Aesthetica Art Prize 2013

In a showcase of international talent, York St Mary’s hosts the 2013 Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition. Aesthetica Art and Culture Magazine reaches an audience of 140,000 worldwide, and in a collection comprised from eight shortlisted artists’ work from America, Australia and South Korea, as well as the UK, this celebration of contemporary art displays a fresh wave of upcoming flair in the artistic realm this year. The Aesthetica exhibition offers a selection of inspiring and challenging samples that tackle contemporary issues of politics, geography and patriarchy in a display of audio, sculpture, photography and film.

Set against the historic canvas of St Mary’s church, the exhibits stand in a distinct contrast to their surroundings. The first, Hgung-Gyu Kim’s Chromaphone II, a hybridity of sculpture, sound, and electronic lighting echoes in a fresh and exciting “synthesia” that creates an experience of “seeing sounds” and “hearing colours”. The visual effect may have been lost to the brightness of the church, but the reverberating finely tuned note from the mounted tubes, echoes a "Korean" note, reflecting a different culture to the space the piece inhabits. The structure provides a sensitive contrast to the light and images the stain glass windows above radiate.

In an alternative form of political comment upon the patriarchy of cinema, Brannan’s short film places the viewer as a voyeur in a narrative of edits that cuts any male from the frame, consecutively editing the woman as the only character visible. Powerfully interspersed with periods of silence, the woman is shown on display - within Brannan’s own display - to disrupt the patriarchy of the public domain represented in cinematography. On a parallel vein is Clare Walter’s geometric style canvas sculpture installation. Walter traces flight paths in an abstract design representative of global human rights concerns; sex trafficking, young individuals’ unaccompanied flights to seek asylum, and flights conducted by the CIA. On display is Trafficking, one of the pieces that forms the Triptych (Untitled).

Described as “social, collaborative photography”, and one of the most powerful exhibits, is Mary Humphrey’s collection Roma: Translyvania: January 2011, which depicts a community struck by suffering, yet remaining defiant. Humphrey’s documentation of the plight for marginalised communities in this collection brings the viewer face to face with individuals, one by one, encouraging the viewer to consider the physical conditions on show, whilst raising the question of identity and the truth amongst the myths surrounding Roma communities.

Exhibits by Caroline Jane Harris, Kyunghee Park, Poppy Whatmore and Damien O’Mara address the image of the modern man, the conventional domestic condition of society, and the fading traditions of national cultures in a collection of fascinating artwork. This exhibition certainly pushes the boundaries of art in a delicate yet arresting display of talent.

Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition is open daily, March 8th- April 28th 2013.

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