APT Gallery, Deptford
10-27 November (Late opening last Friday 25th Nov until 8pm)
The scope of this exhibition: 'Humanity's hunt for the amazing, the epic and the unimagined' initially seemed too multi-faceted to formulate a coherent exhibition.
However, the emphasis is not on the spectacular, rather man's often unquenched thirst for it, and this should be the explored facet here. Moreover, is it novelty or beauty we seek in our environment, does it have an evolutionary function? Are our imagined worlds bound by what is conceivable in the physical world? Should this lust for wonder lead to invention?
IMAGE: ʻWell when I was a Ladʼ James Jeff Lindley
There were a few stand out pieces in the show that threw some interesting arguments into the mix. James Jeff Lindley's 'A Future Past' a video work comprising various development projects in Britain and beyond over the past 50 or so years. With a nauseating Disney soundtrack we are invited to view with the fresh eyed optimism of a 1950s public the projects we
now know to have not held the glory we were promised (particularly apt as we approach completion of the Olympic promiseland) . In one frame we are presented with Council housing projects with the bitter taste of Thatcherism in our mouths. Adjacent to this Lindley's 'Saying Series' addresses the human propensity to view the past through rose tinted glasses, the work comprises a series of drawings, linguistic cliches pasted on pictorial cliches boast such parental gems as 'Well, when I was a lad'.
Luke Ottridge's 'Singularity' utilising monochrome twin screen mimicry and a vast bone in the foreground managed a bizarre Gestaltian figure ground shifting in my attention, the overall effect drowning the subjects. Lindley and Otteridge between them highlighting the roles of memory and perception in our quest for the novel.
IMAGE: ʻLagoonʼ Jera May
Ironically I wasn't so drawn to the more beautiful pieces in the show, which in the context of this exhibition only seemed to serve to reinforce the fact we are drawn to pretty things rather than address why: The hedonist over the inquisitor. Jera May's 'Lagoon' sat somewhere comfortably inbetween, drawn to it like a moth to a flame. Like Lindley, May layers cliche, the idyllic churchyard scene is cut up and a lagoon projected through it's negative. The painting
takes a back seat to the projection, seemingly our forever hungry eyes are increasingly dissatisfied by subtle beauty. There is a lot worth seeing in this show, and a few artists to keep those peepers on.
Rachel Price South London Art Map