Josef Albers has said that 'what counts is seeing, coupled with fantasy, with imagination'. A widely renowned color-theorist and artist, Albers finds that slight shifts in perception, color, and perspective can result in significant change in reception and meaning, a heightened sensitivity to reality, and stimulation to a previously unchallenged sense of awareness. Taking this as a starting point, the work exhibited further takes cues from meaning, language, and communication, the exhibition projects a series of views of the world as indefinable, in-flux, and in some instances, entirely void of meaning, or playful.
Mysteries brings together nine international artists who challenge reality to arrive at new modes of communication and meaning through the perspectives in their work. Each deconstructs and re-shapes his or her surroundings and reality through the process of art-making, offering a vision of the ordinary as something altogether extraordinary.
Fabio Lattanzi Antinori's work concerns individual perspectives within cultural and historic contexts, operating upon language and social systems to alter the power of symbols, icons, and recognizable visual systems. His work appropriates objects that have become ubiquitous and useless through consumption: goods found at local supermarkets or objects borrowed from houses of friends are imbued with layers of meaning that refer to a new, evocative, and transformed significance.
Tim Bailey's usage of paint mimics the application of clown’s slap (make-up) to simultaneously conceal and enforce identity. His interests lie in the referential: suggestion of a truth ‘gone wrong’ – reality and meaning in slippage. The repetitive appearance of the clown within his practice hints at a larger concern: the theatrical outsider, one disenfranchised from wider society, mocking and threatening the pretensions and aspirations of civility and normality.
James Clarkson explores historical contradictions between high art & design, and low-end mass production. Taking from existent and recognizable artworks, specifically those in private collection catalogues, James deconstructs and reshapes their purpose like a sculptural form or blank canvas, while culling inspiration from “their spiritual quality; their endlessly artificial environment”. His interest lies at the crux where the works can be reduced but also reinvigorated through history and cultural value, both hollow references and inspired cultural signifiers.
Aidan Doherty’s work is a process of investigation and discovery, what he refers to as the ‘posses of making art’, where paintings gradually reveal themselves through the organic and unplanned excavation of form, color, and composition hidden beneath layers of paint. He avoids an overly conceptual approach in favor of a technical process and a prioritization of ambiguous, vaguely referential forms that seem to (dis)appear at the seductive surface of the picture plane.
Scott Everingham looks to language, landscape, and other visual message systems to inform his paintings. His process adapts from immediate experience and the ephemeral qualities of time, light, and movement, in which his paintings stand-in as visual explanations of his surroundings, allowing a freedom and uncertainty to exist as the work develops. In each work, a struggle ensues between the insecurity or the temporal nature of existence, and the story-telling ability of paint on canvas.
Selma Parlour is interested in both modernist formalism and postmodernist quotation, Selma’s work rejects the tangible but employs colour, an invisible surface texture, and a nearly mathematical approach to exploring the paintings ability to communicate. Through this restraint, she subverts the syntax of painting for subtle shifts in perspective, perception, and the play of illusion through shape and colour. The work adopts a playful but historical, and always self-aware account of the role and purpose of art and language.
Charlie Penrose takes a decidedly candid approach to communicative message systems and language, Charlie purposefully shies from the aesthetic in an attempt to communicate an interest in the transience and permanence within experience versus existence. He is interested in spaces of uncertainty, where work articulates phenomenological moments that exist between the individual and the environment, and how, as witnesses, the extent to which language and texts succeed or fail to locate meaning, and decipher or comprehend the indefinite message systems around us.
Tine Semb’s practice exists in flux, as printed images, text, partly sculptural, half-abstract and half-figurative, found objects and photographs in an attempt to dissolve the either. Her investigation is how a view on nature has evolved in the past 100 years, as a century affected by new medias and forms of representation and perception. Borrowing from Magritte and Foucault, she questions whether reality is itself changed by the influence of media. What is seen, what remains unseen?
Uygur Yilmaz attempts to dislocate meaning and the recognizable, Uygur’s photographs are strangely (un)identifiable… appearing almost like images of the moon, they are in fact photographs of popular beaches from various areas in the globalized world, taken “only in the off-season, and only at night.” He is interested in how the deconstruction of reality affects the interaction between mind and space, resulting in the defamiliarization of one’s recognition, and the uncanny tension between reality and surreality, the logical and the abstract.