THE ORDER OF THINGS
Paul Eachus, Chris Jones, Alexis Milne, David Turley
Friday March 1st 6.30-8.30pm
Friday March 1st 7.30-8.00pm | The Cult of Rammelzee (Alexis Milne, Jezza Ho, Luke Mozes, Tex Royale)
Saturday March 2nd – Saturday March 30th 2013
Wednesday–Saturday 11am–6pm or by appointment
A perambulator wheel, wire-netting, string and cotton wool are factors having equal rights with paint. The artist creates through choice, distribution and metamorphosis of the materials.
Kurt Schwitters, Der Sturm, 1919
The advent of collage and assemblage was arguably one of the most important developments in 20th century Modernism that led to the multiplicitous explosion of Postmodernism and current art practice. It has fundamentally influenced the nature of making and the use of materials since 1912 to the current day, from Picasso to Schwitters to Rauschenberg to Barbara Kruger, George Barber and recent Turner Prize winners Mark Wallinger and Elizabeth Price. The embracing of ‘low’, found and acquired materials and images was and is a method that elevates the process in itself as equal to the consideration of the final object. This enables the artist to appropriate from existing sources, thereby rendering the whole of culture, manufacturing and commerce as legitimate and direct source material.
This suggests an element of collaboration, or at least shared authorship, between artist and the originator of materials. The artist is in a sense curating his or her own works by researching, selecting, collating, appropriating and combining. Evident in the four artists featured in The Order of Things, they each employ similar drives to make manifestly different types of work. Similarly, the show as a whole can be seen as a collaborative artwork in itself, with dialogues between gallery director and artists allowing in places the former to influence the latter and vice versa.
Paul Eachus primarily makes photographs of constructions that he has assembled in his studio. By collecting various objects and arranging them specifically into conflicting fragmented narratives he forces a reinterpretation of things. Eachus takes from the real world and orders objects and situations that might otherwise be unrelated, and overloads the studio scene with obsessive repetition. The spectator is then denied first-hand experience of this set of events by being presented with a photograph rather than the installation itself, suggesting a desire to indicate information whilst preventing full disclosure. The process is revealed but the meaning of the constituent parts is not.
Chris Jones is also concerned with the fragmentation of assorted references, where multiple parts are collected, rearranged and reinterpreted. The Design of Pursuit is a large scale wall mounted collage. Images and form vie with each other to create a whole where we are uncertain of what is secondarily sourced and what is hand manipulated by the artist. Extraneous information is allowed to leak and merge until one part of the work infects the other. Referring to the interior of a cave where stalactites encumber the picture plane, The Design of Pursuit is a dynamic and complex piece that asks us to consider the correlation between the natural and man-made, and subsequently how we assimilate and process received information. There is a strong suggestion of the archaeological, both visually and figuratively, but equally we might be looking at a melting section of an obsessive’s information board.
Alexis Milne combines video, installation and performance to investigate the roots of subcultural uprising, most recently that of Hip Hop culture. The Order of Things will feature a version of Your Eyes are Dead, which was recently exhibited at the International Film Festival Rotterdam in conjunction with Joey Ramone Gallery. Your Eyes are Dead utilises sampled and cut-up imagery to make a ritualistic meditation on the adverse urban conditions that enabled graffiti and B-Boy subcultures to take root and thrive. Collaging his own performance The Westway (featuring the Cult of Rammellzee), which pays homage to the first graffiti piece in London by New York’s Futura 2000; footage of Robert Moses’ Cross Bronx Expressway; and cult films that feature the South Bronx as a dystopian backdrop including Wolfen, Stations of the Elevated and Wildstyle, Milne presents an oblique investigation into the story of Hip Hop and the artist’s own relationship with it.
David Turley makes something closer to assemblage, where the collection or acquisition of the component parts is paramount to the creation of the final piece. Turley embraces the notion of chance, where unexpected meetings, dialogues or found / collected objects might lead him to the extent of moving countries in order to complete a work. Intrinsic to this process is a sense of unfolding narrative, where events and artist prompt and respond accordingly. Themes including memory, lost histories, religious ceremony and compulsion underpin his work, as initially disconnected acts, places and objects are combined to reveal underlying or unexpected interconnections.