Rhys Himsworth, Topographies of Decline #01 (detail), 2021, crushed cell phone screens on aluminium. Courtesy the artist
Rhys Himsworth’s work utilises redundant electronics as a medium. For the last decade the artist has hacked, appropriated, and re-assembled various electronic and digital devices to create installations. For his most recent body of work he has developed a home-made shredding device for the crushing and separating of electronic waste, which he then processes. He sorts the original precious minerals contained within this waste, such as coltan, copper, gold, silver, lead and neodymium, to name but a few. These can then be re-processed into printing filament and painting ground.
In the exhibition Topographies of Decline the artist presents a series of works that metaphorically re-unite their materials with the land from which they came, and in doing so discuss the often invisible and circuitous routes of global trade, communication and consumerism. The works in the exhibition are made from the discarded waste of consumer electronics; tablet screens, cell phone casing and circuit boards, as well as the obsolescent recording materials of discarded hard drives, compact discs and DVDs. Himsworth shows series of hybrid paintings, upon which the marks of their material and geopolitical history can be digested. The images in the works refer to the landscapes located on the periphery of global mineral mines.
Within this backdrop, the works in the show reflect the artist’s interest in making visible the paradoxes within the utopian promise of technological progress: The ‘progress’ that takes place in ‘the cloud’ that is continually eroding, transplanting and reforming new topographies. The loss of the corporal, both of body and of landscape, the loss of ways of living that rooted people in community, and through shifting geopolitical sands, the loss of power and autonomy as we stand within “Topographies of Decline”.
Rhys Himsworth is an artist based between Berlin and Wales. A recent artist in residence at Künstlerhaus Bethanien, prior to this he was a fellow at The International Studio and Curatorial Program, New York, Takt Kunstprojektraum, Berlin, and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. He has exhibited in Europe, North America, and Asia including solo shows at Reynolds Gallery, Richmond, Virginia, Katara Art Center in Doha, Qatar, CICA Museum in Seoul, South Korea, The Indian Art Fair, Delhi, India, Galleria Pada, Lisbon, Portugal and the National Museum of Wales, UK. The exhibition is kindly supported by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe – Department Culture.
11.06. – 11.07.2021
Tue - Sun: 2 - 7pm