Andy Allen-Olivar is a multimedia based artist primarily working with photography, film, installation and text. He works with speculative narratives, magical realism and optics to explore a way of seeing.
His work is dedicated to scientists and hoarders and those who bend their knees to see; to diggers and explorers; to what is written on the back of things, and to what is not; to unelaborated memories, and pasts which somehow rhyme with them; to pasts that are not necessarily one’s own; to history, to language and to ventriloquism, to traces and to rituals; to shortcomings; to a place changed over time; to hangovers and jet lag; to constructivist anthropology, parallel presents, slow magic; to the flavor and vividness of trying for a long time; to the thing that is missing and defines what it is missing from; to saving it for later; to the familiar, unconnected, out of reach; to myth; to proof; to knowing how something works, and still be surprised and humbled by it anyway; to hold something up to the light and feel the gravity in your feet.
Previously, he worked in the postal industry.
EIGHT TIMES FOLDED
An exhibition of interchangeable light boxes.
The project explores photography as ventriloquism, where the voice is not quite heard clearly – perhaps as though heard through a phone call with a bad signal, or in a language you can only grasp a few words of – the television has been muted. As a result, the installation hopes to be a holistic sequence that presents itself with parallel narratives of a story being told, where these narratives sometimes are revisions rather than separate. Or that there is something missing, and the thing that is missing is the thing that defines it. Of negation and a feeling of loss, absence and insufficiency as a foundation. We are left detecting the history of a place and a time that is hard to place, impossible even. Paradigms of an adventure or an incident where the story is left out, and only the clues are left. A series of motifs – the dog in its different form for example comes as a comfort, a background character, a main character in a funeral.
There are also small interjections of text that talk of names, full names; of sounds that would go unnoticed if someone didn’t point them out; of the land swelling, and of how fish perceive the Sun.
We are left to examine this evidence through peculiar details and the minutiae, speculative narratives, a scrutiny of a past that is not necessarily one's own. Through associations, magical realism, proofs of existence.
This material is comprised of archival photos, found photos, stolen photos, photos taken by the artist, collected objects, saints, gifts, debris, photocopies, tearsheets, material hidden from sight, and text is displayed inside lightboxes made up of salvaged wood, stolen wood, wood taken from a tree struck by lightning, old doors and construction planks.
For my mother and my father; for Carlos and Ita; for my brothers Josh, Matty and Tom. Of course, of course. All of which I have the pleasure of being alike.
Supported by the Axel N Andersson's foundation
POLISHED BRONZE, STILL WARM TO THE TOUCH, STILL (2022)
Short film (27 minutes)
A hybrid documentary on the Welsh diaspora living in Patagonia, Argentina. A film following missing dogs, a metal detectorist, talking trees and more.