Marilene Oliver: Confusao (4 stars)

Impressive works of the human body based on MRI and PET scan material

Marilene Oliver: Confusao

In the accompanying literature, Londoner Marilene Oliver provides an impressively idea-packed insight into the layers of conscious metaphor in her work. One line has particular relevance to what she does: ‘playing with disillusioned promises that technology will endlessly improve and save us.’

Conceptually and visually, the work on display here is highly impressive. It is a series of representations of the human body formed from designs initially procured by means of MRI or PET scan. The results are painstaking and often dazzling.

These include ‘Otzi: Frozen, Scanned & Plotted’, a series of pixelated points drilled into a freestanding case and lit so as to represent a ghostly, pale white cross-section of the human form; ‘Exhausted’, a series of engraved images on white plastic strips strung out as if showing a body dissected into thin sections; and ‘Orixa’, where this scanned human image has been once more ‘pixelated’ as a physical representation, this time thousands of multi-coloured beads woven into thin segments and again showing the internal contours as if part of a laboratory dissection. The effect is a nicely sustained tension between the transhumanist idea of the physical form reduced to a set of gathered data and the very tactile way with which Oliver has set about making these forms ‘real’ once more.

Edinburgh Printmakers, until Sat 11 May

Marilène Oliver: Confusão

New work by English artist who works with medical scanning technology to create scans of the human body that are in turn used to produce eerie images and objects, here reflecting the artist's 2008 move to Angola and her encounter with the local culture.


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