CCA_Katja-Novitskova-Shapeshifter featured image

Magic Touch

Kate Davis, Jessie Flood-Paddock, Katja Novitskova, Pádraig Spillane, Artie Vierkant

August 2 to September 20, 2014

Curated by: Matt Packer

Hands Screenings in the CCA library

Magic Touch is an exhibition that features five contemporary artists whose works respond to the way that objects and technologies carry the imprint of the human body.
The exhibition considers our changing relationships to objects, presenting works such as Kate Davis’ video installation Denkmal, which narrates the touch of common objects that recent technology has made redundant; and Katja Novitskova’s series of sculptural works Shapeshifters, made from hand-pressed epoxy clay, nail polish and broken computer wafers. In these works and others in the exhibition, there is an emphasis on the way that successive technologies create new forms of tactile relationships while disabling others.
Also included in Magic Touch are works by Pádraig Spillane, Jessie Flood-Paddock, and Artie Vierkant. Flood-Paddock will present works developed from her Nude series that elaborate a series of sculptural forms and surfaces based on the logo of a cosmetics company that promotes its products’ “invisibility,” while Pádraig Spillane’s photo-based works make manifest what the camera fails to capture of his human subjects. For his first exhibition in Ireland / Northern Ireland, New York-based artist Artie Vierkant will present a new iteration of his Fingerprints series of video works produced with digital techniques of fingerprinting and gesture capture.
Magic Touch has been developed through the recognition of the contemporary displacement of the human body. This is a displacement caused by the new technologies of our inter-connected ‘touch-screen’ world, and another kind of displacement that follows recent “post-humanist” philosophies that have undermined notions of human empowerment over things. As such, Magic Touch considers how the human body continues to imprint itself in new ways upon the objects and technologies that at first appear to dispel it on physical and metaphysical terms.


Magic Touch is curated by Matt Packer, Director, CCA Derry~Londonderry. It is the fourth exhibition in the CCA’s 2014 series exploring the contemporary status of the human body, following from Of Other Bodies (featuring Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz, Kevin Burns, and Falke Pisano), Sarah Browne: Hand to Mouth, and Eamon O’Kane: Where there are people there are things.


Artists' biographies

Kate Davis lives and works in Glasgow. Previous exhibitions include: For Each Gesture Another Character, Art Stations Foundation, Poznan (2014); Kate Davis. Eight Blocks or a Field, Temporary Gallery, Cologne (2013); Art Under Attack: Histories of British Iconoclasm, Tate Britain, London (2013); Not Just the Perfect Moment, The Drawing Room, London; Tales of the City, Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow (both 2012).

Jessie Flood Paddock lives and works in London. Previous exhibitions include: Nude, Carl Freedman Gallery, London (2014); Chutzpah, The Schtip, Sheffield (2013); Art now: Jess Flood-Paddock, Tate Britain, London; Laying down and kissing the love in the mist, part 2, Kendall Koppe, Glasgow; In the belly of the whale (act III), Centro Cultural Montehermoso, Vitoria-Gasteiz (all 2012); Gangsta's Paradise, Hayward Gallery project space (2010).

Katja Novitskova lives and works in Amsterdam. Previous exhibitions include: Art Basel Statements, with Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Basel; S.A.L.T.S., Basel; Art Post-Internet, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing; Mottahedan Projects, duo with Florian Auer, Dubai (all 2014); Playing Nature, CCA Sokol, 5th Moscow Biennale (2013).

Pádraig Spillane lives and works in Cork. Previous exhibitions include: Mammouth, Treignac Projet, France; Fortnightly Features Presents, Kerlin Gallery, Dublin (both 2014) His works have featured in Periodical Review #3, Pallas Projects, Dublin (2013); Artist as Curator – Spectacle in Photography, Belfast Photo Festival (2013); and OUTBOX, Cork (2012).

Artie Vierkant lives and works in New York. Previous exhibitions include: Usage Pending, Higher Pictures, New York; Original Work, Weekends, Copenhagen; Art Post Internet, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing; What is a Photograph?, International Center of Photography, New York (all 2014);  US 63185969 B1, US 8118919 B1; (Exloits), New Galerie, Paris; Configure, Exile, Berlin (both 2013).

Image: Katja Novitskova, Shapeshifters (2013-14). Courtesy of the artist and Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin.