Love, J. and Evans, M. (2010) From the representation of emptiness to the emptiness of representation. Paper presented to: Land/Water Summer Symposium 2010: Land and the Metaphysical, University of Plymouth, 01-02 July 2010.
From the Representation of Emptiness to the Emptiness of Representation (A dialogue concerning the exhibition Grey Matters by Jo Love and Michael Evans) “If absence is the most compelling form of presence, then emptiness is pregnant with fullness.” (Paul.W.Ashton, Spring Journal Inc, 2007 back cover) This presentation takes the form of a dialogue in response to our exhibition Grey Matters held at Aqffin Gallery (London) in 2009. The exhibition consisted of digital photographs from Jo Love and paintings by Michael Evans. A number of similarities between our works became apparent from the beginning while others continue to grow with the emergence of deeper and more resonant forms of dialogue (still unfolding), which we seek to explore here. Within our work we both exhibit forms of emptiness. It is in defining this emptiness that similarities and differences between our works emerge. We both work with certain types of absences, the absence of colour and the absence of form, and a problematic notion of representation. Michael Evans removes any specific sense of place via abstraction whilst Jo Love becomes interested in images, which are at the very point of invisibility. Surprisingly it is Michael Evans who has worked his way out of a landscape tradition, and although he still feels connected to this in some ways he no longer sees representation as a useable option. However, in the work of Jo Love, the landscape is the starting point for a problematic of representation itself and provides a way of investigating the authenticity of the photographic as an indexical mark of the real