In 1993 Matt Golden turned down a record deal to take a place at art school. Years later in Germany, over a two-week period, he converted a gallery into a temporary music venue (‘The New Bomonti Club’, Bremen, 2008) where, from the assembled stage, he performed songs under the guise of nomadic musician, Juan Carlode. In wandering between representations of reality and story-telling, real-life and character, he created a complex collision of worlds both authentic and acted, part performance and part real, to invoke an ontologically uncertain realm.
In ‘BISONS’, under the Golden Family moniker, Matt presents ‘He Who Eats The Durian Smells Of Durian’ (2017), a series of photographs in collaboration with Natsue Ikeda and their daughter Nanaho, documenting Juan Carlode’s travels in remote parts of the world where he immerses himself in unfamiliar territories. Through the anachronistic, the spiritual and sacred, Carlode attempts to remedy his growing feelings of disconnect with the modern world: his chronicles include the drug-induced spiritual healing of a sick woman in the Malay jungle; journeying with Aboriginal communities along the Fraser and Nicola rivers of British Columbia and walking the mountain path from which Issa, the Haiku poet, drew inspiration. The resulting photographs have been serialised as standalone images in contemporary style magazines Wonderland and Rollacoaster. The magazines temporarily frame these deliberately timeless and romantic images within a modern vernacular. Here, removed from the magazines, the twenty images are mounted on a vertical wooden stage that has been built from the floorboards of Golden’s studio, which itself was once a venue for live music.
Opposite is ‘Picture A Carving’ (2017), a representation of a picture frame, carved from a solid block of oak, inspired in-part by sitting with a Malay drum-maker apprentice as he hollowed-out a tree trunk using only a long chisel-like tool. Golden’s homage refers once again to how we frame our personal, historical or political narratives, how with enough force one thing can ‘become’ another – a notion that is echoed throughout ‘BISONS’.