Realty Reflections (coN)

The recent installation in the AVA Gallery space led to two significant insights. One was regarding the activation of the space through presence. It would appear that ritualising this presence helps to activate the space in an altered state. By this I mean the audience are somehow more connected to the work rather than viewing it from outside wondering what they are being told. This altered state could be simply that they are more sympathetic due to the artist’s disarming manner or more interestingly that meaning itself is derived on a more experiential level.

I chose to wear a dressing gown because of the sense of displacement that could arise but I am happy to report that it was not so “other” that it caused a rift. I ask myself is this stage craft or ritual? Or both? The idea of art aspiring for a self-sustainable form like music is a necessary illusion. I mean the striving for an essence may be futile but trying results in something resonant that bridges the specific and the universal. Bridging is something that Jim Dine (another fan of the dressing gown) was good at. Whilst his work lacks the iconic and virtuoso touch of Rauschenberg it definitely explores the paradox of the artist trying to shake off their own shadow. He revels in the specificity of the personal not in a self-aggrandising way but in a direct way that seems to share the same wonder at the everyday as the English romantic poets.

here’s me in-canting under the moon

shot by Dean Todd


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