|Analogic, images with the kind permission of the artists, Post-Museum. CICK HERE FOR MORE PHOTOGRAPHS.|
It is a relief to see paintings again. Seeing literal paintings again by an avant-gardist group such as Vertical Submarine, was like seeing Art & Language paint pretty British sea scapes. But wanting to paint, was perhaps a subterfuge to explain the group’s deeper interests in chaos and order. The exhibition, was perhaps an analogy into their minds and their current belief of how artists made art.
Analogy, is a thing that is comparable to something else in significant respects. Objects are linked by a complex mindmap, the result of anarchy in the sub-conscious. These objects or actions are linked by sheer virtue of their physical appearance, or words that have the same pronunciation – homophones. Analogic, is a antithetical exhibition by Vertical Submarine, also shown in the President’s Young Talent (PYT) exhibit at 8Q. The PYT group exhibit seemed more controlled and refined in its presentation, while these seemed frankly quite the opposite: sporadic, raw, and experiment in progress. The exhibition also featured a refrigerator with beer and Coca Cola. The prefix ANA- means “against”, which alters the meaning of the title ana-logic to suggest a frivolity, nonsensical exercise of wit.
An extract of this mindmap, is presented as a series of illustrative acrylic paintings, that link several seemingly unrelated words. A “potato” (French: pomme) leads to (French: pommes) “apple”, that relates to the forbidden fruit, and an imagery of a “snake” in the biblical garden of eden. The snake, as it curls its slithering body resembles a “donut” which in turn inspires a “life bouy” found at pool sides. The word-picture play continues, before it leads to “ground” and reminds us of potatoes, and the “apple” again. In this supposed order, is disguised chaos — a highlight of the power of our imagination.
Dada Means Nothing – the instinct rules
The pathological exercise of mind-mapping the sub-conscious may remind us of the endeavours of the Dadaist. Artists follow their instincts, and the mind-mapping of the ideas behind the exhibition lends a circular logic to conceptualism in art, figurative painting and analogies and metaphors in linguistics. By subjugating themselves to this exercise, as random and raw as the final exhibition may seem, they have touched on the instinctive rules of being creative, innovative or visionary.
The list of images that was to accompany the reading of mind-boggling Umberto Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum resembled the work by Art Historian, Aby M. Warburg, Mnemosyne-Atlas (1924-1929). But unlike Warburg, this hinted at a critique of the internet and abundance of images floating, waiting to be picked up and used. Warburg was setting a precedent to how fluid, organic, non-literal ‘visual history’ could be— as opposed to Art History that is usually reference and cited academically to death. Art History, in simple terms, might have consisted of a collective series of well documented writings on Art over a slated period of time. Analogic by comparison, struck chords with the fluidity and organic nature of the individual human mind.
“Vertical Submarine’s ANALOGIC features a series of paintings inspired by the concept of analogy and its proximity to the past as expounded in Umberto Eco’s novel, Foucault’s Pendulum. In the exhibition, the paintings are presented as image sequences of related words, concepts and objects. Based on Eco’s concept of tying things up and linking seemingly diverse and unrelated concepts into one work, Vertical Submarine delves into an exploration of ‘analogy’ and ‘analogue’, creating in the process a nostalgic act of journeying back to the analogue era.” (Exhibition Text)
8 – 28 September, 2009