When working in close proximity, people's frames of reference inevitably draw nearer together, and certain resonance spring from shared concerns. But what are these resonances?
Selina Foote and Sam Rountree-Williams embarked on a project to explore these issues in their exhibition Red Thing, Blue Thing'.
Foote and Rountree-Williams set out to resist the dominant viewing practices in contemporary society. They refer to the experience of a culture ever more dominated by streams of visual matter, where aesthetic and semiotic content is apprehended and consumed near-instantaneously. This type of viewing is an almost entirely consumptive process, with little give from the take. The common ground for the artists is the idea that processing visual information of this sort allows for a more complex form of contemporary picture-making. The way in which such a process develops is different for each artist. Foote's negotiation is with images and content, while Rountree-Williams' is with material and formal contingencies.
Both artists address the increasing marginalisation of intimacy in daily viewing practices. Foote and Rountree-Williams seek a certain kind of intimacy. This intimacy is founded in reciprocity - a reaction against processes where information flows only one way. An exchange of this sort demands that absolute control over the work's evolution be surrendered. What they see as missing are visual encounters that are creative, which compel generosity from both picture and person. As Thierry de Duve might say, true intimacy is a matter of touching and being touched.
By Sam Rountree-Williams, Selina Foote