Aziz + Cucher: Time of the Empress, Gazelli Art House, London

New animations and photography works are currently on display at the Gazelli Art House, London, until 9 March from artist double act Aziz + Cucher. The art showcases their sustained interest in representing the landscape through their lyrical, meditative, and occasionally sinister perspective.

The exhibition will include the team’s critically acclaimed Some People (2012), with a new installation of Time of the Empress (2012), which is composed of four video works that attempt to confront the underlying instability of the quotidian while there is political disorder throughout the Middle East. The themes of Some People (2012) focus on the tension between societal aspirations for progress and history’s cyclical nature; what appears to be developing or in flux, in fact remains static and impervious to change.

This new version of Time of the Empress (2012) will contain several large flat-screen panels suspended from the gallery ceiling, displaying a series of looped animated drawings that present Modernist buildings in a cycle of continuous construction and disintegration. Like duplicates of the Tower of Babel, through the painstaking animation process these buildings form a sequence of growth and destruction. This fluctuation alludes to the Book of Ecclesiastes that proclaims “There is nothing new under the sun”, as empires rise and fall, time is transient, and history repeats itself.

Alongside this exhibit, new works from the couple’s Scenapse series will be shown for the first time. The pair were considered pioneers of digital manipulation in fine art photography in the 1990s, and the Scenapse collection continues their legacy in this field. Aziz + Cucher have produced disorienting images of natural forms, manipulating pixels in order to achieve a disturbing atmosphere. Through their manipulation of visual texture, objects such as bushes, flowers and trees become less opaque; they appear almost lacelike and porous, deconstructed and destructible. The label of “electronic impressionism” has previously been bestowed upon the series, and this remains true of the new work unveiled at the show.

Aziz + Cucher: Time of the Empress, until 9 March, Gazelli Art House, 39 Dover Street, Mayfair, London, W1.

1. Time of the Empress, 2012 © Aziz + Cucher.