Exhibition runs: Oct 8th – Oct 30th Gallery open: Friday - Sunday, 12-6pm
Angus-Hughes 26 Lower Clapton Rd (at the junction of Urswick Rd) London E5 0PD
If Richard Ducker’s previous sculptures turned the detritus of consumer culture into monuments to our obsession with things, this new work turns monumental sculptural tropes into dumb chunks of material poised precariously between ugliness and fascination.
‘Blockhead’ seems to speak of rough marble as a trace of the hand of the artist, yet its grammar and syntax – from the material used, polystyrene, to the disproportionate metal ‘plinth’ from which it collapses – do not quite grasp and relay an intended meaning. Like dyslexic writing, it leaves us uncertain as to whether it is profoundly poetic or badly structured. ‘Dark Matter’ appears to quote a monochromatic tradition, but on close inspection the black shards, insulating material covered in flock, have just as much in common with the discarded props of a pre GCI sci-fi movie, when such concoctions had to make do as interstellar debris floating in deep space or the rough surface of a new planet. Too casually unfinished to convince as a plaster model, ‘Untitled’ (2010) articulates its own awkward pointlessness.
Failing to resolve into either sense or nonsense, Ducker’s sculptures turn the artist’s own alienation from language into a shared bodily experience. They disturb the connection between form and meaning, between body and the ‘clean and proper self’ of a subjectivity that has fully entered into language and the semiotic, yet they do not allow us to wallow in abjection and the symbolic. In Ducker’s work, now as before, we are deceived by objects and failed by language, left in conflict between desire and meaning, daftness and poetry.
--Patrizia Di Bello, October 2011
The work of Philip Hausmeier explores in a range of media, including installation, video and collage, bodily perception and its environmental correlations, and particularly concentrates on the physical and psychological conditions that define the self as an impermanent and fragmented entity. The body is seen as a base material from which to examine potential meanings of subjective feeling.
‘To the other shore’ (2007) shows a projected loop of struggling birds endlessly falling. Immersed in this almost hypnotic sequence the viewer begins to falls with them, and finding nowhere to rest, fluctuates between the filmed image and an internal change of state becoming conscious. This ambiguity between image and subjective feeling is further investigated in Hausmeier’s new series of collages called ‘Uncertain Stages’. Magazine images of musicians and singers caught in their emotional exaggeration on stage are cut and arranged to reform the image to the edge of hovering between abstract formalism and the remains of self-expression. The body as a means for externalizing emotion appears to be in conflict with its surroundings and other bodies, broken and fragmented. Yet at the same time the works seem to present themselves as poetic plays of light and darkness, functioning as extensions of a torn and unstable subjectivity.