STRIP in the Curve
First-time exhibition of the collage-series ‘STRIP’ by DR.ME
In the title-giving series, the Manchester studio DR.ME, consisting of Ryan Doyle and Mark Edwards, bring together different levels of the term as follows:
‘STRIP’ is the examination of a style that has advanced to become a characteristic of the duo: the paper strips, in which the original images are cut into stripes and re-arranged in order to de- and re- contextualize, censor or create entirely new images. ‘STRIP’ can also be understood as a tongue-in-cheek reference to the familiar short form of striptease, as the artist duo has mostly found the material that serve them as a basis in vintage pin-up magazines (straight, gay, trans). The depicted female and male bodies are fragmented by means of the paper strips, thereby creating new spaces for interpretation: In their ‘STRIP’ collages, DR.ME once again decide how much of the once explicit nude shots are visible and what is concealed by a new pictorial layer. The fact that the second component of the collages are often comic strips – the sequence of images by means of which the comic tells short, humorous stories – is of course no coincidence. As different as this interplay happens, in both elements man and his physical appearance play an essential role. Sometimes as an object of lust and desire, sometimes as an active character who drives the mostly humorous story of comics. However, the focus in all examples is on the human body, a motif that has always inspired art. Within the ‘STRIP’ series, the interweaving of the two layers creates a new interplay of allusion and open directness, of exposure, withdrawal, and censorship; the human eye, which always tries to complete the fragmentary images, is deceived again and again. Between its unveiling and disguising, DR.ME celebrate the human body and ask: Why do we censor bodies when we are all the same?