Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Noé Sendas

Noé Sendas is a Berlin-based Belgian artist whose work is weirdly unsettling. Rooted in cinematic and literary references, his images depict ghostly, unnerving figures whose heads or limbs appear to be invisible, or which have seemingly blended into furniture or walls. Sendas works with film, sculpture and photography; his his most arresting work, examples of which are shown here, frequently uses film stills from Hollywood's golden age which are manipulated to remove faces and personality, turning the actor and actress's bodies into enigmatic, lifeless objects, often sculptural in their stillness. Its a fascinating body of work, that follows themes of abstracting and partly erasing the human body through photography explored by those ever-present titans, John Baldessari and Guy Bourdin, and the less well-known but equally brilliant American sculptor Robert Gober.  Its also something of a counterpoint to the contemporary subversion of John Stezaker's collaged appropriation of Hollywood head shots, whose results are very different but who delights in defacing once-great screen idols.