QUAD Presents Monica Alcazar-Duarte – Ascension

Presented by QUAD and curated by our Associate Curator Michael Sargeant, at Rencontres d'Arles, the exhibition Ascension showcases the work of QUAD’s selected New Discovery artist Monica Alcazar-Duarte.
Since its creation, the Rencontres d'Arles has promoted photography and all its stakeholders, from photographers themselves to exhibition curators and publishers. In that spirit of openness, the Rencontres d’Arles has teamed up with galleries for the New Discovery Award. Galleries play a pioneering role by often being the first to spot tomorrow’s talent. They can propose an exhibition project by an artist they represent whose work has been recently discovered by an international audience or deserves to be.

Mexican-British artist Monica Alcazar-Duarte explores the future of the space race by fusing uncanny documentary photography with cutting-edge technology.
 Monica has been drawn to humanity’s relationship with the cosmos for many years, examining the subject at length, the project investigates the people who are making space exploration a reality, fusing fine art photography, documentary work and augmented reality embedded film and sound using a specially-made app, which gives access to 3D animations, the images are accompanied by a soundscape including text by Frank White, noted space-philosopher and theorist. Humanity is currently engaged in a new space race. Nations and private corporations are eagerly pushing ahead to develop the technologies required to explore and ultimately exploit the riches of the cosmos. A new generation of space scientists is working to develop the skills required to become explorers of the unlimited frontier.  For the work Monica travelled to Mars, Pennsylvania to create a contrasting selection of images documenting the preparation for space colonisation, featuring robotic testing and astronaut training facilities taken in the European Space Agency.

“Our culture, technology, entertainment, and philosophy all are fascinated with the vastness, mystery and complexity of space,” she adds. “We devote a huge amount of time probing beyond our atmosphere.  We search for answers to our origins, our destiny, and also how we might better live our lives on this planet.  I think that ‘space’ humbles us.  Its immensity reminds us of how small we are.” (Monica Alcazar-Duarte, Huck Magazine Jan 2018)

Ascension and can be seen in Arles at the venue GROUND CONTROL until 23rd September. During opening week, a jury will bestow the New Discovery Award on an artist and his or her gallery, entailing an acquisition worth €15,000. The public will vote for the Public’s Choice Award, entailing an acquisition worth €5,000. 
Rencontres d'Arles boasts a wide range of exhibitions, workshops, talks and events throughout the city that ask us to ‘cross space and time with a breathtaking, celestial journey across the ages.’ The festival programme invites us to immerse ourselves within the programme theme of ‘BACK TO THE FUTURE’ and through using the ‘artist's eye as our aid, and the recent past as our measuring stick, we can discover the near future, and shed some light on the big questions of society today.’

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