Friday, October 17, 2008
Until Never Gallery
15 October- 15 November 2008
The gallery’s walls push forward Locust Jones work into the centre of the space. Violently. Towards the viewer. Along each wall, panels of white paper span from end to end. At first the panoramic pieces only reveal tortured black ink on thick Italian paper, the surface of which bends and warps as if its been assaulted, a result of either the physical weight of ink on the page or an after-effect of the drying process, changing the density of the affected areas surface.
This brazen attack of ink on paper is emulated in the forms created with the ink, which seem to become more recognisable and detailed the longer one looks. No more does the work appear to be an exercise in replicating monochromatic, expressive splatter paintings of the 1960's as it did when first entering the room. The vertical lines become buildings, skyscrapers, no, more like... monuments on charcoaled landscapes, burnt to the ground, precariously angled aircraft in anxious flight patterns, blackened skeletal wire bridges, men, dogs, gasmasks littering the ground. Each mark earning more respect with every passing second as more detail becomes apparent and as such becomes recognised as a deliberate process as opposed to leaving it to being a random aesthetically fortunate accident.
Looking back across the work, familiar elements that were thought to be known deliver a little more visual information than they did before and change again for the viewer: the wire bridges become rusting hulks in disrepair, the men fascist soldiers, the dogs suddenly rabid- feral, and the gasmasks become the genocidal remains: the skulls of innocent men, women and children. In this way Jones lets the viewer in on a prophetic experience, seeing through his eyes at governments falling, turbulent economies and the age-old anger man can have for his brother. Jones has only foretold to a certain point though, making the aftermath of this very real mantic vision proposedly bleak but altogether unknown.
(for additional text there is a limited supply of brochures about Locusts Jones work from a previous show, enquire with gallery staff for a copy if they are available)
Until Never Gallery:
2nd flr 3-5 Hosier Lane, (Enter from Rutledge Lane), Melbourne CBD
Gallery hours: Wednesday to Saturday 12-6pm
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Karen Woodbury Gallery
15 October- 8 November 2008
Dead men don’t talk. Sam Jinks new exhibition of work now showing at Karen Woodbury gallery is no exception. His work, lifeless but incredibly realistic sculptures of people (flesh, hair, faces), laid out on white slabs for the viewers voyeuristic pleasure. The frozen human form is captured by Jinks (in part, or in whole) for our eyes to become lazy, to wander, and drift casually over the shells of people we don’t know. This priverlige the viewer is granted is by way of a few different factors, one of these reasons is the subdued and demure of the sculptures own eyes which are either politely closed (as is with the ‘wallwork’ faces) or looking downward, seemingly defeated (as is with the two full body sculptural works).
The scale of the work doesn’t overpower the viewer either. The work, and the space it consumes inside the gallery does not threaten the viewers own scale. Even the presentation of the work allows the viewer comfortable viewing of lifelike, intimate details. The faces, which are almost like studies are hung at a easily observable height, much like paintings and are viewed similarly, despite their dimensionality whilst the full body sculptures lay both below us, pinned to the plinth via a combination of exhaustion, gravity and judging by their expression a significant state of apathy. All these nuances within the work do cultivate an atmosphere of guilt free observance, looking upon the flaws and exposure of flesh but there is one overlying, greater cause that gives the viewer this freedom and it was difficult to pinpoint because it is so evident and that is the soulless, lifeless nature of the sculptures.
Despite their triumph of being an uncannily realistic representation of the human shell, they are dead to the viewer and don’t have or establish any personal connection. Which is good isn’t it? If that personal, intimate connection was there, strung between the viewer and the work like an invisible thread of empathy and understanding: we would be embarrassed of our gazes, looking away out of respect, not wanting to pry, one would not be able to view the detail, and skilled handiwork Jinks has to offer us.
(there is a fantastic, FREE, full colour, 8 page, folded panel, catalogue available with a written article by Mark Feary on the exhibition titled: “Coma”)