Broomberg & Chanarin: Trace Evidence

Broomberg & Chanarin: Trace Evidence_001Image courtesy of Lisson Gallery

Broomberg & Chanarin: Trace Evidence
Lisson Gallery, Milan
From 20 January 2017 to 17 March 2017

 

Broomberg & Chanarin’s first solo exhibition at Lisson Gallery Milan provides a broad overview of the artists’ work through eight different photographic series from 2006 to 2016, presented alongside a new work created especially for the show. Trace evidence is created when objects collide or connect and some material is transferred by friction between them. The term is associated with forensic science and the reconstruction of crimes, often describing how people, places and inanimate things interact with each other.

 

Broomberg & Chanarin: Trace Evidence_002Image courtesy of Lisson Gallery

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An examination of Broomberg & Chanarin’s work over the past decade unearths an approach to photography that is both anthropological and political in nature, characterised by an inherently investigative quality. The artists use photography as a form of conceptual ethnography, immersing themselves into spaces and situations that reveal evidence, residue or traces of past human presence. With abstracted imagery deliberately lacking a central subject or focal point, their refusal to depict or narrativise has become one of their primary tools for communicating the ineffable in war and conflict.

 

Broomberg & Chanarin: Trace Evidence_003Image courtesy of Lisson Gallery

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Works on display bring to the fore the duo’s constructions of identity and human behaviour and can be understood as surrogates for missing objects or persons. The exhibition title draws directly from a recent work by Broomberg & Chanarin, created in 2015 for the Freud Museum in London, in which they commissioned a police forensics team to gather DNA samples of hairs and other fibres from the rug covering Freud’s couch. These findings were transformed into a large woven tapestry, mirroring the scale and texture of the original, as well as a number of high-resolution radiographic quartz images, all collated under the rubric of Trace Evidence.

 

Broomberg & Chanarin: Trace Evidence_004Image courtesy of Lisson Gallery

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When the artists were embedded with the British Army in Afghanistan, rather than photographing the landscape or soldiers in combat, they unrolled lengths of photographic paper to ‘record’ abstract moments.

 

more. lissongallery.com

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