Last night we had a question answer conversation with the visitors to RAYGUN about Michael’s work, one of the things is demonstrated within his work is that ‘we create structures to understand things’. I find myself thinking about last nights conversation today, so I thought I would share what I can remember of the conversation…
The works physically, are large ink jet prints placed within specifically constructed boxes. The imagery is created from found materials (literally things Michael picks up) and imagery which are sourced from the internet and manipulated on a flat-bed scanner.
Michael alters the existence of the materials, and builds from their initial nature, adapting the images with the scanner, Michael purposefully abstracts, allowing a space for re-perception and middle ground, opening our perceptions to perhaps facilitate new things, or ideas.
The ink-jet prints have a matte finish (as opposed to a gloss finish) which gives them a rich velvety finish, making the works seem like they have much more physicality than paper. Michael spoke of the importance of the Matte finish, in that it allows the nature of the scanned image to change; for example, a piece of aluminum foil used in the scanning process would have a similar quality if printed on gloss paper, but with the matte finish the foil takes on more painterly qualities. The finish of the work therefore assists in the abstraction of the imagery chosen, allowing the work to take on a new existence or nature.
By placing the prints inside specifically constructed boxes Michael alludes to structures, which we create as viewers to understand work, images, ideas, and almost everything and anything. The creation of a physical box structure for the work to exist within is an antithesis, in that it creates a ‘structure’ for lack of structure, for openness and flexibility in the perception and understanding of the work, while commenting on the ‘systems’ humanity creates.
Michael’s is working on a show upon his return to Denmark which expands this idea again, to include an element of collecting. Michael will go to building sites and ask the workers if he can have specific objects which he sees lying around, again working from existing materials to create a new reading of the objects as placed within a different system and context.