Aspex Gallery

9 April – 26 June 2011
Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth, UK

Press release

Aspex is delighted to welcome back Karin Kihlberg and Reuben Henry, the winners of EMERGENCY4, our biennial open submission competition, with an exhibition of newly commissioned work.

Afterimage is an investigation into the history of viewership, and what the implications might be of viewing the after image of history in our present surroundings. As a framework for this exploration, Kihlberg & Henry have tracked down the many cinemas in operation on Portsea Island between the turn of the 20th century and their post-war decline, searching not for the images projected into the frames of the cinema’s screens, but for the physical locations that housed the golden age of cinema-going.

What is found at the sites of Portsea Island’s thirty plus cinemas is a plethora of contemporary life; shopping, eating, accommodation, derelict inner city areas, widened roads; many of the things with which history’s progression has replaced the cinema, both as a physical space and a space of culture. But within these images is a ghost of a history, which precedes the memory of the majority and is gradually reformulating itself into pure historical narrative.

Through video and installation Kihlberg & Henry re-frame history as a two-dimensional image in the gallery, offering a new condition of viewership where parallel embodiments of both time and place collide. The exhibition marks a cultural shift away from the social experience of cinema towards a private home-viewing culture. It takes as its starting point the two-dimensional image of the screen while acknowledging further dimensions, which exist beyond the illusions projected upon it.