Julian Wolkenstein is a Media Artist based in Sydney. His practice draws inspiration from a range of divergent interests and abilities that overlap in the consideration of the ongoing role and efforts of human mediation, of both the material world and that of the ethereal.
Underpinning this is an effort to keep in mind a position of the playful and the poetic.
Touch Liminal, 2019
Web based Augmented Reality weblink, dimensions variable, location variable
Free to anyone with IOS or Android enabled device.
Touch Liminal is there but not there, and only accessible where technology imposes its visual payload upon those willing. If touch is that most intimate of senses, this remains a somewhat unsatisfying experience, to touch, but never quite touch.
Two hands forever slowly circle each other, never meeting, one ( annoying ) hand just bounces around pointing, and two hands when attempting to touch go through each other.
The "pencil of nature” continues to be refined into convincing audio visual apparitions and AR is a stop gap solution before more fully immersive experiences. For now it's shiny playfulness masks an absence and the sense of being stuck at the threshold of the visual.
Supported by Code on Canvas, creative technology partner.
By The Harbour, 2018
For a while I lived in Elizabeth Bay on Sydney Harbour and walked around the area, especially Rushcutters Bay. This forms a visual reaction to the surreal shiny harbour that underpins Sydney.
Audio by GHOSTGIRL
"Sorta Moribana" 2018, is a photographic series of arranged flowers turned upside down in search of an alternate sculptural beauty.
Moribana is a Japanese word meaning "piled up flowers" and denotes a style of Ikebana or flower arrangement. It often symbolizes a relationship between the world of nature and that of the human, and seeks a balance and harmony.
Conceptually, the flowers here are not an arrangement that has been disarranged or have fallen over, but they are decisively tipped and constructed. Visually, rather than drawing the eye up to the flower, a tee pee shape is formed with leaning stems on top and the flowers, the delicate and valued part, on the bottom.
X,Y & Entropy, 2016
Multiple channel Digital Display, 4k, audio
3D generated environment, an imagined world of consisting of planes and pixels with out depth.
Multiscreen installation at 2016 Vivid at The Galeries, Sydney.
"But in the end the sofa had to go, it had a personality clash with the fridge."
An overheard sentence, possibly mis-overheard whilst walking down a city street in Sydney.
Most probably they were talking about Post History, beyond when everything is “smart" and we have moved to the online world of planes, hard edges, thin structures moulded into form with as much weight as a thought.
A speculative place.
Pony Pin-Ups Series
Of course we view our animals with fondness, we often bestow our animals with human traits, little wigs, clothes, and such. But with such a majestic creature as a horse our reaction is less whimsical, the size and nature of a horse commands respect. They have been alongside humans for so much of our history.This Pin-up series takes dressing animals up to a extreme, working with the horses natural hair, additional hair extensions and over all grooming with dramatic lighting provides a wry humour. Our reaction is mixed, its not whimsical, but it is definitely not serious either, we are left questioning our relation to, and our projections on animals.
This is an ongoing Photography project with a new Pony Pin Up image added every few years.
The series has been exhibited in the UK, Sweden, USA and Australia. It's widely loved online, has been featured on The NBC Today show, amongst others and greets thirsty Polo players at the bar in the Coworth Park Hotel ( where Prince Harry and Megan Markle stayed the night before the Wedding ).
"Misty" in the Bar at The Coworth Park Hotel, Ascot.
These images are available as Limited Editions at Lumas Galleries
The Museum of Helsinki
Lufthansa "Postiche Collection"
After many years of intense research and diligent attention to detail Julian Wolkenstein and Paul Sharp introduce you to the fascinating and stimulating world of postichery.
Combining rare original postiche with meticulous replicas created by technical adviser Tamara Maynes, we are given, for the first time, a wholly unique insight into this previously undiscovered sector of Gender Studies.
For the first time, a number of these wonderful rare examples have been brought together for public display, as part of The 2011 Museum of Helsinki Lufthansa Postiche Collection.
The project, part of the Slow Photography Movement, is beautifully documented in a Museum of Helsinki Publication "The Postiche Collection" - a Limited Edition catalogue designed by Hampus Jageland.
In association with:
Lufthansa and the Museum of Helsinki.
Curated by Dr. Jullian Emile Wolkenstein PhD and Paul D. Sharp MFA BSC.
Chief Technical Supervisor, Tamara Maynes
With special thanks to the Belgorod Yakauleuski History Museum,
the Ettrick Kirk Community Trust,
the Mohamed Khider University of Biskra,
Irfan Mithaiwala and family,
Trottiscliffe Heritage Trust,
the McKenzie River District Ranger Authority.
And our partners:
The Arthur Drayton Memorial Foundation.
The Works Done For You, 2013
96 x 76 cm
15 x A5 paper cards and ink
When asked to be part of a group exhibition around the theme of autoportraits ( self portraits ) the first thought that came to mind was - a self portrait is fine, if you re a painter. But as a photographer, where subject trumps the expressive hand of a painter, then its a different matter entirely.
So rather than a photograph of Julian, face to camera in an earnest, forlorn wallflower pose, or in costumed Napoleonic glory, he rejected not only images, but anything pictorial.
Thinking of the how prevalent the self is conveyed in todays world and the symbiotic relationship of the sitter to the viewer led to questioning the validity of any portrait.
An image - a photographic portrait of Julian Wolkenstein - is given to a commercial research / focus group.There is no other information except this image.
They are asked to comment.
The group was fed pizza. (Fig.1)
Yet this failed to soften some responses, with one respondent concluding that Wolkenstein was “prone to jealous rages and substance abuse”. Another was more generous, saying that Wolkenstein looked “like a young Nick Nolte”.
How much can we shape the views of others, and how much is pre-existing assumptions and prejudices?
The artwork is made from 15 focus group sitters handwritten responses on A5 cards, tiled together.
Installation view on multiple screens for Vivid Sydney at The Galeries
Symmetrical Portrait Series
A series of 12 portraits where the left side and right sides have been flipped and reconnected to create two different symmetrical versions of the sitters.
The success of this series led me to develop the iphone app "Echoism.org" where anyone could upload and symmetrical-ise themselves to be included on an online gallery website.
There is a myth, some say a science, suggesting people who have more symmetrical faces are considered more “ attractive “.
If you are made symmetrical, do you consider yourself more beautiful, less so, or is it just weird? Or is it you at all? Do you have a best side? What is to be said of left and right brain dominance?
This is a series of photographic portraits completed in 2010. The subjects were specifically cast for their individual facial features. They were photographed front to camera and in the same position. They were asked not to express emotions or character.
This initial study focusing on facial symmetry, is part of a larger piece revolving around facial features, facial proportions and facial symmetry.
A Gentle Wander Through The Uncanny Valley
(This Robot has 27 Artificial Muscles Inside her Face. Currently 20 Parts Can Be Moved By Them To Create a Variety of Expressions) , 2016
594 x 841 mm / A1 hoarding posters.
Is a photographic series playing with the notion of authentically replicating the human - the promised future. One of augmentation, robotics, artificial intelligence. Science endeavours to define what it is in fact to be human in order to implement these, a sort of paradox of installing “presence”.
More Human Than Human
Images were printed as hoarding posters and placed around the entry for the 2016 Art & About x Golden Age Cinema & Bar present 'Blade Runner' outdoor screening on top of Goulburn Street Carpark in Sydney.
Gravity's Got Me Down
Sort of Sisyphus-ian
2019 Touch, Gaffa Gallery, Sydney
2018 Unseen, 541 Space, Sydney
2017 Like a Horse, Fotografska, Stockholm,
Offsite, Gaffa Gallery, Sydney.
2016 “More Human Than Human”, Art & About, NSW
“21/06/16” An Exhibition of Time, UNSW AD Space, Sydney.
Here and Now, StirRup Gallery, Sydney.
2015 Mug Shot, Gallery Ecosse, Exeter, NSW
2014 Beams Festival, Sydney
2013 Auto Portrait, Gallery Ecosse, Exeter, NSW
Head On Momento Photobook Exhibition, State Library of NSW, Sydney
Laugh Out Loud, LaTrobe Regional Gallery, Victoria
2012 The Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize, Sydney
The Kodak Salon Prize, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne
1 : 2 : 1 and Other Inquiries Into Identity, Dancemakers Centre for Creation, Toronto
2011 Changing Lanes Photographic Exhibition, Laneways Festival, Sydney
2010 Association of Photographers Annual Exhibition, The AOP Gallery, London
MTV Exit Foundation Exhibition, Mills Gallery, Sydney
2009 Domestic Animal, Webb Gallery, Texas
2007 Biennale des Agents Associés Exhibition, Paris
2006 Association of Photographers Annual Exhibition, The AOP Gallery, London
2005 Association of Photographers Annual Exhibition, The AOP Gallery, London
2003 “Everybody”, First Draft Gallery, Sydney
“Fluff”, Wren Gallery, Sydney.
2013 Head On Momento Photobook Awards, Finalist
2012 The Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize, Highly Commended
The Kodak Professional Excellence in Photomedia Prize at
Centre for Contemporary Photography, Overall Winner
International Photography Awards, Deeper Perspective, Honourable Mention
2010 Association of Photographers U.K. Photographers Awards,
Creative Review Magazine U.K. 2010 Photography Annual
2008 Communication Arts Magazine 49th Photography Annual
2007 Communication Arts Magazine 48th Photography Annual
Association of Photographers U.K. Photographers Awards Bronze
2005 Communication Arts Magazine, Interactive Award