Thomas Pausz - Haunted Ecologies Exhibition at the Stanley Picker Gallery



Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston University Nursery, 3 Portland Road, Kingston upon Thames KT1 2SG, Knights Park

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Stanley Picker Fellow Thomas Pausz’ solo show Haunted Ecologies intersects the research fields of media, ecology and ‘hauntology’ – the understanding that our perception of contemporary environment and culture is always haunted by spectres of the past and by hopes and visions of the future – to propose an immersive installation echoing the transformations of local ecosystems. The Stanley Picker Gallery is situated on an island along the Hogsmill River, a tributary of the Thames whose riverbank flora is immortalised in John Everett Millais’ famous painting of Ophelia. This exhibition presents a collection of works inspired by the ecology of the surrounding river. The installation echoes the transformations of the river over time and traces how, from Eadweard Muybridge’s landscape photography to contemporary digital image making techniques, the media constellations we design are evolving with and changing our perception of the ecosystem. As a chalk stream, the Hogsmill River has an increasingly endangered ecology due to excessive extraction of water and increasing sewer discharge. This influx of sewage water on the one hand radically raises the nutrient level of the river, benefitting certain plants and hence causing changes in biodiversity, on the other it also introduces a large variety of harmful polluting substances.

Image Caption: Thomas Pausz Haunted Ecologies (2023) Video still © Thomas Pausz. Commissioned by Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston University

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