External Pages is pleased to present ∞ bouquet ∞ toss ∞ feeling, it’s just for you, an exhibition of new digital paintings by Katherine Frazer which runs from 7 June – 25 July 2021.
Frazer's exhibition explores the possibility of creating an “infinite” painting, embracing aspects unique to its digital context such as the endless scroll, and heightens this artistic question with imagery of “foreverness” as playfully suggested by the gesture of the bouquet toss. Each time a viewer visits the website, a new sequence of bouquets are generated on the screen. The bouquets are positioned randomly, as if they are being thrown, and rearranged in new ways as the viewer continues to scroll.
By transforming the bouquets into digital artifacts, Frazer is highlighting questions of time, attention and portraiture. These digital flowers will not decay, yet they will disappear once the browser session has ended. Their status as paintings is at once permanent and ephemeral. Additionally, the instantaneous gesture of the bouquet throw is held in time, bringing forward ideas of timeless commitment and boundless love. Explaining the generative nature of the digital paintings, suggestive of the propagative nature of weddings, marriage, birth, Frazer explains, “by engaging with the artwork, the audience is also involved in its creation, propagating a unique version each time.”
In English 15th century tradition, a wedding ceremony would typically end with guests ripping off parts of the bridal dress as a means to obtain good luck. As wedding attire became more expensive over time, bouquets, carried by the bride, came to replace the dress’ sacrificial role. Attendees would grab pieces of the flowers, sparing the dress from intentional damage. As a societal ritual, the bouquet toss embodies a poetic tension between hope and competition, as well as the delicacy of love, lust for fortune and the contractual nature of marriage.
Frazer’s paintings portray representations of love and associated cultural rituals, as well as touching on key themes of the history of painting through her background working with technology. Frazer's paintings are digitally-native, incorporating scrolling, slide shows and source files as viewing contexts. Having worked at Apple on the Keynote design team for 5 years, Frazer is now using the programme as a tool to splice out, collate and deconstruct her 3D scans. She also continues to use her knowledge from Ikebana training, the Japanese art of flower arrangement, in her practice, advancing in experimentation via digital graphics.
A series of seven digital paintings will be released at regular intervals throughout the exhibition, and are available to purchase on Foundation. Playing on the idea of infinity, each piece is named after an angel number with the exception of the last piece: 333, 444, 666, 777, 888, 999, ∞∞∞. The first painting will go live for auction on Monday 7 June, the opening of ∞ bouquet ∞ toss ∞ feeling, it’s just for you. The following paintings will be consecutively sold every Monday, with the final, combined painting being available for sale on Monday 19 July, the closing week of the exhibition. One third of all proceeds will be going to the funding of future exhibitions on External Pages.
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This series was inspired by Michael Manning's 2015 piece, 9 billion paintings, commissioned by Rhizome in 2015.
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Please visit Katherine Frazer on Foundation to purchase works from ∞ bouquet ∞ toss ∞ feeling, it’s just for you.