BRINK explores limits, extremes and the unease caused at the point of shifting perception. Exhaustion, perpetuity and frustration feature prominently, resonating with the frenetic landscape of contemporary London.
Many of the works in the exhibition reference other artworks, artists, or cultural artefacts. These references and transformations provide historical points of departure whilst suggesting the artist’s role in exploring contemporary conditions.
Jean-Paul Kelly’s Movement in Squares (2014), juxtaposes the optical investigations of Bridget Riley’s Op-art paintings developed in the 1960s, with handheld video footage of real estate repossession in 21st Century America, and a voice-over narration from filmmaker David Thompson’s 1979 profile of Riley’s work. This creates a jarring set of relations, between visual and political abstraction and visceral experience.
Eric Pauwel’s film Violin Fase (1986) explores the physical and visual limitations of filmic representation as it becomes intertwined with Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s somatically intense contemporary dance piece to Steve Reich’s 1967 work, Violin Phase. Both Reich and De Keersmaeker were pioneering forces in developing their respective fields of American minimalist music and Belgian contemporary dance, challenging form and convention within their respective art forms.
Chris Saunders’ Long Walk (1994), a seemingly endless movement through the empty office space of mid 90s capitalist speculation in The City, recalls the work of Richard Long, a British artist renowned for his iconic land art and performance work similarly developed during the 1960s.This referencing of earlier artistic practice creates a physical and psychological tension within the works; drawing into question as we travel across time, the cultural significance of the works but also those to which they refer. This self-referential thread coupled with moments of extreme physical endurance or literal exhaustion, at times makes for an uneasy viewing experience, blurring subjectivities between audience, artist and artwork.
A screening of Priit Pärn’s 1992 animation Hotel E will accompany the exhibition on the afternoon of Saturday 16 April. Produced in Estonia at the time of independence during the collapse of the USSR, the work sits in an ambivalent position switching between a sterile pastel-coloured vision of the American dream and a grim dystopic vision of Eastern European drones.