Leg of Lamb’s haunted by Der Tiefenglanz II – an exhibition at Starkwhite, Auckland, featuring a series of collaborative works by photographer Gavin Hipkins and jeweller Karl Fritsch. (This isn’t the duo’s first collaboration; they worked together on Der Tiefenglanz at Hamish McKay Gallery earlier this year). The artists’ working process loosely falls into two parts – Hipkins begins by selecting a series of images from his extensive visual archive and then prints them onto aluminium, before handing them over to Fritsch for modification.
Each print is muted, and the imagery they bear is sometimes barely discernible, becoming clearer only at certain angles. The works’ enigmatic quality is amplified by their very ‘objectness’. Fritsch’s mastery of materiality – his interest in the texture of things – pushes Hipkins’ images into three dimensions. There’s a brilliant tension between Fritsch’s seductive use of precious materials (like cognac diamonds, smokey quartz and amethyst) and the sometimes violent way in which they intersect with the prints. Reproductions of cubist busts and hippies at play are bored into, scratched and studded with gemstones. There’s something Fontana-esque about these interventions. There’s a real physicality to them. Far from static, these strange objects hum.