MA Fine Art alumnus takes £3,000 first prize in competition for recent graduates.
15 Aug 2013
In the most exciting year yet for the Catlin Art Prize, collectors vied for the opportunity to purchase work by some of the most inspiring new names in visual art. Featuring painting, sculpture, film and performance work, the prize provides a platform for artists who have graduated the previous year. Collectors attending the preview and opening night included Robert Devereux.
Reynir Hutber took first prize 2010 in the face of tough competition from an exceptionally strong array of new artistic talents. He was awarded £3,000, enough to run a studio for a year. The judging panel for the prize included artist Polly Morgan, Prospect art critic Ben Lewis, curator and collector Cathy Wills and Senior Specialist in the Contemporary Art and Design at Bonhams Alan Montgomery.
The curators of his forthcoming exhibition at R O O M say of Reynir's work: "Hutber's multidisciplinary projects explore concerns commonly associated with Seventies' performance practice. Notions such as endurance, transcendence and transgression are re-examined through the lens of an era in which the authenticity of a visual document is increasingly hard to verify and appearances are effectively everything."
His video/performance art uses looped video footage to make it appear that the viewer is within touching distance of the artist when in fact the installation space is empty. The impact of this strange encounter is a powerful one, and asks a loaded question for our televisual society - are we responsible for what we watch?
Reynir describes his work: "My current practice combines elements of installation, live art and sculpture. Recent projects explore the teleprocessed body as visual metaphor, siting it in situations where its “less than” status may speak of destitution, collapse, political protest or prostration. These works blend looped recordings of my body with relayed video of the viewer, compressing them into a mediated image that is cohesive yet deceitful. Notions of “authenticity” are complicated by these unrequited encounters where it is not just the illusion of the artist’s presence that is invoked, but also the illusion of his endurance, vulnerability and trust. In the future I hope to collaborate with curators, galleries and artists who are interested in supporting emergent strategies for creating and distributing art works. My aim is to pursue the poetic and the political in a zone of positive uncertainty and productive discomfort, providing an antisocial service in a climate where tolerance is always conditional and state control both discreet and omnipresent. I also co-direct Unearthed Performance with Saffy Setohy and Ben Sassen."