The Digital Arts Gallery is proud to launch its new web-based gallery with a retrospective exhibition on the ground-breaking work of Francis Gomila. This survey on one of Britain’s leading media artists presents an exceptional body of work together with the gallery’s first digital commission: Francis Gomila’s State of the Union. In this new work Gomila indelibly fuses President Bush’s address to congress with TV footage of suspected terrorists suicide videos submitted as incriminating evidence in a recent court trial in the UK. State of the Union thematically and characteristically exemplifies Gomila’s resolute repositioning of media and cultural certainties. This juxtaposing and interplay between intention and image is integral in Gomila’s oeuvre and indicative of his ceaseless questioning and study of the human condition.

 

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The socio-political context also permeates works such as The Burning and Rednik esirprus ostensibly taking a turn for humor and pathos. Night Out one of Gomila’s most widely acclaimed videos involves a couple's drunken quarrel. Filmed from high above, what initially appears to be a typical lovers tiff turns through the artists’ gaze into a portrait of doomed social engagement within a culturally and economically faltering framework.

Gomila’s THOU extends the traditional Remembrance day two minutes of silence into a mesmerising and painfully haunting piece of video art; a thought provoking, powerful and reflective piece that questions the notion of whose side God might be on.

In a return to the train as a unique metaphor of filmic time and space, Gomila's LAST TRAIN shifts focus from the urban dynamic to the territory of no-man's-land between the snowy Slovak/Austrian border. Perhaps his most painterly work since SHOP FLOOR with an equally mesmerising abstraction of objects and colour. The space moving in LAST TRAIN is observed but boldly re-conceptualised. The viewer witnesses time captured and stretched in distilled detail. Time passing is held, pulled back, information reversed penetrated and shifting like a visual analogy of theoretical physics en route. The artist presents a journey located between national borders in a deeper landscape of boundary-less senses of the mind, a sculptural journey between the real and the imagined.

A survey of Gomila's work would be incomplete without a look at his seminal public interventions. Here we present THE FALL produced during his artist residency at BALTIC 2000. GUANTANAMERA a collaboration with Alonso Gil for Madrid Abierto 07 and CARGO produced for Almadraba an international site-specific exhibition held on both shores of the Straits of Gibraltar in 1997.

Gomila’s less-known photographic interventions which prefigure current artistic trends for ‘personal histories’ go beyond self-portraiture. In Headline Victim 1996-99 series of digitally manipulated newspaper photographs, Gomila challenges our reading of media imagery through the abstraction of nonidentity. These works have become even more chillingly relevant today as Sontag writes in Regarding the Pain of Others: “Each situation has to be turned into a spectacle to be real - that is, interesting – to us. People themselves aspire to become images: celebrities. Reality has abdicated. There are only representations: media.

 

FRANCIS GOMILA INTERVENTIONS IN A PUBLIC SPACE

 

 

FRANCIS GOMILA HEADLINE VICTIM

 

 

 

FRANCIS GOMILA BIO

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