The MAMCO Museum of Contemporary Art in Geneva, is currently presenting a retrospective of work by Kelley Walker, a Georgia-born post-conceptual artist who lives and works in New York City. Kelley incorporates elements of Pop Art, such as collages, photography and screen-printing, as well as contemporary digital tools to examine how various images are recycled and interpreted in different ways by the media and general public.
Curated by Fabrice Stroun and Lionel Bovier, the exhibition brings together Walker’s most significant and well-known works. These include the Black Stars Press, a series of superimposed screen-printed images similar to those used by Warhol and incorporated with layers of chocolate; the Rorschach, which are a series of fragmented mirrors alluding to the Swiss psychiatrist’s famous test; and the Brick Paintings, a series of mixed patterns of bricks juxtaposed with text from printed media.
For example, the photographs in Disasters have been scanned from magazines, then transformed using infographic software and confronted with a political slogan. As simple digital files, these pieces allow their owner to choose the print dimensions and modes of distribution that suit them best, thus alluding to the judgments made in the world of the media.
The paintings of bricks, which include the use of documents relating to the American civil rights movement, (which Kelley, like Warhol did, has taken from Life Magazine) are some of the routes that he has adopted in drawing up an anthropological landscape of the USA depicting its ideology as well as racial and sexual violence.
The technical process that allows images to be displayed as icons or messages is a process Walker uses as a way to reduce the images’ power.
The exhibit runs through Sep. 10.