What connection can Jorge Molder and John Murphy have to each other in this exhibition, and apart from the medium of photography? It is what they aim to reach through it. Although each of them have their own process - Molder has been exploring a strange and singular photographic search for the past few decades through self-representation, sometimes mixed with film situations - Murphy uses the image, sometimes cinematographic, but only for conceptual purposes. What they seek is not a photograph but a tension, a research on being and its ambiguities, on time.
John Murphy plays on the theme of similarity and difference - with existing materials such as reproductions, photos from old films, postcards. His works evoke nostalgia, absence, sexuality, with a precision exquisite of refinement. If his recent work consists of borrowings used in the manner of ready-mades (postcards, placards, objects) or transformed (reframed, modified in the format - the support or the medium). Sometimes, he associates a fragment of text, and these few words - often part of the work - become its title. Thus, they produce a dialectical game in which association, interval and ellipse - three typically cinematographic operations and more particularly related to editing - play a primordial role. What happens in the in-between of the image and the words - that spatial and temporal zone where meaning is created, "that existential anxiety", is precisely what interests the artist.
As Muriel Denet explains in her review of the Jorge Molder exhibition at the Musée du Jeu de Paume in 2008: "Jorge Molder is beyond self-representation or narcissistic introspection. He uses his body, his face, and photographic and video images as materials for reflection. Without it being his representation, but rather an embodiment. The image is the body of a thought that does not have one, but also its place and its tool: a thought occupied by anxiety, the fear of darkness, of failure, irremediable like death, so many metaphors of the creative process. But nothing despairing, however, a deviation, of the order of pantomime, discreetly defuses any tragic effect. » On the first floor of the gallery will be presented two series by Jorge Molder, entitled Curta metragem, 1999-2000, each comprising a suite of 10 Polaroids. Curta metragem is, of course, conceived as a film sequence, a sort of location, rhythm, mirror of the action of the protagonist, and also three large photographs from his latest series, Malgré lui.
Jorge Molder, born in 1947, lives and works in Lisbon. He had his first solo exhibition in 1977 and his works are included in numerous museums and international collections. He represented Portugal at the 48th Venice Biennale in 1999. He was awarded the Grand Prix of the EDP Foundation in 2010, and finally the AICA/Portugal Prize/Art in 2014. His numerous solo exhibitions include: Luxury Bond Hayward Gallery, London (1999), Maison Européenne de la Photographie Paris 2002, Le Jeu de Paume Paris 2008, The Interpretation of Dreams Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Lisbon and Paris 2009, Pinocchio Chiado 8, Lisbon 2010., Rei, Capitão, Soldato, Ladrão, Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea do Chiado Lisbon 2014 and Circulo de Bellas Artes Madrid 2015, Jorge Molder, Serralves collection, Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto, 2021.
John Murphy, born in 1945, lives and works in London. Solo exhibitions include these: Selected works Jack Wendler Gallery London 1973, Selected works Museum of Modern Art Oxford 1975, Villa Arson Nice 1997, Withechapel Art Gallery London 1987-88, Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol 1988, A Conversation piece with Juliao Sarmento Museum of Modern Art Oxford 1998, The Way up and the Way down, Southampton City Art Gallery and Museum 1999, And things throw Light of Things, Ikon Gallery and Barber Institute, Birmingham, 2004-05, Up or Down it's All the Same in Ghent or Venice, Het Kabinet Gent 2005, Of Voyages, Of Others Places, Trondheim Kunstmuseum. Recently, his series O Dio, rispondi, 1993-1999, appeared in the "Opéra Monde - La quête d'un art total" exhibition, at the Centre Pompidou Metz in 2019-2020.