7th November – 6th December
Thurs- Sun, 12-5pm
Hope and Sturrock’s work shares certain characteristics: they both use small objects made from plastic that they monumentalise either through scaling-processes or the overlaying of narratives; their work invites the viewer to question the attraction/repulsion of narrative to the object. This need we have to ‘give’ a fate to the stuff of our lives (toys, possessions, filmic and musical culture) exposes our understandable desire (whether conscious or not) to put a leash on fate itself. Fate in this instance covers every shade between the inanely stereotypical (‘ugly’ drama students don’t graduate to be romantic leads, they become character actors whose employment as franchise baddies begets a concomitant industry of ugly action dolls whose eyes are set too closely together in their scarred little heads) to continental accidents of fates such as Caucasians flukily sharing the same landmass with as amenable a pack animal as the horse. Why didn’t proto-African cavalries sweep into Europe upon the backs of zebras? Because zebras in enclosed spaces viciously attack one another and their human handlers. Horses in the same scenario bat their big old eyelashes and stare dreamily into space: roll Neil Young’s ‘Cortez the Killer’, dancing across the water – man & horse vs. man & llama; roll Young’s song as a woozy fireside palliative for actual guilt. This is stuff as both pacifier and enabler.
Whilst faith itself isn’t amenable (the happenchance of genetics and geographical resources), the way in which we project onto the inanimate at least gives us a modicum of control, even if it is merely in terms of substitution. This in turn points to the active role of subsitition in animating the passive: pre-production TV scripts as being inert toys at midnight. Good Golem/ Bad Golem places the viewer in those moments between the faces being cast and the objects being casts adrift. A corollary to this narritival animation is the role of plastic itself – as it is a direct bi-product of our finite reserves of oil it’s possible to conceive of a future of which plastic is seen as a semi-precious material: Plastic as a moment in time just as the domestication of the horse was a moment in time. Where once silk and gun powder constituted the fetishistic and high gross trade between Europe and China, what we receive now from the East are vast amount of plastic toys the mouldings of which are vacuumed formed to fit our own (adult) internal vanities. We project and are the projected. The bleed between these two states forms the back drop to our lives and under pins both the similarities and dissonance between the work of Hope and Sturrock.