“Aggregate” brings together work by three artists who gather and combine components from a multitude of sources to create spatial juxtapositions within their specific mediums. Nick Hornby, Clare Gasson, and Connor Linskey all work in London, and are shown toegther for the first time at Churner and Churner as assembled by Kathleen Madden. In each artist’s work there is a cross-over or fusion of mediums; they share a tendency to work with hybrid forms. In these aggregate works the affect is that of a game of art history being performed, but the experience is an unraveling of the viewer’s inner balance.
Nick Hornby’s sculptures cite multiple specific sources taken directly from art history to rearticulate them as single shifting structures. In perambulating Hornby’s sculptures, the viewer recognizes the source material from different vantages without being able to hold a single image in place. In the 8-ft marble-dusted sculpture I Never Wanted To Weigh More Heavily on a Man Than a Bird (Coco Chanel), Brancusi’s Bird in Space is glimpsed from one perspective, and Rodin’s Striding Man is caught from another. The nearly alabaster sculptures, created using 3D mapping and precision cutting, are in a state of flux, turning the act of seeing into a generative process.
Clare Gasson similarly uses formal techniques of film and sound to provide an atmosphere that crosses over into our own thoughts, punctuating her work with ideas that permeate our reception of them. In her filmic essay on truth and identity, 7’, commissioned to respond to Dario Argento’s film Deep Red, a pair of hands shuffles and rearranges a stack of cards –– some photographs, others solid colors –– as the camera pans slowly along the table’s edge. Over the continuous shot (a nod to the seven minute pan at the end of Antonioni’s The Passenger) are voices and sounds recorded before the film was made; the two were only put together in the editing room, allowing random connections to occur. Gasson transforms performance as she begins with an assemblage of forms, which are in fact disassembled from the familiar, and then reformed and fused to produce a wholly new, seemingly memory-laden expression.
Connor Linskey is engaged in a self-reflexive consideration of film as a cyclical medium. In Carousel, Linskey directs our attention to the moving sprockets of the mechanism of the 16-millimeter projector by filming the spinning spokes of an upturned bicycle wheel. Linskey conjures up the spirit of Duchamp, but his references hover in a liminal space between form and metaphor. As Gaston Bachelard established in The Poetics of Space, “For a simple poetic image, there is no project; a flicker of the soul is all that is needed.” Linskey’s work references the fundamental act of seeing, especially s typified in the films of Làslò Moholy Nagy and as a means of investigating vision and the act of spectatorship.
Looking at the artworks of Hornby, Gasson, and Linskey, the viewer must complete the piece by recognizing and accumulating references and interpretations. The process appears to be objective, but this is far from the truth: deciphering is always a subjective journey.