her imagination, physically manipulating and often obscuring them with wry visual tricks and contrasting materials, removing the subjects from their previous contexts and recasting them in new roles.

The Arts Club exhibition features an image of a young woman, massively blown up, flipped upside down and torn in half – the kind of violence done to a photo usually after a break-up, or some other kind of trouble, to rid the owner of its memory. Rather than lost to anonymity, however, in Pascual’s hands the eyes take on a new, somewhat unsettling existence. Likewise, over the course of the exhibition the candles that obscure the eyes of the male portrait will slowly stream down the cheeks of the subject, forever altering its once stagnant appearance in its new guise as an artwork. Pascual has said of her appropriation and transformation of existing images, ‘I’m not destroying them. I like to think I’m giving them a new life’.

The Arts Club, 40 Dover Street, London, W1

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