HASTED HUNT is pleased to announce James Mollison - "The Disciples" and "James and Other Apes". The exhibition runs from June 12 to August 16, 2008. There will a reception for the artist on Thursday, June 12th from 6 to 8 PM. This is James Mollison’s international gallery debut.
"The Disciples" are panoramic format portraits of music fans photographed as they leave performances. The groups are distinctive because they have dressed in the style of the singers or bands they have just been watching. These are "fans" all seemingly caught at the same moment in front of a seamless background as they leave concerts ranging from Marilyn Manson to Dolly Parton. The images bear a keen relationship to Richard Avedon’s classic group portraits of the Chicago Seven and the Joint Chiefs.
Mollison’s earlier series "James and Other Apes" consists of startlingly intimate portraits of chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans and bonobos. These are presented singly and in grids. "James and Other Apes" reflects the artist’s youth in Africa and his fascination with the compelling similarity between Man and Ape. The work was shot over a four-year period in ape sanctuaries from the Congo, Cameroon, to Indonesia. The subjects are mainly orphans, often victims of the illicit trade in "bush meat" and live pets. They are photographed as unique individuals whose survival is under threat. The faces raise moral and scientific questions about what it means to define ourselves as "human".
He is best known for this long-term project. It debuted at the Rencontres d’Arles, and that exhibition was subsequently presented at the Natural History Museum in London and in Florence, Liverpool, Stockholm, The Hague and Sydney. "James and Other Apes" was published in 2004 with an introduction by Jane Goodall.
Mollison’s works have unique ebullience and slyness. Both bodies of work behave as entertainments as well as cultural documents. In the case of the "Apes", his search is anthropological, aesthetic and compassionate. With "The Disciples", he is "fascinated by the different tribes of people that attend these concerts, and how people emulate celebrity when forming their identity, as they to come together with surrogate 'families'."
Writing about "The Disciples", David Schonauer of American Photo compares the Jimmy Buffett concertgoers to the Rod Stewart followers:
"In his Ape pictures, Mollison invited us to view groups of animals as individuals; in this work, he asks us to look at individuals as members of larger groups. By doing so, he reveals the tribalism that has always been part of rock and roll idolatry."
"The Disciples" will be released this fall by Chris Boot, Inc. who also published "James and Other Apes" as well as "The Memory of Pablo Escobar", the extraordinary story of "the richest and most violent gangster in history" told through hundreds of photographs gathered by the artist.
Mollison lives in Venice. He was born in Kenya in 1973 and grew up in England. After studying Art and Design at Oxford Brookes University, and later film and photography at Newport School of Art and Design, he moved to Italy to work at Benetton’s creative lab, Fabrica. His work has been widely published throughout the world including Colors, The New York Times Magazine, The Guardian, The Paris Review,The New Yorker and Le Monde.