I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ozymandias, 1817
Ellis King is delighted to present Kour Pour’s Ozymandias; the artist’s first solo exhibition at the gallery and also in Europe.
Pour’s practice is embedded in the interrogation and re-examination of archaic anitiquity in the modern information age of digital culture and technology. For Ozymandias, Pour has identfiied and sourced imagery and iconography from various virtual platforms including clip art and vector images which are thereafter digitally manipulated to form the visceral construct of his compositions.
Contrastingly, ancient methods are steeped in the artist’s practice and modus operandi. For the paintings in Ozymandias, Pour utilises the age-old process of woodblock printing. His woodblocks are hand-carved over several months and thereafter printed on linen where water soluble inks are transferred to the the linen substrate through applying poressure with a baren.
In his central floor sculpture entitled, The lone and level sands stretch far way, 2014, clay tablets are imprinted from the orginal woodblock carvings. Thereafter, these tablets are used as a mould to form another counter-point within this perpetual cycle. Here, hot bees wax is poured into the clay mould to form a cast wax relic which is thereupon casted in aluminium through the modern industrial process of lost-wax casting.
Pour’s employed methodolgies in Ozymandias is retrospective ackowledgment of some of the earliest forms of mass production and the significance in their function for the dissemination of ideas and the recording of information. From a polarizing contemporary standpoint, Pour accumulates his source material from the internet and other digital provenance as fundamentally core tools to the hyper-consumerist information age of the present.
Equally, his chosen imagery is drawn from a multitude of epochs of history and location. In Ozymandias, Pour’s works depict an amalgm of iconography derived from Ancient Egyptian, Greek, Babylonian, Byzantine, Khmer, and Oriental heritage to name but a few. Thus, the arbitration of time and place comes to a halt. Allergories of time are misplaced and indefinitely repositioned according to the artist’s hand and conceptual will. Within this cyclic framework, Pour opens an ever-revolving dialogue towards new narratives and perspectives blending archaic art forms and imagery in a futurist age thus flattening the presence of time and culture for both personal yield and universal inquiry.
Kour Pour (b. 1987, United Kingdom) was born in Exeter, United Kingdom of Iranian decent and currently lives and works in Los Angeles, USA. He graduated from Otis College of Art and Design, 2010. His first solo exhibition was held at Unititled, New York, 2014 and he has also partcipated in groups exhibtions at Roberts and Tilton, Los Angeles, and Steve Turner Contemporary, Los Angeles. In 2015, he will have solo presentations at Depart Foundation, Los Angeles, and The American Academy, Rome.