Archive > Claire Virgona, This Abstract Reality
Exhibition runs from 6pm, 17 April - 3pm, 30 April 2015
Claire Virgona (SmallWorks 2014 prize winner) ~This Abstract Reality~
My photographic practice explores the perceptual experience through abstracted imagery. The traditional notion of the photograph as a faithful record of reality has influenced my interest in manipulating the artistic experience to encourage the audience to reconsider the indexical quality of the image and the accepted layers of influence over ‘reality’. The post-internet aesthetic supports this investigation into personal perceptions of reality in a pervasive, image saturated, digital culture. I believe the evidential use of the photographic image, alongside its vulnerability to manipulation, warrant questioning in regards to sensory anesthetizing of the viewer in the addictive digital expanse. Phenomenological theory provides the basis for this artistic exploration, influenced by the writings of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, prioritising prior lived experience and embodied perceptual encounters. Contemporary artists including Brad Troemel, James Bridle, Rafael Rosenthaal and Artie Vierkant have also supported the removal of the tension between the real and artificial. The writings of Walter Benjamin on mechanical reproduction and the concept of the loss of the aura are also addressed through my artistic process: the creation of authentic, unique, sculptures that are photographed and digitally manipulated to create the final prints. This tension of aura plays between the authentic physical object and the edited, reproducible, photographic image (the final artwork). My work aims to encourage the audience to question the vulnerability of their perceptual encounters, boundaries of their own observation, integrity of the medium, and support enhanced visual awareness in an ever increasingly artificial reality.