Jemma Mitchell (b. 1996, Glasgow, Scotland) is an artist who works with photography, sculpture and installation. Her current practice is concerned with exploring photography as an idea in which she examines the functionality and ubiquitousness of the medium, probing if the medium is enough to express what needs to be expressed. Recurring themes in her work include post-digital, post-photographic investigations, process, materiality and indexicality.
The Perpetual Guest is a body of work looking at photography’s challenges expressed through sculpture.
The Perpetual Guest VII (White)
The unattended image is a failed image but a failed image can be attended. A photograph is neither correct nor incorrect but it is always open. In my last work of the exhibition I use an act of iconoclasm to create a paper form – still, a photograph neither true nor false, correct or incorrect. Creation through destruction.
The Perpetual Guest VI (White)
Many photographs go unattended. Photographs are created equal but there are always firsts amongst equals. For the unattended I use UV light to alter the image layer returning them to their more essential and arguably more interesting state of unadorned paper. Creation through destruction.
The Perpetual Guest V (White)
A work to refocus the gaze. Photographs are barely attended, their powers diminished but not removed. I use a sculptural object to draw the viewer in and refocus their tired gaze.
The Perpetual Guest IV
A work that concerns itself with photography’s precarious nature in the art world. A wooden sculptural object with a heavy base and slender fine-pointed movable arm holding a photo print of a cliched flower image in place.
The Perpetual Guest III
A work concerning itself with the over-proliferation of photographs. An oak wood block with a pile of unattended identical cliched photographs of a sunset. The photo prints are held in place by a single nail driven through the photographs
The Perpetual Guest II
A work in which I tried and failed to re-activate a photograph in the hope of it being more artistically expressive. I cropped a “poor image” (photograph) printed on cheap digital inkjet paper with cut-out holes. I had hoped to achieve something of interest by using a hole punch to remove sections of the photograph to re-activate the viewer’s gaze. I worked with a well-known image – “Jennifer in Paradise”, the first photoshopped photograph, which interestingly has evolved into what we might describe today as a “poor image” (photograph) – a theoretical photographic state that was briefly of interest.
The Perpetual Guest I
A work about my feelings of frustration towards the medium of photography. A clash of materiality, wood and nails combined with cheap photo paper, talks to photography’s brutal materiality. A simple plank of oak wood is attached to a wall with a stack of identical cliched photographs of a nighttime New York City(scape) supported by two nails driven through the photographs. The work is activated by the artist ripping off the sheets. The photographic area is reproduced smaller on each consecutive sheet until it becomes a thumbnail. The ever smaller photograph (already unattended) is reduced to a mere thumbnail – a new photography currency.