Keyelee Lawler-Dormer 'Untitled' Sound Work
Jacqui Seymour 1992/2009, Untitled Bach Series
Tias Fristiasa 'Untitled' (White Works)
Question: Why so many seemingly untitled works? What happened to the art of naming? Perhaps it isn't relevant in this show, and the artists feel as though their works do not need proper names...only secondary ones following the word untitled...
But this got me thinking about the role of titling. Recently in my Talk Week crit, a masters student deliberately withheld the titles of her works as an experiment to see whether the installation itself was enough information in a cold reading. Perhaps this is what is happening here in this show? A clever ploy to make us think harder, or perhaps, make us think more linear.
Yet the title of the show is Kaleidoscope, and the accompanying catalogue states that it means 'looking at beautiful forms'. So perhaps this show is really more about visual aesthetic as opposed to concept or narrative, hence why there is no need for a title? Sure the show provides a lot of optical interest through means of largely printed photographs, delicate print work and a giant 'soft space'. But then there's also Josh's disgustingly abject tanks and Keyelee's strange perspex contraption blasting noise, sound and other sorts of interactive confusion. Her work is not working with vision, but that of aural sensation and that of touch.
So it leaves me to ponder how mixed this show is. On one hand, we have the comfortable (Clare's photographs reminded some of the softness of domestic placemats from the 70s) and on the other, jarring.
Kaleidoscopes are essentially different broken particles being manipulated through reflection to create a whole vision. And that's how I see this show. A strange mix of pieces coming together to do something...but I'm not sure what yet. I also refuse to accept that they are only coming together to delight in the aesthetic.
Further reflection (the kind that occurs mentally) is needed but in the meantime, go see the show at St Paul Street Gallery 3.
p.s. To keep in mind the actual purpose for the Pilot programme is that it is a professional practice paper, and that the actual brief states that we do not need to be striving towards creating links or a thematically cohesive show, only that we need to put on a show and that our work needs to be in it. In fact, we are discouraged from adopting overt themes.
This is probably why people can be perplexed when entering a Pilot show, we automatically try to look for links that we have been perhaps conditioned to expect, and we are sorely disappointed when we do not find it. This should not be a sadness towards the artists creating the show as we are only conceding to the brief.
Sometimes though, there is a thin thread that connects a Pilot together. When this thread has been identified and pushed with clever subtlety, a show can be more than an ordinary fulfilment of brief. I think something along these lines could be happening within this show but I also think it that it is something that nobody has put their finger on quite yet. Maybe such a thread is too clever to reveal itself to me in ravaged post talk week state. I also question whether the artists themselves know this thread, only because the catalogue seems more concerned with individual, isolated ideas than that of a greater whole.
The rambling must stop.