It gives Reed Projects great pleasure to introduce this exhibition and in particular, this artist to the gallery. Erik has been on our radar for quite sometime and when we first saw this series, knew immediately that it was right for Reed Projects. Erik is a self taught artist and a recognised (often outspoken) creative force in the regions visual art scene, unafraid to confront and challenge traditional fine art institutions, including those established to support fellow artists, Erik has successfully fought to be formally recognised as a professional artist. Erik extends this attitude into his fine art practice and is not afraid to deal with controversial issues, he often creates work that raises political, ethical and moral questions, and through various media explores the blurry lines between the real and the virtual, whilst also questioning the validity of social dogma.
Taking it's title and inspiration from Richard Brautigan's renowned poem, "All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace", the show explores, through a series of carefully staged images, concepts of dominance and power in the public space and the intersection between man, nature and machine. Adopting the same strategies of avoidance as a graffiti writer, the artist, armed with camera and glowsticks, heads out into the night to document local graffiti bomber "Rebel's" various tags, throw-ups and pieces. The glowsticks acting as a contemporary version of those bourgeois brass lights more commonly found lighting traditional oil paintings. It is these "street installations" that are then photographed to create the final work.
The second series of works in the show consists of photographs from a series begun last summer, when Stavanger City Council granted him artist in residence status in both Linz and Berlin. The series is titled "Consensus Reality" and contains digitally manipulated urban landscapes that question and challenge our understanding of "reality".
It's rare that we find a young artist of Erik's caliber and even rarer to find one engaged in a practice that explores topics and concerns more commonly associated with street and outsider art. This subversion of prevailing cultures, both in contemporary art practice and mainstream popular culture is at the heart of Reed Projects manifesto, and it's with honour that we present Erik Sæter Jørgensen's debut solo show.
All Watched Over
ERIK SÆTER JØRGENSEN
August 10—September 7, 2013