Associates occupy Five Years with work made during their time with Five Years.
James Adams, Dominique Croshaw, Sophie Morton, Joanne Hooton
Joanne Hooton is a short film-maker and photographer making work that often brings into question the legitimacy of the art object and the usefulness of advances in technology. Her work highlights territory between time-based media and photography through still image video, extreme slow motion and looped moving image.
Hooton’s work explores the commercialisation and elitism of the art world, in which only the rich can afford to own art, specifically focusing on the value of reproducible art as a commodity. She questions the ‘art object’ through her mass editions and re-appropriated images. By producing her own prints and photographs in large volumes and giving them away for free, she renders the work worthless in terms of monetary value, and available to a wide demographic, rather than solely those who might traditionally afford it. These mass produced works include lithograph prints, photographs and photocopies. In some of her works, Hooton ironically contradicts herself by slightly altering each image in a set of mass editions, to make each image unique and therefore, (if one were to apply pre-defined art rules to her prints), more valuable. She does not number or sign separate images, leaving the option open to dilute their worth by creating more, and making them easier to copy. In lacking titles and her signature, her only artworks that are in any way traceable are those that are self-portraits. These images, although still difficult to trace, are slightly easier to attribute to Hooton with the use of technology. Importantly, Hooton aims to show how facial recognition is much more of a challenge for search engines than is linguistic information. She highlights that language compromises privacy. Hooton distributes her work by mounting prints on top of each other on a wall, each with a perforated edge allowing easy removal. The remaining paper strip is then left and exhibited, thus becoming a piece of art itself. The art is represented not only the physical prints that have been distributed and kept, but equally, the imprint resulting from the removal of elements of the installation.
Hooton looks at the continuously merging state of two separate spaces; the physical and the virtual. At one time the division between these two was discreet and undeniable – but their gradual amalgamation due to society’s infatuation with social media, the internet, and online sharing has meant that the relationship with, and understanding of art has irreversibly changed.