Thanks to artist and writer Biljana Jancic for her review of our current exhibition.
A home is a world. Same could be said of a work of art. The concept of a world implies a system of discretely framed relations. Just as the world can imply a totality of a planet or a plane of existence, so too there is an inner world. We are not a unified ‘I’ that exists within the timeless presence of ‘now’, but rather a world composed of layers of memories, projections and ghosts. Artistic process can serve as a way of projecting the complexity of this inner world as imaginary postcards, souvenirs; mental seeds. In the current exhibition at Home@735, artists Sara Hellsing, Vittoria Di Stefano, Lucy O’Doherty, Daniel ‘Ears’ O’Toole and Lin Wei present intimate, implosive and poetic fragments of their worlds.
The projects presented by O’Toole and O’Doherty conjure up portals into dreamscapes, where identities, bodies, objects and shadows become fluid, permeable and ambiguous. O’Toole’s video work, presented in the loungeroom, captures the experience of the psyche in a permanent state of flux. Unlike the branded identities that normally peer out from loungeroom television screens, the identities portrayed by O’Toole are unfixed, time folds around them, we view them through additional layers of distortion. They’re outside our grasp but yet also strangely resonant. Similarly, O’Doherty’s paintings of interior spaces offer windows into parallel realities, into other domestic space, other worlds. They present both domestic tropes which resonate with their exhibition context while also presenting the home as a particular manifestation of the occupiers psyche.
The experience of domesticity frequently oscillates between states of comfort, entrapment, isolation and refuge. The density and depth of habitation is a profound psychological state that is often runs contrary to our experience in the social sphere. In this context, the works of Di Stefano and Wei recall such a psychological implosion. Di Stefano creates objects composed via collisions of sensually evocative materials. These are crafted into geometric forms that can be seen as intimate monuments to private tensions and ruptures. In Wei’s work such a density is exteriorised through the human form. She presents a photographic series featuring figures awkwardly contorted on white plinths. The forms of the figures are caved in on themselves, almost to the point of abstraction. Unlike classical sculptures of human figures these images don’t present ideals of unified perfection but rather conjure complex anxieties.
As in the works of Di Stefano and Wei, Hellsing’s pieces in the exhibition similarly present a personal symbology entangled within dense forms. One series of works she presents consist of miniature glass forms that contain tiny images bearing specific significance to the artist’s past. These tiny vessels of memories are like seeds or kernels compressing personal experiences. However, these dreamy objects invite us to dream alongside them, they are seeds for our imagination. As Gaston Bachelard wrote: ‘In the presence of an image that dreams, it must be taken as an invitation to continue the daydream that created it.’ The works in the exhibition all present such poetic impressions of intimate worlds that invite us in.
Worlds are only identifiable as such in relation to others. They collide, gravitate towards each other, crash, form dependencies and share momentary connections. Such dynamics govern Home@735 as a unique exhibition space that transforms the private world of a residential home into a meeting place for the artists, audiences and residents. The voices of their authors speak in monologues that together are atmospheric and beautifully intrusive. The presence of these artistic projects allows us to reimagine the established order of objects and processes within a domestic space.