Coinciding with the first anniversary of the essay of the same name, published by Photomonitor and written by Louis Stopforth, this exhibition aims to be a physical rendition of that work, offering viewers an expansive view of Braine’s practice whilst emphasising the importance of her Works on Paper.
Functioning as the bridge between her simultaneous careers as both an artist and art historian, Works on Paper are photographic reproductions of paintings that Aliki has physically interrogated and re-crafted. Ranging from Raphael to Tintoretto these works of Aliki Braine’s were often regarded as study-notes within the wider context of her work, however, in recent times they have come to be regarded as an essential aspect of her practice. The thirteen pieces in this exhibition mark with clarity the meeting point between her photographic works and her knowledge of western painting. Here Braine emphasises not only the language of these images and their origins within painting, but also how these works belong to photography. By working with the materiality and surface of these reproductions she draws our attention not only to the physical make-up of these works as photographs but also how we as viewers would typically engage with the landscapes, figures and narratives within these pieces. Whether it is by tracing out focus points with coloured dots or isolating and moving areas of interest, Braine reveals the true nature of these works as objects and our prescribed ways of viewing representational imagery.
As reflected in Louis Stopforth’s essay on Braine’s practice, the prevalence of the circle within much of her work is clear. Here too we see an artist investigating the history of painting as well as photography. With connotations to optics and photography’s natural state as circular (which we have come to reconfigure as rectilinear). It is in works such as The Second day that we again witness the cross-over of both painting and photography. With its inverted and circular subject matter it is easy to see references to the camera obscura previously used by some historical painters and in which images of the world as we experience it is projected in reverse via a small aperture. This method of projection is ultimately the foundations of what we now know as photography.
Re-Circling the Square looks to showcase Braine’s ideas about a free exchange of influences between photography and painting, as opposed to what is often seen as a linear passage of influence from painting to its modern equivalent found in photography.
Exhibition installation by Louis Stopforth and Lucas Gabellini-Fava.
Exhibition installation photographs by Louis Stopforth.