New Art Projects is pleased to present Modern Grammar, Robin Footitt’s first exhibition at the gallery. Modern Grammar looks at the way we punctuate the modern world of social media. Punctuation adds thought and time to how text is read. We decipher simple notation to add voices (“ ”), take a pause (,), and even add subtext (( )) – these symbols have even developed a language of their own with emoticons 😉
The way we live is punctuated by increments whether physical, emotional or functional (birthdays, anniversaries, death) and these are commonplace tools in social networks to announce and broadcast how we are changing, improving, full of sadness. In broadcasting these moments we are formulating a grammar that is evolving/elevating our social status – becoming more computer generated and abstract.
My thoughts are with you at this difficult time (4 likes)
This abstraction typifies Footitt’s practice whereby communication across displays of various media have a fluid mask-like quality – the imprint of what has been seen develops slowly and precedes a viewing of what is to come. Across four rooms Footitt alters, distorts and reassembles the principles described above. A photographic triptych of gift bags are at once both magnified and morphous in the One-Click series of dye sublimation prints on lycra. Flexed aluminium sculptures Gum Strip (∞, ∞∞ and ∞∞∞) replicate this action and mirror it. LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE fracture the shape of language and recomposit their elements into the dimensions of a Facebook profile image, through a series of silkscreen prints.
Six images involving a narrative with the Maltese Falcon (a famous prop and plot device to further character development but of little actual relevance, ie a “MacGuffin”) lie underneath a transparent gestural surface constructed entirely from acrylic medium with a thin surface of paint resting on top. One is left questioning whether this a new grammar that is developing or a universal grammar that is simplifying the way we relate to each other?
Robin Footitt (b. 1982) studied at Central Saint Martins and Royal College of Art, London. Footitt lives and works in Bow, East London and is a former resident of Acme Studios’ Fire Station Residency, Bromley-by-Bow, London (2010 – 2015), The Florence Trust, London (2009) and Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris (2008). Recent exhibitions include What Cannot Be Contained, Smiths Row, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk (2015); The Trouble With Painting Today, Pump House Gallery, Battersea Park, London (2014); Closed Circuit Saga, Edel Assanti, London (2014); A Town Without Pity, 4 Windmill Street, London (2013).