Beatrice Pediconi’s exhibition Alien/Alieno is currently on view at Sepia Eye in New York, until June 18th.
Beatrice Pediconi’s work challenges the realm of traditional painting by exploring the water’s reaction to the immersion of different materials, such as ink, acrylic, powder, organic matter and, in the case of this exhibition, oil paint.
The melting of these elements continuously changes in time, shaping mysterious and alien worlds spontaneously. These mutations are recorded by the artist with photographs and hypnotizing videos. Completing the exhibition are nine handmade books produced by the artist, composed of 8×10 Polaroids.
F: As an artist using photography, which is intrinsically reproducible, what is the meaning of creating handmade and unique objects, such as the precious book you presented at the Collezione Maramotti in Reggio Emilia back in 2014?
BP: My technique consists of painting on water, then recording the images before they dissolve with photographs and video. The three media I use – painting, photography and book making – are equally important and representative of my work. Painting is fundamental to that process; as a painter I have always been attracted by the uniqueness of the work. That is why I have used Polaroid film from the beginning. What is new in the show on view at Sepia Eye is the format of the Polaroid. I was lucky enough to work with the “Impossible Project”, which revives the large format Polaroid. In addition, the exhibition includes books, which are also unique. I enjoy the process of hand-making and being in contact with the work until it is complete.
Working as a photographer and video artist at the same time, I like the idea of transforming my painting into something involving two techniques which are, by their nature, reproducible.
F: It seems that water is for you like the white canvas where to experiment with different materials, from ink and oil paint to organic matter. Is it so?
BP: Yes, in many ways, the roles of water and canvas are similar, as they both function as a support for the pigment. Testing their reactions to the paint is an integral part of the process. For the most part, however, the final layer of paint the artist applies to a canvas conceals the earlier layers. It was the intention of my books to reveal those very layers; in fact, the medium of photography allows me to record the evolution of the images.
F: Your images capture something ephemeral and transient. How important is timing in your work?
BP: Time is the indefinite continued progression of existence and events, which occur in apparently irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future. Time in my work is suspended in the photographs, and looped in the videos.
In the action of working with different media, each of which has a different timing process, I may say that the question of time becomes an increasingly prevalent theme.
In the case of the nine Alien artist books, I began by shooting 8×10 Polaroid images of oil paintings on water in March 2015. The first book consists of two images representing the union of two elements to create life. Each book increases by one image per month, finishing in November with ten images (one full pack of Polaroid film). Each book is individually wrapped in linen and each page is bounded using a loom I made for the occasion.
Alien/Alieno - Beatrice Pediconi Until June 18, 2016 Sepia Eye Gallery 547 west 27th Street, #608 New York, NY 10001