Museum of Optography, The Purple Chamber: Derek Ogbourne

Starts: Mon, 02 July 2012, 07:00 p.m.

Ends: Wed, 03 October 2012, 05:30 p.m.

Derek Ogbourne’s work operates within the intersections of art, history and science and grapples with themes such as life and death, beauty and the sublime, vision and landscape.

Sharjah Art Foundation presents Derek Ogbourne’s 'Museum of Optography, The Purple Chamber', the latest instalment of the London-based artist’s ongoing Museum of Optography. This art installation was created in 2007 as an investigation into the idea that a ‘final image’ can be imprinted temporarily on the retina at the moment of death. Ogbourne’s touring exhibition consists of drawings, paintings, photography, time-based media and objects that blur the boundaries between art, science and history.

The Museum of Optography will be housed in the Collections Building in Sharjah’s Arts Area. Inspired by trauma, fear of a sudden end, and a fascination with that inevitable moment when the world enters the retina for the last time, the themed clusters of objects that make up the Museum highlight the relationship between the imagination and death, and invite one to engage with myth, science and perception.

The Purple Chamber, a new chapter in the history of the Museum of Optography, is a dark place where light enters but never escapes; a place where shadows create vague images for the imagination; a place which once was far off in time, where dust and dirt now cover everything. It is the receptacle and the catcher of truth, whether it is before us, in our minds, or in our skulls. A model of the mind in conflict over the inconceivable notion of the moment of death, its function is to be both cold and objective like a camera, while simultaneously casting doubt in the mind of the viewer.

About the Artist

Derek Ogbourne has developed a practice that makes visible the strengths and frailties of being human through his overlapping and sometimes contradictory ways of seeing the world.

Born in 1964, Ogbourne graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art, London in 1989. His work has been exhibited widely in the UK and internationally, in exhibitions including Space International, Matadero Municipal, Valencia, Spain (1993), Frankenstein’s Kitchen, The Loft, London (1995), What Makes You, Makes Me, South London Gallery, London (1996).

Some 300 works comprise the Museum of Optography. The museum has taken on diverse forms in the following exhibitions and contexts: Museum of Optography, Galerie Brigitte Schenk, Cologne, Germany (2007), MicroMuseum of Optography, British Optical Association Museum, London (2008-2009), Der letzte Blick, Kurpfälzisches Museum im Palais Morass, Heidelberg, Germany (2010), Archive of Optography, Galerie FLU, Belgrade, Serbia (2011). Ogbourne has produced several texts to accompany the Museum, including the Encyclopedia of Optography: The Shutter of Death, Muswell Press, London (2008).

Alongside the ongoing Museum of Optography, Ogbourne also works with a diversity of artistic mediums ranging from photography and large-scale landscape drawings to video and film. Ogbourne currently lives in North West London where he also teaches drawing and video.

Location: Collections Building, Arts Area, Heart of Sharjah


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Created By
Created by: Caroline Mosley
on: May 24, 2012
at 4:25 p.m.