See Hamilton’s accompanying commission for The Moving Museum Online, ‘Indirect Flights’, 2014
In the series ‘Indirect Flights’ Joe Hamilton uses photographic material shot while travelling in Europe, Asia and the Middle East to create digital compositions that take print, sculpture, video and an online forms. ‘Ikea Roof Terrace’ portrays a solar-panel clad roof against imagery from Scandinavia’s pristine wilderness. The world’s largest furniture retailer has installed more than 700,000 solar panels on their stores and buildings across the world, Hamilton’s image alluding to this ‘green energy’. ‘Variable Capacity’ shows the Hoover Dam, the sublime structure whose role in flood control, irrigation, and water storage makes the Colorado River the most regulated source of water in the world. Overlaid on this image are brushstrokes from landscape paintings by Vincent van Gogh and Arthur Streeton. The texture of rocky cliffs merges with craquelure while green ‘variable capacity’ tanks mix with green and orange paint daubs.
Hanging on a wall nearby is the textile print ‘Drape 1’, whose layering of perforated materials echoing a core compositional device of the artist’s online project ‘Indirect Flights’. In ‘Temporary Lease’ a textile work is draped loosely across scaffolding, its surface a digital patchwork of floral-patterned Iznik floor tiles, ornate metal screens and stark glass and steel facades. These materials and details were sourced from a wide range of architectures – from modern apartments to old stone buildings – by the artist whilst on residency in Istanbul in an attempt to depict the multiplicity of past and present influences in the development of the city. The sculpture balances on an incomplete tiled floor, incorporating the peculiarities of an unfinished area within the Şişhane Otopark. Aligning analog and digital construction zones, the artist’s use of scaffolding was expanded on later the same year in wall works in which printed canvas was wrapped directly around sections of steel tube.
In Hamilton’s video ‘Regular Division’ the camera pans across an environment composed of footage of the artificial landscapes of greenhouses and domes punctuated by high-resolution imagery of gestural brushstrokes placed into the scene using motion graphics. The painterly flourishes, lifted from classical oil paintings, are a nod to a medium that, as the artist notes, ‘has played such an important role in the representation of landscape in the past.’ Allowing architectural and cinematic spaces and stylisations of nature to play off one another, many of the ‘Regular Division’s structures are extended in ‘Indirect Flights’, 2014 which navigates them by way of its cartographically-inspired online platform.
Joe Hamilton (b. 1982, Devonport) is an artist living and working in Melbourne. He received his MA in Art in Public Space from RMIT, Melbourne and his BFA from University of Tasmania, Hobart. Selected solo exhibitions include Blue Oyster, Dunedin, 2015; Fort Delta, Melbourne, 2014. Recent group shows include The Lowry, UK; New Museum, New York; Carriageworks, Sydney; Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Germany; LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial, Gijón; Galerie Eva Meyer, 2015; The Austrian Film Museum & Palais des Beaux Arts, Vienna, 2014; The Old Bowery Station, New York; 55th Venice Biennale in Venice, 2013; Machine Project, Los Angeles, 2012; Museum für Gegenwartkunst, Basel; 2012.