Installation View - GALERIE WILMA TOLKSDORF, Photo: Wolfgang Günzel
GALERIE WILMA TOLKSDORF presents James Tunks’ BLEACH, the artist’s first solo-exhibition at the gallery, as part of Frankfurt’s Gallery Weekend 2021.
A master-student graduate from Städelschule, Australian artist James Tunks engages in his recent works with a glossy aesthetic of commercial photography to examine themes such as mass production, automation and humanity’s impact on the living environment.
Images of pristine orchid blossoms contrast with bleached Australian coral. A deliberately blurred product shot of sneakers stands alongside an image of an automated robotic camera. In their subject matter, Tunks’ images reflect a time in which mass photographic production exists both as a medium of consumption, and as an artistic form.
In an accompanying series of works printed on aluminium, Tunks uses a UV printing process to ‘cure’ photographic images of microscopic viral pathogens. In reference to the use of UV light to eliminate pathogens in public spaces, Tunks’ images explore the double use of UV technology, as both the destroyer of a virus and as the creator of the photographic image.
In the context of media theory, the term “viral” refers to images, videos and written content that spreads to countless online users. Through the act of photographic reproduction, Tunks also highlights that, like the viral pathogen, the photographic image also has the capacity to reproduce, become disembodied and be widely disseminated.
James Tunks (*1988 Australia, lives and works in Frankfurt) studied at the Victorian College of Arts in Melbourne and graduated as a master student of Prof. Douglas Gordon as well as Prof. Laure Prouvost at the Städelschule - Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Frankfurt/Main. Works of the artist have been shown in solo and group exhibitions in Melbourne, Hamburg, Vienna, and Frankfurt/Main, among others.