Who died and made you king, detail, digital print in kinetic light box, 2012
Arch 402, Cremer Street, London, E2 8HD
23rd March-13th April, private view 22 March 6-9pm
Known for his encompassing installations and obsessive collecting, Mike Ballard unveils a more intricate side to his practice, showing 15 new works, including painting, digital collage and photographic prints.
Mixing images culled from the internet with his own paintings and photographs, Ballard has created a series of grand digital collages that pose as monuments to the culture of sampling. Ballard’s paintings, and the painting components of his constructed environments, are not about surface aesthetics or the physicality of mark-making, but create windows into other spaces that destabilise our sense of place. His visual archive of spaces includes underground cathedrals, buzzing pyramidal machines with mysterious functions, or – as in the Astro Traveller series of paintings on Super 8 film – blasts of laser-like coloured light emitted from a tunnel’s end or a distant quasar, in a vast distortion of scale and depth which shakes the micro and macroscopic.
This work is a response to our present age of informational excess, on an environmental and a psychological level. It simulates the mind’s attempts to channel excess; the distortion of over-stimulation incites an increased flow of information, creating denser and faster streams of experience.
Ballard reminds us how popular imagery absorbs past eras’ fantasies of the future, processing them into today’s curiosities, junk, and endearingly mistaken conceptions of the world we now inhabit. In so doing, Ballard reminds us that our own fantasies of the future will be flawed by our inability to foresee with accuracy, complicating the way we temporally locate ourselves.
Ballard graduated from Central Saint Martins MA fine art in 2007, He has recently exhibited at Edel Assanti London, Black Mariah Cork and Mediamatic Amsterdam.