NULL AND VOID
2– 25 April 2010
Thursday 1 April 6 – 9 PM
‘Words, Words, fucking words - stuck in my throat not as the song I was intending, more like “a mouth full of feathers”, as Tom Waits once described the laboured process of song writing. Dumb, stupid and mute, I am deceived. Deceived by the world of objects and the language to express them.’
In this supposed age of austerity, Ducker’s new works transform the consumerist object to reference the body as a site where language is a conflict between the desired and the expressed. By evoking the monumental and revealing the formal void of the object, the work explores this site of disenchantment. It is a case of ‘wrong place, wrong time.’
Richard Ducker’s sculpture continues to surprise the viewer and defy categorization; his ideas and objects are influenced by diverse sources and paradigms that he brings together with a characteristic bravura. The sculptural objects he makes are at times both somber and mischievous, often imbued with a sassy knowingness. Straying deliberately into various genres such as the sexually charged fetish object or metaphorically overloaded ‘memento mori’, we encounter a rich conflation of image and object that uses and abuses our notions of taste and cliché and turns them upside down. Success in Ducker’s work lies in use of process and skilful manipulation of these diverse physical elements that add up to a kind of dyslexic personal poetry and grabs us by the collar with both humor and pathos.
Matt Franks, 2008, Artist, Subject Leader in Sculpture, Camberwell College of Art
The use of cement in Richard Ducker’s most recent sculptures emphasises a kind of death, or a modernist monumentality, but the objects it coats and with which it is juxtaposed evoke nostalgia, myths soaked in dreams, and fairy tales gone wrong. If a domestic interior is evoked, it is one in which homely things have sprouted aggressive appendages, grown unexpected textures, or multiplied into viral aggregates, as if to embody the nightmares that commodity fetishes might dream of if they fell asleep. Like Proust’s Madeline dipped in tea, they evoke memories and sensations according to a logic that combines cultural association with phenomenological fantasies of sensual experiences, often clashing within the same piece.
Patrizia Di Bello, 2008, Professor, School of History of Art, Film and Visual Media, Birkbeck
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