Irene Mamiye is a New York-based artist working at the nexus of photography, new media, video, and sculpture. Her extensive catalog of work oftentimes references both art historical tropes and the overwhelming omnipresence of online imagery. Through various series’, Mamiye deconstructs the language of photography in the digital age, manipulating found images and reimagining the decisive moment that once defined the medium. There is an enigmatic component to her work that mirrors the oversaturated fuzz of social media.
In her Homage series, Mamiye plays into the immersion of digital imagery through vibrant, abstracted landscapes of flowers, text, and symbols. The video pieces in Homage engage with virtual reality, leading the viewer through these spaces with a knowing wink that two-dimensional images can be activated as cinematic environments. Mamiye initially sources these images from the internet and brings them to life through digital programming tools.
“Recently, I’ve found virtual reality to be a particularly fruitful site for photographic intervention. Using a cinematic eye, virtual reality becomes a lens into an online environment cast in physical space, rather than another planar surface of a screen.”— Irene Mamiye
The prints in Homage contrastingly evoke the glossy surface of a screen, blurring the boundaries between tangible and digital. Printed on dye sublimation aluminum, the works recontextualize material art through the lens of an engrossing Instagram feed. The atmospheric compositions create a liminal space where digital images can be freed from their source and exist in the real, physical world.
“Homage embodies my confrontation and immersion in the behavior of images—the orphaning, co-opting, and versioning actions within their flattened hierarchy of our image-showing and sharing environment. I seek out iconic works of art and painterly gestures, human mark-making, and universal visual symbols such as flowers and natural forms that are constellated, shifted and decontextualized but remain identifiable through the indexical grain of photography.” — Irene Mamiye
Mamiye’s other work also features manipulated images that reinvent what photography can look like in the 21st century. Her use of digital programming replaces the mechanical aspects of the camera, and the layers of editing, distorting, and collaging allow for a renewed thoughtfulness in composition that is not entirely possible with street photography. Mamiye reassembles the basic components of photography through digital mediums, expanding the possibilities of what can be captured in a single image, and how that image can break free from itself.
Irene Mamiye will be featured in our upcoming exhibition “Here & There” at Winston Wächter Fine Art Seattle, which aims to highlight the differences and similarities between digital and physical artwork.