27 October – 1 December 2012
Wednesday – Saturday, 11am-5pm
Exhibition preview: Friday 26 October from 6.30pm, as part of South London Art Map October LAST Fridays with Bankside Afterparty
…the images were the result of a reflex action from the brain on the retina under great excitation. They certainly were not hallucinations…
from the lost journals of Nikola Tesla (1856-1943)
Discoveries in the field of light and sound by the scientist Nikola Tesla have been of specific interest to artist Matthew Tickle, but the engineer’s speculations about the relationship between brain, perceptual organs and emotion in the production of images seems curiously pertinent to all the artists in this exhibition.
Initially ambushed at the door by Minna Haukka’s (FI) soundwork, the visitor is taken unawares by a random section of vocabulary rendered uncanny by repetition. The knowledge that the source is a course book issued to Finnish prison officers required to learn English for dealing with international inmates racks up the imaginative associations.
Things get stranger upstairs where Matthew Tickle’s coven of cats with mismatched eyes create a disquieting presence within an otherworldly environment pulsating with randomly controlled RGB light as three Geiger counters switch from one state to another. This quantum mechanical description of a universe where there is no such thing as free will is counterbalanced by a central rope, inducing a decision to be taken at any moment of the visit: whether or not to puncture the ambience by ringing the brass bell suspended in the loft.
Atypically, the Tickle environment coalesces with a series of objects created by Angus Sanders-Dunnachie. This artist’s source material is the ubiquitous stream of images endlessly reproduced as tattoos, commercial signage, cartoons and clip art. He collects these familiar signs – “condensed ideograms for romantic ideas or aspirations” – and gives them new form in another dimension: hand-sawing a motif several times to assemble a sculptural object, rendering a throwaway scribble on a sheet of Perspex or committing an emblem to moving image.
Tickle’s low-tech focus on the eye as a prime perceptual organ is picked up downstairs on FlatScreen 1 where Thomas Kvam (NO) contrasts the eye of a horse with the all-seeing virtual lens of the World Wide Web. Issues of perception are comically expanded in an animation on FlatScreen 2 that irreverently lampoons western fears of Eurabia.
Image: Angus Sanders-Dunnachie, Arizona Bay 2012, image courtesy the artist