As Shape Not As Sign Of Human Or Narrative (ii) (2016)
Too Hot (2015)
isthisit?’s last online exhibition of 2016 was titled ‘Oh Dear’, a sort of reflection of all the apparent disastrous events of the year, utilising the various displayed works to craft a narrative of distress, confusion and unwanted arousal. Rebecca Glover’s piece ‘Too Hot’ served as the overarching soundtrack for the show, permeating into the other works, visualising the feeling of punctuating through a material that’s created in Glover’s spoken word sound piece. The work is said to imagine what it feels like to emerge from the ice after 350,000 years of dormancy, and in this sense it feels like the work is attempting to make the viewer reflect on the current happenings in the world, forcing you into the position of the outside, emerging from the ice, reflecting on the year just finished with ‘fresh’ eyes. In a way, the piece asks the viewer to reflect on the other works in the show from a different viewpoint too, discarding a pre-determined outlook. Ciara Lenihan’s video work ‘Cicerone’ sees the artist presenting reworked stock footage of classical Grecian ruins. Throughout the piece we see Lenihan wander up to various sculptures and historical spaces, imitating a museum guide, earnestly gesturing at the spaces that are deemed noteworthy enough for our eyes to see. Is Lenihan mocking how we as human beings value our history, creating an industry around these spaces, or is she legitimately in awe of these arguably enriched spaces, as the occasional pitched choir song would suggest? Or, coming back to Glover’s work, are we meant to be re-thinking how these locations are being used/function in contemporary society? The final work is a video piece from Tulani Hlalo’s series of films titled ‘As Shape Not As Sign Of Human Or Narrative’. It’s both disturbing and attracting, confusing the viewer for the few seconds that it takes for them to realise what’s actually occurring on screen… What is happening?
Curated by Bob Bicknell-Knight