Nick Kaplony's practice is concerned with inheritance, memorial and mourning. These ideas are explored in the context of his familial relationships, often using relatives or objects that have strong associations with family members as his starting point. Kaplony works primarily with photographic and lens based media, driven by an interest in the emotional charge of the photographic object and and how it can act as a monument to it's subject.
Some works that typify Kaplony's approach include 'Fragments' (2003) which originated as a response to the site of St Augustine's Tower in Hackney. It consists of a series of photographs of parts of his parent's bodies that are associated with the reliquaries of saints; collarbones, shinbones, fingers etc. These images sit in thick mahogany coloured frames that reference the ornate boxes which house the remains of the Beatified.
|Memento Mori-Aide-Memoire 2013|
Can you describe your practice in a few words?
I'm interested in how we mourn and remember.
What is your earliest memory of art?
I remember drawing dinosaurs compulsively as a child.
Have you shown your work in a non-white cube space before?
Yes, I have shown predominately in non-white cube spaces. One of my first exhibitions post college was an evening show which took place on Parliament Hill in Hampstead Heath. It was a group exhibition called 'Dimmed' which looked at how the particular lighting conditions at dusk could trick the eye into seeing an believing all sorts of things. Also I did a show called 'Ringing' with a collective I called Slowfall projects in St Augustine's Tower in Hackney. The show considered how historical sites held a resonance.
What does this sort of space bring to your work?
It brings a completely new reading to the work. Working in this way often inspires new work as response to the space. You adapt your thinking to suit the situation.
Does the environment in which you exhibit your work change how your work is perceived?
Completely. I can't see how it couldn't. The work becomes a thing in the real world. It's status as an 'art object' is disrupted which creates the potential for a more visceral and immediate reading with a broader range of audiences.
What is the future for art outside the gallery context?
I think artists will continue to find ways of showing their work outside of galleries, but with rapid regeneration of the city taking place, with reduced opportunities to secure funding and space it's going to be ever more difficult and we're going to need to get even more inventive.
What was your first experience of King's Cross?
Going to a horror festival in the Scala cinema. I still have the T-shirt.
What is the future for art?
Unless there's a change in government or artists get better at articulating the broader value of their practice it's pretty bleak. I think what we'll see is an ever increase in collaborative and interdisciplinary practice.
If you could meet one artist living or dead, who would this be and why?
Tony Cragg because it was his solo show at the Whitechapel in 1997 that it really hit me how art could feel when it communicated in a way that bypassed language.
What is your greatest weakness?
I'm a people teaser.
What place do aspects of traditional craft play in your work?
By traditional craft, do you mean technical skill too? If so drawing is making a resurgene in my work recently. Training the eye to see and the hand to do what it is told.
|Memento Mori-Aide-Memoire 2013|
Nick has exhibited nationally in a range of exhibitions and contexts. Shows include Discernible Zeitgeist Arts Projects,(London 2013) Airspce, Waterfront Gallery, (Ipswich) Paredolia BLANK (Brighton 2010) and Everything Must Go, VTO, (London 2006). He also works as an independent curator having worked on projects such as Begining of History, ASC Studios Bond House Projects (London 2006), Trick of the Light, Core Gallery (London 2007) and Small Mischiefs, Pump House Gallery (London 2006). His curated projects relate directly to his artistic concerns and exhibitions are used as a tool to interrogate and reframe his practice in conversation with other artists and exhibitors.
Nick Kaplony recently worked with the Family Ties Network: a research group of artists, film-makers and writers who explore space, place and the family in photography and moving image. He is also a member of the arts collective Snowfall Projects, who specialise in site-specific projects in a diverse range of locations, from abandoned churches to public parks. Kaplony is a graduate from the joint honours course in visual arts at Camberwell College of Arts, UAL. He also works as a senior Programme Coordinator at Artquest and lectures at Universities around the UK.