SORRY YOU´RE HERE (I Tried To Leave No Stone Unturned)
NICK KLINE (USA)
Preview OCT 18. 2012 / 6-9pm
Nick Kline is an artist working in photography and his subject matter for this exhibition are of rocks, mainly from three South-West, Norway sites: Austre Åmøy, Hå gamle prestegård and Randaberg. Kline’s initial desire was to walk along the Old King’s Road but when doing research he stumbled upon news images, particularly of men roaming fields with metal detectors in search of artifacts. Further investigations turned up images of German soldiers after WW2 walking fields to dig up landmines, and at the Archeological Museum in Stavanger documentation of scientists doing field studies. These diverse images and subsequent random conversations while living in Stavanger during his residency, have had a trance like affect on Kline who has sought out the same locations to make his work.
An assortment of stories of human body and earth connections have found “common ground” within this work. These include the Norse Creation story, particularly of human hair growing from rock and ice; a friend’s memory of removing rocks every year from her family’s farm field and recalling how alive the land is, and sadly the attraction of high cliffs as a destination for some to end their lives. The title of this exhibition, “Sorry You’re Here,” was reported to come from the internet website where the two individuals, who committed suicide by jumping off Pulpit’s Rock in 2000, met each other.
For the past ten years Nick Kline’s work has addressed trauma and its impact on survivors, “my photographs are about flesh as well as invisible wounds and attempt to hold traumatic reality in consciousness.” “Sorry You’re Here,” is part of a series of sites that includes: “Gilgo Beach” 2012 (a site where many bodies attributed to a serial killer have been found on Long Island, NY); “Transgender Hate Crimes in Puerto Rico” (sites around the island where crimes occurred or that were important to the victims) and “St. Vincent’s Hospital, Greenwich Village, NYC” (a former hospital that closed due to financial mismanagement and bankruptcy that is currently being turned into private residential apartments. It was reported that more men died of Aids related illness in NYC by the mid 1990’s than all of US casualties in the Vietnam War and St. Vincent’s was the epicenter of where many of these individuals died.)
Since 2010 rather than using a camera to make images Kline has gathered impressions by using a mold-making process. He starts by hand-mixing a rubber silicone compound, which he applies to sites such as architectural facades, earth, objects, etc. This creates detailed imprints in the rubber, which he then photographs. For him it’s a conversation of connecting with place, memory and experiences, maybe more intimately than the critical distance of the camera. His entire process is layered and idiosyncratic, conceptual and intuitive, formal yet accidental. There are many parallels between photography and the molding process, depending on numerous circumstances, such as the weather, proportions of mixed chemicals and surfaces, some of the castings take as long as an hour, like long exposures. The resulting images are hybrids of pure document and abstract gestures and they have a quality of connection and disconnection, presence and absence.
It should be noted that Kline’s castings at Austre Åmøy were not of the Bronze Age carvings themselves but the “negative” space between them, the space that people walk on. Even though we don’t see images of the sun and ships transporting humans Kline’s images can be like thresholds and vehicles to another place.
Nick Kline, b. 1968, lives and works in NYC. His solo exhibitions include Open Source Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; Vaste et Vague, Gaspésie, Canada for the 3rd Annual International Meeting of Photography; Sol Mednick Gallery, Philadelphia, PA; The Museum of Art of Puerto Rico, San Juan, PR; The Grounds For Sculpture, Hamilton, NJ; Uno Art Space, Stuttgart, Germany; Momenta Art, Brooklyn, NY. Catalogs published to accompany these exhibitions include text by Karen Irvine, Curator, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL, and Alexander Campos, Executive Director, NY Center for Book Arts, New York, NY. Forthcoming publications include “The Meeting” of which Kline is the editor, published by Schlebrugge, Vienna, Austria; and an interview in The Photo Review Journal, Philadelphia, PA. Kline was awarded a 2011 Foundation for Contemporary Art Emergency Grant, NYC. He is Assistant Professor, Fine Arts, at Rutgers University-Newark, NJ.
Photo: Erik Sæter Jørgensen