Elliott Mickleburgh is an artist and writer based in London. Both his fiction and academic writing have been included in online journals and print publications such as Storyfile, Notes on Metamodernism, Art in Print, and THE SEEN. Recent exhibitions include Everything the same, Everything a little different at The Art Academy in London and Rulers at Coco Hunday in Tampa. He completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013 before relocating to New York and eventually to London to study at the Royal College of Art.
The preference not to […]
In a world driven by constant exposure to images and the arrays of communications media that write, store, and distribute this information, it is easy to become afflicted by the idea that there is nothing around us, no thought or object, that cannot be sensibly expressed through the technologies of convenience that rest under our fingertips and extend all the way to the horizon of the visual field. This affliction is much like the philosophical aphorism stating that the boundaries of the world are constructed by the limits of human language and thought.
Rather than assuming that communication suspends information in a perpetual state of accessibility, Mickleburgh’s work provides accounts of those images that are not fully manifested into the cogent universes of the visible and the thinkable. Chromakey hues, photographic latency, and gestural abstraction are all used to allude to images that are excitedly tracing lines of flight across contingent processes of becoming. In 1971, Bas Jan Ader filmed himself crying but became so besieged by his melancholy that his tears went unexplained. Likewise, the very opportunity to divulge information through creating art is simultaneously rendered in these works as an opportunity to conceal and transform something else.
Mickleburgh’s latest project, XX.XX.XX, is an interpretation of the annunciation executed through the photographic, sculptural, and textual ephemera that circulate through the organs of corporations during the pre-production stage of designing fashion advertisements. By linking religious devotion with the consumption of luxury under the conditions of late capital, Mickleburgh seeks to cultivate a space in which a desire for the spiritually ineffable is instigated and sated through the cultural circuitries of couture and advertising.
XX.XX.XX (Blue Screen Cosmetics Test for the Archangel Gabriel)
The hues of the chromakey palette, in this sense, represent an image’s potential to transcend the conditions of an indexical relation to the world and to become something other than what it already is.
In XX.XX.XX (Blue Screen Cosmetics Test for the Archangel Gabriel), the prospect of transformation promised by the chromakey palette is attenuated by the use of a blue background behind a model with blue eyes. One cannot so easily remove the milieu without removing something of the subject that occupies it, and so both enter a kind of stasis in which the possibility of becoming something other than what is at hand remains unfulfilled.
Medium:Archival inkjet print
Size:A3 sheet size, 40 x 50 cm framed
- Meghan O’Rourke