The Hawn Gallery presents

CLEAR, DEEP, DARK
Works by Julie Morel

On view: January 26 – March 11, 2018

 Opening Reception: Friday, January 26th, 5 – 7pm
at the Hawn Gallery, located in the Hamon Arts Library at SMU

Artist Julie Morel will conduct a gallery talk at 5:45 p.m.

On Friday, January 26th, the artist, Julie Morel will discuss her installation in the Hawn Gallery. Morel is a net artist, and as such, her works use the internet as a canvas and medium. In addition, she incorporates other media into her work, including technology, books, typography, and drawings to realize the relationships between text and image.

Morel’s projects are never insular, as most of them involve collaborations with other artists, writers, and designers. One such project initiated by Morel is the AFK project (2014-2016); a series of exhibitions, online proposals, and plastic research. The first three of these exhibitions took place at the Galerie des Étables (Bordeaux) in 2014, followed by an online conversation with Karine Lebrun and exhibits at the Quartier Centre d’art, a project center.

The acronym AFK references “away from the keyboard,” which lets people know that the user is away from the computer. This project examines objects created in what Morel refers to as, “a post-Internet artistic practice.”[1] A vast majority of objects are now created digitally and distributed via the internet. This transmission creates a continuous cycle whereby objects transform and shift long after their initial creation. On her website, Morel describes the purpose of this project, “The AFK project aims to explore these [digital and textual] relationships through long-term plastic research in the form of exhibitions, online proposals, conversations, and publications.”[2]

Screen Shot 2017-07-12 at 3.04.50 PM
Screenshot of Film Still, Chris Burden “Through the Night Softly,” (1973), YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxmy4aQ1dZY

Morel’s interest in objects’ versions was inspired by Chris Burden’s Through the Night Softly (1973). In his youth, Burden desired to be on TV; and to realize this ambition, he purchased 10 seconds of airtime during commercial breaks on a local TV station. He aired clips of a performance piece that involved him crawling over glass chips. The juxtaposition of his piece with evening news programing and TV ads was both jarring yet so brief you almost miss it. Morel’s interest in this work lies not in the performance itself, but in the video’s transformation over 40 years. In the late 2000s, a YouTube user posted the video on the site, creating a new life for it. Morel continued the process by creating a film still of the video, and later a postcard of the film still that became part of Ultra Publishers for their Save the Date collection.

Through the Night Softly (my Burden) (2017), Postcard, Ultra Edition Publishing House. 500 copies.

Clear, Deep, Dark builds upon Morel’s earlier conductive ink drawings and incorporates new terms related to the Darknet, which is an overlay network that gives users access to the hidden side of the internet. This subterfuge allows individuals to carry out illicit transactions, evade government censorship, share sensitive data, and even hide oneself. Morel’s work examines the transformation of objects and their versions – how objects’ physical forms transmute into intangible ones in the digital sphere, only to be seen and not touched. This exhibition presents a series of prints and drawings that are, in fact, titles of artworks located on personal hard drives, in private spaces, or are indexes of pages found on the Darknet. All of these spaces remain inaccessible to the audience. Morel’s prints and drawings are made with conductive ink and embedded with LEDs, enabling these titles and indexes to be “brought to light.”

Julie Morel received an MFA from the Arts School of Paris and her PhD in Interactive Media at the Art Décoratif School (Paris).  Morel exhibits her work internationally, including the Contemporary Art Center (New Orleans), Centre Pompidou, Paris, and the Glasgow Sculpture Studio (UK).  She was the 2016/17 Fulbright Scholar in Residence at Loyola University of New Orleans and is currently an artist in residence at the University of Quebec (Montreal).

CLEARK, DEEP, DARK  will be on view through March 11, 2018. The gallery is open daily, M-TH 8AM-9PM, F 8AM-6PM, Sat 12PM-5PM, Sun 2PM-9PM and free to the public. For more information, please call 214-768-3813 or visit www.smu.edu/cul/hamon. Follow us on Instagram @hawngallery.


Curated by Emily Rueggeberg, Curatorial Fellow for the Hawn Gallery
Featured image: TOR. Silver conductive ink on white paper, LEDs, electric circuit. Dimensions: 9,4” x 11,7”

All images courtesy of the artist, Julie Morel.

[1] http://julie.incident.net/projets/afk/index.html

[2] http://julie.incident.net/projets/afk/index.html