Damien House (°1979, Baltimore, Maryland, United States) is an artist who works in a variety of media. By emphasising aesthetics, House creates intense personal moments masterfully created by means of rules and omissions, acceptance and refusal, luring the viewer round and round in circles.
His artworks are based on formal associations which open a unique poetic vein. Multilayered images arise in which the fragility and instability of our seemingly certain reality is questioned. With a conceptual approach, he absorbs the tradition of remembrance art into daily practice. This personal follow-up and revival of a past tradition is important as an act of meditation.
His works are an investigation of concepts such as authenticity and objectivity by using an encyclopaedic approach and quasi-scientific precision and by referencing documentaries, ‘fact-fiction’ and popular scientific equivalents. By investigating language on a meta-level, he seduces the viewer into a world of ongoing equilibrium and the interval that articulates the stream of daily events. Moments are depicted that only exist to punctuate the human drama in order to clarify our existence and to find poetic meaning in everyday life.
His collected, altered and own works are being confronted as aesthetically resilient, thematically interrelated material for memory and projection. The possible seems true and the truth exists, but it has many faces, as Hanna Arendt cites from Franz Kafka. By choosing mainly formal solutions, he tries to approach a wide scale of subjects in a multi-layered way, likes to involve the viewer in a way that is sometimes physical and believes in the idea of function following form in a work.
His works are an investigation into representations of (seemingly) concrete ages and situations as well as depictions and ideas that can only be realized in art. With Plato’s allegory of the cave in mind, he reflects on the closely related subjects of archive and memory. This often results in an examination of both the human need for ‘conclusive’ stories and the question whether anecdotes ‘fictionalise’ history.
His works feature coincidental, accidental and unexpected connections which make it possible to revise art history and, even better, to complement it. Combining unrelated aspects lead to surprising analogies. By applying abstraction, he tries to grasp language. Transformed into art, language becomes an ornament. At that moment, lots of ambiguities and indistinctnesses, which are inherent to the phenomenon, come to the surface.
His works never shows the complete structure. This results in the fact that the artist can easily imagine an own interpretation without being hindered by the historical reality. By examining the ambiguity and origination via retakes and variations, he formalizes the coincidental and emphasizes the conscious process of composition that is behind the seemingly random works. The thought processes, which are supposedly private, highly subjective and unfiltered in their references to dream worlds, are frequently revealed as assemblages.
His works appear as dreamlike images in which fiction and reality meet, well-known tropes merge, meanings shift, past and present fuse. Time and memory always play a key role. By applying a wide variety of contemporary strategies, he considers making art a craft which is executed using clear formal rules and which should always refer to social reality.
His works are notable for their perfect finish and tactile nature. This is of great importance and bears witness to great craftsmanship. By studying sign processes, signification and communication, he wants to amplify the astonishment of the spectator by creating compositions or settings that generate tranquil poetic images that leave traces and balances on the edge of recognition and alienation.
His works are made through strict rules which can be perceived as liberating constraints. Romantic values such as ‘inspiration’, ‘genius’ and ‘authenticity’ are thereby neutralised and put into perspective. By experimenting with aleatoric processes, he makes work that generates diverse meanings. Associations and meanings collide. Space becomes time and language becomes image.
His works sometimes radiate a cold and latent violence. At times, disconcerting beauty emerges. The inherent visual seductiveness, along with the conciseness of the exhibitions, further complicates the reception of their manifold layers of meaning. By applying a poetic and often metaphorical language, he tries to increase the dynamic between audience and author by objectifying emotions and investigating the duality that develops through different interpretations.
His works focus on the inability of communication which is used to visualise reality, the attempt of dialogue, the dissonance between form and content and the dysfunctions of language. In short, the lack of clear references are key elements in the work. By using an ever-growing archive of found documents to create autonomous artworks, he makes work that deals with the documentation of events and the question of how they can be presented. The work tries to express this with the help of physics and technology, but not by telling a story or creating a metaphor.
His works directly respond to the surrounding environment and uses everyday experiences from the artist as a starting point. Often these are framed instances that would go unnoticed in their original context. By focusing on techniques and materials, he plays with the idea of the mortality of an artwork confronted with the power of a transitory appearance, which is, by being restricted in time, much more intense.
His works doesn’t reference recognisable form. The results are deconstructed to the extent that meaning is shifted and possible interpretation becomes multifaceted. By contesting the division between the realm of memory and the realm of experience, he tries to develop forms that do not follow logical criteria, but are based only on subjective associations and formal parallels, which incite the viewer to make new personal associations.
His works question the conditions of appearance of an image in the context of contemporary visual culture in which images, representations and ideas normally function. Damien House currently lives and works in Washington, DC.
Wooster Goobs #he Exhibitions, Further Complicates The Reception Of Their Manifold Layers Of Meaning. By Emphasising Aesthetics, He Seduces The Viewer Into A World Of Ongoing Equilibrium And The Interval That Articulates The Stream Of Daily Events. Moments Are Depicted That Only Exist To Punctuate The Human Drama In Order To Clarify Our Existence And To Find Poetic Meaning In Everyday Life.
His Works Are Saturated With Obviousness, Mental Inertia, Clichés And Bad Jokes. They Question The Coerciveness That Is Derived From The More Profound Meaning And The Superficial Aesthetic Appearance Of An Image. By Parodying Mass Media By Exaggerating Certain Formal Aspects Inherent To Our Contemporary Society, He Tries To Create Works In Which The Actual Event Still Has To Take Place Or Just Has Ended: Moments Evocative Of Atmosphere And Suspense That Are Not Part Of A Narrative Thread. The Drama Unfolds Elsewhere While The Build-up Of Tension Is Frozen To Become The Memory Of An Event That Will Never Take Place.
His Works Are Given Improper Functions: Significations Are Inversed And Form And Content Merge. Shapes Are Dissociated From Their Original Meaning, By Which The System In Which They Normally Function Is Exposed. Initially Unambiguous Meanings Are Shattered And Disseminate Endlessly. Goobs Wooster Currently Lives And Works In Solvang.## %# Rosado Mike