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Marilène Oliver's prints at out shop
Oliver has worked for many years with medical imaging data to create sculptures and installations. This solo exhibition, the first since the artist has moved to Sub Saharan Africa, sees the artist refining her practice to a series of dark and haunting etchings. Continuing her project of working with the anonymised dataset Melanix, Oliver uses radiology software to produce digital 2D renderings that are later combined with intricate collagraph drawings. Oliver's inspiration for the images in this series comes from the many powerful experiences she has had since living in Africa that have caused her to rethink her relationship with the scanned body. Whereas before the CT dataset was a material that she could manipulate and transform to create complicated sculptures, it now has a strong symbolic resonance, signifying privilege both in terms of wealth and access to digital technology. In 'Confusao' Melanix is shrouded in the dark, weightless void of digital space, emerging to find herself appropriating traditions and rituals of African cultures she barely understands but is captivated.
Marilène Oliver works at a crossroads somewhere between new digital technologies, traditional print and sculpture, her finished objects bridging the virtual and the real worlds. She works with the body translated into data form in order to understand how it has become 'unfleshed', in the hope of understanding who or what it has become. To this end she uses various scanning technologies, such as MRI and PET, to reclaim the interior of the body and create works that allow is to materially contemplate our increasingly digitised selves.
Marilène Oliver was born in the UK in 1977 but now lives and works in Angola. Oliver studied Fine Art at Central Saint Martins and then at the Royal College of Art where she obtained an MPhil with the practice based research project ‘Flesh to Pixel, Flesh to Voxel, Flesh to XYZ’ on the use of medical imaging in contemporary art. Oliver has exhibited widely in the UK and Europe in both private and public galleries including the Victoria and Albert Museum, Royal Academy, Frissarias Museum (Greece) and Kunsthalle Ahlen (Germany), Casino Luxembourg (Luxembourg), The Glenbow Museum (Canada) and Chelsea Art Museum (New York). Her work is held in a number of private collections around the world as well as a number of public collections such as The Wellcome Trust and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Image: Marilène Oliver - Family Portrait