Many species, besides us humans, have developed a notion of love; that absolute beast of biology – love – has filled our brains with delight and sorrow and it has become our most inspirational addition to the line of consciousness. Love is so diverse, complex and complicated to us that it functions more like the air in the array of a storm than a simplistic cause-and-effect response. – Paul Knight
Paul Knight: L’ombre de ton ombre is the first monograph dedicated to Australian-born and Berlin-based artist Paul Knight, co-published by Monash University Museum of Art | MUMA, Melbourne, UNSW Galleries, Sydney, and Perimeter Editions. The publication accompanies his first survey exhibition, co-commissioned by MUMA and UNSW Galleries.
For more than two decades, Knight has taken intimacy as his subject, considering its relationship to representation and the social designs that underpin its expression. This has led him, via an interest in science, to the potential role that intimacy plays in consciousness as an evolutionary line. Knight’s ongoing photographic project, Chamber Music, records the life he shares with his partner Peter. Since their meeting in 2009, the series has accumulated hundreds of glimpses into the domestic space of their relationship, with its images created through varying degrees of pre-meditation and chance; often the camera timer is set so that it simply captures what it sees. The photographs test the ability of this machine – the camera – and the prints it produces to capture and contain intimacy. The images hold human love, which Knight proposes might be our only positive legacy in a future in which machine intelligence carries on, bearing the mark of its creators, beyond humanity itself.
Paul Knight: L’ombre de ton ombre features an extensive selection of photographs from Chamber Music and details the algorithmic working methods of the textile and machine learning works that Knight has developed for the exhibition. It brings artistic and scientific perspectives into conversation with his evolving practice, inviting contributions from: Professor of Contemporary Art History at the Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford, Anthony Gardner, who situates Knight’s practice within histories of contemporary art and of queer visibility; theoretical astrophysicist and Hawking Chair in Cosmology and Science Communication at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Ontario, Dr Katie Mack, who responds with a poetic evocation of the cosmic timescales that underpin Knight’s thinking; and philosopher Oxana Timofeeva, who reflects on machine learning in the context of human consciousness. The publication will be launched at the exhibition opening at MUMA on 7 October 2023.
184 pages, 29.5 x 22cm, softcover, MUMA (Melbourne) x UNSW Galleries (Sydney) x Perimeter Editions (Melbourne).