30 April - 31 May 2009
Fri-Sun 12-5pm

Special late night opening:
Thursday 7th May 6 - 9pm

George Morris presents a new site specific installation along with selected print and video work by George Morris.

Morris' practice considers the built environment, digital aesthetics and related representational issues. His work has recently focused upon the proliferation of non-physical, networked data space in relation to an increase in banal 'non-place', physical urban environments.

Anthropologist Marc Augé identified specific urban physical spaces which facilitate some interaction or transmission but have very little in the way of a sense of tangible 'place' as understood by 20th century anthropological study.  These spaces are typified by the technological interfaces of ATM machines, computer workstations and mobile phone activity, but also by banal, transitory waiting rooms such as airline departure lounges and corporate reception areas which frequently serve as repositories for our physical mass whilst we intellectually occupy a remote networked 'dataspace' through our digital devices.

Data space, networked space, online space, cyber space; all of these expressions relate to non-physical, timeless, placeless states.  In stark contrast to the increasingly immobilising confines of physical urban space, data space is typically represented in media and advertising imagery using luminescence and the perspective of seemingly boundless space.  Data space is marketed using the visual language of the romantic and the sublime to associate remote communications with the promise of limitless freedom.  This is effectively an inversion of the former concept of the sublime. The vastness and unknowability of the 'natural' world and mans yearning to somehow belong to it is replaced, instead, with the vastness and unknowability of the seemingly limitless amounts of data available online:  the desire to be, at the very least, connected to such a space with all of it's potential information / content.







First Thursday East Festival


Hall of Mountains: Installation
Hall of mountains: Installation view   George Morris     2009

Hall of Mountains: detail.
Hall of mountains: Installation detail   George Morris     2009

Since the 18th Century grand tours of the Alpine region the mountain landscape has become synonymous with the idea of the sublime as experience.  What would be the contemporary equivalent of such a journey? A search for a mountain range via 'Google Earth', perhaps?   External 'nature' as the great unknowable expanse has been reduced to internalised, searchable content.  Heidegger's prediction of a world 'replaced by a technological picture of itself', finally fulfilled. 

The installation 'Hall of Mountains' was created in a former factory space in Hackney Wick: the archetypal mountain as both form and concept, data coordinates and physical place, is collapsed, rationalized then reconstituted throughout the gallery space using a combination of 3D computer modelling, architectural print, sculpture, illumination and sound. This refracting of formal qualities and shifting of perspectives challenges the viewers need to locate the work within the space whilst at the same time suggests a sense of dislocation: a shifting between the surfaces of the actual and the representational and an inability to engage fully with either.

Thank you to Jovica Jocic, Steve Kidd, Dean Wilcox and Ben Bird, without whose assistance and support this exhibition would not have been possible.

George Morris is an MA Fine Art graduate of Central Saint Martins and has previously exhibited work at the Whitechapel and Curwen and New Academy Galleries. He works with a variety of media including video, photography, installation, sound and printmaking.  He is also a visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art.