CGP LONDON: BAKER’S DOZEN - 11 Nov 2009 to 13 Dec 2009
18 x 30 cm
Oil on canvas
Marietta Davis, Marc Elsener, Justin Hibbs, Tom Humphreys, Caroline McCambridge, Jordan McKenzie, Elodie Pong, Gill Ord, Sally Osborn, Magali Reus, Elisa Sighicelli, John Strutton, Shaan Syed
Curated by Clare Goodwin
Baker’s Dozen is the last in a series of six exhibitions organised for CGP over the past two years by Clare Goodwin and Liz Murray. It’s curious, perhaps, that given free rein to do exactly as they wished both these artist-curators have opted to communicate their interests and concerns via that ubiquitous curatorial vehicle – the themed group show. One might interpret Goodwin’s use of this, the final slot in the programme, as a reaction to the process, or an open letter of admiration from one artist to a group of others. By refusing to actively stage a game of conceptual ping pong between the works of this 13 strong international dozen, Goodwin allows a sense of the fragile interdependency – between artwork and exhibition concept; curator, artist and viewer – to surface.
Video artist and photographer Marietta Davis uses the self-portrait as a device through which to examine female identity and the personal and societal factors that shape it. Stereotypical characters and ideas appear to free-fall through, or become snagged upon, absurd, strangely charming time-based narratives.
Marc Elsener’s landscape paintings are loaded with unexpected details. The pastoral status quo is ruptured time and again by the raw hues of his palette and facets of urban reality that appear to have recently landed within each picture plane.
Modernist and Brutalist architectural encounters meet geometric painterly ones in the collages of Justin Hibbs. Found or borrowed photographic images form the basis of his investigation into the ‘real’ as contestable representational territory.
Tom Humphreys’ objects, paintings and prints hover in the mind’s eye between states like thoughts in formulation or fixed ideas cracking under the demands of a stress test. His humorous and parodical handling of materials and techniques lead one in and out of various dilemmas on taste and the politics of production.
Caroline McCambridge takes an improvisational approach to the selection, assembly and positioning of stuff. ‘Monkey Monday’ 2008, is a hanging cluster of familiar materials — the anthropomorphic and frame like qualities of which make an associative thaumatrope of the object-context relationship.
Jordan McKenzie’s performance, ‘Monsieur Poo-Pourri Takes a Stroll’, might be seen as something of a gift or goodwill gesture in the spirit of the ‘Baker’s Dozen’, given that it will only exist for the duration of the private view. Mackenzie will turn the Situationist notion of the derive on its head, for his fictional flâneur does not walk to cover ground but illustrate the inherent absurdity of this act of ‘leisure’.
Gill Ord makes partially abstract paintings that challenge perception of familiar symbolic and representational motifs. The drawing shown here, of an architectural structure in the landscape, situates the viewer between the plan and the sketch: an assumption made about, or an impression garnered from, a physical space.
There is a fragility to Sally Osborn’s minimal sculptural practice — the slight placement of ephemera removed from original context or cut out of material origins — that leaves one thinking less of form and substance than the decisions and actions that brought them into (and could just as easily usher them out of) existence.
Video artist Elodie Pong frames human relations and cultural conventions as if manipulable facets of an absurd contemporary play. In her 2006 film ’Je suis une Bombe’, clichéd perspectives on female desire are undermined by the antics of a panda-suited dancer.
Sculptor Magali Reus walks a playful, strategic line between the happy accident and high formality. ‘Random Stranding’, 2009, is at once a simple, if aesthetically fortuitous, arrangement of metal-workshop off cuts and an evocative minimal landscape fraught with sculptural tension.
Elisa Sighicelli makes video works that confound expectations – on the behaviour of light, the parameters of image making and the representation of time. In ‘Untitled (The Party is Over)’, 2009, a video projection of a firework display in reverse, sparks of matter appear sucked through, rather than projected upon, the doily-blanket histology of the night sky.
Stream-of-consciousness commentaries on music, art and social history veritably sputter out of the painting-and-prop-laden installations of John Strutton, as if from a sprinkler on the brink. This new commission for CGP involves a technological journey in and around works recently made.
Shaan Syed’s recent paintings bear testament to the spectacular particulars of the music event: the vertiginous architecture of an arena, perhaps, or in the case of his ‘Shoegazing’ series in evidence here, the hyper-real chromatics induced by the hot, emotional and light-saturated situation within.
Preview: Sunday 8th November 2009, from 1 to 4 pm
Featuring ‘Monsieur Poo-Pourri Takes a Stroll’ a durational performance by Jordan McKenzie
Exhibition: 11 November to 13 December 2009
Wednesday to Sunday: 11am to 4pm
Tube: Jubilee Line to Canada Water
Buses: 1, 47, 188, 199, 225, 381, C10, P12