Siobhan Davies Studios. Photo by Richard Bryant (2006)
Steven Pippin

Visual Art Exhibition

Animated Environments Part 3
06 October – 24 November 2012

Siobhan Davies Dance had the pleasure to present the work of Steven Pippin in the third and final part of the exhibition series Animated Environments curated by Charles Danby for Siobhan Davies Studios. This series of exhibitions closely examined the active potential of images as still frames of time within the fields of photography, film and live event.

The invitation to curator Charles Danby brought to the fore both a common artistic enquiry and a shared approach with choreographer Siobhan Davies: on the one hand a desire to question the relationship between the still and the moving image, and on the other a structural approach leading to reassessing the form of the work itself.

With this exhibition of Steven Pippin’s new and recent work, new forms of movement through images, offer themselves for consideration, something central to Siobhan Davies Dance’s continuous enquiry, pushing our thinking on the very nature of movement. Our building also comes into closer scrutiny with works specifically using some of the architectural features of the studios.


Introduction by Curator Charles Danby

Our experience of the world and our environment is both in continuum and in fragment and through the artists invited in Animated Environments – Guy Sherwin, Graham Gussin and now Steven Pippin – this series considers this necessary paradox, its richness and malleability when put in creative hands.
Through film, live event and photography these artists have exposed the structures that mediate both fundamental and complex relations between still and moving images; understanding a still image as a component part of a moving image and a moving image as a sequence, replication and time based action of a still frame. As Steven Pippin’s modified cameras might suggest to us, our vantage is far from total, and is perhaps no more than partial and peripheral.

Steven Pippin’s works explore the limitations of cameras and the photographs that they produce. His works use the camera as subject as well as mechanical device. In Pippin’s works the camera often observes itself as its environment acts upon it, creating self-portraits or what he describes as auto-portraits. Across the exhibition, Pippin and the camera appear directly as well as indirectly within the works, both observing and observed. Outside the studio, Pippin is drawn to specific and highly considered environments, such as Greenwich. It is home to the prime meridian, the physical line conceived to mark and divide time as well as serve as a point of constancy for cosmological observation. Pippin uses this in his Analogical works as means of both separation and unification for an image shot at the same moment in time through the two different ‘primary’ technologies of photography (analogue and digital).

The exhibition also examines works from an ongoing investigation started over five years ago that focuses on the idea of the final photographic image. Bullets fired into, through, across and out of the lenses of cameras are captured as images, often through the use of mirrors. These works not only hold the bullet (as image) at its point of impact but as the bullet continues and passes through the camera, the camera film feels its destructive impact directly and records this very real wound. Alongside scientifically informed endeavour and mechanical precision, Pippin’s works are filled with poetic charm and humour, with works and titles often coming together to this effect.

Biography

Steven Pippin is a sculptor and photographer. After completing a degree in Mechanical Engineering, he took a Foundation course in art at Loughborough College (1981–2) and then studied sculpture at Brighton Polytechnic (1982–5) and the Chelsea School of Art, London (1987). He worked in Berlin on a DAAD scholarship in 1997–8, and in 2011 Pippin was the first Artist in Residence at the Potsdam institute for climate impact research (PIK) Germany.
www.mrpippin.co.uk

(Biography correct at time of exhibition, October 2012)

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