Laura Ramon Frontelo

Laura Ramon Frontelo BA (Hons) Fine Art: 3D pathway – This Is Not An Office, 2013 © Dean Dorat

Laura’s art was nominated for the Nova Award 2013, here she talks about the critical thinking behind the piece.

CSM’s Nova nominees are put forward by their Course Leaders and represent the best talent across the degree shows. Here, Laura provides an insight into the work which earned her a prestigious Nova nomination. 

This Is Not An Office

“The workplace as a marquee and the black suit as an egalitarian mark send a message of respect but also of display. Taking these symbols of the everyday working life as a point of departure, This Is Not An Office explores

attitudes towards work and challenges observers’ preconditioned perceptions of

reality.

As a “flaneur” in a daily office routine, I catch figures in chance poses in their ways to their workplaces around The City. They are blind drawn, in about thirty seconds which cause the harmonious bodily proportions to disappear and the human figure emerges distorted on the canvas.

A playful and colourful stance is adopted as a reaction to my feelings of alienation and abandonment that come with working within a corporate environment. A means of negating realism allows me to create an illusionistic, dream-like work atmosphere.

As in amusement parks’ mirrors, the view of the spectator is transformed. This Is Not An Office is an exaggeration and deformity of shapes set in a claustrophobic stage where a fictional scene is rooted in reality producing a dreamy uncertainty about authenticity. The energetic and appealing appearance of the installation turns into a contradiction once the origin of the portrayed subject is manifested. It undercuts our expectations once we discover that we are facing a vulgar digital print inside the box while the original painting remains facing out. The contrast between the flat, two-dimensional printing and the oversized costumes creates an atmosphere where the spectator is invited to become part of the printing at the same time that the printing comes to life, as if the whole thing takes part on the same humorous view.

The fact that the box is on casters could allow multiple locations. It could have been placed anywhere but it is just where it belongs to; a shop windowlike display and make-believe theatrical set that does not seem a bolted-on addition but integral to the building within a semi-public/semi-private corporate environment”.