Lazarides Rathbone is pleased to welcome Karim Zeriahen for his first solo exhibition, It’s Taken Me All of My Life to Find You. Following participation in two of Lazarides offsite group exhibitions Bedlam and Brutal, the artist and filmmaker will present a multimedia exhibition this spring that challenges his audience’s notion of individual identity in both poetic and humorous ways.
It’s Taken Me All of My Life to Find You breaks free from the confines of film, to which Zeriahen previously limited his artistic output. Instead the works in his debut exhibition utilise light, lines and shapes to show movement and emotion in a quest to uncover the creative impetus inside, a force the artist sees quashed by the commercial art world in an exchange for an admiration of the idolatry of branded individuals. The doors open to portraits of five women side by side of different ages, backgrounds and origins displaying strength, originality and freedom. These muses—La Contessa Cristiana Brandolini d'Adda, Julia Peyton Jones, Cecilia Bengolea, Victoire de Pourtales, Marie Donnelly—are selected upon the artist’s admiration for their lifetime achievement, both personally and professionally. Inspired by their individuality, Zeriahen highlights the leader inherent in each and everyone one of his viewers.
A series of abstract neon shapes reminiscent of the calligraphic scrawling of Cy Twombly will fill the second room of the gallery. Light graffitied on the gallery walls devoid of meaning confronts the viewers’ expectations of ‘the writing’s on the wall’. In the main room of the gallery, ‘Give Me Light’ takes the form of a purpose-built confessional featuring original footage of Kate Moss accompanied by a classical score by Henry Bennett commissioned exclusively for this unique
installation. The model’s figure emerges into focus from white light as ecclesiastically inspired music crescendos, commenting on idolatry, the replacement of religions by the cult of celebrities, the loss of meaning and a persistent obsession of the individual.
Since the early 1990s Zeriahen has worked in the contemporary dance world collaborating with noted choreographers including Philippe Decouflé and Mathilde Monnier. Since then he has transcended dance to create art films, documentaries and commercials that capture audiences through viscerally aesthetic portrayals of human existence. It’s Taken Me All of My Life to Find You compounds his professional and personal experience as he concludes: “It can take one's whole life to know who you really are”.