Call and Response

Call and Response
performative prints and iterations
27 January – 24 February 2007, Art on Paper Gallery
Opened by Professor Jane Taylor
Call and Response catalog

Call and Response is a solo exhibition of Compressionist prints, both digital and traditional, performatively produced with Lightworks Studios and at the David Krut Print Workshop, in Johannesburg, South Africa. It includes a catalog with essay by Johannesburg Art Gallery director, Clive Kellner, and curator / academic Wilhelm van Rensburg.

From Art on Paper’s press release:

“Nathaniel Stern exhibits the latest series of prints from his ongoing Compressionist studies. He ‘compresses’ bodies, spaces and objects by traversing their surfaces with an image scanner, virtually ‘tracing’ or performing their various 3-dimensional shapes. After these have been compressed into digital images the size of a small sheet of paper, the files are stretched, cropped and digitally colour manipulated.”

“These digital images are used as his ‘performative’ prints. They are ‘collected’ by hand with a custom-made scanner appendage and battery pack, often strapped around his neck, with which Stern scans images in straight, long lines across tables … swings over flowers, does pogo-like gestures over bricks, or just follows the wind over water lilies. The images become a digital archive from which Stern draws and selects and manipulates, to print with various photographic and inkjet processes.”

“These images have … been ‘iterated’ or repeated, utilizing traditional techniques such as etching, aquatint, engraving, monotype and lithography. Stern sometimes affectionately refers to these as ‘retro-Compressionist prints,’ produced with a ’500-year-old digital process.’ On show are 17 archival lambda prints on metallic paper, as well as 13 hand-made works using traditional printmaking techniques.”