Jeremy Hutchison’s i- is heavily invested in the processes and psychology behind consumer culture. Playing with audience expectations and the limits of commercial advertising, i- features professional hand models unexpectedly holding lumps of distorted clay. Until 27 April the project will be exhibited at Rurart in Rouillé, France, before moving to Art Brussels 25 – 27 April.
Influenced by his background in linguistics and advertising, Hutchison’s art is concerned with an interrogation of the product and the behaviours and motivation behind capitalist, consumer culture. Working across installation, performance and sculpture, Hutchison creates uncanny and thought provoking situations which subtly distort the commercial process. This latest project, i-, sees the artist commission professional hand models and a commercial photographer to create a traditional shoot with a twist. Instead of the typical consumables and merchandise seen in advertising, Hutchison’s models clutch twisted clay pieces which have been squeezed and moulded around their palms. The immaculately manicured hands are juxtaposed with natural, contorted mud to pose the question of what is desirable to our society. Vibrant photographs from the shoot, bronze casts of the warped mud and a high definition looped trailer featuring the language of advertising make up this seductive yet unsettling exhibition.
Following an entire process of manufacture, marketing and retail, the unassuming clay forms are the starting point for a wider philosophical inquiry by the artist. The ergonomic products become substitutes for all sorts of objects and even for humankind. Leading on from the writing of Jean-Paul Satre, Hutchison argues that man is not separate from material culture as we too are products of the Universe, and this project blurs the boundaries between what we are made of and what we consume.
1. Jeremy Hutchison, i- courtesy the artist.