Archived exhibition
4th Floor Gallery

Suzanne Treister
3 Projects

11 September–25 October 2008

3 Projects consists of 3 new bodies of work: Alchemy, A Timeline of Science Fiction Inventions: Weapons, Warfare and Security, CORRESPONDENCE: From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe and War Artists.

Alchemy takes information from front covers of daily newspapers; The Financial Times, Jüdischer Allgemeine, Al-Ahram, Dziennik Polski, The Guardian, Le Figaro and The New York Times, and transcribes this into alchemical drawings, reframing the world as a place animated by strange forces, powers and belief systems. These works redeploy the languages and intentions of alchemy: the transmutation of materials and essences and the revealed understanding of the world as a text, as a realm of powers and correspondences which, if properly understood, will allow man to take on transformative power.

The Alchemy series includes also a 5.5 metre wall drawing, A Timeline of Science Fiction Inventions: Weapons, Warfare and Security. Treister has drawn up a history documenting innovations of imaginary and fantastic military technology. The format in which she organises this information is the schema of the connected circles of the tree of life or the Sephirot, from the Jewish mystical traditions of the Kabbalah, a representation of linkages between the worlds above and the physical world below and which map stages of transformation between these realms.

In CORRESPONDENCE: From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe 324 sheets of letterheaded paper from governments, Presidential offices, embassies, NGOs, arms companies and corporations are reproduced in pencil and arranged in 9 cool elegant grids. The grids crackle with the invisible energy of exchange, of correspondence, of plotting, of the covert and the overt, the hidden as well as the official.

War Artists is a group of 12 portrait drawings. From Laura Knight to Tsuguharu Foujita to Michael D. Fay to Steve McQueen the images span the Second World War and the Iraq war. These small drawings pose deep and complex questions about the agendas and possibilities of art and how it might represent the worlds around us, about the relationship between representation and power.