âCuriouser and Curiouser!"
Alice's celebrated exclamation marks the moment in which her disappointment melts away as she returns once again to the extraordinary and the impossible from what appeared to be a premature end to her adventures early in the book. And the interrelation between fantasy and expectation, between the dreams and disappointments that traverse her journey through Wonderland echo the endless projections and fluctuations that punctuate our own consciousness from cradle to grave. Art is one window on the human obsession with fantasy. And in this show CBP brings together three artists who approach the subject of dream and fantasy in distinct ways.
Annie Kevans presents a series of portraits of the WAMPAS baby stars. A 1920s promotional stunt devised by the Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers, the WAMPAS were an annual retinue of 13 movie debutantes; girls tipped to be the next big thing in the rapidly evolving West Coast movie industry. At that moment the glamour and fantasy of Hollywood deification was within apparent reach of every girl, yet Joan Crawford and Ginger Rodgers are exceptions to largely un-noteworthy careers. Kevans' entrancing portraits of these forgotten starlet-hopefuls appear to capture all sides of their fantasy;
the expectation, the longing and the resignation.
In Boo Ritson's Prairie View, TX, we are invited into a dreamlike, almost Hitchcockian, scene that provides a photographic setting for the depicted woman's dream. Yet with the subject covered in impasto paint the line between âpainted' dream and âreal' photography is irrevocably blurred conferring an almost synaesthetic quality to the experience. And in her treatment of food Ritson lashes ever thicker layers of painted fantasy into delicious-looking
morsels, emphasising the comforting, reality-dampening relationship we so often have with food.
Finally, Francisca Valdivieso's porcelains represent our fantasies themselves. Alluding to our earliest childhood dreams, when we start the inescapable Lacanian process of constantly expecting the impossible, her beautiful and fragile works are fantastical renderings of children's ingenuity. When looking at her work the viewer becomes wrapped in a universe of childlike otherworldly figures based on myths, folklore, storytelling and imagination. In going from one work to the next, we replicate our perpetual pursuit of new fantasies. Whether realised or frustrated, we will instinctively find new fantasies to replace them.
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