Siobhan Coen reworks component parts of digital communication to examine visual perception and unconscious control. Inspired in-part by Brion Gysin’s Dream Machine device and his cut-up writing technique she creates new narratives that explore the interplay and tension between form and content. In doing so Coen reveals truths that are often hiding in plain sight.
A recent series of works has seen Coen construct what she terms ‘evidence-based fictions’ from the words of influential figures. Unknown Knowns (2017), the installation presented for her Invites exhibition, features the voice of former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. In the tone of an aesthetic philosopher he sets out his belief in the need to change how people see in order to create a new reality, thereby escaping the ‘failures of imagination’ that have dogged the past. As this audio plays, programmed pulses of RGB light saturate a large print of brightly coloured pixels. This abstract image is activated into an all-encompassing and constantly shifting visual plane that is both seductive and destabilising.
Siobhan Coen (b. 1967, Orpington, UK. Lives and works in London) studied BA Fine Art, Slade School of Fine Art 2013-2017. Selected group exhibitions include: ARTAGON III, Paris, 2017; Celeste Prize, finalists’ exhibition, OXO Tower, London, 2016; Members' Show, OUTPOST, Norwich, selected by Lynda Morris & Chris Rawcliffe, 2016; Open Film 2016, OUTPOST, Norwich, and also presented at a.m London, selected by Ed Atkins, 2016. Awards include: UCL Arts & Humanities Dean’s List, 2017; The Stanbury Prize, 2017; The Herbert Seaborn Memorial Scholarship, 2016; The Slade Prize, 2014.