“Which creature in the morning goes on four legs, at mid-day on two, and in the evening upon three, and the more legs it has, the weaker it be?” This famous riddle was asked to Oedipus by the Sphinx in the famous Greek myth based outside of Thebes. This riddle is also the title to the first piece encountered by The Hut Project currently showing at Limoncello. A pair of Sphinx guard the gallery doors leading into a gold foil filled interior. This piece sets the tone for the entire show. The work projects playfulness, where one knows there will be a bit of discovery, a bit of jest, where the viewer and the context is the focus. If you have not figured the riddle out yet - the answer is man. A nice connection to this piece comes from the press release, where a passage from Alain Robbe-Grillet’s 1957 novel Jealousy is printed detailing the obsessive observations that the main narrator uses to drive the entire novel. From that point the viewer is basically put in there place as a third person observer in this exhibition, to witness and uncover.
Much of the work in this show seems to question the power dynamics between the roles of the artist, gallery staff, viewer and maker. For instance, in the work Un-Fair and Galleria, Galerie, Gallery, the two works showcases cast bronze rocks that have been both worn in the gallery directors and the assistant directors shoes during installs in two separate shows. The work is conceptually framed in the viewers mind through the performance of the director and the assistant directors discomfort leading to a final physical output of a pretentious highly contemporary visual display method. What is left is an idea of and action that manifests into a physical format reflecting (quite literally) the context it was derived from.
Machine Gun Corridor satisfies the reading of an art space context but creates tension through the idea that the setting can be any building corridor that is renovating the premises. Here the camera weaves itself through an obstacle course of aesthetically placed building materials clearly imitating contemporary compositional installations. Perhaps it is a piece that is made for those that are slightly over saturated by contemporary display methods. It is completely refreshing to encounter work that creates impact that refrains from being over the top while also retaining playfulness and light heartedness without losing validity in terms of a serious exploration.
-- David Yu
All images courtesy the artists and Limoncello Gallery London
Images: The Hut Project Which creature in the morning goes on four legs, at mid-day on two, and in the evening upon three, and the more legs it has, the weaker it be?, 2010, Pair of Cast Concrete Sphinxes, Gold Foil Paper, Dimensions Variable; The Hut Project Un-Fair, 2009-10, Bronze, 2-Way Acrylic Mirror, Black Perspex, MDF, H201.5cm x W277cm x D2.1cm; Shelf: W10cmm x D6.5cm & Galleria, Galerie, Gallery, 2009-10, Bronze, 2-Way Acrylic Mirror, White Perspex, MDF, H288.9cm x W25.4cm x D2.1cm; Shelf W10cm x D6.5cm.